A proxy, or reverse proxy, is usually a server that stands between the internet user and the particular website he wants to go to. With a proxy server, the location and identity of the web user remain (in part) hidden. In online use, proxies are typically used by individuals who wish to visit a website which has been restricted in a particular geographical region. For example, if you live in Europe and wish to visit certain websites that are available only within the U.S., you can proxy through a proxy server which has been established within that region. Similarly, if you wish to buy proxy services, you can use one that is positioned within your country, but whose servers will allow access to websites that are restricted in your country.
There are various types of proxy servers, each offering its own set of anonymous proxy services. The most common and general proxy server is the ordinary anonymous proxy. This is usually the most common proxy server and is usually found on the very first page of all websites. As the name suggests, this type of proxy server does not reveal the users’ IP address. It only reveals the IP address of the end-user, making it easy for the end-user to access the websites.
Another type of proxy server that is used to maintain online privacy is the Secure Socket Layer or SSL proxy. With SSL, information such as the IP address and website are encrypted so that it becomes difficult for hackers to access and use such data. Moreover, there is a large possibility for malicious software to infect the computer programs of the end-user as well. SSL/TLS ensures that data traffic between two computers does not contain sensitive data such as the IP address.
The third and most advanced kind of proxy servers are the Clustered Response Proxies. These proxies are used in the highly secured network environment. These are normally used in business networks where multiple users access the same site at the same time. These are extremely fast and are also virtually anonymous.
Clustered Response Proxies (CRP) make use of two proxy servers, one on the web side and another on the client side. When a web browser requests a page from a website, it will be directed to the web proxy server which then sends the request for that particular site. When the request comes back to the client, the response will contain an IP address and that IP address will be compared against the list of addresses kept in the client’s cache. If the client’s IP address is found in the cache, the proxy server will return a successful request.
Anonymity proxy servers do not reveal the users’ IP address. However, they are not easy to find as they are not frequently used. Usually, you can only find them behind the onion websites. You can also use other types of proxy such as the wrappers. These proxy servers will serve up a requested website, but the end-user will not know that the website you are currently accessing is a proxy.
To protect your privacy while browsing the web, it would be ideal to have a VPN or Virtual Private Network. A VPN works in a way that the user’s internet connection is split into different private connections through the use of tunnels. It is much like a dedicated private network, where you can connect to a server that has a unique IP address and proxy server. One of the advantages of VPNs is that it creates a secure tunnel for your traffic between you and the site. But you should be wary about buying a high-priced VPN because they usually offer better quality and more security features than cheap vpns.
Another type of proxy server is the caching proxy servers. This works just like a cache; the information about the webpage you are visiting is stored in the server’s cache and not directly sent to the client. So, whenever you visit a website, its information is only downloaded when you visit that site again. It is very similar to how a RAM work in your computer – whenever you visit a page in your computer, it is not stored in the hard disk, it is only downloaded in the cache.