Many individuals understand their internet connection. Yet, they may not be aware of the infrastructure it sits on and how the components of a connection work.
While it may seem simple browsing and chat on social media, every user faces many privacy threats without their knowledge. Data breaches and identity theft are major problems.
Proxy servers are widely used to help protect users, or a proxy server can be used by an unscrupulous party to get user’s information.
In our guide, you can learn more about how you use a proxy server for internet activity. You can see how some proxy servers are used for tasks such as block access, content filtering, or making sure your personal information remains secure. (Read How I Find IP Address On Computer)
How Do I Find Out What My Proxy Server Is?
Before looking at proxies in detail, it is good to know how you can find details of what your proxy server is on a Windows PC.
Here are the quick instructions to get details of a proxy server in use on your internal network to filter content.
To locate your Proxy Server IP Address:
- Click the start button and type ‘Internet Options’ or enter it into the search bar.
- Select Internet Options
- Click to open the Connections tab
- Click the LAN settings button
- Check the Proxy Server section: If you are using a proxy server. The checkbox next to ‘Use a proxy server for your LAN’ will be marked.
- You will also see a proxy server IP address and port in use for all the HTTP/HTTPS traffic from your device.
Why Proxy Server is Used?
A proxy server is just one gateway on the connection between users and a website they visit. Proxy servers provide various functionality, security, and privacy. However, it will depend on needs and company policies.
When using a proxy server, traffic flows via the proxy server toward the address a user searches for. The request arrives back through the same proxy server for the most part (you can have some exceptions). The proxy server then forwards received data received from the website to the user.
Modern proxy servers do more than forward web requests and a lot toward security and network performance.
Proxy servers can act as firewalls and web filters. They also offer shared network connections and cache data, which can increase the speeds of common requests.
Well-functioning proxy servers keep users and an internal network protected from the outside networks and the internet. With this comes higher levels of privacy and security.
What is an Example of a Proxy Server?
Proxy servers come in a variety of forms, and not all work the same. You need to understand the functionality you will obtain from each kind of proxy server. Here are the main types of proxy servers you can find in use:
A transparent proxy informs websites it is a proxy server and passes along IP addresses, thus identifying users to a web server.
You can find businesses, libraries, colleges, and schools frequently use a transparent proxy to carry out their web pages’ content filtering. Such a proxy server can be straightforward to set up on the client and server-side.
An anonymous proxy service identifies itself as a proxy. However, it won’t pass an IP address to the web server or web pages.
Doing this helps prevent identity theft and keeps browsing habits private. Such a proxy may stop a website serving targeted ads based on location. Anonymous browsing prevents websites from using ad targeting methods, although these are not a guarantee. (Learn How To Get Unbanned From Hypixel Hack)
High Anonymity Proxy
A high anonymity proxy server will periodically change IP addresses they deliver to web servers, thus making it increasingly difficult for web pages to track which traffic belongs to who. High anonymity proxies, such as on the likes of the TOR, will be the most private and secure when browsing anything on the internet.
Do I Need a Proxy Server?
Now you see what is a proxy server; you need to know if you need a proxy hide feature or filter?
Much depends on your needs and where you will use them. If you have an internal network, you will most likely use a forward proxy and reverse proxy rather than a web proxy.
There are ways to go around the internet without using a proxy for security and bypass an Australian proxy that stops you from accessing any online content overseas.
When you use a reverse proxy and forward proxy, you will see that reverse proxies can expose HTTP web page data, thus exposing users.
Here’s a quick look at where you would use an online proxy list to carry out the computer to website access requests.
Improve Institutional Security
When a company has an internal server, a proxy server helps keep hackers from gaining access to the internal network.
All internet network access is controlled by the proxies, where it acts as a buffer. It is a great way to bump up security, yet keeping top hackers from having access could take more.
Conduct Sensitive Tasks in Private
Several activities can make use of proxy sites. Security officers, reporters, and whistle-blowers with the likes of Snowden can make use of these.
However, you can also find proxies in use for bypassing government restrictions on blocked torrenting sites. Here, the proxies appear anonymous to internet service providers and thus get around the blocks. (Read Best Chrome Ad Blockers)
However, this doesn’t mean any user accessing or passing sensitive information is safe. A proxy IP address can still be seen where the connection comes from.
It doesn’t take long for hackers or governing agencies to find the appropriate information and undermine a user’s privacy.
A free proxy server can also appear to offer website access to a client, yet as all data flows through this, each request can be read before it can get to its intended websites.
A VPN service does a much better job of security and making sure every request that leaves a computer reaches a website without anyone being able to read the packet contents. (Find the Best VPN Provider)
Likewise, any return data from a remote computer will also be under military-grade encryption.
With a VPN, no matter what data you send, you can use any proxies. You will find your request still hasn’t been compromised and won’t provide anyone with details of your activity or location.