Proxy connection: what is it and why do you need it?
Can we shift to first-name terms? The conversation is quite serious, so we don’t want to be distracted by formalities. You probably want to know what a proxy connection is and why does humanity and you personally need it for? Well, that’s a good aspiration, we second that. So let’s get straight to the specifics: a proxy server (which is exactly what is directly related to the concept of proxy technology) is a computer/machine that is an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. The server can be located anywhere: from the next room to another continent, it does not matter. Connection is established through a network, local or global.
Simply put, a proxy server allows you to use the Internet on its behalf. This means that the IP address and the computer’s name identifying you as a user in the Internet will be hidden. Accept it as a given, as an indestructible fact that defines the whole essence of what we will talk about further. And why is it needed and how to use it in life, you will find out now.
Answer to the question about the connection
We deliberately didn’t answer your question at the beginning of the article, because we decided to explain the “physics” of the proxy concept. It is logical that one definition follows from another: a proxy connection is nothing other than the process of connecting a computer to a proxy server. What is the latest, you already understand.
Let’s consider the chain in more detail so that there is no misunderstanding. Imagine a proxy connection as follows:
- You have a computer and for any reason you need to use a proxy server (the reasons and examples are described below).
- You set up a proxy connection to a specific server in your browser (it can be done in Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla FireFox, Internet Explorer, and in any of the others). This will mean that you will access the Internet through a remote server.
- Now you just use the global network under the guise of another computer.
If you are a system administrator, or work in an organization where such a person ensures the LAN operation, then there may be other options for connecting, depending on the work and tools of your administrator; it is he who regulates the powers of access to the Internet. This is a special case of using technology. Now let’s proceed to the description of the use of proxy.
Where and what is proxy used for?
Intermediary for the Internet, IP spoofing… Theoretically, it becomes clear what we are talking about, but why do we need a proxy server in practice, we haven’t talked yet.
Let’s fill the gaps with real examples:
- Helps to connect multiple computers to the Internet
It usually applies to a corporate LAN. The point is that the separately working machines don’t have access to the Internet, but when connected to a proxy server this becomes possible. The advantage is that everything is controlled by a sysadmin who controls LAN, which makes it easier for him to administer traffic consumption.
- Allows you to access blocked Internet resources
If you were banned as a user (you were denied access) on any website and the usual change of login doesn’t help, then access via another address will solve this problem.
- Hides your computer from the global network, contributing to an anonymous Internet session
If for any reason you don’t want your computer to be visible on the Internet – use a proxy.
- Resolves an issue with restricted access according to geographical distribution
Similar to the previous paragraphs: if the website is closed for access for residents of Russia, you can perform a proxy connection with a server from another country. In this case, you will be considered a user from the relevant state and the resource will be available.
- Accelerates Internet connection and saves traffic
All traffic session data is cached (in other words, stored in memory) by a proxy server. Subsequent access to the same websites will be faster, since the data will not be downloaded from the Internet, but from memory. This often helps to optimize the traffic costs in companies and organizations, since the Internet access is often common for all employees.
- Protects against virus attacks
The built-in incoming data filtering system installed on a proxy server allows you to protect your computer from attacks. This is individual for each server.
Let’s finish here. In this article, we have presented the minimum information that allows you to understand the principle of operation and the tasks of proxy connections. We hope our materials have answered your questions.