The term proxy server always comes into play when a website is to be opened. Your computer sends its IP address to the server where the content of the web page you are trying to open is stored and this server sends the respective content back to your computer.
The proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer (client) and the target server, so there is no direct connection between them. This is because the proxy server forwards your request with its own IP address.
Advantages of the Proxy Server
A proxy server offers advantages for both the client, i.e. you as a user, and the target server:
- The proxy server does not inform the target server about the requesting IP address (client). Only the IP address of the proxy server is forwarded. Consequently, the identity and location of the client remain hidden; security is therefore the great advantage for you as a user.
- Proxy servers have a storage capacity. Frequently requested pages are stored on the proxy server and can be transmitted directly back to the client without a new request. This has the effect of saving a little time, which is especially noticeable with a slow Internet connection.
- Since the target server can only be reached externally via the proxy server, the former remains protected from possible attacks; thus, the proxy server acts as a firewall.
- However, the proxy server can also control the content of incoming data packets and block unwanted or illegal content that way, for example.
- If the proxy server is located abroad, the target server receives a request from an IP address from that country. That way, restrictions that only apply to certain countries (e.g. blocked (YouTube) videos or websites) can be partially circumvented.
Rent or buy Proxy Server
There are free proxies for individual users and public proxy servers. Proxy servers can also be rented or purchased. The choice of location can be made individually.
Usually hard drives or other storage media are used as proxy servers. The offered programs can be installed on your own hard drive. The programs of the proxies typically work with standard formats. Standard formats have the advantage of being supported by all devices and allowing for fast transmission and processing.
Regarding security, a distinction can be made between transparent, anonymous and highly anonymous (elite) proxies.
Set up your own proxy server
With sufficient expertise you can also set up your own proxy server. The big disadvantage here, however, is the geographical assignment, which is still possible. For this reason the purchase of a server is preferred so that you can use all advantages. It is important to note that a server is more than just a storage space, as it has to contact the target server and request and forward the appropriate information. With the ready-to-use programs that make communication possible, setting up the proxy server is greatly simplified.