A proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary between a client computer and the Internet. It allows clients to make indirect network connections to other network services. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or another resource, available from a different server. The proxy server evaluates the request as a way to simplify and control its complexity. Proxies were invented to add structure and encapsulation to distributed systems. Today, most proxies are web proxies, facilitating access to content on the World Wide Web, providing anonymity and may be used to bypass IP address blocking.
In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from servers that provide those resources. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource, available from a different server. The proxy server evaluates the request according to its filtering rules and, if the request is valid, forwards it to the real server. If the request is not valid, the proxy server rejects it and return an error message to the client.
How does a proxy server works?
The working process of a proxy server is quite easy to understand. The proxy server recieves a web request from a user , terminates the connection and again establishes a new connection with the user’s target website using the proxy’s server ip address instead of the users and finally forward the obtained data to the user.
Summarizing the working process in a simple words
Let us assume you want to access information from example.com and it is restricted in your network to send any request to this website. So now you will use here a proxy server. The proxy server here intercept your request which you send to example.com,shield your ip address by its own ip address and establish a connection with example.com.
Advantages of proxy server
1. You can get access to any restricted websites.
2. Your IP address will be hidden from your target website.
3. Proxy Server can cache data. So if you once visited a website, it will store them for later too. And when a cached page is requested, it displays it faster to you which ultimately increases the processing speed.
4. By using proxy servers, any institution or company can restrict its users or employees to get access to any unwanted websites.
Disadvantages of proxy server
Your ip address will be hidden by the proxy server but it itself will be familiar with your IP address. And as it doesn’t establish the encrypted connection , so there is no assurance of securing any sensitive data. Thus proxy server is not considered so secure.
Some of its disadvantages are listed below:
1. Slower internet connection speeds, as the proxy server needs to route all traffic through itself.
2. Increased security risks, as the proxy server can be hacked and used to spy on traffic or redirect it to malicious sites.
3. Reduced privacy, as the proxy server can log and store all traffic data.
4. Compatibility issues, as some websites and services may not work properly with a proxy server.