A proxy server works as an agent between your PC or mobile phone and the Internet.
The proxy server sends requests to websites, servers and services on the Internet for you. Example: You are at home, Using google chrome to visit Facebook and you configured chrome to use a proxy. Once you get on Facebook, the request will be sent to the proxy server.
The proxy server will then send the request to the server where Facebook is hosted.
Facebook then is returned to the proxy server which, in turn, returns it to you. Basically this means that nobody can find your IP address and this will keep you anonymously.
That gives the next questions as in what are proxy servers used for?
For example you could use it to monitor your kids since you will always have acces to agent and be able to see what they are looking at and what they are doing.
Companies will use proxies to see what their employees do since nobody wants them scrolling through Facebook under work time, would you?
Also it will improve speeds, we might have higher bandwidth that you have at home and the pages will also be cached(copy stored of the page) so you can acces them quicker and all that while nobody can see what you are doing, so your privacy is guaranteed which automatically makes you feel safer at a higher speed!
The last part is that you can acces pages that have been blocked. We of course do not say you should by pass your governments ISP restrictions and break laws but for example in China Facebook is blocked but with a proxy they are free to roam again!
This sounds nice and all but there are also risks with proxies. Specially when it comes to free proxy servers.
You get what you pay for is the deal here also even those who use ads to pay for it. Free means they don’t encrypt, they do not have any good hardware to back it up because they will not be able to afford it for free of course. Also it will have a lot of downtime, your privacy will be at risk and they just me able just after your personal information.
So generally we would suggest to stay away from free proxy servers
The proxy server has your real IP address and all information you source around could just revealed if it’s not encrypted properly. A proxy server will just as your browser make a browser history because it’s required by law to do so! With free proxy servers they mostly will be out to sell your logging information and all your data so they can make a profit since they do not charge you for the proxy.
Always be aware to avoid free proxy services because of this since without any encryptions, the proxy agent server who controls it will be able to see everything, such as your logins, passwords, account information so then you better are without any proxy at all.
So lesson of the day is to always properly investigate what you are buying to make sure it’s safe!
So what kind of proxies are there:
A transparent proxy tells the website straight up it’s a proxy and doesn’t try to hide it. It just will even show your IP address. These transparant proxies will mostly be used by companies, public libraries and school etc so they can filter out bad content etc. so it’s more of a filtering system than actually trying to hide who you are!
An Anonymous proxy will also present itself as a proxy to websites but this one will not show them your IP address which assures your identity and browsing habbits private.
For example if you visit on a new house, next up on social media all house ads will pop up, all websites with google banners will show everything related to buying houses!
So this will make you anonymous, prevents you being ad targeted and prevent identity theft etc.
A distorting proxy will send a false IP Address so you will be very anonymous but it will still identity itself as a proxy so you can get around restrictions but rest would be the same as an anonymous proxy as it will appear you are from a different location( the false IP addresses one).
High Anonymity proxy
A High Anonymity proxy will make it look like you a normale IP address and it will change regularly so nobody will know who you are and since it keeps changing, they will not be able to tell which traffics belongs to who!
So most people need to last one for example if you would be downloading torrents, you would need a high anonymity proxy so nobody will ever be able to see who downloaded it!
Our next blog will be more specifically about what for differed kind of proxies are there and what their uses are so stay tuned!