Along with the growth of Internet users number, the number of potentially harmful websites and traffic restrictions grows exponentially. This naturally raises the demand for a secure mediator between your personal and business devices and the world of the wild web. A proxy server is one of these mediators, and this quick guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about it.
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server works as a middleman between your computer or mobile device and the web addresses you visit. The main function of a proxy is to process web requests from your device and forward them to the websites from a different IP address to protect your data and privacy. For instance, you may work in a French company remotely from the US and face regional restrictions to particular company web resources. A French proxy server will help you bypass the limitations and work as if you were based in France.
What You May Need a Proxy For?
Here are the main purposes you may want to configure a proxy for:
- Privacy protection – proxy servers can substitute your IP address and other identifiers to make you and your device anonymous for the websites you visit as well as for any malicious spectators.
- Internet usage control – using a proxy server, you can restrict access to specific websites from particular devices in the network. This feature is used to protect children from unwanted content or to make it impossible for employees to surf the web for non-business purposes.
- Bandwidth use reduction and better speed – proxy servers can be configured to store temporary copies of websites locally to reduce loading time and reduce traffic consumption. That’s especially useful for companies where multiple users need access to the same websites regularly.
- Better security – specific types of proxies can encrypt your traffic to protect your data from hackers.
- Access to restricted websites – a custom IP lets you access websites from the permitted countries without leaving your house or office.
Proxy vs. VPN
Both proxy server and VPN (a virtual private network) use external servers to route your outcoming and incoming web traffic, but the second always uses data encryption regardless of the provider. Businesses and individual users prefer using VPN when sensitive data transfer takes place in both directions (from and to web resources).
A proxy is more suitable when only secure browsing is needed or when it’s necessary to restrict the use of particular websites for users of a particular home or corporate network. You can combine proxy and VPN use for enhanced security and functionary.
Hopefully, our guide clarified the purposes of using a proxy in 2022 for you. As you can see now, there are quite a lot of uses for this technology for both private and business purposes, so why not benefit from using a proxy server for your needs? Choose a proxy type and provider that works best for you and enjoy secure traffic.