The Benefits of a Using a Web Proxy Server
There are several benefits of using a web proxy server, particularly if your own server is unable to access your choice of URL. There can be a number of reasons for this, although you are advised to keep clear of using proxy servers to bypass blocks placed on your IP address. There are many perfectly respectable reasons for using a proxy server, although let’s first check out how they work.
Let’s say that you are server A trying to access information on server B. In other words, you are using computer A and want to connect to computer B. For some reason, you may not be able to do that, or might not want your details made known to those operating computer B. Then you can use a proxy C to do that for you.
You logon to server C which then accesses server B, and the latter is then aware only of C and not of your computer A. In that way you can access any server on the web without that server knowing it is you. You can also use the anonymous proxy to access a server that you cannot access yourself. In business networks, for example, your terminal will likely be using the main server as a proxy when you access URLs on the internet.
Here are some of the more common uses to which a web proxy server can be put:
A web proxy is one that focuses on traffic on the World Wide Web, and can be used to prevent access to web pages that have been specified in a blacklist. It therefore works as a content filter, and also, because you are not connected directly to the internet, it provides the same type of security as a firewall. If you want to access a website that you know might be dangerous in terms of viruses or malware, then doing so through an anonymous proxy will isolate you from the site but still give you indirect access.
2. Hacking Prevention
This is another form of security that you can use to prevent hackers from accessing your server or computer. If your computer contains sensitive material, it is wise to place a web proxy server between it and the internet. Hackers will not be able to get your IP address, and hence will not be able to gain access to your hard disk or cache.
3. Parental Control with a Free Proxy
You can use a free proxy to filter certain sites and prevent your children from accessing them. Since not all proxies can do this, you have to make sure that you are using one that will carry out this type of filtration.
In some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all users must use a proxy server. Every transaction carried out or website visited must be done through the proxy so that ‘unsuitable’ sites can be filtered out and access blocked. The Chinese also do this, and although you can remain anonymous to the website you are connecting to, you are not so to the proxy.
A web proxy server can maintain logs of all IPs that have used that proxy, to where they were connected and at what time this occurred. In that respect, a proxy does not enable complete anonymity and can be used by a state to monitor computer usage. Nevertheless, it does enable a degree of anonymity which is why many people use free proxies to access blocked URLs or IP addresses.
Thus, schools, colleges and employers can block access from their servers to social networking sites such as Facebook, and a web proxy server can be used to overcome this block. This is not a recommended usage of proxies, of course, but by using them the corporate server sees only the URL you are accessing – that of the proxy, and not the website that the anonymous proxy subsequently logs on to.
There are dangers in doing this, and if the proxy you have been using is discovered it is possible for others to determine the IP addresses that have been using them and you could be in serious trouble. Proxies should therefore be used for their legal applications and not to circumvent college or corporate security.
A web proxy server has its place, and when used correctly is an extremely useful security devices You can control not only your own anonymity from potential hackers, but also use content filtration to restrict the IPs that others using your computer or server can access. Proxies are easy to use, and all have to do is to configure your browser to connect to the internet through the proxy: using IE for example, simply go to Internet Options>Connections>Settings and enter the proxy details.