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What is proxy server?
A proxy server is a computer system or an application served as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. The proxy idea was created in the early days of distributed systems as a way to simplify and control their complexity. Nowadays, most proxy servers are a web proxy servers that allows access to content over the internt. The purpose of using proxy server may include the following:
1. Keep computers behind it anonymous.
2. Increase the web access speed to resources by using caching.
3. Add security policy to network services or content.
4. To log company employee internet usage data for audit purpose.
5. Bypass security and parental controls.
6. Scan web content for virus before sending it to users.
7. Check out out-going content for data leak protection.
There are usually four types of proxy as follows:
1. Transparent Proxy
A Transparent Proxy is a proxy server that does not enforce any local policies, that is, it does not add, delete or modify attributes or modify information within messages it forwards. It uses cached data.
2. Anonymous Proxy
It hides the original IP address. This type of proxy server is detectable, but provides reasonable anonymity for most users.
3. Distorting Proxy
A distorting proxy hides or modifies your IP address. This prevents target servers from getting your IP address.
4. High Anonymity Proxy
This type of proxy server does not identify itself as a proxy server and does not make available the original IP address.
How proxy server works?
If a client wants to connect to the proxy server and request some services like a file, connection, web page, or other resource, which are available from a different server, the proxy server will evaluate the request according to its filtering rules set such as IP address or protocol. If the request is validated, the proxy server will then connect to the relevant server and request the service on behalf of the client to get the resource required. A proxy server may optionally change the client's request or the server's response, and sometimes it may serve the request with the cached data without contacting the specified server.