A proxy or proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary or gateway between the client and the web server from which the client's information is obtained. Proxies are useful for businesses looking to improve their security and network. Businesses that want to extract useful information from restricted websites will also find it powerful. This is because proxies can make internet activity appear as if it comes from another location.
How Does a Proxy Work?
A proxy can be situated in any location, such as a computer or on the cloud, and is responsible for intercepting and simplifying client requests before connecting them to the source. By doing so, the client and source are unaware of the origin or final destination of the content.
To ensure anonymity, proxies rewrite request headers before sending messages to web servers, making it appear as if the request is coming from a different location. The web server then sends the response to the proxy, which forwards it to the client's computer.
In most cases, businesses use proxy servers for security purposes to protect data from web hacking and potential malware threats. Proxies also help to speed up performance, reduce web traffic, and control data flow and web access.
Main Proxy Types
Proxies are categorized into different types which are as follows:
Residential proxies are the most suitable proxy choice for businesses. This is because they use real IP addresses from real computers and are almost impossible to track. Basically, these proxy servers appear as normal clients.
Because of their anonymity, resident proxies can help you easily retrieve data useful to your business. This option is also useful when you want to bypass geo-restrictions.
2. Data Center
Unlike private proxies, which use real IPs, data center proxies use IP addresses generated by computers. In this case, the addresses are not connected to a real device, they just simulate a real internet connection. The advantage of data center proxies is that they are incredibly fast.
3. Shared Proxy
Shared proxies, as their name implies, are proxies that are available for use by multiple clients simultaneously. These proxies are the most affordable options in the market because the cost is shared among multiple clients. They are particularly suitable for startups that want to avoid a large investment in proxies.
Despite their cost-effectiveness, shared proxies typically have lower performance than other types of proxies, given that they can be accessed by a large number of end-users. Consequently, a robust network architecture capable of handling multiple connection requests simultaneously is required.
Another drawback of shared proxies is that they are more susceptible to potential risks.
4. Private Proxy
A private proxy is designed to be used by one person at a time. This type of proxy requires authentication and can only be used by authorized clients. However, some proxy providers use the term private proxy interchangeably with dedicated proxies.
Despite the ambiguity surrounding private proxies, they can only be identified as proxies that allow one client to be used at a time.
5. HTTP Proxy
An HTTP proxy is a protocol that sends and displays files over the internet, making it ideal for web browsing. This proxy is considered an advanced content filter that identifies suspicious content to protect your web server from attacks.
It acts as a buffer between the web server and web client to identify suspicious data packets and prevent potential attacks. This makes it an excellent proxy for protecting your business content.
If you are a startup in the online business industry, you should always remember that proxies give you an extra layer of security for your business. We've mentioned the different types of proxy available to you. You just have to decide which type suits your business best.