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Increased speed – because proxy servers can cache material, a request can be served from the cache instead of retrieving the Web page through the duced costs – a proxy server can reduce the amount of bandwidth usage because of the proved management – a proxy server can block specific Web pages and/or entire Web sites. Some proxy servers can block entire categories of Web sites such as entertainment, pornography, or gaming ronger security – acting as the intermediary, a proxy server can protect clients from malware by intercepting it before it reaches the client. In addition, a proxy server can hide the IP address of client systems inside the secure network. Only the proxy server’s IP address is used on the open Internet.
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What Are the Benefits of Using a Proxy Server? – CactusVPN
Ever wondered if there are any worthwhile benefits to using proxy servers?
Well, as a matter of fact, there are a few decent advantages (but also drawbacks) you as an online user should consider when deciding whether or not to use such a service.
Table of contents
What Is a Proxy Server?
How Does a Proxy Server Work?
What Types of Proxy Servers Are There?
4 Benefits of Using Proxy Servers
How “Anonymous” Are Proxies?
What Are the Drawbacks of Using Proxy Servers?
“Can I Use Free Proxies? ”
CactusVPN – Our VPN Servers Also Double as Proxy Servers
But before we start discussing the benefits of a proxy server, you might want to learn what a proxy actually is and how it works. It will help you better understand the proxy server advantages too – among other things.
In case you’re already familiar with this kind of info, feel free to just skip ahead to the “4 Benefits of Using Proxy Servers” section.
A proxy server (usually known as a “proxy” or “application-level gateway”) is a server (either a computer or an application) that acts a gateway between a local network and a large-scale network.
An example of that would be a server acting as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet.
Proxy servers can usually be categorized as being:
Forward – The standard proxy category, Forward proxies are the intermediary between a computer and a wider verse – Reverse proxies are intermediaries between the web and a smaller group of servers. For instance, a Reverse proxy could act as a gateway between the Internet and a corporate LAN – Open proxies (also called “public proxies”) can be accessed by any online user. They are usually offered to the public free of charge.
Basically, a proxy server will act as an intermediary between a client and the server from which the client is requesting a certain service. It will take the client’s request, and perform it on their behalf.
Here’s a basic example: Say you want to use a proxy server to access a certain web page. The proxy will receive your request, and will do one of the following things:
It will analyze its local cache to see if it can find that particular web page. If it finds it, it will return it to you without having to forward your request to the the proxy doesn’t locate the web page in its local cache, will request that web page from the web. However, it will not use your IP to do it. Instead, the proxy will act as the client on your behalf, and use one of its own IP addresses. Once it gets the page, it will relate it to your original request, and forward the page back to you.
Of course, you as a user won’t really be aware of that process. To you, it will just seem like you are directly accessing a web page like normal.
Overall, these are the most common types of proxy servers you’re likely to encounter:
HTTP Proxy Servers
These proxy servers can interpret network traffic, so they are used to cache web pages and files, making it easier and faster for users to access them.
HTTP proxies can affect multiple connections at the same time without their speeds taking a serious hit. All that speed does come at a cost, though – namely a complete lack of encryption.
SSL Proxy Servers
Also known as HTTPS proxies, these proxies provide SSL (Secure Socket Layer) support for the connection between the sender and the receiver in order to secure it.
SSL proxies are less likely to get blocked by your ISP, as they use TCP port 443. If your ISP were to block that port, it’d mean they’d also block your ability to engage in online shopping or banking.
SOCKS Proxy Servers
Unlike an HTTP proxy, a SOCKS proxy doesn’t really bother with interpreting web traffic – it just passes it along.
SOCKS proxies are quite versatile since they can handle multiple types of traffic, like emails (SMTP and POP3), FTP (File Transfer Protocol – used for uploading files to servers), IRC (Internet Relay Chat), and even torrent traffic.
However, due to their popularity, SOCKS proxies tend to be a bit slower, as they are usually overcrowded. Still, they do provide some security, as they offer HTTPS support.
Web proxies can normally be used inside your browser. They don’t require you to install any additional software. Connections can be either HTTP or HTTPS, so the level of security can vary.
These proxies don’t require any configuration on your part, but they mostly have basic uses – at least from the perspective of an online user.
Still, it’s worth mentioning them because it’s a good idea to understand how they can affect you. While Transparent proxies can be employed by businesses to authenticate users when signing in on their WiFi networks, they can also be used by ISPs to filter various online content.
Fortunately, bypassing Transparent proxies is not too difficult. All you need is an encrypted proxy or a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
1. Your IP Address Is Hidden
One of the best proxy server advantages – by using a proxy, the website you access will not be able to log your real IP address, as it will log the proxy server’s IP address instead. Yes, that means you’re somewhat anonymous when you browse online.
Don’t forget – your IP address can tell someone a lot about yourself, like what country and city you are from. Crafty cybercriminals can even go the extra mile and use your IP address to find out things like who your ISP is, what your zip code is, and even what street you live on.
How would a hacker get access to your IP address, you ask? Sadly, a data breach or leak on a website you visit could be enough for them to get their hands on this info.
So, something like this is definitely useful nowadays.
2. You Can Access Geo-Blocked or Restricted Content
Unfortunately, a lot of online content is actually hidden behind geo-restrictions – mostly because of network and copyright regulations.
But since a proxy server hides your IP address, websites can’t stop you from accessing them based on your geo-location.
A good example of that is using a proxy to access NOW TV outside the UK.
On top of that, you can also use a proxy server to bypass network restrictions at work or school – restrictions that would prevent you from accessing certain types of online content.
3. Load Times Might Be Reduced
This is tied to the fact that proxy servers can cache data. Basically, once they access certain web pages, they store them for later. When a cached page is requested, they can display it faster to the user.
But please keep in mind that this will only happen if the proxy server already has the web page you request in its local cache. If it doesn’t, it will have to request it from the Internet, and you might not experience faster load times in that case.
4. Malicious Websites Can Be Filtered Out
Another handy proxy server benefit is the fact that the admin can block users from accessing websites that might be dangerous.
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but consider this: If the admin knows a certain website contains malware or phishing links, he/she can prevent proxy users from accidentally or unknowingly accessing it.
There could also be a chance that if you were to land on a malicious website, any malware it might contain would infect the proxy instead of your device. Though, keep in mind that’s not a guarantee.
We have over 30 servers around the world, and all of them come with 1 gbps speeds and unlimited bandwidth. Besides just being VPN servers, you can also use them as proxy servers if you want.
If you’d rather get all the perks a proxy can offer, and enjoy peace of mind knowing your online browsing is surveillance-free, and that your personal data isn’t at risk (not even on public WiFi), you can always just use our VPN apps.
We don’t keep any logs, so you don’t have to worry about us keeping tabs on your connections to our servers.
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The advantages of using a proxy server are quite nice, but proxies don’t come without their drawbacks.
For one, they don’t really offer you the kind of “anonymity” people like to claim they do. In fact, the owner of a proxy will always know who you are because they can see your IP address.
Now, proxy servers can be rated according to the level of privacy they offer. Officially, they come in 3 levels – with level 1 being the best for privacy:
Level 3 – Transparent Proxies
Not to be confused with the previously-mentioned Transparent proxies, these proxy servers don’t really offer any privacy.
Why? Because they forward pretty much all info about you to the websites you access. Theoretically, your IP is hidden, but it can still show up in the request header that’s sent to the website.
Level 2 – Anonymous Proxies
Also called Distorting proxies, these proxy servers don’t reveal your IP address to the server you are connecting at all.
Still, it is worth noting that the server you connect to will know you are using a proxy to access it. How come? Because it seems that “anonymous” proxies actually identify themselves because they attach additional headers to the requests they send.
Level 1 – Elite Proxies
The best choice – Elite proxies will hide your IP address, and the websites you access will have no idea you are using a proxy to connect to them.
Just keep in mind that for all the privacy-focused benefits of Elite proxy servers, you might have to settle for slower connections because they are very popular with online users.
Proxy servers don’t exactly offer you top-notch online security. Sure, some proxies come with an SSL-type encryption, but that’s not as secure as it sounds. Plus, if you value your privacy, you might not be too happy to hear that the NSA can actually intercept and break SSL.
Also, if you don’t plan on using a web proxy service, you will likely have to configure the proxy connection on your own. It’s not extremely complicated, but it can get annoying and tiring if you need to switch server locations quite often.
Oh yeah, and you have to be extremely careful which provider you choose. Don’t forget – if you happen to access anything online via HTTP instead of HTTPS, the owner of the proxy would be able to monitor your activities – not to mention a provider can also block harmless websites if they want to.
Well, you could. They’re free after all, so what do you have to lose?
Quite a lot, actually. Here are just some reasons why you shouldn’t use a free proxy service:
So, ideally, you should opt for private proxies instead. Even better, you could add an extra layer of security by using a VPN service that offers proxy server access.
If you’re not sure why you should use a VPN instead of a proxy, consider this – a VPN already offers the same benefits as proxy servers, and – on top of that – uses strong encryption protocols, keeping you safer online than a proxy server.
That, and they are configured at a system levels, meaning you only need to set it up once to make sure all your online connections on a device are proxied through the VPN.
And before you ask, no – free VPNs aren’t ideal either.
5 Reasons Your Company Should Use Proxy Servers
The average person probably has only a vague understanding of the purpose of a proxy server.
If you’re like most people, you probably associate proxy servers with unblocking Netflix content from other countries or staying a bit more secure on an open WiFi network. The reality, however, is that proxy servers do much more — and are especially vital for businesses.
Proxy servers are a fairly simple intermediary mechanism between a computer with a private IP address and another server on the internet.
A proxy server has its own IP address, which is made public instead. While a rather seemingly insignificant change, the proxy IP address can be used for a number of vital business functions related to everything from security to customer experience.
There are five vital corporate reasons to use proxies that every business leader needs to know about, even if you aren’t involved in the tech side of things.
1. Improve Corporate and Institutional Security
Every company today is worried about hackers. A data breach is costly, both in terms of monetary loss and public image.
A proxy server reduces the chance of a breach. Proxy servers add an additional layer of security between your servers and outside traffic. Because proxy servers can face the internet and relay requests from computers outside the network, they act as a buffer.
While hackers may have access to your proxy, they’ll have trouble reaching the server actually running the web software where your data is stored. You may not be able to fully keep top hackers out with just a proxy IP alone, but you’ll be much less vulnerable.
2. Carry Out Sensitive Tasks Anonymously
Proxies are probably best known for their ability to anonymize web traffic. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize just how important this function is for businesses.
Reporters, whistleblowers and security officers count on the added identity protection offered by proxy servers to protect themselves, sources, their companies, clients and partners.
You can also better protect any current research and development and other company activities.
Any potential spy trying to track web traffic to figure out what your business is developing won’t be able to track your employees as easily if your company always uses a proxy. Any sensitive tasks completed over the internet are more secure when first anonymized through a proxy.
3. Balance Traffic So Your Server Doesn’t Crash
Nothing annoys a customer faster than a company’s website going down when they need it. Proxy servers, cloud data storage and peering improve customer experience by ensuring this doesn’t happen.
Essentially, your website’s data and content is stored across many servers around the world in the cloud, and peering helps your network handle greater traffic. Of course, you can’t ask a customer to try a bunch of ISPs to reach that content.
A proxy server instead is used to create a single web address to serve as the access point. The proxy will also balance the requests to each server so none overloads. All of this works in the background to ensure a seamless customer experience on your website.
4. Control Employee Internet Usage
No company wants employees accessing unsecure or inappropriate websites on company networks. That’s why many internal networks are run on a proxy server.
When the network is accessed through a proxy, network administrators control which devices have access to the network and which sites those devices can visit. You can block undesirable content, as well as any sites you don’t want employees using on company time.
Network administrators can even record what content is being accessed and when for internal purposes. Many security officers use this to monitor for potential illegal activity or security breaches.
5. Faster Speeds and Bandwidth Savings
Due to all the extra work accomplished in the background by proxy servers, most people assume they slow down internet speeds. This isn’t always true.
Proxy servers can easily be used to increase speeds and save bandwidth on a network by compressing traffic, caching files and web pages accessed by multiple users, and stripping ads from websites. This frees up precious bandwidth on busy networks, so your team can access the internet quickly and easily.
Title image by Matthew Wiebe
RJ Prego has focused his career on global data center management, global and regional colocation and network managed services and has a deep understanding of the latest developments in data center, telco, IT services, cloud and CDN.
Frequently Asked Questions about list and describe two advantages of a proxy server_
What are the advantages of proxy server?
4 Benefits of Using Proxy ServersYour IP Address Is Hidden. … You Can Access Geo-Blocked or Restricted Content. … Load Times Might Be Reduced. … Malicious Websites Can Be Filtered Out.Jun 25, 2018
What are 4 advantages of proxy servers?
Proxy servers can easily be used to increase speeds and save bandwidth on a network by compressing traffic, caching files and web pages accessed by multiple users, and stripping ads from websites. This frees up precious bandwidth on busy networks, so your team can access the internet quickly and easily.Jun 20, 2016
What are the advantages and disadvantages of proxy server?
Advantages of ProxyAnonymity. Proxy has been used primarily for masking the IP addresses. … Protection. While you are browsing the web, there are high chances you may end up visiting malicious websites. … Unblock Websites. … Performance. … Control Contents.Apr 9, 2020