What is a proxy server and how it differs from a VPN

What is a proxy server and how it differs from a VPN

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A proxy server that sits between the user and the Internet provides many benefits, including improved performance, security, and privacy.

The proxy server is configured by specifying the IP address of the proxy server as its gateway to the Internet. This can be done for all traffic or only for certain types of traffic (most often web traffic).

Setting up a proxy means that certain types of traffic will be sent to a proxy server rather than directly to the Internet, which allows the user to hide their IP address from websites. Additionally, an organization can use a proxy server to control access and filter content. The proxy server forwards the traffic to its destination and sends all received responses to its client.

You can buy personal proxy servers in different countries, for example, on the website: proxy-seller.com, and we will continue to talk about their purpose and advantages.

Proxy server types

All proxies redirect traffic from the client to the server and vice versa. However, there are several different types of proxy servers with slightly different functionality:

  • A transparent proxy identifies itself as a proxy for the web servers that the user is visiting. This means that the user's IP address is still being sent to the web server.
  • Anonymous proxy also identifies itself as a proxy for the web servers it communicates with. However, it does not transmit any user information (IP address, etc.) to these servers.
  • A highly anonymous proxy is also designed to hide proxy information. While these proxies must still provide IP addresses to the web servers they communicate with, a highly anonymous proxy will regularly change these display addresses to make it difficult to link different web sessions together.

Proxy vs VPN

Both proxies and virtual private networks (VPNs) are designed to protect user privacy. But they have slightly different goals, and they achieve them in different ways.

Proxies are primarily designed to protect the user from the server to which they are connecting. This can include hiding your identity (through anonymous proxies) or performing filtering of web traffic (for example, blocking potentially harmful or inappropriate sites). Proxies are usually not designed to protect the user from third parties.

Remote Access VPNs are designed to protect the confidentiality of the connection between the client and the server. All traffic goes through an encrypted tunnel, making it impossible for attackers to view it. However, the server on the other end of the connection has full access to the traffic, which means the VPN does nothing to protect the privacy or security of the user from the malicious server.

What are the advantages of a proxy server

A proxy server provides users with a number of benefits, such as:

  • Increased privacy: A proxy server can hide a user's IP address from the server and make multiple clients look like a single computer. This can increase the privacy of Internet users.
  • Blocking malicious sites. Proxies are commonly used to filter content. The server can be designed to block access to malicious or inappropriate sites.
  • Content filtering: A proxy server can block certain types of content on websites. This can help reduce the risk of infection from malicious sites.
  • Site caching: The user can regularly visit the site with static content. A proxy server can save a copy of this content and transmit it directly to the user, allowing the user to access it more quickly.
  • Bypass restrictions: Some websites are only accessible from certain countries or regions. Using a proxy server located in a suitable location may allow the user to bypass these restrictions.

Proxy server restrictions

While a proxy server has a number of advantages, it also has its limitations, including:

  • Lower speed: The proxy adds an extra step as traffic flows between the client and server. This means that any uncached content may load more slowly.
  • Lack of encryption: Unlike VPNs, most proxy servers do not provide encryption of traffic. This means that it does not provide additional protection against third-party threats.
  • Server Logging: All user traffic goes through their proxy server. This means that the server can log the entire Internet history of the user, compromising privacy and security.

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