Different Types of Proxy Servers and Their Uses

Blog / Different Types of Proxy Servers and Their Uses

Different Types of Proxy Servers and Their Uses

What are proxy servers?  

A proxy server is an application that operates as an intermediary between the user requesting something and the server providing what they are searching. It is the server that is in between the user and the web pages they wish to browse.  

A proxy server is basically a computer on the internet that is equipped with its own IP address. Instead of the user connecting directly to the intended website, the user sends their request to the proxy server which assesses the request and then completes the request. Proxies function as a method to simplify or manage complex requests and provide an additional layer of security, privacy, and structure to encapsulation. Proxy servers have the potential to cover the true identity of the requester from the recourse server. 

Hardware proxies lie between your network and the internet from where they receive, assess, send, and forward requests. Software proxies tend to be accommodated by a provider or exist in the cloud. Software proxies can be installed sometimes for free or with a fee. Paid proxies are able to cater to business demands.  

Why are they used? 

Proxies contribute an additional layer of security for your computer and can be established to serve as web filters or firewalls to help protect your computer against malware threats.  

When enabled in conjunction with secure web gateway or other email security software, increased filtering of traffic is enabled regarding level of safety and the limits of your network or computer.  

Proxies may be used by individuals for personal uses such as masking their location. When implemented by organisations, they can be set up to: 

  1. Enhance security 
  2. Increase privacy of employee’s internet browsing  
  3. Balance internet traffic to prevent computer program failure 
  4.  Manage site access for employees in the working environment  
  5. Reduce bandwidth (maximum rate of data transfer over a given path) by caching files or compressing traffic   

Other uses of proxies include: 

  • Content filtering  
  • Filtering of encrypted data  
  • Bypassing filters 
  • Logging and spying 
  • Improving performance (with a caching proxy) 
  • Translation 
  • Repairing errors 
  • Geotargeted advertising (by advertisers) 
  • Cross domain resources 

Types of Proxy servers 

Forward proxy  

Forward proxies are used to transmit data to groups of user within an internal network. When the request is sent by the sender, the proxy server assesses the data to decide whether it should go ahead and form a connection.  

Public proxy   

Public proxies are available to anyone, and it works by providing its users its IP address to hide their identity. This proxy although cheap and easily accessible leaves it's users more at risk of their data being breached.  

Shared proxy  

This proxy enables multiple users to engage with this proxy in a given time by providing the users with a shared IP address. 

Residential proxy  

This proxy gives the user an IP address that can be traced to a specific physical device where all requests are assessed and redirected.  

Anonymous proxy  

Anonymous proxy servers aim to conceal internet activity by assessing the user’s request while hiding their identity.  

High anonymity proxy  

This proxy is basically an anonymous proxy that takes an additional step to concealing the user’s identity. This is done by the user’s information being deleted before the proxy attempts to connect to the target site.  

Transparent proxy  

Transparent proxies can be used to remain hidden from those that it is enforced on. This type of proxy is useful for organisations which wish to implement a proxy without raising the employee’s awareness that they are using one. Transparent proxies are more vulnerable to specific security threats such as SYN flood denial of service attacks.  

Distorting proxy 

Distorting proxies change their IP address to hide their identity from the target website. This is a good option for users who wish to keep their location hidden while using the internet.   

Data centre proxy  

This proxy server can be located physically in a data center where the user’s requests are assessed and redirected. It is not associated with an internet server but a separate organisation through a data centre.  

Rotating proxy  

Rotating proxies designate a different IP address to its users, an address which is different from the device that previously connected to it. 

Reverse Proxy   

Instead of being situated ‘in front’ of the users, the reverse proxy is fixed in front of the web servers which assesses and directs requestions from a browser to the web server. The proxy receives requests from the user at the network edge of the web server and then redirects the request receives replied from the original server.  

SSL proxy 

An SSL (secure sockets layer) proxy encrypts the data sent back and forth on both sides, providing enhanced protection. These proxies are the better option for organisations to have in place for further security.  

TOR proxy 

This proxy directs data across various networks globally present to obscure the user’s address. Data is encrypted in multiple layers for further privacy protection and when the data reaches the target destination, each layer is decrypted to reveal the original data.   

I2P proxy 

Similar to the TOR proxy but more enhanced. 

Suffix proxy

This proxy adds the proxy’s name to the URL of the requested content and is used to bypass web filters however does not provide much privacy.  

What Securiwiser can offer  

We aim to advise our clients (whether they are individual users or business owners) regarding  various cyber threats that their businesses and operating systems may face. This includes increasing trends of certain threats and prevention methods that are cost effective and time saving.   

Furthermore, business owners, employees and the general users may forget to conduct regular scans to monitor the health of their operating system, which criminals can take advantage of to gain unauthorised access by exploiting unrecognised, underlying vulnerabilities.   

Securiwiser can conduct regular scans for your system and provide the exact details of found vulnerabilities or compromises. We can further explain these vulnerabilities in detail to our clients and provide the best course of action that will save your business time and money.

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