A proxy server makes requests on your behalf. They guide the internet traffic to a computer and any information being sent or received goes through them first. We have heard of proxy servers many times in context of bypassing web filters and anonymity but exactly how useful are proxy servers? Read on to find out:
1. Private Browsing
When you are using a proxy server, your identity is hidden. It conceals the users from external network, which means you are virtually anonymous. When you access websites through a proxy server, your external IP is known but it does not give away much information to identify you with certainty.
2. Secure Browsing
Since your personal information and identity is hidden from external network, proxy servers protect you from spammers and hackers. Proxy servers protect you from attacks carried out by the hackers so that your personal information is more secure than before.
Using a proxy server speeds up your work. They use caching to reduce the bandwidth use so that when you access a website using a proxy server, the server will give you the cached page. This takes lesser time and makes internet usage more efficient.
4. Filtering Content
Proxy servers are also used for administrative purposes. In large organizations where many employees access internet through a single proxy server, the administrator can easily block off gaming and social networking websites, hampering office productivity.
Often times a proxy server is used along with firewalls to up the protection. In enterprises, where many users are accessing online data through a proxy server, the server acts as an intermediary between the PC and the internet. It is part of a gateway server separating the enterprise network from external network. The firewall, on the other hand, protects the internal network from intrusion.
6. Geo Location Testing
Websites nowadays use geo-location technology to direct online visitors to content which is most relevant to them according to their geographical location. To implement this technology, you would first have to test it. To conduct geo-location testing, you would need to make use of proxy servers.
7. Blocking Cookies
Another use of proxy servers is that although they accept cookies; they do not pass them to you. A proxy server can also block the cookies altogether.
8. Blocking Malicious Websites
A proxy server promptly blocks malicious websites. Some websites contain malicious software which can infect your computer and be passed on to other computers. Proxy servers can be configured by administrators so that the danger of malicious code and software is minimized.
9. Blocking Ads on Websites
There are many proxies which can be used with any browser, including chrome, enabling you to block ads while browsing internet. Ads can be a nuisance and hassle and can waste much of your time. Freely available proxy applications easily block these ads allowing you to browse internet more efficiently.
10. Accessing Blocked Websites
Sometimes you may need to access a social networking website to send an urgent message but the website is blocked at your school or workplace. Or for instance, you may need to use a proxy server to stream BBC iplayer content. In cases such as these, you can use a proxy server to bypass content blocks so you can gain access to the service.
11. Bypassing Region Blocks
Sometimes you may not be able to access a certain website from a region. For example, a website may only be visible to people from United States. This can be inconvenient if you are a legitimate subscriber to a service but are out of the country on a holiday or a trip.
You can use a proxy server to bypass the region block and hence access the website without any difficulty.