In the current world where billion-dollar enterprises are doing their best to figure out everything about you. Talking about a simple proxy server that you can easily configure and keep them guessing seems justified.
If you just want to jump to configuring a proxy server here is the How.
Think of your bedroom door, now there’s a lot of things you can do in your bedroom 😉 but in order to interact with the outside world you have to pass through the door and if anyone wants to interact with you, they have to either knock on your door if you’ve locked it or just enter through it if you haven’t which I’d advice against.
A proxy server fits this analogy of a bedroom door. It is a gateway between your machine and the internet.
So technically speaking if you are using a proxy server your internet traffic flows through the proxy server on its way to the address you requested. The request then comes back to your proxy server then to you.
The question arises why even use it though if all it does is play ping pong with your requests, well here are a couple of reasons why you should give it a try. Modern proxies are capable of doing much more.
- Privacy: Hiding yourself in plain sight.
- Caching: Reducing that sweet sweet bandwidth and redundant data saving.
- Security: Proxy can act as one more layer of security to your entire infrastructure.
- Bypass censorship: Access websites that are blocked. On the same lines as the above statement, you can access content blocked due to geography.
- Control and log internet usage: It is able to log your internet activity.
If you wanna build a proxy server right now click here: How
Normally whenever you make a call to any website the server to which the request is made can see your IP in the clear. This helps the server to locate you can send back the requested data but also it is able to get your geographical location.
The browser you are using sends its user agent information. If you have given access to the website it also stores cookies on the browser. Therefore basically it knows you,i.e, Your IP, geographical data, and browser data.
A simple proxy server can help you save yourself from this conundrum. A proxy server is capable of hiding your IP address. When configured accordingly they can disrupt the identification of your browser, can block cookies.
Bottom line is they will give you more anonymity online.
Proxy servers are able to compress traffic, cache files, and web pages. This means that access to the same content again is significantly accelerated at the same time lower network load!
If there is a website that is visited daily by everyone in your organization and it has static data, voila! Caching on your proxy will save this redundant data calls.
Windows is notorious for keep forcing us to update, if every single employee keeps downloading the same update patches it will create unnecessary network congestion and redundant data download. Caching these updates from the first time they were called will help everyone. The update download will be faster for subsequent use and you will save bandwidth.
Proxy servers may also have a role in improving security, especially when used in business networks. A proxy could be your first line of defense by acting as a firewall and web filter. They can be used to block off malicious websites or content before it even reaches you.
Proxies can also provide data encryption/decryption so that even if the network request is sniffed mid-transit your security is not compromised.
This maybe the most useful thing and the one that may interest a casual user the most. The answer that you are looking for is Yes!, you can bypass the internet censorship using a web proxy. Ever seen a person from a country where that site is banned on that site? Well, chances are that the person is using a proxy server.
Ever encountered a youtube video that is not available to your geographic location, well worry not, a proxy is there to help you out.
Control and log internet usage
Now for corporate purposes, we can use a proxy to log the internet usage of the users going through it. It helps the corporation keep track of what is being accessed. Proxy is also able to block sites that are not deemed workplace worthy.
By implementing a corporate-wide proxy you are able to log the internet usage of every single employee. 1984-esque.
But this data can also be insightful is used properly the corporate maybe able to figure out interesting or needed patterns by using analytical tools on the data.
What is your reason for looking for a proxy server solution?
If you’d read the article till this point you are definitely interested in using a proxy server. Now one thing I would like you to know is that public proxy servers are never reliable are never ever to be trusted. You use them and as you would already know by now, they will know you.
A proxy server can be a blessing or you can end up screwing up your security. It all depends on how you set it up and how you are able to mold it to your work.
Now it is on you to figure out why you need it and how it can benefit your needs.