For security and privacy reasons, it is sometimes necessary to make sure that a PC or a series of PCs can only browse certain specific websites. A practical case is when we want to limit navigation to our children who run the risk of visiting pornographic sites, dangerous chats, pop-ups containing viruses. In these cases, the implementation of a proxy server is very useful.
What is a proxy?
A proxy is an “intermediary server”, a computer that is positioned between a client (user browsing) and a website/web page that we want to visit (hosted on a server), acting as an intermediary between the two.
Proxy servers are generally used as a bridge between the source and destination of a request. Mostly the procedure is as follows:
– The user (client) connects to the proxy and sends requests to it.
– The proxy connects to the server hosting the website and forwards the user request.
– Once the reply is received, the proxy sends the reply to the client.
In practice, we are no longer connected directly to the server of the site we visit but we go through this filter called proxy both inbound and outbound. The use of a proxy server positively influences the computer security of the internet user. The IP address of the computer or network from which the user surfs will never appear directly during navigation, only the one associated with the proxy server will be visible.
In addition, a proxy speeds up navigation as the sites recently visited by any user are stored in the proxy which in this way avoids downloading them again and can be received at the maximum speed allowed by your router/modem. Go here if you want more detailed and in-depth information about proxy servers and various pricing plans
This type of technique is very useful for:
– Limit web browsing to one or a limited number of websites
– Limit browsing of children
– Limit browsing within the company
– Limit browsing in public administration offices where you almost always want to visit only the websites of close interest in the service offered.
What is a proxy server for?
In this case, the proxy can fulfill some of the following functions:
Access Control: Proxy server administrators may or may not allow certain users to access the Internet through restrictions on their own login or IP addresses, providing the environment with an additional layer of protection.
Content Filtering: Being in the middle of the road, the server also allows, or blocks, access to certain sites. Among the rules that can be applied are those to block specific websites, being able to block entire categories.
Caching: Another very common use for Web Proxies is to get them to cache. This causes the proxy, after accessing a page, to store its content on your system. After that, the other requests to this same page will not have to go to the Internet, because the content is already stored in the proxy memory.