The year 2020 will be the year of the Covid-19 pandemic as world attention has turned to health and safety. Meanwhile, cybercriminals have been hard at work, improving their game. Reports show that the rate of cybercrime is up as high as 600% during this period.
Within the last ten years, malware incidents numbered over a staggering 800 million. In any given week, over 18 million websites experience malware attacks. As it is crucial that you keep safe on an online platform, our article will look at how proxy servers can be instrumental in increasing your site security.
Understanding Proxy Servers and Their Role
Think of proxy servers as a gateway or intermediary. They provide a critical separation between websites and end-users. What you get when ordering on a proxy shop is protection against any security breaches when online.
You gain the advantage of:
- Improved security, due to the extra layer between external traffic and your server
- You get anonymity while on the online platform. You may be working on big data analytics and want to keep the information safe. The proxy hides it from people who should not have access to the information.
- Better experience on the website due to an ability to handle a lot of traffic. The proxy server address becomes the entry point. It balances any requests through the servers. You avoid overload, resulting in a more responsive site.
- Organizations can check employee activity on the website. A proxy server controls the type of sites that are accessible and can block out sites that you deem inappropriate.
- You enjoy faster load speeds and can save bandwidth. Proxy servers run in the background and help compress traffic. They also remove ads and cache files.
- Parents can use proxy servers to block specific sites to control their children’s access to sites.
How Proxy Servers Work
The proxy server is the gateway through which online traffic flows. To better understand it, here is what happens in your typical browsing session.
- You type your request in the search line of the browser to access a particular website.
- The point of destination will be able to determine your location through your IP address. Your IP address is like a physical address but for an online platform.
- If you do not have a proxy server, the request goes directly to the destination.
- If you have a proxy server, your request goes through the gateway. The proxy then routes it to the final destination.
- The proxy server has its own IP address, different from yours.
- In rerouting the information, several things may happen. The proxy server may change your IP address or shield it. The point of destination will not be able to determine the source of the request.
The same process happens in reverse when you receive a response from the destination site. The information has to go through the gateway before it gets to you.
So What Happens At The Gateway?
Think about it much like you would a security detail at the airport or your apartment building. When you enter, Security will check you and your belongings. The aim is to confirm that you do not have any contraband nor do you pose any threat. The proxy server is that security detail but for an online platform.
We can summarize the work of the proxy server as:
- Web content filter and firewall
- Provides connections for shared networks
- Data caching resulting in faster speeds for common requests
- Creates anonymity by changing your IP address. A SOCKS proxy server, for example, will use a new IP address to shield your old one. In this way, you can navigate the internet without the limitations of using your own IP address.
- Data encryption so that only the end recipient can access the information
- Blocks access to specific sites, depending on the IP address
Types of Proxy Servers
It is critical to understand the different types of proxy servers available. Let’s dive into it:
- Open or shared proxies are public and accessible by anyone. Many of them are free and tend to attract a lot of users. The disadvantage is overloading due to the sheer number of users. You will most likely experience internet lags or crashes. Without authentication requirements, they are not safe. You become open to malware infections.
- Dedicated proxy servers are private. You enjoy faster internet speed, anonymity, and better security.
- Transparent proxies do not hide the fact that they are proxies from the server. Also, you won’t be able to keep your IP address hidden.
- Anonymous proxies keep your IP address secret but identify themselves as proxies. You maintain anonymity and avoid unwanted ads.
- Distorting proxies create a false IP address that they pass to the website. They do identify themselves as a proxy. If you want to access blocked content based on your region, they are the best. You can, for example, make it appear as if you are in a different location with a false IP address.
- High anonymity proxy keeps on changing your IP address. It becomes difficult for the server to identify the source of the traffic. They are very secure and offer a lot of privacy.
- Forward proxy servers hide your IP address. The receiving site receives connection requests from the forward proxy server. The forward proxies are excellent for internal networks as they allow for restrictions on specific web pages. They work well for organizations and even schools.
- Reverse proxy server hides internal network IP addresses from external users. It is excellent for avoiding attacks on the internal servers. You’ll have less overloading as it may turn down connection requests.
Proxy servers are a tremendous help in increasing security for your system by providing a gateway for the filtration of information. You also derive the additional benefit of data encryption. By filtering requests, you avoid overload and save on bandwidth, resulting in faster speeds and a better user experience while online.
Cybersecurity is critical; you need to protect your system from falling into the hands of hackers. A proxy server can give you that security and so much more. Do your research well to understand proxy service in greater detail. Only then will you be able to make an informed choice on the best type for you.