A proxy server acts as a middle man that forwards data requests and responses between a user and an origin server.
Proxy servers are commonly used for anonymous Web browsing, bypassing geo-restricted content, and regulating access to content. Different types of proxy servers fulfill different needs, determined by how they are configured and their classification.
As Internet-connected devices, proxies pose a number of cybersecurity risks, and users should exercise caution when using them.
Types of Proxy Servers
Proxy servers can be classified based on several factors:
- Traffic Flow - Forward Proxy, Reverse Proxy
- Anonymity Level - High Anonymity Proxy (Level 1), Anonymity Proxy (Level 2), Transparent Proxy (Level 3)
- Protocol - HTTP Proxy, HTTPS Proxy, SOCKS Proxy, SIP Proxy, SMTP Proxy, FTP Proxy, DHCP Proxy, DNS Proxy, Smart DNS Proxy, CGI Proxy
- Accessibility - Public Proxy, Private Proxy
- IP Location/Source - Data Centre Proxy, Residential Proxy, Mobile Proxy
What are the Benefits of Using a Proxy Server?
- Anonymous browsing
- Security (if the proxy is encrypted)
- Web filtering
- Changing Geo-Location
What are the Risks of Using a Proxy Server?
- Lack of Encryption
- Data Logging
- Open Ports
- Limited Privacy
- Inconsistent Speeds