Web Proxy

KS3 Computer Science

11-14 Years Old

48 modules covering EVERY Computer Science topic needed for KS3 level.

GCSE Computer Science

14-16 Years Old

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16-18 Years Old

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GCSE Networking Resources (14-16 years)

  • An editable PowerPoint lesson presentation
  • Editable revision handouts
  • A glossary which covers the key terminologies of the module
  • Topic mindmaps for visualising the key concepts
  • Printable flashcards to help students engage active recall and confidence-based repetition
  • A quiz with accompanying answer key to test knowledge and understanding of the module

A-Level Internet technologies (16-18 years)

  • An editable PowerPoint lesson presentation
  • Editable revision handouts
  • A glossary which covers the key terminologies of the module
  • Topic mindmaps for visualising the key concepts
  • Printable flashcards to help students engage active recall and confidence-based repetition
  • A quiz with accompanying answer key to test knowledge and understanding of the module

An intermediate level between the web client and the online resource is known as a web proxy. When a client requests to open a website using a browser, it gives its information to the server or the device where it is requesting the page. The information of the client involves system knowledge, location, browser, IP address etc. In the view of the collected information, the webserver gives the content for which the client requested.

The proxy is a sort of gateway in between requested and received data, rather than direct link between clients and the websites. Proxies have the capability to hide the web request given by the client as well as facilitate the users by blocking the unwanted data from the web server. This guarantees confidential web access and data processing.

Web Proxy Image 1
Figure 1: Web Proxy

A proxy is a powerful tool as it takes all the information of the requesting client and can route the request from a distinct internet protocol (IP) address. It would help if users rendered all the internet operations seem like it comes from an entirely different place. Enterprises and businesses employ the technology of proxy for security and network performance concerns.  However, individuals utilize this technique for privacy issues.

Proxies Working:

When people are conversing on the topic of proxies, they would undoubtedly point towards forwarding proxies that are the ultimately popular forms of proxies since they manage what most individuals require quickly. Forward proxies’ function as the intermediary between queries and the server in which clients are communicating.

The proxy operates when a client requests to open specific content. For example, if a client needs to open YouTube. The client will enter the URL in the bar of the browser and press “GO”. In the presence of a proxy, the browser (that includes the client’s IP address) will not be directly connected to YouTube rather the proxy will intercept the session. However, the proxy will monitor the request and update the request following its data, and will send it with its modified IP address. The proxy can delete the original IP address and identification data of the client from the server of YouTube. 

One form the proxies process the request is it explicitly moves towards the server headers. A proxy request will set headers such as Forwarded through the initial request before submitting the response to the server from which details clients are attempting to access. As the proxy will update the information based on the user’s request, the reformatted request will be delivered to the YouTube server. The web server of YouTube will consider that the request arrived from a distinct location, and the server will provide the requested data via that location. After getting the requested data from the YouTube server, the proxy will confirm certain checks that will be configuration related. Moreover, it will observe the privacy, security and malicious tasks that can create serious problems. After confirmation by the proxy, will send the requested data from where the request originated.

A single proxy server can deal with multiple clients at the same time. It has the capability to handle various requests from different locations via the same proxy where each client gets equal resources. There are various reasons to use the proxy, either the proxy is shared one or not.

Reasons for Using Proxy:

Till now, we have briefly discussed the definition of proxies and their working. It is necessary to attain knowledge of common uses of such a valuable technology.

  1. Proxies encrypt the clients’ requests that optimize the security of the network.
  2. It keeps the hacker away from the sensitive data.
  3. Tend to block the malware websites from the requesting devices.
  4. Caching websites are helpful to minimize the traffic on the network.
  5. Clients can control the usage of the internet like blocking the specific domain as well as monitoring the web requests.
  6. By means of proxies, it facilitates the users to access the content from various locations.

Proxies Types:

There are various types of proxies where all types of configurations are covered. A brief description of all the types is given below.

1. Transparent Proxies:

The simplest form of proxies is known as transparent proxies. They pass all the information of clients, including the IP address. No privacy protection is available in this kind of proxy. Transparent proxy informs the web servers that the client is using the proxy to access the requested data. The conventional use of transparent proxies is website filtering that is mostly done by the school, college labs.

2. Anonymous Proxies:

These are the most used web proxies. The anonymous proxy does not pass on the IP address of the client to the web server; this function of the proxy makes the browsing session private. Whether clients do not want tailored web advertising, or if users do not feel comfortable to share the location connected to submission, these are regular proxies. Typically, this is enough to stop most tracking operations; however, the details can also be exposed.

3. High Anonymity Proxies:

High anonymity proxies are one of the most secure kinds of proxies as they never share the IP address and personal information of the user. Moreover, such proxies do not show themselves as a proxy on the web server end while requesting the users’ content. They often modify the IP address they use for queries occasionally. Therefore, this type of proxies provides the most incredible online protection.

This form of proxy is included in the TOR browser. Although the IP address varies from time to time, it is challenging for servers to trace which traffic relates to which client. This is the safest choice if clients do not like being monitored.

4. Distorting Proxies:

A distorting proxy behaves analogously with an anonymous proxy but with a purposefully incorrect IP. It defines itself as a proxy in requests and utilizes the incorrect IP address. That is perfect if the web client wants to look as if they are in a specific place. This is helpful if the client chooses to solve those material limitations. That is like picking the IP address the proxy would like to employ.

5. Residential Proxies:

The actual IP addresses are used in the residential proxies. The behaviour of such proxies is best as it provides an interface between the regular clients and web servers. If the IP address of the proxy relates to a specific unit, such kinds of proxies are not observable, and certain other proxy styles are struggling with geographical challenges.

6. Data Centre Proxies:

The benefit of such a proxy is its rate. Cloud service companies typically have great Internet networks that offer clients efficiency one cannot expect. While they would share identical IP addresses, numerous numbers of data centre proxies might be housed on one computer.

7. Public Proxies:

These are the most vulnerable, unstable among all kinds of proxies. Users can go down anywhere, and several hackers are set up to snatch records. The main reason clients do utilize is that it is available without any cost. While it is not challenging to locate lists of free elected officials, choosing successful ones is a difficulty.   Any number of accounts will still be on a public proxy, and nobody can control who uses it.

8. Private Proxies:

There exists an ambiguity in this kind of proxies, however, are described by the service providers of the proxies. There are two ways to employ this proxy, either a single user will use the proxy at a time or clients must authenticate themselves for the usage of this proxy. However, just like public proxies, private proxies are much more reliable.

9. Dedicated Proxies:

This kind of proxy is just a category of private proxy. This proxy empowers a single client to request in a single time. No more options are available in this proxy to entertain multiple requests from multiple users. The dedicated proxies secure the proxy’s IP address from being blocked from multiple websites and utilities.

10. Shared Proxies:

Operation of shared proxies is just as shared servers. These are the cheapest available proxies among all. Users pool and divide proxy resources, and they may all utilize the proxy concurrently. Shared proxies have a more dynamic design since they work with multiple queries simultaneous. Working with shared proxies can slow the performance as compared with the direct access of the own IP because the proxy allocates the resources that are time costing. However, the functionality of the proxy is complex rather than other because it can handle various clients with multiple requests at the same time.

11. Rotation Proxies:

The proxy functions distinctly as compared with the other discussed proxies. Whenever a user establishes a connection with the proxy, a novel IP address is allocated. Therefore, the shuffling of IP addresses takes place whenever a new connection will be created. The same IP address will not be employed more than one time. With this feature, it keeps the client or browsers anonymous. Level of security and privacy measures become enhanced as the IP shuffles all the time.

12. SSL Proxies:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) follows a similar kind of protocol. It is secure communication between the users and the server where requests are submitted for access. By means of SSL proxy, all the requests are encrypted.

13. Reverse Proxies:

It is a unique type of proxy that hides the IP address of the requesting device from the server. When a server requires user protection and privacy, certain kinds of proxies’ approach to resolve the issue. These proxies are useful to track server access for purposes such as stopping users from getting unmonitored access to the servers. It can also reduce network traffic by transferring cached knowledge rather than querying it every time.

Proxy Services:

We have discussed various kinds of proxies, and it is necessary to choose the best as per requirement. Moreover, it is mandatory to know the outperform features of the different proxies to find the best one to meet the requirement. However, multiple services combine the different types of proxies to give a suite on one. For instance, a client can get residential, highly anonymous and SSL in one package.

Proxy Vs. VPN:

Clients using proxies may also know Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). However, both techniques vary from each other. The VPNs are used to secure network traffic. However, proxies are employed to secure traffic on the internet. A typical function between both the proxies and VPNs is accessing the requesting data from the server with a changed IP address.  A proxy transfers the internet queries and serves as an interpreter. In comparison, a VPN tunnels the whole network operation down to the OS. Usually, proxies are utilized by one program, such as a browser.

Industries consider VPNs to enable workers to connect company services without thinking about the ISP, intercepting or tracking traffic. This is customarily hosted anywhere on the property on a hardware machine. There are also valid explanations for why consumers chose proxies and all the advantages that a VPN offers. Initially, VPNs are commonly costlier than a proxy. Users will have to operate a VPN with suitable machine hardware. Typically, the link is weaker than a proxy.

Proxy Advantages:

The usage of a proxy server has numerous benefits. Clients must recognize these advantages as a corporation or agency and realize how a proxy server will support them.

1. Secure Sensitive Data from Hackers:

A proxy server allows users and discourages attackers from hacking their sensitive documents.

2. Assist to Approach Blocked Web Content:

The proxies assist in accessing the blocked web pages. It occurs several occasions where they have disabled those domains for their purposes in individual offices or schools or some organization. There are still several country limits on certain websites. Under such instances, the proxy server can assist users to access these websites.

3. Optimize Privacy Level:

Proxies help to boost consumer system protection and privacy when browsing through multiple proxies. It enables customers to access the internet anonymously and enables clients to preserve their details and navigational patterns privately.

4. Optimization in Search Acceleration Rate:

Often the proxy is employed to accelerate searching and access data through its robust caching system.

5. Enhance Network Performance:

Proxies hold an excellent cache system. When a user accesses a specific webpage, the proxy stores this page in its cache so that if some other user requires this page, the proxy can provide it instantly instead of making a new request to the web server. For example, if ten people make the same request page from the web using a proxy, it will make a single request towards the web server. The cache concept in the proxies enhances the network performance and saves plenty of bandwidth.

6. Tendency to Block Unauthorized Content:

Proxies are useful for accessing the restricted website, in the same manner, it allows the enterprises, businesses, educational departments to restrict websites. The web proxy may be programmed to restrict entry to those websites. When anyone attempts to visit this page, they are forwarded to a notice demanding that the website not be accessed. Web proxies identify the stats of a website, number of login and duration of sessions for businesses.

7. Enables a Valid Security and Reduce Malware Chances:

Not only privacy but proxies tend to enhance the security level as well. Using some of the proxies encrypt the request that except specific systems, it is impossible to read and understand the data. It also eliminates malware chances to approach the system; it offers a safe link to preserve company records.

Proxy Disadvantages:

In addition to all the valuable benefits, a proxy server still has some drawbacks. Using proxies on other advice is not a technical approach.  Users ought to be vigilant when choosing a proxy server since some threats are involved.

1. Service Provider will Interpret Users’ Credentials:

The web proxy cache service is powerful and efficient. In certain instances, the service provider will interpret users’ credentials, device or other encrypted data quickly.  Although clients can find some free or shared web proxy solutions, there are various security risks. It is also best to take a committed or paying individual.

2. Leak out of Private Information:

Various users have experienced that their private information got leaked, although they were using a secure and encrypted pattern on the internet.

3. Blockage of Web Content by Proxies may be Inadequate for specific clients:

The proxies are a great source to access the block content available on the internet; governments or decision-making authorities declare the blockage of content. Therefore, this support is quite inadequate for various users.

4. Encrypted Connection may Deliver Positive or Negative Results:

In the case of an encrypted connection, proxies can deliver a positive or negative outcome.

Summary and Facts:

The “web proxies” sometimes called “proxies’ servers” performs a function as a gateway between a local and large-scale network. On the local side, it may be a single PC or group of interconnected devices. However, the large-scale network includes the internet. Therefore, the intermediate application server that exists between the device and the internet is known as “proxy”.

When does proxy start working?

The proxy operates when a client requests to open specific content.

What are the key reasons behind the usage of proxy?

  1. Proxy Optimizes the security of the network.
  2. Prevent hacker’s sensitive data.
  3. Block the malware websites
  4. minimize the traffic on the network.
  5. Control the usage of internet
  6. access the content from various locations.

How many users and requests a single proxy can deal?

A single proxy server can deal with multiple clients at the same time. It has the capability to handle various requests from different locations via the same proxy where each client gets equal resources.

Enlist the types of proxies?

  1. Transparent Proxies
  2. Anonymous Proxies
  3. High Anonymity Proxies
  4. Distorting Proxies
  5. Residential Proxies
  6. Data Centre Proxies
  7. Public Proxies
  8. Private Proxies
  9. Dedicated Proxies
  10. Shared Proxies
  11. Rotation Proxies
  12. SSL Proxies
  13. Reverse Proxies

Is it possible to integrate various types of proxies and achieve a unique service?

Multiple services combine the different types of proxies to give a suite on one. It depends upon the needs of users.

What is the difference between web proxies and VPNs?

The VPNs are used to secure network traffic; however, proxies are employed to secure traffic on the internet.

What are the significant advantages of Proxies? Enlist the highlighted points.

  1. Secure Sensitive Data from Hackers
  2. Assist to Approach Blocked Web Content
  3. Optimize Privacy Level
  4. Optimization in Search Acceleration Rate
  5. Enhance Network Performance
  6. A tendency to Block Unauthorized Content
  7. Enables a Valid Security and Reduce Malware Chances

 What are the major disadvantages of Proxies? Enlist the highlighted points.

  1. Service Provider will Interpret Users’ Credentials
  2. Leak out of Private Information
  3. Blockage of Web Content by Proxies may be Inadequate for specific clients
  4. The encrypted connection may Deliver Positive or Negative Results

References:

  1. https://dzone.com/articles/what-is-a-proxy-server-and-how-do-proxies-work#:~:text=A%20proxy%20server%20or%20proxy,web%20browsing%20secure%20and%20private.
  2. https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/what-is-a-proxy-server-in-english-please/
  3. https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/content/images/2020/04/proxy-flow.png
  4. https://www.rswebsols.com/tutorials/technology/proxy-server-advantages-disadvantages#lwptoc4
  5. https://www.cactusvpn.com/vpn/benefits-of-proxy-server/#proxy1
  6. https://www.geosurf.com/blog/advantages-disadvantages-proxy-servers/
  7. https://smartproxy.com/what-is-a-proxy/types-of-proxies
  8. https://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=376126&seqNum=3
  9. https://www.distributednetworks.com/internet-proxy-server/module4/proxy-server-features.php
  10. https://www.usenix.org/legacyurl/measured-access-characteristics-world-wide-web-client-proxy-caches