Proxy Server: What is it and What You Need to Know?

A proxy server is a dedicated computer which allows internet users to connect indirectly to the web and hide identity. This is mostly used to unblock websites, protect your online privacy and hide your original geographic location for potential internet threat.

Since proxy servers enable internet users to gain access to websites by bypassing a network restriction. This is a typical solution for restriction protocols, normally in schools, offices or in countries with strictly controlled internet access.

Proxy servers are classified in different types. Each type has different level of anonymity and security protection. That said, when you use a proxy server, you there are several options you can choose from such as web proxy, SSL proxy, HTTP proxy, HTTPS proxy, reverse proxy.

How does proxy server work?

Basically, proxy servers help your computer connect to the internet without restrictions from your current network. However, when you use a proxy server, you are not directly accessing the website you wish to visit just like your regular browsing experience. Instead, you are initially connecting to a proxy server which connects you to the website.

Are proxy servers secure?

Due to demand and common use of proxy servers, it is not certain whether a certain proxy is secured from unethical access. But if you are not comfortable providing your personal information or sensitive files over a proxy connection, just play it safe and don’t.

There are two types of proxy servers you can use; one is public proxy server and one is private proxy server.  Public proxy servers are proxy that can be used anyone by anyone who aim to hide their original IP while private proxy servers are paid which require monthly subscriptions before you can get to use private proxy.

Are proxy servers fast?

There are claims that when you use proxy servers, your internet speed connection will be faster as you are browsing cached version of websites. But it really depends on the proxy server you are currently connected to; if they have fast server, then your proxy should be fast, but if they have slow server, then you should expect slow connection as well.

Are proxies free?

No. Not all proxies are free. Some are paid proxies which requires monthly subscription payment at a very cheap cost. There is a high difference between free and paid proxy as each has different anonymity level, user protection privacy and internet speed level.

Although free proxies are good and available in just a matter of online search, there is no guarantee that the proxy server you will use is safe.

How to configure proxy server?

Configuring proxy servers is quite difficult for those who are not computer savvy. It requires a little bit of technical information and a little bit of technical skills. However, there are tutorials can walk you through the process of implementing proxy server on your computer.

Proxy configuration for Google Chrome:

Step 1: Go to Google Chrome’s setting chrome://settings/

Step 2 : Scroll down at the very bottom to find system section and click open proxy settings

Step 3: A popup will appear and you should click on Setup button

This section is the most crucial part as you will be adding the proxy information to your internet property settings to manually change your IP address.

Once configured correctly, you should be able to bypass your network settings and access the internet anonymously.

Note: Don’t forget to click Apply and save configuration before you close the popup windows. Otherwise, your proxy server configuration will not take effect.

Proxy configuration for Mozilla Firefox:

Step 1: Press ALT button on your keyboard in combination with button T – This action will choose the option settings in firefox.

Step 2: A drop down window will appear and you will need to click option button

Step 3: Once you are in the option settings, you need to click the advanced section to get into network connection settings.

Step 4: You will then see the network connection settings which you can input your proxy server information.

Step 5: You will need to choose manual configuration settings to input your proxy server data.

This section is very crucial because you need to specify the right area which your proxy server should be placed in.

For example, if your proxy server IP is for HTTP, then it should be in HTTP proxy. If for SSL, then place it in SSL proxy. And so on.

Common use of proxy server:

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