What is a Web Proxy


 

 

 

Web Proxy Definition:

To understand what and how a web proxy works, it basically acts as a shield between the user and the site being visited, this way a user can access a website and still keep their identity private and concealed. When a user uses a web proxy, he is not connecting to the website and instead the web proxy does the job for him.

To simplify Web Proxy:

A web proxy lets a user browse the internet without giving out their IP address information through the help of a server. It provides a level of privacy for the user by masking their information from the websites they are visiting.

A web proxy represents someone to be recognized as another entity on your behalf. This enables you to visit various websites from your location but not be detected accessing from your network.

Web proxies are very helpful for individuals with limited access to websites such as Youtube, Facebook, etc prohibited by network administrators or parents. When you use a proxy website, you are not directly visiting the website you wish to visit but you are anonymously surfing through a proxy website which then visits the website for you.

For example, you are accessing a website that is not allowed in your area due to network restrictions. Through a web proxy, you will be able to visit the website conveniently without being detected.

This is a simple illustration:

what is a web proxy
Image credit to cs.cornell.edu

 

Why Do You Need a Web Proxy


Not everyone needs a web proxy. But it is inevitable for some people to use a web proxy. For example, a website is not accessible for a particular country, with the help of proxy website, you will be able to access the website at least for short period of time.

For security reasons, this is to hide your location from being detected. If you have a very strict administrators or parents, you can bypass their network restrictions and be able to access the internet without limits.

For saving purposes, you need to use web proxy if you want to save your bandwidth data. Because when using web proxy, you are not directly visiting the website but loading the most recent cached of the web proxy server.

 

Why Is It Important


Using a web proxy is not as useless as you think. It is not only to hide your identity but it was designed to help you. Web proxies are designed to enable you from unblocking websites such as Facebook, Youtube and a few more that are commonly set to prohibited from accessing by network administrators.

But the undeniable importance of web proxy is to help you save your bandwidth data and at the same time, improve the speed of loading pages. This happens because web proxy servers always cache web pages for fastest browsing experience of individuals who are using their servers.

Also, privacy is vital in today’s internet niche. It is now easy to get information that can land into wrong hands. A web proxy resolves privacy-related problems users encounter while browsing to various websites in the internet. Users can hide their IP address, geographical locations and prevent cookies to be stored in their devices through web proxy.

Web proxy is a users’ security especially when they are conducting their business and personal matters using the internet, it sends a different user agent for your web browser to stay unidentified. A user can also bypass internet censorship, and let a user access restricted websites.

 

How does a web proxy work?


Web proxy works like a remote computer which sets up forwarding of arbitrary data through a connection. When a user tries to connect on the internet and visits a website, a web proxy forwards the request to a targeted server which is the site and gathers information from it back to the user. The website can only determine the web proxy’s IP address and not the users’.

The process of how a web proxy work is very simple. It is not difficult to understand technically because it is a very straightforward and systematic approach.

It all start with crawling. Web proxies have crawlers to visit the websites on the internet and they save cache version of the website they visit at all times into their database servers.

Which then when clients use a web proxy, they will firstly see a cached version of the page which makes the surfing way faster. For example, if  a web proxy server has already cached a page and a visitor requests the cached page, the amount of time to waiting for the page to be fully loaded will be shortened.

 

 

Is a Web Proxy Free?


Without a doubt. Web proxies are free. You can search online for free proxy and you will see a good list of available proxy sites you can use. The most popular proxy is Whoer.net. I have tested this proxy more than 20 times and I succeeded without a fail. Some proxy websites may not be able to do what other proxy website can but each proxy server has different approach.

In my experience, Whoer.net uses 10 different proxy servers that are only available once. So when you used proxy server to access a website, then get blocked, you need to use another proxy server. Does that make sense?

But sometimes, web proxy cost varies depending on what service a user needs. There are readily available free Web proxy server companies but they may not provide reliable services. For those who run their businesses on the internet, they often opt to pay for a web proxy service which cost from $10 to $100 monthly, depending on the services clients need.

 

Risks of Using Web Proxy


Internet users need to keep in mind that web proxy services may differ in a lot of ways, they must know that there are the good ones and the bad ones. A hacker can intercept a user’s data when it travels with a lot of proxies and turn these data in its original format and will make it vulnerable and risk their privacy.

A malicious proxy server are run by hackers, a user’s personal information, location, IP address and digital devices could be at risk of being breached. The worst that could happen is that this server records everything being sent to them, including log in details and passwords.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Web Proxy


There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of using a web proxy, and this goes out for any kind of technology.

Advantages:

  • Web proxy helps users to protect vital information they share in the internet or websites they are visiting.
  • It helps users to bypass blocked websites on their countries, offices, schools and any other organizations they are in. Users can easily access these blocked websites using a web proxy.
  • Web proxy can also be used to speed up browsing and accessing data through their cache system.
  • A user can access their data in a web proxy’s cache system whenever and anywhere they want.

Disadvantages:

  • Hackers are creative in intercepting data running into a web proxy, and through its cache system which stores user information, everything they share into a website can be used in wrong doings.
  • Criminals are also using web proxy to do their illegal conduct and even sexual predators can lurk in a web proxy and therefore risk a user’s safety.
  • Phishing is also present in using a web proxy, there are websites specifically designed to gather user information by resembling bank website and stole cash from the user.

Internet users need to be aware of what benefits and harm it can bring them and prevent risking their personal information and keep in mind that any technology has its pros and cons. Users just need to take caution and use web proxy to their advantage.

 

Types of Online Web Proxy


There are several types of web proxies you should be aware of. Each web proxy has a very interesting intent for anonymous browsing which makes them unique among the others. While each uses a different approach for anonymous surfing each has a very strong approach which makes them almost undetectable.

Anonymous proxy – This type of proxy hides the original IP from the server being visited.  However, it is recognized by the server being visited this is a proxy server. For example, if you are using this type of proxy, your identity

Transparent proxy – This type of proxy server identifies itself as a proxy server and also makes the original IP address available through the http headers. These are generally used for their ability to cache websites and do not effectively provide any anonymity to those who use them.

Distorting proxy – This type of proxy server identifies itself as a proxy server, but make an incorrect original IP address available through the http headers.

High anonymity proxy – This type of proxy server does not identify itself as a proxy server and does not make available the original IP address.

 

Pros of Web Proxy


  • You can unblock sites, surf anonymously and hide your IP for free.
  • You can use and access anytime, anywhere, any place you want.
  • You improve file loading speed, save internet bandwidth

 

Cons of Web Proxy


  • You can see a lot of Ads any in part of the page.
  • There are Fake/cloned/mirror proxy websites
  • Limited proxy servers