A proxy server is a computer system that stands in between the client computer and other remote servers for processes of handling requests from client computers to servers. When a proxy server receives request for resources from client computers, it scrutinizes the requests in accordance with the set filtering rules depending on IP address or protocol. What a proxy server does is that it establishes an indirect connection between the client computer and the remote server. Once the request has successfully been processed, the proxy server connects to any relevant server on behalf of the client computer. It is also able to return such requests directly to the client computer by way of caching the processes from other remote servers. Some known importance of a proxy server include:
· It maintains security of the client computer by allowing it to surf anonymously or block unwanted sites.
· Some proxy servers are able to scan content for malicious software.
· It is able to bypass some IP restrictions which could have restricted the client computer from accessing information from remote servers.
· By way of caching web pages, it increases speedy connection or access to the required information.
The most common types of proxy servers are:
Anonymous Proxy Server:
This type of server identifies itself as a proxy server. It does not make the original IP address available through the http headers and it can be detected by users.
Transparent Proxy server:
As the name suggests, mostly, it does not provide a way for users to surf anonymously but have an ability to circumvent some IP restrictions. The IP address of users is not hidden.
High Anonymity server:
It does not identify itself as a proxy server. It is also good in the sense that it does not make available the original IP address through the http headers.
Distorting Proxy server:
This server distorts the original IP address available through the http headers. It identifies itself as a proxy server.