Learn About Proxy Meaning: Definition & Usage


A proxy firewall is also a proxy server, but not all proxy servers are proxy firewalls. It can cache webpages to reduce bandwidth demands, compress data, filter traffic and detect viruses. A proxy server can also be used to hide user information or to connect to services that would be blocked. On the other hand, a proxy firewall inspects all network traffic to detect and protect against potential threats.

In a workplace setting where the client is managed by the organization, devices may be configured to trust a root certificate whose private key is known to the proxy. In such situations, proxy analysis of the contents of an SSL/TLS transaction becomes possible. The proxy is effectively operating a man-in-the-middle attack, allowed by the client’s trust of a root certificate the proxy owns. Requests may be filtered by several methods, such as a URL or DNS blacklists, URL regex filtering, MIME filtering, or content keyword filtering. Blacklists are often provided and maintained by web-filtering companies, often grouped into categories (pornography, gambling, shopping, social networks, etc..).

Types Of Proxy Server

A proxy server acts as a gateway between users and the internet and prevents access to anyone outside the network. Regular internet access via a web browser enables users to connect directly with websites. But a proxy acts as an intermediary, which communicates with webpages on users’ behalf. Content filtering proxy servers will often support user authentication to control web access. It also usually produces logs, either to give detailed information about the URLs accessed by specific users or to monitor bandwidth usage statistics.

definition of internet proxy

They are sometimes called “transparent” proxy servers, because the user does not know a proxy server is between the client and remote server. Unlike a forward proxy, which sits in front of clients, a reverse proxy is positioned in front of web servers and forwards requests from a browser to the web servers. It works by intercepting requests from the user at what features does a proxy offer the network edge of the web server. It then sends the requests to and receives replies from the origin server. Data center proxies are not affiliated with an internet service provider (ISP) but are provided by another corporation through a data center. The proxy server exists in a physical data center, and the user’s requests are routed through that server.

Transparent proxies

An HTTP proxy server can also be customized to create rules depending on businesses’ specific requirements. An HTTP proxy acts as a high-performance content filter on traffic received by an HTTP client and HTTP server. The HTTP proxy protocol routes client requests from web browsers to the internet and supports rapid data caching. Any traffic the server processes will appear from the proxy’s IP address rather than the user’s. It’s an intermediary server separating end users from the websites they browse.

A Transparent SMTP Proxy is a SMTP proxy server that is inserted in between a sending mail server and a receiving mail server. The proxy masquerades itself in such a way that the client and server believe that they are talking to each other even though there is a proxy in between. It’s important to understand exactly what functionality you’re getting from the proxy server and ensure that the proxy server meets your use case. A residential proxy gives you an IP address that belongs to a specific, physical device.

When you’re online without a proxy, your IP address is exposed for web servers and others to see. It’s incredibly easy to find your IP address, which may lead to security breaches and other identity-related issues. An online proxy also has an IP address, which is used on your behalf so that you don’t have to reveal your actual IP address. Of course, you shouldn’t use a residential proxy to perform any illegal activity. DNS proxies forward domain name service (DNS) requests from LANs to Internet DNS servers while caching for enhanced speed. Reverse proxies transparently handle all requests for resources on destination servers without requiring any action on the part of the requester.

definition of internet proxy

As seen in the previous section, different types of proxies work differently. Stand out and make a difference at one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies. Get free research and resources to help you protect against threats, build a security culture, and stop ransomware in its tracks. Browse our webinar library to learn about the latest threats, trends and issues in cybersecurity.

definition of internet proxy