What is proxy server? The proxy server acts as a traffic regulator, controlling and routing the traffic between the requesting user and the websites. It is mainly used for protecting users, maintaining network security and privacy policies.
Any software or device on the Internet has 2 roles: client or server. In the absence of a proxy server, the personal device communicates directly with the server. Since all websites will communicate directly with the personal device, the IP address of the device is exposed.
To prevent this situation, the proxy server gets between the personal device and the server and controls the traffic between the two. Although not all proxy server types, many proxy servers can hide a personal computer’s IP address. The website visited cannot actually see who you are. Even the geographical location of the computer on the Internet can be changed by connecting the IP addresses in different locations.
Forward Proxy: Forward proxy servers are also known as direct proxies, they mediate on the client computer (PC) side, the client communicates with the proxy server, the proxy server forwards the traffic it receives from the client to the server, and vice versa. receives it and transmits it to the client.
Reverse Proxy: Reverse proxy servers control between the internet and web servers in the opposite direction of forward proxy servers. It prevents web servers from connecting directly to users and provides control of traffic, assisting in safe and efficient distribution of content from website to client. It acts as a gateway for the server or server groups. It stabilizes server loads, keeps data in cache, and positively affects site speed.
The basic logic of both types of web proxies controls the traffic. The only difference is that the forward proxy is in front of the client, while the reverse proxy is in front of the server.
Features of proxy servers;
Firewall: Firewall provides security between the network and the broad internet. It prevents unwanted access and hacking situations. A proxy server (proxy server) creates a convenient place to host the firewall between the secure network and the internet.
Content Filter: Proxy server can act as a content filterer as well as regulate incoming connection requests together with the firewall, blocking unwanted traffic. Some companies may configure proxy settings so that employees cannot access certain websites.
Content Filter Forwarding (Bypassing): Filtering proxy server can be defeated by another server. The website blocked by the proxy can be accessed via a non-blocking proxy server.
Caching: The caching logic is to keep the data in memory and call it faster when needed, allowing the traffic to flow faster. Proxy servers cache the elements (style files, images…) on the website so that when the visitor visits the site again, they can make the website load faster and reduce latency.
Privacy and Security: Proxy servers hide users’ IP addresses behind the proxy server (not all proxy server types can hide them) and increase security in the network environment by protecting users’ addresses from hacker attacks from any device. (Cannot encrypt traffic as much as VPN.)
Slowing Down: Caching websites can increase site speed, but at the same time, proxy servers can slow down the connection as a side effect due to traffic routing.
Limited Security: Proxy servers can hide users’ IP addresses and host firewalls, but they cannot encrypt traffic as much as a VPN. If the proxy is connected to the wifi network, the traffic on the computer can be seen by someone else connected to the wifi network.