In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by forwarding requests to other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource, available from a different server. The proxy server provides the resource by connecting to the specified server and requesting the service on behalf of the client. A proxy server may optionally alter the client's request or the server's response, and sometimes it may serve the request without contacting the specified server. In this case, it would 'cache' the first request to the remote server, so it could save the information for later, and make everything as fast as possible. A proxy server that passes all requests and replies unmodified is usually called a gateway or sometimes tunneling proxy. A proxy server can be placed in the user's local computer or at specific key points between the user and the destination servers or the Internet.

06 November 2007

Anonymous Proxy

An anonymous proxy is a piece of software designed to protect the privacy and anonymity of web browsers from web site operators, Internet snoops, and even unfriendly governments.

The anonymous proxy software resides on a proxy server. The web browser connects to the proxy server and the proxy server connects to the web server.

The web server does not know who you are, it only knows who the proxy server is. The proxy server does know who you are -- so you had better choose a proxy server that you trust.

A good web proxy will allow you to setup a TLS or SSL tunnel. This will prevent packet sniffers from eavesdropping on you while you are surfing anonymously.

Some anonymous proxy servers support FTP, while others only support HTTP. Better anonymous proxy servers also support HTTPS. Make sure to select an anonymous proxy server which supports the protocols you wish to use.

In addition to hiding your IP address, an anonymous proxy server will typically remove traffic such as:

  • Cookies
  • Pop-ups
  • Banners
  • Scripts
  • Referrer information

These options should be configurable by the end-user to enable to proxy server to work with web sites which require cookies or pop-ups.

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