A proxy server is an intermediary between a client and a server. They are typically used to improve security, reliability or the performance of services. The following are common examples of proxy servers.
PrivacyProxy servers can be used by a web browser or network in order to enhance privacy. For example, requests for a web site made through a proxy may help to hide the client's IP from the web server.
Encryption Proxy servers that implement encryption such as SSL for a web site.
CompressionA proxy server that compresses responses from a server to reduce network bandwidth and improve performance.
SecurityIn many cases, proxy servers are security front ends that protect web servers from certain types of information security threats. For example, a proxy server may interface with a server that is protected by a firewall.
Load BalancingProxies can be used to implement load balancing whereby workloads can be shared between two or more servers. This improves performance and also allows a service to continue to function when a server goes down.
CachingProxies that cache static content for websites such as videos, images, scripts and html. This prevents web servers from becoming overloaded by quickly serving recently accessed content.
Content Delivery NetworkA content delivery network is an advanced type of cache that serves content from data centers closest to the user. A large content delivery network may use hundreds of data centers in dozens of countries with users being served from the location closest to them.
FilteringProxies can be used to prevent users from connecting to websites or other services based on a configurable policy. For example, an office network may use a proxy to prevent employees from connecting to certain types of content from work.
Logging A proxy can be used to record network traffic for audit trail or motives such as eavesdropping. For example, an organization might retain proxy logs that show all internet access by employees.
PerformanceProxies can be designed to speed up network services such as DNS queries used by web browsers to look up the IP address of a website.
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