A Beginners Guide to Proxy Servers and VPNs

What is a Proxy?


The definition of a proxy is a computer that acts as a middleman between an individual’s personal computer and the Internet. All of the traffic that winds up flowing through a proxy server appears as if it comes from the proxy IP address, rather than the actual computer that it is coming from.

Generally speaking, proxy server communicates with the Internet through one of two different protocols: HTTP or SOCKS. There are also several different types of proxies, which include private proxies, public proxies, and shared proxies.

How a Proxy Works

During a connection from your Internet Browser (How to use the proxy on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) the IP address of your computer (phone, mac, tablet etc.) is transmitted. This allows a server (the site you are trying to visit) to identify the source of the web request. However, any resource along the way can gather personal information about you through your unique IP address – your ID on the Internet. Owners of the Internet resources you are using (school, university, store owners) may impose restrictions on sites you can visit.

So an anonymous proxy server acts as a middleman between your browser and an end server. When you go to visit, for example, facebook.com your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can block you. However, using an anonymous proxy you instead visit the proxy page (which your ISP allows) and then the proxy server visits Facebook on your behalf. The only way to trace the connection to the originating client would be to access the logs on the proxy server (if it keeps any). So an anonymous proxy server can protect your identity by stripping a request of all identifying information.

How Web Proxy Works

Web-based Proxies like Proxy Site, KProxy and …(More Web Proxy Sites Lists) work entirely through a Web browser. Usually, all that is needed to hide your IP address and surf anonymously is to visit the service’s homepage in a Web browser and enter a URL (website address) in the form provided.

There is no requirement to download or install software or reconfigure your computer. To work, a CGI based proxy must manipulate the document you’ve requested and all its associated elements and objects. This can be tricky, and not all proxies are as efficient or effective as others. Some services are slow and may produce errors while rendering the many variations of Web page code.

Safe to use Proxy Server?

proxyIn using a proxy server all data sent to the service being used must pass through the proxy server. It is, therefore possible, and has been demonstrated, for a malicious proxy server to record everything sent to the proxy: including unencrypted logins and passwords.

Be cautious when using public proxy servers and do not pass any private information through the proxy. (specifically when you use the web proxy unless it is properly encrypted with SSL encryption .)

In short, be careful every public proxy servers, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Differences Between Proxy server and VPN

While VPN and proxy servers may appear very similar at first, there are actually many profound differences that exist between them. They are closely connected, and they can be used for similar functions. Both VPN and proxies are used as tools to conceal an individual’s identity or to make an IP address appear from a different location than it is actually in.

Additionally, many VPN providers also offer proxy services to their customers. These similarities tend to make matters quite confusing, and they leave individuals wondering what the differences between VPN and proxies are, or if there are any to begin with.

What is VPN?

VPN, otherwise known as Virtual Private Networks, are responsible for linking private computers to host networks via specially encrypted tunnels. When this is done correctly, the traffic from the Internet then goes in and out from the host server.

No one, including the government, is able to see anything other than the fact that the individual is connected to the VPN server. Your browsing activity is completely safe, and no one is able to view the IP addresses that you have previously or are currently connected to.

The VPN server, however, is able to keep logs of what you are up to online. Because of this fact, privacyenbescherming strongly recommend that you only use VPN servers that publicly guarantee that they do not keep logs of their customers. If they do keep track of everything, your online activity may eventually be compromised. Naturally, this is not something that you ever want to have happen.

Proxy VS VPN

A major difference that exists between proxies and VPN is that proxies are able to process many more users at the same time, simply due to the fact that they do not have resources responsible for encrypting all of the traffic that passes through them.

When comparing these two items on general surfing, it is clear that a VPN is a much better option than a proxy. VPN helps to substantially improve online anonymity, and they protect you against a multitude of things. What person wants others to have the ability to monitor their everyday life? Certainly not me.

One of the only reasons why I might recommend that you choose to purchase a proxy over a VPN, however, is because of the price. Proxies are generally much cheaper than any form of VPN you can find some of top VPN price on privatnostonline, and this is why so many people choose to purchase them. Despite the fact that they do have fewer benefits than a VPN, proxies are still great options if you are on a tight budget and unable to afford a VPN for whatever reason.

Different between Socks proxy and Http(s) Proxy

What is Socks proxy?

Socks proxy is an old type of internet protocol. It allows the system to route the network packets over the applications of the client-server through the proxy server. It is otherwise known as that the clients who are at the back of the firewall will also be allowed for connection to the socks proxy server. Thus it allows all those clients who are behind the firewall to have access to all the external services and the information through the firewall. Sometimes it may work contrarily and the clients who are external will be allowed through this firewall.

The socks proxy may also function with the various protocols. This socks proxy merely works as a type of gateway from where it simply facilitates the data transfer without really delving any interest in the contents that are transmitted. Hence, the socks proxy is in a position to handle or function with various protocols like FTP, NNTP, HTTP, SMTP and POP3. Hence it can be said as an extremely anonymous server as the webserver will not get the indication regarding the proxy’s presence. Thus the anonymity given by sock proxy is practically absolute.

Socks Proxy VS HTTP Proxy

There are various differences between the HTTP proxy servers and the socks proxy servers. Some of the differences are indicated below. The behavior of these two proxies has to be observed to make out the difference. Evaluation of the HTTP headers would be done by the HTTP proxy that is sent to shape out the target server’s address. On the other hand, the socks proxy server uses the handshake protocol for creating the connection. Even though the results obtained from the actions derived by these protocols are same, the method adopted by these protocols is entirely different.

For example, if a person tries to access the web page that is outside his office network, he will be prevented from accessing due to the firewall that is installed on his network. The option left out for him is to connect his network to the HTTP proxy server. If it is done, then his computer will communicate with his HTTP proxy and in turn, it requests the target server by checking the field of the request server bypassing the firewall. Thus his HTTP proxy will now be the intermediate for passing the information from his target web server and vice versa.

The working of the socks proxy server is completely different. When a person connects to the proxy server instead of the HTTP server, he will be sending the information regarding the connection he wants to make. On receipt of the request, the socks proxy will make an entry in the firewall thus facilitating his connection from outside the network.

The best option for anonymous surfing is the sock proxy server. Like all the various proxy servers, this socks proxy server allows anonymity and security to all the users.

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