We’re all concerned with keeping not only our computers, but also our personal information safe as we surf the web these days. While email viruses are less of a threat than they were even a few years ago, identity theft is on the rise and identity thieves take advantage of every new technological development; adapting almost as fast as the technologies meant to thwart them. For this reason, keeping yourself protected from prying eyes as you go about your business online is important. One way that people sometimes (and should more often) use is proxy servers – but what are these servers and how do they keep you safer on the web?
Basically, a proxy server is just an ordinary web server, albeit one with a special function. This server lies between the web user and the sites they are visiting; with requests for web pages and files being relayed via this server. This relay means that it is the servers IP address which is reported to the site being visited rather than the IP address of the web user. Why is this important? IP addresses, particularly static IP addresses, which are more and more common with the expansion of broadband service, can be used to identify specific users. Just think about the implications of that for a moment.
It should be noted that not all proxy servers will hide this information which can be used to uniquely identify you from the sites you visit – there are anonymous proxy servers as well; these provide a higher degree of anonymity to you on the web. However, how can you tell which proxies are really protecting your identity? Read on for a few tips on how to find safe web proxies.
First, you can use the “whois” command if you are running any variant of Unix or Linux on your computer. There are also web-based interfaces for this program available, including the ones available at domaintools.com which can tell you if the owner of the proxy has hidden their contact information or not.
You can also use Google or another search engine to look up the proxy and see if anyone has had any experiences of malfeasance with the proxy and what, if anything people are saying about it. Another good source of information is available from the homepage of the proxy server itself; there should be a terms and conditions of use policy posted on the site which will tell you exactly what the proxy does and does not report to other sites in terms of information about users.
Using a web proxy can be a good way to protect your personal information and your privacy in general from those who may have bad intentions on the internet. However, while any proxy server provides you with more protection than no proxy at all, you should look into any web proxy before you use it to make sure that it is giving you all of the protection you are looking for. There are safe and anonymous web proxies out there, but finding one which will perform well for you may take just a little bit of investigation. Have fun out there and remember; safety first!
Web proxies are servers which act as middlemen amongst internet, clients and users. When users send request to the proxy server, the server forwards it to the web, after which the proxy reverts back to the user.
The fundamental purpose of web proxies is to maintain privacy equivalent to the IP address. However, it also helps access few network areas which are usually blocked such as schools, libraries and workplaces.
Web based proxy servers are highly sought after. They have clear advantage over others and have now become the most commonly used proxies. They provide the best way to distribute network traffic and help users maintain safe and lightening fast browsing.
Other Salient Features
Web proxies are developed to easily avoid censors. Some internet service providers don’t allow users to access controversial content or sites. Web based proxy servers eliminate all such problems.
One of the major features of such proxies is that they contain inbuilt additional software which makes them act like firewall. While using such proxy servers, it is always recommended to surf the web. They protect the users ID, IP and the system from hackers.
For people faced with blocked content while attempting to surf web pages, it is important to search proxies which couldn’t be traced by censors. Seek a common proxy and port number. This ensures fast, safe and hassle free web access.
The hard fact about public proxies is that though the numbers aren’t laudable, but in contrast to public proxies, various private proxy servers are made available through gateways to manage outside traffic or concentrators.
When you surf through web-based proxy server, don’t be afraid of hackers. Your connectivity quality and peace of mind are guaranteed with these servers. Web proxies are a dependable option for better performance and peace of mind.
Like the name implies Firewalls are designed to permit, deny, encrypt, and decrypt any information that travels through (or domain to domain). The great thing about Firewalls is the creation of NAT (Network Address Translation). With NAT you can hide yourself behind private addresses and they can also be used by proxies to help contain corrupt information from spreading to fast as well as help regulate traffic, since it can filter out or contain information. Firewalls can be a great tool or a useless tool; it all depends on how you maintain them. Most people that just run default probably are not making the most use of their firewalls. If you modify them or use advanced tools firewalls can do quite a lot of things to help protect you from the common problems of the computer world.
Proxy Servers work by requesting information from other servers to be sent back to the requested client. They help speed of traffic and help contain harmful information by caching information thus making it more readily available rather than accessing the required server on the spot. It is a nice advantage, because without an active connection the odds of harmful information getting in are reduced quite a bit. Still when looking at proxy servers, there are different types with different abilities. There are caching proxies who do what I mentioned above, and there are web proxies that focus caching web information to improve load time rather caching common resources like cache proxies. There are content filtering proxies hostile proxies that can eavesdrop on flowing information, anonymous proxies. The list of proxy types go on and on, because all a proxy server really is are something that catches and find information, so if you have a goal you can create a proxy to run it.
Anonymous web browsing is surfing the internet while hiding the user’s IP address and any other information from the websites the user is visiting; anonymity can be achieved by using a proxy server or a virtual private network or VPN server. If the proxy server is trusted proxy, anonymity will be retained. Anonymous web browsing is generally helpful to those internet users who want to ensure that their sessions should be hidden from the hackers or they could not be monitored. For example organizations may want to control access to the particular websites. However, Anonymous Web Servers act as placing a wall between the user and the website which he/she is visiting. These servers can be used to bypass restrictions and visit those sites that might be blocked in a specific country, office or school. Some people only use these servers to protect their on line identity.
There are different websites which claim to provide these anonymous web browsing services. Some of them are free services and some are paid, with more or fewer features. Among these systems simplest anonym zing system will be Proxy browsing since no additional software is needed to download and there are fewer configurations. In this approach an additional “trusted third party” who is a proxy is introduced between the sender and receiver in a way that, user’s all web requests are redirected to the proxy. So the proxy will made the request from the web server on behalf of the user. Hence the sender’s identity is hidden from the receiver.
The operation of achieving anonymity is as followed.
1. The web browser issues an http request for the URL from the proxy server.
2. The proxy server immediately issues an http request to the Web server for this URL. Now the http request appears to be originated at the proxy server and not at the user’s computer.
3. The web server replies with sending an HTML document to the Proxy.
4. The proxy will first rewrite all the links in that document so that they will point back to the proxy instead of the web server.
5. Finally it sends the document back to the user with all links rewritten.