Do you know that a proxy server acts as an intermediary between you and the internet? Instead of connecting directly to a website or a different user, you first connect to a proxy server. The proxy will then work on your behalf by communicating with the website you’re loading.
So, when people talk about proxies, they are likely talking about forward proxies. They are the most common proxy server types. This is because they contain what most people require.
What happens is that when you’re using a proxy server, your browser will first connect to the proxy. The proxy will then forward your traffic to the website you’re trying to link to. This is now why a proxy server is known as a forward proxy.
Hence, forward proxies act as the middleman between your requests and the server you’re trying to connect to.
Furthermore, proxy servers will also obtain traffic from the website and forward it back to the user. This is how the user and the website get separated from each other. The proxy acts as the intermediary.
The current proxy servers do more than forward web requests. They go further to do the following:
- Act as a firewall and web filter.
- Offer shared network connections.
- Provide cache data to speed up the common requests.
- Safeguards users and the internal network from the negative aspects of the internet.
- Offer high privacy levels.
Proxy Servers Can Prevent You From Being Banned Out of Social Media Sites
Surprisingly, most people load up a website or connect with others online without knowing that the connection gives your IP address to the site you’re loading or the person you’re connecting with. That’s why you may quickly get banned from sites once they notice any suspicious activity.
Let’s take the example of Facebook. Do you know Facebook can identify that you have multiple accounts by tracking your IP addresses?
So, if you create more than one Facebook account using your home computer, the administrators will notice this activity. What happens next?
Facebook administrators may shut you down almost immediately. But, are you aware that Facebook proxies can save you from such scenarios as bans?
You first need to select a reliable proxy provider that enables you to pick the locations of your proxies. That way, your IP address will be sourced from one area instead of different places.
Usually, Facebook sees that you are accessing your account with different IP addresses from all over the nation. This is how they are likely to conclude that your account has been hacked. Thus, they will block your account.
However, proxy locations will help lower such risks. So, once you’ve selected your location, ensure you assign your proxies. Every Facebook account that you create should have a different proxy.
As a result, your account will continue using the same information any time you log in. In return, the accounts will appear legitimate.
Failure to take such measures will lead to being blocked. However, you don’t have to worry about creating multiple individuals or business Facebook accounts with your proxy up and running.
So, what are these things you never thought were possible with a proxy server?
1. Changing Your IP Address to Appear Like You’re In Another Country
While on the internet, your IP address is like your digital fingerprint. It carries your identity. That’s why if you’re not careful, hackers can track you on your mobile devices.
Hiding one’s original location is a common use of proxies. The residential proxy servers enable you to own an IP address from different regions. So, your web requests can appear as if they came from another country or city.
Some service providers allow users to select a preferred location. Other providers also assign a random location. This is especially when you aren’t sure which country or city to choose.
Once the proxy server goes ahead to forward your web requests, it can also change the data you send. It then gives you the information you want.
A proxy server can go further to alter your IP address. This way, the web server won’t know where in particular you are in the entire world.
You can also use the IP address to translate your data, such that your information is unpredictable when transferred to other sources.
What are some essential reasons why you might want to alter your IP address?
- To obtain better business deals from different online stores. This is if there could be better deals in other countries or cities.
- It allows you to access online content that might have been blocked. For example, you can access free channels, change your Netflix library, or access paid channels that offer more value for your money.
- Prevent your Internet Service Provider and other parties from prying or interfering with your traffic network.
- Evade censorships or bans like the game bans and think forum bans.
- Secure your home network and your devices from possible hackers.
2. Controlling Internet Usage for Your Employees
Think about it as an employer in an organization. Did you ever imagine that you can monitor and control what your employees use the internet for?
Well, proxies have made that possible for you. You only need to set up the proxy servers in a specific control mode, and you’re good to go.
Usually, most organizations do not want to see you checking at particular websites using their company time. Hence, they go ahead to configure the proxy server to hinder employee access to those sites.
So, anytime an employee tries to access the blocked websites, they end up being redirected. They receive a polite note requesting them to refrain from those sites while using the company network.
The organization can also use proxy servers to monitor all web requests made via the company network.
So, you might not be redirected or receive a polite notice to refrain from sites. Hence, you may assume that you’re free to access any content you want to on the internet.
However, the organizational management might not have blocked the unwanted sites, yes. But, they may still know how much time you spend cyberloafing.
So, as an employer, be very careful whenever you use the company network for personal use, yet pretending to be doing some legitimate work. Things may not turn out well for you.
3. Monitoring and Controlling What Your Kids Do on the Internet
Times have changed. Gone are the days when kids would spend their free time running up and down in the fields, skipping ropes, or playing hide and seek.
Today’s kid is transformed. Astonishingly, child trends 2018 reveals that about 41% of kids ages 3- 5 use the internet at home, 57% of 6-11 year-olds use the internet, and 71% of 12-17 year-olds are using the internet. By 2021, the trends might even be higher.
With the present-day peer pressure, children may end up engaging in harmful online activities. If left unmonitored, some are likely to become internet addicts.
Who would ever think that a time will come when parents could monitor and control their kids’ activities on the internet? Indeed the proxy server came in a life-saver to most parents worried about children and internet usage.
So, setting control measures on internet usage at specific times is a remarkable way for parents to protect their kids from possibly harmful online activities. It is also a way to encourage your children to get into a habit of using their time wisely.
For example, you can download mSpy to your children’s phones. That way, you can spy on their internet usage plus other online activities.
If they aren’t at home, you can see if they are where they tell you they are. Furthermore, you can monitor their text messages, emails, and calls.
Some of the parental controls enabled by the proxy server include:
1. Blocking Websites
You can limit what your kids search for via Google. The best option is to activate Google SafeSearch in whatever browser(s) you use.
You only need to ensure that your browsers use Google’s default search engine. Once you’re sure of this, you can turn on SafeSearch.
This is an excellent precaution such that; immediately your kids go online, they cannot accidentally trip on something unpleasant.
2. Blocking both Websites and Filter Content
You can block your kids’ access to specific websites and prevent their exposure to unsuitable content like pornography or adult games.
You may employ the parental controls that are integrated into your device’s operating system.
The best thing is that all major operating systems like OS, Microsoft’s Windows, and Apple’s Mac offer settings to inhibit kids from accessing the materials you don’t want them to see.
3. Monitoring your Child’s Phone
You can also download an app that monitors text messages, social media networks, and other mobile functions. They are essential if you’re concerned about possibly misleading conversations or dodgy topics that your child might get trapped in.
These apps enable the tabs on your kid’s phone. They even go forth to notify you immediately they detect attentive words, such as ‘porn,’ and ‘drugs.’
However, to monitor your child’s social media accounts, you must have their account information, such as passwords.
What are the Other Things Made Possible With a Proxy Server?
- Improved Network Speed and Bandwidth Savings for Organizations
Organizations can now enjoy improved overall network performance using a good proxy server.
- Enhanced Privacy for Individuals and Organizations
Both individuals and organizations can employ proxy servers to browse the internet with added privacy.
As mentioned earlier, some proxy servers will alter your IP address and other identifying data that the web request contains. Hence, the destination server ends up not knowing who initiated the original request.
Such factors are vital in helping you keep your personal information and browsing patterns more private.
- Security Benefits
The security benefits that come with proxy servers are incredible. For example:
- You can design your proxy server to encrypt (convert) your web requests. This way, you manage to keep watchful eyes from interpreting your transactions.
- You can also hinder access by the known malware sites using the proxy server.
- Organizations can integrate their proxy server with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Hence, remote or external users can always access the internet via the company’s proxy server.
A VPN offers a direct connection to the organization’s network that organizations provide to remote users.
The VPN allows the company to control and confirm that its users can access the essential resources they need (internal data).
It also helps provide a secure connection so that the user can protect the company’s data.
Our article above has revealed things you never thought were possible with a proxy server. We have learned that both individuals and organizations can benefit handsomely from the proxy server.
However, not all proxy servers operate the same way. So, it helps to understand the exact functionality you want from the proxies. That way, you can ensure that the proxy server you connect to will meet your particular use case.
With the increased emphasis on data privacy now than ever before, the future with proxies seems to hold more both for individuals and the commercial environment.
Indeed the majority cannot wait to see what exciting thing the proxy servers will unleash next!