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What is a Proxy Server?

Blog PostsCybersecurity

What is a Proxy Server?

Read Time: 5 minutes Published: April 28, 2023

Wondering whether your business needs to use a proxy server? If you want to enhance your cybersecurity, regulate traffic, and improve the online experience for both customers and employees, a proxy server could be a good idea. This guide covers everything you need to know to get started with a proxy server, from benefits to troubleshooting.

What is a Proxy Server?

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between a device and another server or network, adding a layer of security to online requests. In a business context, when an employee makes a request to access an online resource, the request is first sent to the proxy server. The proxy server then evaluates the request and either provides the resource from its cache, or forwards the request to the appropriate server. Essentially, the proxy server acts as an added gateway between the user and the internet.

What is a Reverse Proxy Server?

A reverse proxy sits between a user’s device and one or more backend servers. Unlike a standard (or forward) proxy server, which is typically used to access online resources by a user, a reverse proxy server manages inbound traffic and protects backend servers from direct access.

Reverse proxy servers are useful for load balancing, SSL/TLS termination, content caching, and more. They can also provide an additional layer of security by hiding the IP addresses of backend servers and protecting them from common web attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).

Why Use a Proxy Server?

Proxy servers are like shuttles between your computer and the internet. They were originally used for faster connections, but nowadays they are useful for a host of other reasons, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are 5 benefits of using a proxy server:

1. Enhanced Security

With a proxy server, employees’ IP addresses remain private as they browse the web. All information sent and received goes through the proxy server, which adds a layer of protection between your main server and any potential hackers.

2. Control Over Employee Internet Usage

Proxy servers can be used to prevent employee access to unsecured websites that could infect their devices with malware. Some businesses also choose to restrict access to social media platforms or other non-work websites through their proxy server.

3. Traffic Regulation

Proxy servers can help balance traffic to your website, preventing crashes and providing a better user experience. Rather than storing all of your site data on a single server, a proxy spreads this load across multiple servers, allowing you to handle a higher volume of requests.

4. Geographic Restrictions

For organizations with distributed international teams, proxy servers can help circumvent certain location-based restrictions to provide easier access to the websites employees need.

5. Speed

Proxy servers are sometimes confused for VPNs, as both act to mask your IP address. However, proxy servers are considered more secure than a VPN, and generally offer a faster experience due to the distributed nature of user requests.

List of the Best Proxy Servers

Proxy servers come with varying levels of control and . Below is a list of the best proxy servers for business use:

How to Find Your Proxy Server Address

With a proxy server, your IP address is concealed and a proxy server address is used in its place. You can find your proxy server address in the control panel of your device.

On Windows, simply navigate to your Network Settings and select Proxy Settings. For Mac devices, open System Preferences > Network > Connection > Advanced. Open the Proxies tab and you’ll find your proxy server address in the Web Proxy Server field.

Keep Your Servers Secure

Managing the cybersecurity needs of a growing business is a challenge, particularly with stretched resources or limited expertise. But without adequate protection, your organization could be left vulnerable to cyber attacks, data theft, and significant business disruption. To learn more about efficient approaches to cybersecurity management, get in touch with Electric today.

Jessica Farrelly

Jessica is a content writer with more than 8 years of experience covering SaaS and the tech industry. She has worked with both B2B and B2C publications across North America, Europe, and APAC and currently writes about IT Solutions or Electric.

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