How does a proxy server work? When you send a request to access a certain web page, that request will be sent through the proxy server. This way, that request will appear to the Internet that it came from the server, and not your device and IP address. Other than achieving online anonymity, what other reasons require the use of a proxy server?
Scenario A: Protect Business Applications and Networks
As proxies can intercept requests for web pages from a user within your company’s network, they can be used to enforce company web-use policies, improve network performance, and keep the network secure. Also known in this case as forward proxy servers, they can be useful if you host your own on-site web servers. In addition, you can consider using reverse proxies to perform a complementary set of performance-related and security-related tasks pertaining to incoming requests from the Internet.
Scenario B: Access Online Media Without Restrictions
If you are trying to get around regional restrictions on online media, using proxies will be a good idea. Due to licensing issues, online video platforms, such as Hulu and Netflix, can only serve content to visitors in the country of origin. IP addresses from outside the country will be blocked. When you use a proxy service, you can select a server from that country to act as your middleman. It will seem like you are a local who is casually watching videos in that country. For example, you live in Poland and want to watch videos from the United States. Instead of getting the “video not available in your country” message, the U.S. proxy ensures that you will be able to watch the video without problems.
Scenario C: Restrict Non-Work Online Activities at the Workplace
So, you want to limit employees from using the Internet for personal reasons or monitor online activity? However, you do not want to spend too much time poring over proxy server logs and appear like you are stalking your employees. Here’s an easy fix. You just need to utilize the filtering capabilities of the proxy server software. You can block users from visiting junk websites. Yes, the function is like parental filters on home networks. If an employee attempts to visit a restricted site, your server will deny that request and return an error message.
Scenario D: Safely Access Public WiFi Connections
You are at your favorite cafe and hopped onto the free WiFi with smartphone to read the latest news. As we are so used to having Internet access wherever and whenever we need it, we seldom stop to consider if that network we are connecting to is safe. If the network you are on has been compromised, a hacker can steal your passwords and other private information. Ever heard of the honeypot trap? Hackers are known to set up fake public WiFi hotspots and grab up any data the unsuspecting victims send. If you use a private proxy service, anyone who wants to steal your private information will see only encrypted data.
Scenario E: You Want to Take Advantage of Caching
If you are managing your own network and discovered that many users frequently need to access certain web pages, you can set up a proxy server that downloads and stores copies of those pages on your users’ hard drive. This server will also regularly monitor the page for updates and download them. As you can see, caching does speed things up for every end user on your network.