Transparent proxies are servers which rest between the internet and your computer, redirecting responses or requests free of modification. They are the opposite of non-transparent proxies, which do modify responses or requests. There are a number of reasons why someone would want to use a proxy that is transparent.
Advantages of Transparent Proxies
These types of proxies are popular in places such as libraries or schools and are favored for their content filtering capabilities. Since they do not require client side configuration they are easy to use and maintain when compared to other types of proxies. There are also software tools which make it easy to establish a proxy that is transparent and under your control. It isn’t necessary to download applications, depending on the manner in which the network is configured.
These Proxies Allow Greater Monitoring Or Censoring
When using a proxy that is transparent you will have the ability to censor or monitor traffic selectively. The exception is when you connect to websites that are HTTPS encrypted, as the proxy won’t be able to interpret the data that is being transmitted back and forth. As a consequence, the proxy will lose its content caching ability. Since proxies who are transparent tend to be produced and used by individuals who already control the network, they are not typically used for getting around censorship.
Internet Efficiency Is Increased Via Caching
If you’re in a location that has scarcity with regard to internet speed, using a proxy which is transparent will allow you to maximize your bandwidth, particularly when multiple users are opening an identical webpage. The proxy will cache the content and then serve it through the cache to every user; as opposed to it needing to be downloaded repeatedly which will lead to connection congestion.
These Proxies Have Multiple Forms of Functionality
Proxies which are transparent may not only be run on the side of the user, but also from the side of the servers. This is important as it provides additional protection from DDoS attacks, while also boosting the server capacity, which is useful in situations where large files need to be distributed to numerous users. CDNs or Content Delivery Networks make effective use of the caching attributes which are found with transparent proxies, which allow content to be provided faster. This is done through storing copies and when the content is requested it will be served from proxy servers close to the user.
Public Wi-Fi Can Utilize These Proxies For User Authentication
These proxies are also excellent for those who want to restrict internet access selectively. For this reason they are commonly used for public Wi-Fi in places such as hotels or airports. In these places those that want to use the internet will be required to enter various types of information to identify themselves before they are allowed to connect. Most public Wi-Fi spots are non-encrypted, or use outdated encryption, which makes traffic vulnerable to being intercepted by unauthorized parties in the area.