A Web proxy server is placed between your network and the world wide web, all the internal devices will then use this proxy to communicate outside of your network. The devices talk to the proxy and the proxy will talk to the rest of the internet. This creates a single point of communication to ensure all traffic in and out of your network is checked for viruses, malware, and potentially harmful sites are blocked.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy server is a machine designed for the translation of traffic between two networks. In simpler words, it is the connection between an endpoint device (such as a smartphone or a computer) and a vast network (for example the internet).
The proxy allows a user to safely access the information stored on several servers. Other functions of this kind of software system include connecting computers on a local network to the internet. Depending on the way you use it, your needs, or company policy, a proxy server offers different levels of security, privacy, and functionality.
You can get much more out of a modern proxy server. Apart from forwarding web requests, a proxy can be used as a web filter, an extra layer of antivirus, and cache data which speeds up common requests. A modern web proxy is going to protect users and the internal network from malware found out in the wild.
How does a Web Proxy Server Function?
On sending a web request, it is received by the proxy server first. Then, the web request is made on your behalf by the proxy server which then gathers the response from the webserver. The web page data is then forwarded to you which enables you to view the web page in your browser.
The function of a proxy server is to go and get the information for you, check it for malware, and then present the information to your device. Your internal devices never get exposed to potentially malicious websites.
The Benefits of Using a Web Proxy
Web proxy servers provide good border security for your network and ensure productivity for your employees.
An Extra Layer of Protection
Web proxy servers are an excellent way of blocking access to websites and web pages that are known for containing malicious code in the form of malware, viruses, and phishing links. It contains a built-in antivirus and malware scanning engine that scans anything coming into your network. When coupled with antivirus/malware protection on your devices, you have multiple layers of protection. The web proxy acts as border security and your endpoint antivirus polices the devices inside.
Policy Restricted Content
It is also used to restrict access only to certain websites that are allowed by the workplace, an institution, or an organization. Hence, it protects the user from gaining unauthorized access to websites or pages that could cause trouble to a user online creating a workplace safe browsing experience. You can restrict categories based on content like shopping, social media, violence/hate, adult entertainment, and drugs to name a few. This assists to ensure employees are viewing appropriate content in the workplace whether purposefully or accidentally.
Quicker Page Loading Speeds
Another function of a proxy server is to cache data from the websites or webpages that you access. Hence, if you decide to return to the same site again, your request will be returned much faster by the server than it would have if it had to make a connection with the internet again. Hence, your site will load much quicker than it did the first time you opened it. This means you get faster loading speeds for a certain site but there is only one threat of gaining access to an outdated version of the website through the server.
The Bottom Line
Hence a proxy can be labeled as an Intrusion Prevention System which offers protection from hackers and keeps your sensitive data protected. While you are protected from cyber-attacks or data breaches. With a proxy, you will also stay informed on suspicious activity. Apart from protection, a proxy also offers higher page loading speeds in addition to blocking content on sites restricted in your location.
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