You may not realize it (and it may not bother you once you do), but every time you connect to a website or connect with someone online, your computer receives an “address” from the website/person you’re connecting with.

Why? So that the person on the other end of the line understands how to transfer data (a web page, an email, etc.) back to your computer. Your public IP address is that address. The Internet Protocol is also referred to as IP.

You wouldn’t be able to do any online activity without an IP address, and others online wouldn’t be able to contact you. It’s how you communicate with the rest of the world.

WHERE DOES YOUR IP ADDRESS COME FROM?

Your Internet Service Provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) is responsible for both your IP address and your internet connection at home. When you browse the web or utilize an app, your smart device also uses an IP address.

The majority of people are entirely satisfied with how everything works.

However, there are a few facts concerning public IP addresses that upset some people:

  • Your IP address reveals where you are geographically, down to the street level in some cases.
  • Websites can use it to prevent you from accessing its content.
  • Since someone is paying for an internet connection at a specific location, it eventually connects your name and address to your IP address.

However, there are a few ways to get around these realities, one of which is to use a proxy service or proxy server (often referred to as a “proxy”).

WHAT IS A PROXY SERVER?

A proxy server serves as a link between your computer and the rest of the internet. When you surf the internet using your browser, you usually connect straight to the page you’re browsing. Instead, proxies connect with websites on your behalf.

When you use an internet proxy, your browser first establishes a connection with the proxy, which then passes your traffic to the website you’re accessing. Proxy servers are also called “forward proxies” because of this. An internet proxy will also get the response from the website and return it to you.

The term “proxy” is commonly used to describe someone authorized to act on your behalf, such as voting in a meeting that you cannot attend. A proxy server performs the same function but over the internet. Instead of talking directly with the websites you visit, a proxy manages the relationship on your behalf.

BASIC PROXY SERVER FEATURES

There are three main functions of proxy servers, they are:

1. They act as firewall and network data filtering aid

2. They help share network sharing

3. They cache web page data

If you exclusively use the internet at home, there is no need to set up proxy servers for security purposes.

However, proxy servers protect your network when it comes to business and other online activities because the internet can be a dangerous place. All incoming and outgoing web traffic passes through proxy servers placed on your network, which act as a middleman. It assists you in deciding what content should be permitted or prohibited on your private network. Other network services will be connected indirectly to the systems connected to your intranet.

WHY WE USE PROXY SERVERS

When you utilize a proxy server, your local area network computers will connect to the proxy server first, requesting resources such as web pages, games, movies, e-books, music, videos, and various other online resources. Your business network’s configured proxies will be utilized to reroute all incoming and outgoing data requests to see if they can serve the requested information. The proxy servers will then offer the data to the connected computer if the resources have been cached previously. On the other hand, proxy servers make requests on behalf of your private network to the appropriate servers.

1. To Safeguard Corporate and Institutional Security

Hackers are everywhere these days, and every organization is vulnerable to security breaches to its computer and private network. This data breach is exceedingly costly, both in terms of financial damage and public perception, if it is done for malicious motives by bypassing computer security.

At New Target, we value the security of our client’s data and our client’s client’s data, so this is one of our biggest reasons for using proxy servers.

The proxy server reduces the risk of a data breach by acting at the application layer of the OSI (Open System Interconnection) architecture, which defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven different layers. So, between your business servers and internet traffic, proxies give an extra degree of security.

They act as buffers because they can connect to the internet and send requests from computers outside the network.

It is difficult to safeguard your database from hackers with only a proxy IP; even if hackers gain access to your proxy server, reaching the server that runs the web software that saves your data would be difficult.

Proxy servers are meant to increase business and institutional security, and they’re thought of as security and privacy gatekeepers. They safeguard both the network and its users by preventing them from visiting unsuitable websites and inspecting and avoiding them engaging in dangerous cyber activities.

2. You Can Share Internet Connections

Most small businesses have multiple computers connected to a single DSL modem, which allows the computers to connect to the internet. Proxy servers are used to share your internet connection with other computers on your internal network, even if you just have one modem.

The capacity of a network with more than two computers to share a single internet connection is shown by proxy servers configured in your private network. Offering internet connectivity throughout your company’s internal network is a great way to save your business money.

3. Speeds Up Browsing

Proxies keep track of which websites fulfill your online requests, and frequently visited web pages are cached. When the identical request is performed from any machine connected to that internal network, proxy servers can immediately use the cached information. By loading the page faster than a new request sent online, it helps to reduce bandwidth consumption and operating costs. In addition, when you utilize a proxy server, all requests from your private network are routed via proxies first, which allows you to browse the internet faster.

4. Secures IP Address and Other Important Information

Cybercriminals may look for your IP address for various reasons; thus, securing your IP address is a top priority for any network user. Your online device requires a virtual address to communicate information to another device, which functions similarly to your physical address. It may appear harmless, but if your IP address is visible to cyber attackers or criminal hackers, they can use it to conduct attacks against you. As a result, cybercriminals can utilize your virtual identity as a cog in their illegal cyberattacks.

Though it is a worst-case scenario, it is desperately needed in the internet age. Because many commercial and research operations use many internet services to safeguard data, it is critical to protect information provided in the virtual world. Knowing your personal and business vulnerabilities and how to secure them is critical to growing your business and career. From small startups to established large-scale industries, every facet of cyber security is essential to protect your organization.

5. Control Internet Access

One of the intended goals for many organizations is to reduce time spent on irrelevant websites linked to business activity. For example, most businesses restrict access to social media sites, eCommerce websites, and other websites that contain inappropriate content.

Additionally, using your workplace network to access unsecured websites puts your business’s security at risk. You can reduce hidden risks by connecting to the internet using your company’s proxy server. Proxy servers will also assist you in getting extensive content viewed through your corporate network during working hours. Monitoring this type of data can allow you to better understand how your employees act online. These extensive logs will allow you to see how much time people spend on different websites and whether or not it is relevant to your business. It also aids in the detection of any cyber misbehavior or criminal activity by your employees.

6. Access Geo-restricted Online Content

Although online services can be accessed anywhere, content filters will limit what you can see online based on your location. Advertisements on YouTube videos, for example, will be more focused on local services. The bulk of social networking services are the same. Geo-blocking, which is based on geographic location, prevents many online resources from being accessed. This could be due to various factors, such as corporate competition, licensing, price strategy, or the prohibition of illegal or inappropriate content.

A lot of online media content, such as music and videos, will only be available in select countries. International students, travelers, reporters, onsite staff, foreign employees, and migrants are frequently the victims of geo-restricted information; they will be unable to access their own digital content that has been published.

These geo-restrictions can be circumvented with the use of proxy servers. Proxies have the ability to change your current location. When you use a proxy to connect to your private network over the internet, your computer will have a safe, encrypted connection. A proxy will alter your appearance in the virtual world.

If access to a server that shares the information you require is restricted to specific countries, employing a proxy can conceal the IP address of the location that is allowed to connect to the server.

7. Anonymous Web Traffic

Proxy servers are well-known for their ability to anonymize online traffic. Although it is critical for commercial success, most business people are unaware of it. To protect their identity, sources, contacts, location, companies, and business data, news reporters, whistleblowers, security officials, and researchers rely on the additional protection provided by proxies.

If your business is using a proxy configured with private networking, it will be challenging to track down online activities over the internet. It helps to hide your business’s development from potential spies and to protect sensitive projects and data completed online.

CONCLUSION

Proxies have become increasingly popular, with so many companies embracing them. Hopefully, after reading this article, you understand why New Target welcomes the use of proxies and why your business should too. For the common person, proxy servers might just be associated with unblocking things like Netflix shows for other countries or staying secure on an open WiFi. But the reality is that proxy servers do way more, making them very important for businesses.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.