Privacy & Anonymity

You may not like visiting web sites that gather information about your self, your buying patterns, etc. You may want to visit a site without leaving any traces that it was you. For instance you want to check what's going on at your competitor's site. Your visit will leave a record in their log file. Frequent visits will leave many records.

Speed

The Internet Service Provider you normally use on may be very slow. Connecting to a large proxy may speed up your connection times considerably.


Why ?

Although proxy servers have been around for a long time (since the early days of the WAN), the Internet has transformed them. Where they were once an esoteric server found in only the largest corporations, they are now to a critical component of all but the smallest organizations with an Internet connection (and these days some can even be found in private homes).Quite simply because the Internet is a dangerous place. Like with any other dangerous place, it's usually desirable to keep bad things (e.g., hackers, worms, and viruses) out, and good things (e.g., company secrets, and users) in. As a key part of a network firewall system, that's what proxy servers do.


Overview

Schematically, a proxy server sits between a client program (typically a Web browser) and some external server (typically another server on the Web). The proxy server can monitor and intercept any and all requests being sent to the external server or that comes in from the Internet connection. This positioning gives the proxy server three key capabilities: filtering requests, improving performance, and sharing connections.

Filtering requests is the security function and the original reason for having a proxy server. Proxy servers can inspect all traffic (in and out) over an Internet connection and determine if there is anything that should be denied transmission, reception, or access. Since this filtering cuts both ways, a proxy server can be used to keep users out of particular Web sites (by monitoring for specific URLs) or restrict unauthorized access to the internal network by authenticating users. Before a connection is made, the server can ask the user to log in. To a Web user this makes every site look like it requires a log in. Because proxy servers are handling all communications, they can log everything the user does. For HTTP (Web) proxies this includes logging every URL. For FTP proxies this includes every downloaded file. A proxy can also examine the content of transmissions for "inappropriate" words or scan for viruses, although this may impose serious overhead on performance.

It should be obvious that part and parcel of any proxy server system is the need to create policies for using it to filter Internet traffic. Few decisions can be more politically charged within an enterprise than who is allowed to do what on the Internet, and many privacy-related issues go with such decisions. It is important that the proxy server provide adequate ways not only to incorporate the rules for filtering, but also to help organize and document those rules.

The other aspect of proxy servers, improving performance, is far less controversial. This capability is usually called proxy server caching. In simplest terms, the proxy server analyzes user requests and determines which, if any, should have the content stored temporarily for immediate access. A typical corporate example would be a company's home page located on a remote server. Many employees may visit this page several times a day. Since this page is requested repeatedly, the proxy server would cache it for immediate delivery to the Web browser. Cache management is a big part of many proxy servers, and it is important to consider how easily the cache can be tuned and for whom it provides the most benefit.

Some proxy servers, particularly those targeted at small business, provide a means for sharing a single Internet connection among a number of workstations. While this has practical limits in performance, it can still be a very effective and inexpensive way to provide Internet services, such as e-mail, throughout an office.

Browser Proxies - Ports usual they are on 8080, 3128, 80 - These can be use to browse the internet anonymously if you're paranoid about people tracking you down.

Here is a diagram to help describe what is happening when you use a browser proxy:

Your Computer -> Internet -=> Proxy Server (An Intranet) -=> The Internet You Visit

Socks Proxies - Port 1080 - Some need authentication, some don't. Sometimes people set up proxy servers, but allow outside access to them. These are your friends, they are kind enough to let you connect through them, even though they probably aren't aware. But beware, your IP is always in the log file, and can be passed along. To check see How do I know if my proxy is anonymous?. But remember to switch your browser back, don't surf with Socks proxies. They usually disconnect you if too many bytes are moved through them.

Here is what happens when you use a proxy to connect to two FTP sites and transfer files between the two:


You
|
Commands
|
Socks Proxy Server
/ \
Commands Commands
/ \
FTP <=> Files <=> FXPable FTP


Test your Proxy HERE

also you check it HERE

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