What is proxy service how does it work?
We will tell the site visitors what a proxy service is, in simple words. To do this, we will not go into details that are not important to 80% of visitors, but we will detail the issue in general. Once you have the right general idea, specific tasks, such as how to set up a proxy service on a laptop, will be solved quickly and easily.
Proxy Server Service – what is it?
Despite the presentation in simple words, we will proceed methodically. Many users use the terms "service" and "server" in the context of the topic as synonyms, which is not quite right.
A proxy server is a piece of hardware and software connected to the Internet that mediates between users and network resources (sites). Users access the server from their device, and the server redirects their requests to the sites of interest.
The same chain is used to send the responses back: the site sends a packet of information to the proxy, and then it is redirected to the user. In this case, the requested site exchanges information with the intermediary server, and does not know all or nothing about the user.
What does proxy service mean
This is an organization that owns one or more proxy servers and rents them out under certain conditions. The service is free or paid, with or without restrictions on time of use, traffic, and so on.
What is a proxy service for
Each of us is connected to the Internet through a provider (mobile, cable operator, etc.). When connected, the user's device is assigned a unique IP address. Requests are then sent from this address to social media sites, news, online stores, and responses are sent to the same address. Responses are the information that allows you to see and read web pages, watch movies, listen to music, send emails, bank online transfers...
There are no intermediaries in this scheme, but this method is not always safe and rational. We will not describe all the situations in which the question of how to include a proxy service in the networking scheme becomes relevant. Le 's present just two arguments:
- It is advantageous to use the cache
Multiple users from the same city can access a site for the same information, read the same page. The site will have to respond to each of them, and this is irrational duplication.
If you connect a proxy service and bring all users online through an intermediary, then after the first request the server will save the important web page in its cache. And in the future, it will transfer it to other users immediately, without resending requests to the Internet resource.
- It is necessary to hide the user's IP address, location
In the direct scheme of interaction sites are able to identify and accumulate information about the user by a unique IP. If the user does not want this, it is necessary to solve the problem of how to introduce a proxy service in the scheme of interaction, so that the requested sites know less or nothing about the true source of requests. After all, now they will exchange with an IP proxy.
It is important to explain that the proxy usually uses many addresses, not just one, when communicating with end resources. That is, the user sends requests and receives responses from a single intermediary IP server. But this server exchanges information with sites through a variety of addresses. Accordingly, the requested resources believe that many users from different IPs are working with them.
Who needs it
Clients of proxy services are conditionally divided into 3 groups:
- Opponents of "big brother"
- Those who need to bypass national and other blockages
- Corporate and private clients who need to download large amounts of information from portals, manage dozens of social media accounts, etc.
What proxy service means to the opponents of "big brother" is clear - it is a tool to anonymize work. This is an intermediary that will hide the true address and location of the user. This category includes not only people who are abstractly concerned about the security and confidentiality of personal data.
Firstly, there are no unnecessary precautions in the matter of security. Secondly, we are not talking about excessive, but reasonable and necessary precautions. For example, a commercial organization collects information about the market on competitors' websites for analysis.
If competitors can track the campaign parameters, they will conduct a counter analysis. As a result, they will learn the areas of interest, find out what purchases and market niches are being explored, and unravel the plans of their opponent in the market. But if a proxy service is connected and configured before the data collection process begins, then competitors will not be able to track the source of the requests and retaliate.
Private and non-private Internet users often ask where the proxy service is located. This is due to the following reasons: The total IP address space in the network is divided into national segments. Addresses from X to Y belong to Argentina, and from Y+1 to Z belong to China, and so on. Consequently, any site after the first received request will know by IP alone which country the user is located in.
Then everything depends on the specifics of the work of this site. For example, resources where you can download or watch, listen to online music recordings, movies and TV series, sports broadcasts, have the right to provide services only in a particular country. And if the client has left or permanently resides in another state? Access will be denied. To solve the problem, it is only necessary to figure out how to use the proxy service and connect using a suitable resident server.
Resident servers are intermediary servers that have "outbound" IP in the desired national segment. The user accesses the proxy from country A or any other, there are no restrictions in this. And then his requests are redirected already from the IP of country B, and the site of interest provides the necessary information without questions and reservations!
We need to bypass national and other blockages in other cases as well. These are well-known bans based on the provisions of laws, decisions of governments or regional administrations. In this case, the blocking is usually carried out at the level of the Internet provider as follows:
- The user sends a request to the resource of interest
- But first of all the request goes through the software and hardware of the provider
- The provider's software checks whether the requested resource is in the prohibited list
- If a match is found, the request is not sent further, and the user is informed: "Prohibited".
To get rid of such a ban, there is nothing better than to install a proxy service, set up work through an intermediary. After this:
- Requests from the user do not go to the address of the prohibited resource, but to the address of the proxy
- There is no proxy server in the banned list, so the provider will pass the request
- The intermediary will forward the request to the real address, and the national blocking will not work!
The third group mentioned above includes "white", "gray" and even "black" users. But in all cases, the volume and nature of the work they do cause a negative reaction from various resources - from search engines to social networks and online stores.
For example, market analysts need to monitor prices to prepare analytics. To do this, you need to open all the web pages of the online store's products and remember the prices. Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, this operation is repeated to compare prices and determine the dynamics.
It should be borne in mind that on large sites the number of products and pages with their descriptions is many millions. Therefore, such a collection of information substantially loads the web server, which the administration is not happy and tries to get rid of such a visitor. To do this, software security tools are being developed, the so-called anti-spam algorithms.
The logic of their work: if from one IP regularly or frequently receives a lot of requests, then this address should be banned, to ignore the packets of information coming from it. Similar situations arise when managing many accounts in social networks, collecting data on the positions of sites in search engine results...
To bypass such bans, there is nothing better than to set up a proxy service, work through an intermediary. In this case, the target resource "will see" not one but many working from different IP users, so the anti-spam algorithm will not suspect anything.
With or without proxy – which is better?
You need to answer this question yourself, taking into account your own interests. If you fall into one of the three categories listed in the previous section, choose and connect a reliable service to your devices and software.
What needs to be done to switch to work through a proxy?
Follow the step-by-step instructions below. We advise you to read the instructions to the end first, and then proceed to the first point.
Choose a service and order services
It is easy to find lists of free servers and reviews of paid services on the Internet. There are many reviews on our site with promo codes for a 10-30% discount.
Each service provider has its own characteristics, but in any case, the customer receives a list of proxy server parameters. Using this information, you should switch your networking to anonymous mode using one of the schemes described in the next section.
Define the work scheme
Depending on the needs and features of the task, you can transfer to work through a proxy:
- All devices in the apartment or office
- A separate device (laptop, desktop, smartphone)
- A separate program (for example, a browser)
In the first case, changes are made to the settings of the router or corporate server with an Internet gateway. We will not analyze this option in detail, we will only present its essence:
How to connect a proxy service, where to find the network connection settings in the router menu - this should be learned from the manual of a particular model.
After reconfiguration, the router directs all requests from user devices to the proxy. Thus, reconfiguration of laptops, computers, smartphones themselves is not required. These devices work in the same way, but when you connect to the Internet via a router, they automatically go online anonymously.
A separate device is transferred to work through an intermediary server by changing the settings in the operating system. Here we will also limit ourselves to the general remark that it is necessary to act in accordance with the OS user manual. The essence of the changes is that after reconfiguring the operating system, any program on this laptop, desktop or smartphone automatically interacts with Internet resources through a proxy.
Not all, but many programs have the ability to reconfigure work with the world wide web to connect via proxy. We emphasize that only a reconfigured application, such as a browser, will work anonymously. At the same time, social networking or e-mail applications running on the same computer will continue to report their IP address to the requested resources.
We will consider the latter option in more detail, but since the number of software products is infinitely large, we will limit ourselves to two examples.
How to change the proxy service settings for the browser
For example, take the popular Mozilla Firefox browser:
- In the main window of the program, click on the "Application Menu" button (three horizontal lines)
- Select the "Settings" menu item
- In the window that opens, select the "Basic" panel
- Find the "Network Settings" section and click the "Configure" button
- Select the option "Manual proxy configuration" from the list
- Enter into the appropriate fields of manual configuration data received from the proxy provider - server address (host) and port for different protocols (HTTP, HTTPS)
If you have any difficulties, contact the proxy service support service.
How to configure Undetectable browser
The process is described in detail in the product documentation docs.undetectable.io . In this article, we will limit ourselves to pointing out two ways of entering proxy settings in the Undetectable browser. The first one is similar to the one described in the section above – the data is entered into the appropriate fields in the profile settings window. However, entering hosts, ports and types, as well as logins and passwords to many servers in many profiles in this way is a time-consuming task. Therefore, it is more convenient to use a Proxy Manager that works through a formatted list of server data. The Proxy Manager will generate an example template file at the click of a button. After that it will be convenient to enter the necessary parameters in a text editor. It's even easier to transfer data from a file to Undetectable browser profiles - just press one "Import" button.
How to check proxy service settings
After reconfiguring your browser, for example, it is important to verify that you have switched to anonymous operation. The main check is comparing IP with the "Work through proxy" option enabled and disabled. Use any of the many resources that show the address and other information about the user.
Go to whoer.net, for example, first with the "No proxy" option, and then enable operation through a proxy server. In both cases whoer.net should answer, show a page with user data, but the IP will be different. In the first case, it should output your real address, in the second – the proxy address.
What is not said here
Since at the beginning we promised to give you information in simple words, we have not considered the details that are not important for all users. For example, proxies differ in the degree of anonymity. An intermediary server always redirects requests from its IP address, but it can:
- immediately inform the addressee about the fact of redirection
- report the fact of redirection in response to a special request
- not inform in any way about the fact of work through a proxy
Therefore, in its pure form, anonymous proxy services are the third of these categories. But two other groups also provide a certain degree of anonymization.
We also mention that the network offers paid and free proxy services. Which one is more convenient to use in a particular case can only be determined by the user himself, taking into account their tasks and the timing of their decision. At the same time, it is obvious that free resources have a high workload, and no one guarantees their good technical condition.