The term “proxy” often goes hand in hand with the word “server”, this is because when we talk about proxy, we usually talk about server
There are various reasons that can lead to the choice of using a service like this. A brief historical note about proxies will allow us to have a starting point, slowly leading us to discover something more and giving us the opportunity to understand what may be the most appropriate choice to take based on our needs.
The origin of the service
In the beginning, the proxy service was introduced to allow companies to save on internet traffic generated, all through a simple mechanism for storing pages called “caching”; system in charge of recalling the resources already visited by the user, allowing to save both time and data traffic. Nowadays, speaking of proxies, it is impossible not to take into consideration all those areas related to security, privacy, as well as the wide use on a business scale for a variety of applications: cyber security, brand protection, data gathering (for e-commerce and SEO optimizations ). Let’s find out in this article what a proxy is, what the main features are and why you should start using one.
What is a Proxy Server
The term “proxy” often goes hand in hand with the word “server”, this is because when we talk about proxy, we usually speak of servers: computers intended for the function of intermediation between the user and the web with the task of managing the exchange of information across multiple terminals; also recalling the existence of residential proxies, capable of providing IP used by computers or other commonly used devices. The proxy server makes sure to intercept all requests from users who wish to access any Internet content, and then forward them “personally” to the destination servers. This intermediary mechanism eliminates the direct connection that would normally occur between client and final server, opening the door to multiple functions in the areas of security, performance, traffic and access control and more.
Once you have clarified the functioning of a proxy server, you can understand how the use of this service can facilitate the user in various ways. The application areas of a proxy can be divided as follows:
- Safety: when placed before the client, this will appear as shielded to the outside. The sites will no longer be reached by the IP of the user requesting access to the content, but by the one belonging to the proxy server. The same will also be valid for the geographical position, so the result will lead to a lower vulnerability and consequent decrease in the possibility of violating the systems.
- Cybersecurity: in this context, the use of a proxy turns into important advantages, its action will in fact be similar to a firewall between your system and the internet. Any possible hacker attack directed at the client will be diverted, as the IP will not be exposed. It is therefore a sort of “private” use of the network, whether it is for navigation or for any activity that takes place on the web, including purchases. In any case, it will be inaccessible, thus also excluding the collection of specific data relating to your IP.
- Performance: as already mentioned, the function of the proxy service called “caching”, still usable, allows the user to benefit from greater responsiveness in the use of the contents already visited. In fact, in this scenario, the proxy server is responsible for local “keeping in memory” of the results of requests made by clients to the external network, so that each subsequent request made to them is satisfied by the proxy server, saving data traffic and improving performance in terms of access speed.
- Traffic and access control: at a company level, but not only, it is common to hear about specific web accessibility policies. Well, at the head of these company policies are the proxy servers. In this case, the proxy has the task of interfacing between the employee and external access to the internet, blocking, for reasons generally related to security, entry to certain websites or contents that are potentially dangerous for company systems.
- SEO optimization: in the context of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), proxies play a fundamental role, allowing you to monitor SEO results and allow you to track progress in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) positions. Companies can analyze specific aspects of SEO strategies through large volumes of SERP data to gain insights into search engine algorithms.
- Data collection for e-commerce: a further use of the proxy service is that which facilitates the extraction of data from e-commerce, allowing you to retrieve important information from product pages, such as names, prices, descriptions and much more.
The indispensability of a Proxy
Understanding what are the main characteristics of a proxy and what are consequently the benefits that can be drawn from this service, it is easy to understand how at a company level this can be considered as an element of indispensable importance. The various types of proxies allow you to better meet the different possible needs. The Real-Time Crawlers, for example, facilitate the “data collection”, that is the extraction of data from the main search engines and e-commerce. Residential proxies, on the other hand, exploiting IPs provided directly by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and more, also allow you to imitate an organic internet user, in order to avoid blocks such as suspicious traffic during scraping operations. Whatever the need, a proxy server remains a very current service that aims to improve the quality of our online experience, whether for personal or professional use.