Day 16: Proxy in simple terms

Proxy. Proximity ?

Proxy image squid

The dictionary definition says it all:

Proxy: a person authorized to act on behalf of another

In our case

A proxy server would be a server that performs requests and receives responses on your behalf.

Since a proxy is an intermediary, it’s bad

Not all intermediaries are bad.

A proxy server won’t charge you more for the same work!

Matter of fact, there are some free and very popular proxy servers like squid.

Types of proxy servers

Transparent Proxy

Transparent proxies identify themselves as proxy servers and pass along your IP address to destination servers.

Hence the word transparent, they’ll show your IP address.

These proxies are usually used by public libraries and schools for content filtering.

Transparent Proxy talking to server: Hey! I’m a proxy server and my client is your ip address

Anonymous Proxy

Unlike transparent proxy, an anonymous proxy identifies themselves as proxy servers but they hide your IP address to destination servers.

Anonymous Proxy talking to server: Hey! I’m a proxy server and my client is anonymous.

Anonymous and transparent proxies are opposites but are both proxies.

Forward Proxy

Forward proxy simply means that we are in a client’s perspective. The forward proxy is in fact a forward facing proxy for the client to send requests to the server.

Client –> Forward Proxy <–> INTERNET

Reverse Proxy

A reverse proxy acts at the Web Servers perspective.

Web Server –> Reverse Proxy <–> CLIENTS

It thus allows:

Load balancing, caching static content, compression on server side, thereby lightening up server load.

Testing out proxy servers

The easiest way to test a proxy server would be through your browser.

You could go to Settings –> Advanced –> Proxy

Or use a simple extension called:

foxyproxy image

FoxyProxy for chrome

FoxyProxy for firefox

I personally use foxy proxy, for seemless usage of different proxies or disabling proxies altogether.


Proxy featured image

Mozilla web developer docs

Freecodecamp proxy server


Written on January 16, 2021