What are Proxies? Types, Benefits, Strengths and Weaknesses

What are Proxies? – The internet is one of the most important things nowadays, with the internet we can do many things. Starting from looking for information, contacting someone, looking for various entertainment, many people cannot even be separated from the internet because their job requires them to stay online all the time. But the existence of the internet is also often misused by certain people.

Not once or twice, we hear about various cases of crimes committed by other people on the internet. One of the most frequent cases is the case of data theft. Usually, data theft is carried out by certain streams of hackers, then this data is used for bad things such as cases of fraud or extortion.

To anticipate this kind of crime, of course we need protection. Considering that these crimes occur in cyberspace, the protection we need is clearly different from the real world.

In fact, there are many ways we can protect ourselves from crime in cyberspace, one of which is by using a proxy. The question is, what is a proxy? For people working in the IT world, proxies are not something foreign to their ears.

But for ordinary people, the term proxy is something new and difficult to understand, even if the browser they use every day uses any type of proxy, they still won’t realize it.

If you are one of those people who are fairly new to proxies, and are curious to learn about them, you are now reading the right article. Here, we will talk about proxies. Not only answering the question, “What is a proxy?”, but complete with various types of proxies, as well as the function of using a proxy for you. Here’s the full explanation!

What are proxies?

Before discussing the benefits and types of proxies, we will start by discussing the most basic thing first, namely the definition of proxies. A proxy is a server that acts as a link between the internet and a computer.

In simple terms, when we go online and do a search, our command will reach the proxy, then the proxy will forward our request to another server on the internet. After getting an answer from a server on the internet, the proxy will forward the answer from the search results and display the answer on our computer screen.

Proxy types

Although their main purpose is to connect computers and internet servers, proxies are not just one type. For those of you who don’t know, proxies are divided into four types. Of course, each type of proxy is not the same, and has a different way of working and level of security. So what’s the difference between one proxy and another? Here’s an explanation!

1. Transparent proxies

The first type of proxy is a transparent proxy. Transparent proxy itself is a proxy that forwards our requests to servers on the internet without telling information about the device we are using. In a way, transparent proxies are the most common type of proxy, and are usually used on computers in offices.

The minus of this proxy is, even though they don’t leak our IP to other servers, they are less secure because they don’t encrypt the data we have. If there is an intrusion, our data and various personal information will be easily read by unwanted people.

2. Anonymous proxies

The second type of proxy is an anonymous proxy. A level stronger than a transparent proxy, an anonymous proxy is a type of proxy that will tell the user’s internet protocol or proxy IP to a server on the internet without telling the user’s actual private IP. So when you surf in cyberspace, servers on the internet will not know your private IP. Instead, servers on the internet will only identify you as a proxy.

3. Distorting proxies

Distorting proxies at first glance are similar to anonymous proxies, what makes them different is that this one proxy will provide fake IP addresses to servers on the internet. If you use a distorting proxy, you can change some information about the device you are using, including providing a fake location or a location that is different from your actual location.

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The advantage of this proxy is that you can freely access blocked content in an area without any problems. Of course, you shouldn’t use this opportunity to do negative things that can harm anyone, including yourself.

4. High anonymity proxies

Among all proxies, high anonymity proxy is the most secure type of proxy and is recommended for use by everyone who works with the internet. By using this type of high anonymity proxy, the server will not only be unable to get your private IP, but also your proxy IP.

Instead, the server will only find a random IP that acts as a client. This type of proxy is well encrypted, and more difficult for others to track, including even malicious hackers.

Benefits of using proxies

At the beginning it was explained that a proxy is a link between us and a server on the internet. But being a link is not the only thing a proxy server can do. For those of you who don’t know, using a proxy also gives us some quite beneficial benefits, what kind of benefits?

1. Maintain user security in cyberspace

Apart from acting as a liaison, a proxy also functions as a protector between us and the internet network. So after our gadget goes online and gets internet protocol or IP, the server or ISP can easily get information about the device we are using.

Starting from the type of device, some personal information, even worse, the server can track our current location. You certainly don’t want your location to be tracked by strangers, do you? To avoid this terrible thing, one way is to use a proxy.

Proxies will secure our private computer network by hiding private IP addresses, so that the public network cannot get information from the device we are using at that time.

2. Access blocked websites

We can access not all websites in this world. Some are hidden by users, some are unreachable due to geographical location, or it could be because they are blocked by the local government. For example, you are in a country, and you want to access social media.

Unfortunately the country blocks the social media that we use, so you can’t access it. By using a proxy, you can stay online on social media and access your accounts. To open access, you can use a distorting proxy.

As previously discussed, with this proxy not only is our IP hidden, but we can also change the actual location, and provide a fake location as if you were not in that country’s territory.

4. Traffic monitoring

By using a proxy, you can monitor internet users in a place and see what they are doing with their computers. Usually this is applied in schools or companies to find out employee activities when using a company or school’s computer.

By using a proxy, a computer user who opens a prohibited website can easily be found out and prosecuted by the party concerned.

5. Block certain sites

Apart from giving access to blocked sites, and monitoring what other people are doing, proxies can also block certain sites by using filtering features. With this feature, you can block websites that you think are dangerous to access. Parents can protect their children by blocking websites deemed inappropriate for children. In addition, the filtering feature of this proxy is also sometimes used by companies to ensure that their employees cannot access certain websites with the company’s internet network.

6. Improve internet performance for the better

Apart from being able to protect private IP, block or provide access to certain websites, the existence of a proxy can actually make our internet performance better than before. This is because the proxy will save bandwidth from the user’s internet connection. With these savings, internet performance will be better which automatically also makes our internet access faster.

Disadvantages and Advantages of using a proxy

Like two different sides of a coin, proxies also have many advantages. But those advantages do not mean the proxy is a perfect server. Proxy servers in fact also have some drawbacks. For those of you who are interested in using a proxy, you must first know the advantages and disadvantages of a proxy before using it!

Pros of using proxies

One of the main advantages of using a proxy is that you will be protected from hacking threats. Some proxies will hide your real IP address so that people will find it difficult to access your computer. Not only are you protected from bad people, you will also be protected from dangerous websites such as sites designed by hackers, or sites that can secretly invite viruses to enter your computer.

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Finally, proxies also store all the information you need through cache. As a result, when you open a website that you have visited before, the website will appear faster on the computer monitor screen. Very interesting isn’t it?

Disadvantages of using proxies

1. Proxies are vulnerable to cyber attacks

Proxies can indeed protect our computers from light hacking, but proxies will not be able to survive if our computers get complex and sophisticated cyber attacks. This is because some proxies don’t have encryption. Plus, the majority of proxies still use SSL certificates to encrypt data. As a result, when SSL encryption is executed, the data we have becomes vulnerable to attack.

2. Easy to trace their whereabouts

Proxies store almost all device information that we use. That information includes your password, location, phone number, and even your home address. Actually, this information will remain safe, provided that the proxy is not infiltrated by the provider.

If that happens, your personal information is obviously under serious threat. These intruders can easily steal all personal information in the cache data, and misuse it to commit various crimes such as fraud.

3. Not always compatible with the network

Proxies can indeed be the best choice for protecting your personal information. The problem is, not all proxies can be used for your computer network. One of the reasons, because the network and proxies have their own configuration.

When the proxy used is not compatible or does not match the network you have, there are only two solutions. First, you can look for other types of proxies that suit your network, or you can configure yourself to suit both.

4. The user must first configure the code

As previously explained, sometimes we have to configure ourselves by writing some code so that the proxy is compatible with the network we have. For those who are used to it, this is definitely not a problem. But for those who are new to it, configuring the code is quite a challenge.

The reason is, they have to write the code as perfect as possible. The more perfect the code you write, the better. This is done to prevent hackers from entering and stealing your personal data. The problem is not everyone has this ability right?

The risks of using proxies

With the various benefits above, using a proxy looks like the right choice. But like all things, using a proxy also comes with risks that must be borne by the user. So what are the risks? Let’s find out together!

1.Proxies secretly record all the activities we do

Proxies do hide our activity and private IP address from outside servers. But secretly, they also record all of our activities, including various personal information that we have typed on the internet. On the positive side, you can access a website more quickly.

On the downside, your personal data is a bit vulnerable. Indeed, the possibility of your data being stolen is very minimal, but still the possibility of criminal acts such as cyber attacks or data theft will always exist.

2. Not all proxies do encryption

Apart from only using SSL certificates for data encryption, certain proxies, such as transparent proxies, don’t even do encryption at all. For those of you who don’t know, encryption is the process of scrambling data and turning it into a series of secret codes that can only be understood by people who do have access to read them.

The absence of encryption makes it very easy for third parties or hackers to read our information. This is certainly very dangerous right? So make sure you choose the best type of proxy to ensure the security of your personal data.

So that’s an explanation about proxies, types of proxies, as well as their benefits for users. With a number of benefits and advantages, using a proxy can indeed be a good choice to protect all of our data from bad people. But that doesn’t mean you can choose a proxy carelessly.

If you have read the explanation about proxies and their types, you will know that there are several types of proxies, and all types work in different ways. So make sure you choose a strong and secure type of proxy, you also have to make sure that the proxy you choose is compatible with your computer network.

For Sinaumed’s who want to learn all about proxies, you can really visit www.sinaumedia.com . Here, you can get various books about proxies and other sciences. As #FriendsWithoutLimits, we always try to provide the best and latest information for you.

Author: Siti Marliah

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