Not many are cognizant of the risks and dangers associated with their presence on the web. As you search for a restaurant, Google accurately pinpoints the restaurants near you, you browse a book at Amazon and get bombarded with ads related to books on your social media platform because your data is constantly being stored, collected, analyzed, and shared with third-parties. Data security breaches and identity thefts due to unsafe handling of your confidential data is an added cherry on the violation of your privacy.
Many individuals turn to Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect themselves from the prying eyes of corporations. However, recent revelations have cast doubts over the veracity of their security protection claims as shadowy corporations go to great lengths to hide that they own a multitude of VPN services such as j2 Global owns IPVanish, StrongVPN, Encrypt.me, SaferVPN, and OverPlay VPN, but their websites don’t disclose these important pieces of information. Such secrecy surely makes us question if these VPNs really provide us the privacy and data protection we seek?
When all avenues seem deleterious to your data privacy, a proxy server comes into play.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server works as a secured intermediary between you and the internet so as to provide a protective barrier as you browse websites. There are different types of proxy servers available for personal and company use, offering a range of functionality, privacy, and security.
As you surf the web with a proxy server, the proxy server sends all your web requests on your behalf, gets the response from the web server, and conveys the web data to you and the webpage you are browsing loads. The proxy protects your data upon sending your web request by modifying and encrypting your data i.e. IP address.
This protection and anonymity present a number of advantages to individuals and corporations employing proxy servers:
- Guards Your Privacy
The biggest advantage of proxy servers is anonymity and privacy from prying corporations as you can now browse the web more privately without needing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Proxy servers alter or modify your IP address and any other information that can identify you as you send a web request. So website servers wouldn’t be able to identify the original sender of the request, which is you, and subsequently, your online behavior isn’t broadcasted to organizations.
- Controlling Internet Usage
Whether you are a concerned parent wanting to keep an eye on your child’s online activities or an employer who doesn’t want his employees to spend their working hours playing online games, a proxy server lets you control the internet connectivity at your premises.
Companies configure proxy servers to restrict access to certain websites and redirect them with a notice that asks them not to attempt such activities on the organization’s network. They can even permit access to everything, but instead, monitor all web requests and the time you spent on these sites.
- Secure Environment
Security goes hand in hand with proxies as you set them up to encrypt all your web requests and your online transactions, so corporations cannot access your confidential data. Also, known malware-infected websites are prevented access on your proxy server.
Your company can benefit from the collaboration of proxy servers and VPN, so your remotely working teams can only access the internet and perform work-related activities via the company proxy. A company’s VPN provides direct access to remote teams to their network in a secure manner to protect all of the organization’s data. Moreover, the use of a VPN can help companies track the availability of resources such as internal portals, data, or email, to their remote employees.
- Faster Internet Speeds and Better Bandwidth
A quality proxy server can work wonders for your network bandwidth and speeds. Proxy servers caches popular websites and the ones you frequently visit. So if you want to access www.xyz.com, a proxy server will determine if it has saved the recent copy of that web address and send you one immediately.
Your network performance improves when dozens or even hundreds of users on the proxy server send the same web request simultaneously. Instead of hundreds, a proxy will only send one request to www.xyz.com. So if you are a serious gamer, then even a teeny-tiny boost in speed with a proxy can mean a great deal as you battle with your gaming competitors.
- Unblock Forbidden Sites
Sometimes when you try to access a particular service from your location, you are thwarted from accessing the site as it says that the content is inaccessible to users in your country/location. That’s because websites can easily pinpoint your location via your IP address, even when you keep location tracking off. So a proxy server provides uninhibited access to every website from around the world, regardless of the service or government’s restrictions.
So if you want to unlock a streaming service that only operates in the UK, but as a U.S. resident, you cannot access it, then log into your proxy server for the UK, it will fool web servers into believing that you are a resident of the UK, and grant you access to that streaming service.
Moreover, many governments place tyrannical restrictions over internet accessibility as they block information websites to further their own agenda. Proxy servers are a lifesaver for those citizens as they grant access to a wealth of information unavailable to the rest of the country.
Surf Safely with Proxy
Proxy servers are a good privacy and security tool when all else fails, but don’t forget to protect yourselves from the new set of risks a proxy server brings. For instance, don’t rely on free proxy servers and even those that come ad-supported as they are filled with security holes and performance lags. Make sure that the server is fully encrypted, there is no use of a proxy server if it lacks encryption. Also, delve into the vendor’s data retention, privacy, and law enforcement policies before acquiring a proxy server from them; not all of them are scrupulous and maybe selling your information to third-party companies.
If you take care of these tidbits, you are good to go with a proxy server.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.