Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Future Of Proxy Server's

The proxy server as stand-alone product is an endangered species. Most of the products in the current marketplace that fit this description (e.g., Proxy-Pro, Trumpet FireSock, and eServ) are pitched at small network environments running older operating systems, like Windows 95 and 98.


In its place, we'll continue to see software firewalls expand their breadth to include the kind of content filtering, caching, and authentication that was traditionally the role of the proxy server.


The proxy has shape-shifted to prevent extinction, merging into suites that regulate the border between internal and external networks.


Block Diagram

History Of Proxy Server

At its simplest, a proxy server is a layer sitting between a local-area network (LAN) and an external network such as the Internet. Proxy servers came about to meet several needs.


  1. They enabled several machines to share a single Internet connection by accepting and forwarding requests from client applications.

  2. They could regulate, allowing or disallowing certain communications with the outside world, such as through site filtering.

  3. They could conserve bandwidth and increase network efficiency by caching content for repeated local delivery.


Why Use A Proxy Server?

Proxy servers are capable of performing many complex tasks; but for the general computer user, a proxy is used for one thing -masking an IP address. What is an IP address? Basically, an IP address is a unique number (variable) that every computer is assigned, if it uses the internet. IP addresses are used by the internet to route data specifically for your computer. Every computer is assigned a unique IP address. IP addresses basically hold two types of information. Where your computer is at, and who your internet provider is.


Proxy servers allow you to go through them in order to mask your computer info. Once you are connected to a proxy, it filters your IP address and masks it as a different IP address (whatever address the proxy is set to use).


Can you use proxy servers? Of course. The main downfall of most proxys is that they slow down your internet connection. Web pages will not load as fast due to the fact that the data is being filtered each time you request a web page. Proxy servers are actually quite simple to use. All that is required is that you find a proxy, enter the information about the proxy, and activate it. There are proxys all over the world that are free to use. You can even have your IP address show up as a computer from a different country.


How Does A Proxy Server Work?

Proxy servers use network addressing schemes to show one general (organization) IP address to the filter-out network (the internet). The proxy server acts like a funnel, which takes a lot of information from various sources, and filters it all into one specific address. Proxy servers can also be used backwards, as a way to restrict your computer from reaching certain places on the internet (certain web sites). Base proxys, meaning a lightweight, simple proxy, are often times components of computer firewall software.


Proxys have the ability to cache webpages, which means, store server requests. For example, if a computer is using a proxy to access the internet, the proxy may cache a request for a certain website in order to cut down on access time. By storing a cached copy of the request directly on the proxy, the proxy can operate faster and load web pages more efficiently for the base requesting computer.

Introduction

In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource, available from a different server. The proxy server evaluates the request according to its filtering rules. For example, it may filter traffic by IP address or protocol. If the request is validated by the filter, the proxy provides the resource by connecting to the relevant server and requesting the service on behalf of the client. A proxy server may optionally alter the client's request or the server's response, and sometimes it may serve the request without contacting the specified server. In this case, it 'caches' responses from the remote server, and returns subsequent requests for the same content directly.

Technically, a proxy server computer uses ports to filter connections between your computer and other networks (the internet). When you set your internet to use a proxy, your computer's data is sent to the proxy to be filtered, rather than directly to the internet. In turn, the proxy server receives the data, filters it for you (masking/changing certain variables), and then sends it to the internet using a different port.


There are several different types of proxy servers, designed for different purposes. Some proxy servers are as simple as an application (on a proxy computer) that is made to block common internet services. For example, a specialized http proxy is used to limit web access vs. a SMTP proxy, which is used to limit and filter email.



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