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Proxy Servers?

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#1 Professional


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Posted 22 January 2006 - 07:32 PM

Hello, :thumbsup:
Im sorry if this is not the right forum but could see anything better, either Windows XP or Internet Forums. I choosed this anyway I wanted to know what a Proxy Server is and purpose of having one? From after my newb research I came to the conclusion that it was a advanced firewall but after searching Wikipedia a average person can install on for free!! So just to be sure I want to know what a Proxy Server is and what it does?

Thank You in Advanced
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Posted 22 January 2006 - 09:52 PM

Hi Professional,

I could put it in my words but it probably wouldn't make sense........
According to Webopedia.com here is the definition:


A server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfill the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server.

Proxy servers have two main purposes:
#1 Improve Performance: Proxy servers can dramatically improve performance for groups of users. This is because it saves the results of all requests for a certain amount of time. Consider the case where both user X and user Y access the World Wide Web through a proxy server. First user X requests a certain Web page, which we'll call Page 1. Sometime later, user Y requests the same page. Instead of forwarding the request to the Web server where Page 1 resides, which can be a time-consuming operation, the proxy server simply returns the Page 1 that it already fetched for user X. Since the proxy server is often on the same network as the user, this is a much faster operation. Real proxy servers support hundreds or thousands of users. The major online services such as Compuserve and America Online, for example, employ an array of proxy servers.
#2 Filter Requests: Proxy servers can also be used to filter requests. For example, a company might use a proxy server to prevent its employees from accessing a specific set of Web sites.

Hope this helps

#3 Rimmer


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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:02 PM

A proxy server has nothing to do with firewalls or security at all, it is a computer (or part of a computer) which helps the internet to function, and usually speeds up your browsing. To give an example: in a school computer lab there are 50 computers. The teacher tells everyone to go to a movie site and download part of the soundtrack for an English assignment. Without a proxy server 50 identical requests go out on the schools broadband connection to the movie site. 15 minutes later people are still trying to download the soundtrack.
With a proxy server in the school, the download requests are intercepted, one request is sent to the movie site and downloaded to the proxy server. All the other requests are loaded, at network speed, from the proxy server.
In this example the proxy server has reduced the amount of internet traffic by a factor of 50 and allowed the 50 computers in the lab to download in (close to) the same time as it would take one computer. All large organisations will benefit from a proxy server, all ISPs have them and in some cases even individuals (single PCs) use them - this is how some browser accelerators work, they use (steal?) some of your hard drive space and download everything in your favourites or most recently used list to a mini proxy-server there. When you pull up your favourite web page it comes up really fast, because it hasn't come over the internet at all - it's already on your hard drive.
hth :thumbsup:

EDIT: I forgot about the filtering function which I see TEEDUB2 has explained.

Edited by Rimmer, 22 January 2006 - 10:07 PM.

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#4 usasma


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:01 AM

I always wondered how this worked! Thanks for the info Rimmer!
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#5 Professional

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:55 PM

Thank You very much Rimmer and TEEDUB2! Explained it in words I could understand. I have two computers on network. Well a D-Link Wireless Router. Should I get a Proxy Software? Or is it a waste of time due to the only two computers. But both computers have heavy usage and downloads.
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