What is a proxy server? Is it a computer system or an application?

A proxy server is a computer networking term. It can mean both a computer system or server, or it can mean a computer application. Either way, a proxy server is a go-between that helps to hide your IP Address.

How A Proxy Server Works:

It works by allowing your computer’s browser to connect directly to it before your computer connects to the Internet. It then provides your computer with a false IP Address and hides your real IP Address from the Internet. WARNING: If you use a proxy server, always delete your cookies before connecting to the proxy, otherwise there is a risk that your IP Address will not be hidden because of the cookies.

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Why is that important?

Each and every time that your computer connects to the Internet it is issued an IP Address. This can be a static IP Address or a dynamic IP Address. Either way, that IP Address contains a bunch of personal information about your computer. It shares what kind of browser your computer uses. It shares the nation in which you live. It can even share your exact location. It shares what kind of computer security system(s) that your computer uses, and it provides a direct link to your computer.

That is a lot of information. Most of that information is needed by honest web components like websites, a banking website, or an online store. Every website that you visit needs to know what kind of computer you use. It is a Mac? Is it a PC? It needs this type of information so that it knows how to communicate with your computer.

The bad part about all of this information that your computer shares, is that hackers can use it to steal your information, hack your computer, and steal your personal information. In 2012, the time that it took a Trojan (Malware) to find a host on the Internet was only 20 minutes. What this means is that when released to the Internet a Trojan Horse Virus/Malware needed only 20 minutes to find and infect an unsecured computer.

How is a Server Based Proxy Server Different Than An Application Based Proxy Server?

The main difference between a web based server and an application server is where the connection to the server takes place. A web based server is a website that your computer connects to, logs into and then proceeds to the Internet. An application based proxy server installs software onto your computer and your computer uses that software each time it connects to the Internet. If your goal is security, than either method is fine to use. If you only wish to use the proxy services on some occasions but not all occasions, than the web based service is a better choice. If you wish always to use the proxy services, than the application proxy might be a better choice.

An example of both can be found by visiting www.hidemyass.com. This is a quality VPN/proxy that we recommend.

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