In computer networks, a proxy (or proxy server) is a server that serves as an intermediary for requests coming from clients looking for resources from other servers. It can be a computer program, application, or a site, that lets a user connect to the port of the other serving computers, when activated. The Internet can be a dangerous place and people's privacy is threatened from all sides. Proxies will keep users safe because when they are connected to one, their IP address, including their personal info, will be kept hidden.
When one connects to a proxy to request a service, say a web page, connection, or a file, the proxy assesses this request to see if it should be given or not. Proxy servers were invented so that distributed systems would have encapsulation and structure. Most proxies today are web proxies, which help handle access to content on the Internet and as previously mentioned, to protect the privacy of users.
There are two types of proxy servers, they are: open proxies and reverse proxies. Open proxies are a forwarding proxy server that can be used by anyone. Anonymous open proxies enable Internet users to surf the web and use Internet services while keeping their IP hidden. It should be noted though, that there are different levels of anonymity, and there are techniques to trick a client into revealing itself even if a proxy is used.
A reverse proxy (also known as surrogate), is a proxy server that appears like a regular server to clients. The requests are transferred to one or more proxies which facilitate the request. Then the proxy server returns the response that, to the client, would seem like it directly came from the origin server. These proxies are put in a neighborhood of one or more web servers. The traffic coming from the Web, with a destination of one of the web servers will pass through the proxy server. In the simplest terms, proxy servers are the middle men between a user and his or her destination. And they provide Internet users with security and peace of mind.