Short Note on proxy server

Proxy Server - What is Proxy Server?
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In Computer network, 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.

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.

A proxy server has many potential purposes, including:

To keep rnachines behind it anonymous (mainly for security).

To speed up access to resources (using caching). Web proxies are commonly used to cache web pages from a web server.

To apply access policy to network services or content, e.g. to block undesired sites.

To log/audit usage, i.e. to provide company employee Internet usage reporting.

To bypass security/parental controls.

To scan transmitted content for malware before delivery.

To scan outbound content, e.g., for data leak protection.

To circumvent regional restrictions.

# 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 America Online, MSN and Yahoo, for example, employ an array of proxy servers.

# 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.

Source: ecomputernotes.com


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