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Friday, July 3, 2015

Proxy server and its benefit in a computer network

Proxy server is a middle-ware box that sits between the requesting user’s machine and the destination server to provide control to the access. Here’s how a proxy server technically operates:

  • The Proxy server is configured in the network through which all the traffic would pass through. This is not a transparent middleware box like NAT box, so the client (web browser) accessing the webserver has to configure the proxy server address

  • When a request comes from the web browser to the proxy server, the Proxy server first checks its cache for that requested information. If the information is available at the cache i.e. requested by some other users earlier, it returns the information back to the web browser without going to the web server. This saves a valuable network bandwidth and time

  • If the requested information isn’t available in the cache, it opens up a new request to the destination web server (acting like NAT) and caches the responded information into its cache

  • Then it returns the information back to the original requester

You can implement a proxy server to reap the below benefits:

  • Proxy server improves the performance of the network as the cached information are reused to server multiple users. Thus saving network bandwidth and time

  • Proxy server increases the security in the network as you would have more control on what information it would be allowed for users to access by restricting malicious sites. It also keeps log of all the traffic so that can be used to investigate security issues and vulnerabilities as well

  • You can set your own policy in a convenient manner through a proxy server, like restricting access to illegal sites, unproductive sites etc

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