Thursday, 07 October 2021 09:40

What is a proxy server

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A proxy server is an intermediate computer that is an intermediary (“proxy”) between your computer and the Internet. All your calls to the Internet go through it. Proxy processes them and sends the results (files downloaded from the Internet) to you.

A proxy server can do a lot. He is capable of:

  • speed up your work with the Internet;
  • make your web surfing anonymous;
  • allow you to enter chats, even if you are blocked;
  • help to see those sites to which your system administrator has closed access;  and much more.

You may ask: “Why do I need some kind of proxy there? I'm fine as it is". Indeed, since childhood, we know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But the trick is that we do not need the shortest distance, but the best communication speed. And high speed is not necessarily a consequence of the shortest distance.

Imagine the following situation: you live in the city "A" and want to get to the distant city "B" (or they want to come to you from this city). You can use regular transport - bus or rail. But it takes a very long time to travel by such transport to the destination. And if you use the bus to get to another city - "C", where there is an airport, then by plane fly much faster to your destination (city "B"). Moreover, the city "C" may be located even further from "B" than your city "A".

Simply put:

"A" >>>> (by train) >>>> "B"

takes longer than

"A" >>> (by train) >>> "C" >>> (by plane) >>>> "B"

A similar scheme is used here: you connect to the proxy server (from "A" to "C"), and the proxy server, using a dedicated line or fiber optic (airplane), transmits or receives data from the web server (from "C" to "B").

That is, communication without a proxy is implemented according to the following scheme:

Your computer >>>> websites

And when using a proxy server, the scheme looks like this:

Your computer >>>> proxy >>>> websites

Proxy server scheme

 file / page request

 a connection to the server has been established

Of course, in order for the proxy server to be an "airplane", you will need to find an appropriate (closer to you) and powerful enough server (this is revealed empirically).


As already mentioned, a proxy server can do a lot. In particular, it is capable of:

  • speed up your work with the Internet;
  • make your surfing the web more anonymous;
  • allow you to enter chats, even if you are blocked;
  • help to see those sites to which your system administrator has closed access;

Let's consider these and other possibilities in more detail.

How does a proxy server speed up Internet connections?

First, this is due to two factors:

  1. the proxy server is close to you - that is, closer than most other sites with which you work (for example, if we are talking about western sites, it is recommended to use a Russian proxy, and if these are Russian sites, then it is better to use a proxy server, located in your city);
  2. a proxy server has a powerful communication channel (dedicated network or fiber optic) and a large pool (maximum exchange rate with Internet).

In this case, acceleration occurs due to the fact that:

  • between you and the proxy server, the maximum data transfer rate allowed by your equipment is set (due to the fact that the proxy is close to you): if you use a modem, then the exchange rate will be the maximum allowable for your communication line;
  • a proxy server uses an obviously higher communication speed (due to a powerful channel) with websites than you;
  • since when transferring data over the network, the total data exchange rate cannot exceed the minimum exchange rate between intermediate computers, then your communication speed with both Russian servers (say Google) and foreign (for example, microsoft) will be the same! And this speed will be almost equal to the speed of exchange between you and the proxy server! (well ... in theory).

Secondly, the acceleration of communication with the Internet occurs due to information caching. Caching is essentially similar to the browser cache (where temporary files are stored), but it is much more efficient due to the fact that:

  1. the size of the cache, unlike your computer, is not megabytes, and not even tens of megabytes, but gigabytes;
  2. this cache is used not only by you, but also by tens (hundreds and thousands) of other users. Imagine the situation: fresh information appeared on the news server. The first user approached the proxy with a request to download the news. Proxy downloaded the news to itself, transferred it to the user, and saved it in its cache. After that, you contact the proxy with the same news. The proxy server detects these news in its cache, and transmits them to you immediately, without downloading them from the news server (and without wasting extra time on it). Thus, you get a noticeable gain using public proxy servers.