Have you ever wondered just how the actual bolts and nuts of the Internet work? That isn’t something that most people concern themselves with. Since the entire world depends on the internet, all those interactions expose internet users to various dangers that lurk on the internet.
Identity theft and data security breaches are just the tip of the iceberg. Fortunately, proxies can protect you when you browse the web. Let’s delve deeper into what proxies are, how they work, and the reasons why they can help your business.
What Are Proxies?
Proxies are intermediaries between the internet and the user. They have servers of their own that act as intermediary servers, separating end users from the content they browse on the web. The main purpose of proxies is to provide exceptional privacy, security, and functionality, depending on your organization’s policy, need, and use case.
When you’re using proxies, your internet traffic goes through their servers to find its way to the requested address on the web. Once the website approves the request, proxies send back the data to you, allowing you to access the wanted content.
Proxies can also act as both a web filter and firewall. They provide cache data and shared network connections to speed your requests and ensure a safer and secure connection. Similarly, an HTTP proxy plays almost the same role as any other proxy – only it plays two intermediary roles:
- A role of an HTTP Client
- A role of an HTTP Server
Because of that, an HTTP proxy provides much better caching, management, and security functionality than any other type of proxies. This type of proxy routes all user requests from browsers to the internet while providing additional support for the internet data caching.
Due to their nature, HTTP proxies provide certain advantages to the users:
- They help maintain identity anonymity.
- They provide increased security.
- They help facilitate access to blocked content.
- They enforce access policies.
- They support external server requests.
- They help avoid security control.
- They help access prohibited content by bypassing internet filtering.
How Do They Work?
HTTP proxies work by operating between the receiving web client and the sending web server. They process the HTTP protocol, examining its every line to ensure there isn’t any potentially harmful content before they approve it for sending to an internal web user.
Proxies act as a buffering service between potentially dangerous web clients and your web server by enforcing full HTTP RFC compliance to prevent any potential buffer overflow attacks.
One of the biggest reasons your business should consider using an HTTP proxy is that it comes with a module that allows your company to customize your proxy to meet your business needs. You can read more on the Oxylabs website about choosing these proxies for multiple use cases.
Types of Businesses that Use Proxies
Proxies help businesses obfuscate their geolocation by hiding their real IP addresses. They also help improve anonymity, security, and privacy when browsing the web or scraping websites for valuable and competitive data.
Proxies are mostly used by businesses in the industries such as:
- Digital advertising and marketing
- Media streaming
- SEO monitoring
- Travel fare aggregation
- Corporate security
How Proxies Help Improve Business Goals
Proxies help businesses improve their goals by allowing them to collect data to help them become more competitive and maximize productivity while improving cost-efficiency along the way. Proxies also improve the speed and accuracy of the data collecting process.
Because of that, businesses use proxies for the following use cases:
- Market research
- Brand protection
- Ad verification
- Data aggregation
- Pricing intelligence and competitive price monitoring
- SEO monitoring, research, and reporting
- Internet usage control
- Bandwidth savings
- Privacy benefits
- Improved security
- Bypassing geo-blocked content
- Web scraping
- Content curation
- Big data mining
- Multiple account management
- IP rotation
Types of proxies
There is a wide range of different types of proxies, enough to cover pretty much any business use case imaginable, but we’re going to mention the most used ones in the business world:
- Reverse proxies – protect the true identity of the user.
- Web proxy servers – proxies that forward the HTTP requests.
- Anonymous proxies – provide additional anonymity online.
- Transparent proxies – acting as a cache for the websites, these proxies redirect all requests sent by the client IPs.
- Distorting proxies – create false IPs to bypass specific content restrictions.
Proxies are becoming increasingly important in the age of the internet, where data is king. Since businesses heavily rely on data to remain competitive and relevant, they need proxies to help them achieve their business goals, maximize productivity, reduce costs, and get ahead of the competition.
Digital business is a fiercely competitive environment, full of unpredictable situations and various dangers. The only way to keep a business up in such a landscape is by gathering top-quality data, and that’s where proxies excel.