Proxy Servers?

  1. I've posted this question to another forum but no one there seems to have an answer.

    I"ve been reading a bit about proxy servers lately. I've been told that there are two reasons to use a proxy server. The first for security and the second for a faster connection. I'm a bit confused with both of these uses.

    I'll start with the security. If a computer is connected to a proxy server, why is it anymore difficult to track the IP address of the respective computer. Does it take longer for it to track the IP address? On this note is it possible and would there be a point to route a proxy server to another(that might be a stupid question...).

    If a computer has to go through a server to get to another server wouldn't that take longer since it has to access two parties instead of one? If a proxy server is connected to multiple computers at the same time wouldn't that make the server lag and become less efficient than just a regular connection to a website?
  2. jcsd
  3. daniel_i_l

    daniel_i_l 866
    Gold Member

    Let's say that the government is looking for people that connect to a terrorist website. If you connect through a proxy then even if they have access to your all of your html requests, they wont have a clue that you're connecting to the forbidden websites. They'll only see you connecting to the proxy server.
    This is why proxy servers are useful for accessing content that's on your ISP's blacklist. The ISP can blacklist a pornography website but they have no chance of blacklisting every proxy server - especially considering the fact that new ones can be created within seconds since virtually any computer can be turned into a proxy server. This is another reason that proxies can be so hard to track - they're created and destroyed so quickly.

    This greatly depends on the location of the proxy server and the site your accessing. In my experience proxies can be either faster or slower than a direct connection.
  4. harborsparrow

    harborsparrow 403
    Gold Member

    using a proxy server, your computer sends HTTP requests to the proxy. the proxy knows who you are. the proxy then forwards the request to the web site that you want to access. the web site does NOT know who you are, it only knows who the proxy server is. web site answers, proxy server forwards the answer back to you.

    from your perspective, the proxy server works "invisibly" and it feels like your talking directly to the website you want.

    from the website's perspective, it thinks the proxy server is accessing it. doesn't know anything about you (or that you even exist).
  5. harborsparrow

    harborsparrow 403
    Gold Member

    this is a shareware program "tcpmon.jar" (Java) that you can run to monitor how HTTP requests and responses look like. it is a proxy server, and if you can get it working, you can watch it doing what a proxy server does; very telling and informative.

    HTTP is a simple protocol, it's feasible even to read the standard to more fully understand it.
  6. daniel_i_l

    daniel_i_l 866
    Gold Member

    You can also do this with the firefox Tamper plugin. It lets you intercept the http requests that you send.
  7. DavidSnider

    DavidSnider 500
    Gold Member

    The only reason a proxy might be faster is because it is closer to you and the content you are requesting has already been cached.
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