Proxy servers as like as web-proxies are used every time there is a need to perform following actions:
1) Get an access to the blocked web-sites or specific web-content (files, html or php code etc.)
2) Increase (or decrease) the speed of web-sites’ surfing
3) Limit access or ban specific websites
Considering the fact that proxy-servers and web proxies can be used by individuals (end-users), and companies (corporate users) it is essential to find out their main characteristics.
1. Proxy for individuals is usually a ready-to-use product. Most common are web-proxies which are web-sites with installed and adjusted scripts that transfer users’ web inquiries through proxy servers to the requested site. Such proxy-sites usually have an input field so that users could enter the required URL in it. After pushing “Enter” button the entered URL is converted into a modified web address (it's commonly some abracadabra) to keep the user’s surfing anonymous and circumvent the prohibitions established by the network administrator.
Web-proxy sites rarely propose to install scripts and add-ons to browsers allowing to make surfing more convenient and save the most frequently visited web pages
2. Companies commonly use proxies to remain anonymous and safe while surfing the Web.
Corporate data protection is carried out in two directions:
- using specific settings allows establishing bans and limitations on sending messages, files, using other communication tools in order to prevent cases of industrial espionage within the company;
- restricting external access allows protecting corporate network from spy malware that can copy information, or cause troubles that depend on the goals of potential intruders
Local networks administrators of (e.g. local Internet service providers) can also use proxies to create local server acting as a hub between the end users and the Web. Large web-cache allows creating a big store for the most frequently visited sites, most downloaded files, etc.