A proxy server is a dedicated computer or a software system running on a computer that acts as an intermediary between an endpoint device, such as a computer, and another server from which a user or client is requesting a service.
Users can access web proxies online or configure web browsers to constantly use a proxy server. Browser settings include automatically detected and manual options for HTTP, SSL, FTP, and SOCKS proxies. Proxy servers may serve many users or just one per server. These options are called shared and dedicated proxies, respectively. There are a number of reasons for proxies and thus a number of types of proxy servers, often in overlapping categories.
Possible reasons to use a proxy server are:
- Monitoring and filtering contents;
- Filtering of encrypted data;
- Bypassing filters and censorship;
- Logging and eavesdropping;
- Accessing services anonymously;
and more again...