When you ask most people what is HTTP proxy all about, many will have an understanding of a proxy server and how it is used to make your IP address appear differently from what it actually is. The general public that are not interested in technology so much would probably recognize the term HTTP proxy from news
stories related to The Pirate Bay and similar websites. The nature of the world we live in means that most people associate using a HTTP proxy server
with “being up to no good,” but this isn’t always the case. Here are some positive examples of when and how a proxy server might be used.
Anonymity for Security
There are various reasons why an individual, a company, or an organization would want to protect their IP address. Most of the time it will be because of active concerns around the activity of hackers, while some people will simply want to have the added security of people not being able to identify them online. This is particularly true of individuals who aren’t necessarily overly tech savvy and that want to do everything they can to protect themselves. It is usually the case for companies that they are looking to protect sensitive information so they place their systems behind a proxy so they cannot be easily compromised.
To Speed Up Use
HTTP proxy servers are commonly used in order to cache web pages so that they load quicker when accessed in the future. Caching works by storing the data so that a system only needs to download anything that has changed, rather than sending a signal to the server to download the whole page.
While the difference in loading times on one system is negligible, when there are numerous systems working from one internet connection or network
the difference can be huge. The bandwidth savings from not having to download the same content time and again are significant.
If you’re an office manager and you wonder why employees aren’t hitting their targets day after day, then a HTTP proxy can be used to monitor internet usage and crack down on any overuse of Facebook or their other favorite websites. This should probably only be a last resort if productivity is low; you don’t want to spy on employees just for the sake of it!
On the flip side, if you’re an employee, then you can always use a proxy server to bypass any controls and restrictions placed on your internet usage by your employer! Overall, proxy servers have good uses. The next time you hear about a proxy server think about the positive ways it can benefit your internet work environment for security, speed and enhanced business performance.