Proxy Server - Types

A proxy server is an intermediate server that receives data on behalf of a user from an Internet source, such as a webpage. They serve as extra data security barriers, shielding consumers from dangerous internet activities.

Proxy servers can be categorized based on different protocols as follows:

  • HTTP Proxy Server
  • HTTPS Proxy Server
  • SOCKS Proxy Server
  • SMTP Proxy Server
  • FTP Proxy Server
  • DHCP Proxy Server
  • DNS Proxy Server
  • CGI Proxy Server

HTTP Proxy Server: 

  • HTTP proxies work with the HTTP protocol and are not user-configurable. Instead, they are set up using the browser or through the website's user interface. The HTTP proxy can only handle web content.
  • HTTP proxies allow users to access the internet using a different IP address, but they do not provide additional privacy or security. All user activity is still viewable over the Internet, just as it would be if the user didn't utilize a proxy.
  • Many HTTP proxies are free, but they make money by inserting advertisements into the unsecured connection. When using HTTP proxies, users should be cautious.

HTTPS Proxy Server:

  • The HTTPS proxy is also known as the SSL proxy. It is similar to the HTTP proxy, except it provides secure connections instead.
  • HTTPS proxies use the HTTPS protocol to encrypt all online traffic. SSL certificates encrypt HTTPS websites, providing users with secure and private connections. When a user uses an HTTPS proxy to access an HTTPS website, their connection is double secure.

SOCKS Proxy Server:

  • SOCKS proxies do not provide encryption of their own. They can only use encrypted connections if the website or app they're using employs encryption as well.
  • SSH is supported by the majority of SOCKS proxy servers, allowing for secure connections with programs that also support SSH. It's worth noting that SOCKS proxies don't ensure anonymity even when SSH is enabled.

SMTP Proxy Server:

  • An SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) proxy acts as a middleman between you and the SMTP protocol. The proxy is set up to accept or block incoming and outgoing emails based on parameters including the email's source address, sender's server, and even the email's content.
  • Organizations need to implement additional security measures because SMTP lacks an authentication technique, and users can be vulnerable to email spoofing.

FTP Proxy Server:

  • An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) proxy is a service that acts as a middleman between all FTP traffic. FTP is a file transfer protocol that allows you to send and receive data via the Internet and internal networks.
  • FTP proxies enable or disallow file transfers depending on criteria including source/destination IP addresses and user authentication.

DHCP Proxy Server:

  • The DHCP proxy agent (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a network management tool that acts as a middleman between DHCP devices and DHCP protocol queries.
  • DHCP servers distribute network settings to network devices within the network.

DNS Proxy Server:

DNS (Domain Name System) queries from the user are sent to a DNS server via a DNS proxy. DNS is a mechanism that allows users to type in a domain name (for example, rather than an IP address in their browser. DNS proxies can also be used for the following tasks:
  • Load Distribution Servers that are DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) aware
  • Defend your servers against domain hijacking and DNS spoofing.

CGI Proxy Server:

A CGI (Common Gateway Interface) proxy is a sort of web proxy server that enables users to secretly visit websites using a web form. Because CGI proxies are web-based, users may access the proxy's services even if their devices or networks don't support proxy setups.

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