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What is a Proxy Server?

So what is a proxy server

Basically it is a computer or an application that acts as a middle man from one computer wanting to access information from another computer/server or in this case accessing a website.

Graphic image of a proxy server

Graphic image of a proxy server

When you connect to the proxy server you are requesting some kind of service, such as a file, a connection, web page, which is available from a different server. The proxy server evaluates the request according to its filtering rules, which in the case of accessing the BBC Iplayer reads the IP address and filters it so only UK ip addresses are allowed access.

So in this case the Proxy server in the UK is set to alter your IP address to a UK Ip address, therefore when connecting to the iplayer website it thinks you are based in the UK.
A proxy server has many potential purposes, including:

  • To keep machines anonymous for security reasons.
  • To speed up access to resources (using caching). Web proxies are commonly used to cache web pages from a web server.
  • To block access to undesired sites.
  • To provide company employee Internet usage reporting.
  • To scan content for malware before delivery.
  • To bypass security or parental controls.
  • To scan for data leak protection.

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