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proxy server

what is a proxy server and why might someuse them.
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al4629740
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al4629740
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NetAdmin2436Commented:
A proxy server is commonly used for security. It has the ability to filter out sites or only allow certain sites. It also can authenticate users, so non authenticated traffic will be blocked. A better explanation I think would be the definition from wikipedia, take a look!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server
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Keith AlabasterCommented:
A proxy can do many things.

Its use normally breaks down to one or more of the following:

When a browser uses a proxy server, the proxy terminates the connection request and reinitiates it from its own IP address. For example, if you make a call to goole.com from your workstation through a proxy, the proxy would terminate your request and the make a new request to google on your behalf if the rules of the proxy allowed that traffic to pass. The proxy will also pass authentication and encryption information to the end site. When the other site responds it, it is back to the Proxy server. The proxy terminates the connection and passes the data back to the original calling web browser. As part of this activity, the outgoing traffic is assigned the IP addresses of the Proxy server, not the ip address of the original web browser client. (identical to normal NAT).

The purpose of the proxy is to hide the ip address of the original work stations, allow or deny access to traffic that is against the policy being enforced and to authorise the user of the proxy.

Proxies exist for standard web traffic and socks traffic  ie proxies can work for traffic other than browser based http/https/passive ftp etc. ISA server is probably one of the best proxy servers on the market and is EAL4+ accredited, the highest level in the world currently for the Common Criteria.

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haim96Commented:
proxy server have two main functions:

1. you can use it as a buffer for income internet traffic, this will alow you to access some web site fatser then usual.
   
2. you can use it as filter to outgoing request  to block sites that you don't want your clients/childrens/etc get access to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server
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haim96Commented:
opsss... you already got this link :)
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Keith AlabasterCommented:
Thank you :)
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