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Internet proxy server

An article says:"Some schools and other organizations block Internet access to MySpace and similar social networking sites. A MySpace proxy is any public Internet proxy server promoted by its owners as providing access to MySpace pages, bypassing an organization's network filters. Be wary of using such a service - you could be compromising both your privacy and your ethics."
What's a proxy server?
Thanks.
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ksfok
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ksfok
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6 Solutions
 
banks1850Commented:
A proxy server (in Layman's terms) is just a server that takes your requests for a website, and forwards it on your behalf.  There are many ways to do this, but most of them basically just take your request, mark down your request, remake the request, then forward to you the results it gets (it can do many other things as well but that is the gist of it).
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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
Banks1850 seems to have summed it up quite well. Many networks will also use a proxy server to monitor, log, restrict and cache page requests from the internet. The proxy server in this context acts as a sort of go-between, taking your request, getting the data and then passing the data back to you.

In the situation described in your MySpace example, you might decide that you do not want people to use MySpace.com, so you can add it to the black-list on your own proxy server. This mean that when your users attempt to go to MySpace your proxy server refuses the request.

In order to get around this some web proxies on the internet have been set up to forward your request. So instead of going to MySpace.com (which you have blacklisted), users could go to Webproxy.com and then bounce on to MySpace.com form there.
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ksfokAuthor Commented:
So is proxy server something inside or outside of the user's organization?
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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
It can be either or both. Many organisations use their own internal proxy server so that they can cache pages to give uses a faster respose, log user and site information, block sites etc.

You can also have external web proxies which to can go to and use these to 'bounce' you to other sites for so called anonynymous surfing etc.
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ksfokAuthor Commented:
Can a MySpace proxy be detected and avoided?
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banks1850Commented:
In your situation, the proxy server described is one that basically circumvents the "rules" of a company by forwarding MySpace website requests through another server, thereby making the firewall think you are requesting a valid page.  This is probably against school or company policy and is basically saying, "Yes, I know you don't allow us to go there; but I am going to go there anyway, just try to stop me!"
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banks1850Commented:
as to blocking it?  That would be tough.  I was just talking with our Checkpoint firewall expert and he couldn't see a good way to do it.  Maybe there is software out there that can do it by examining the packets going in and out, but that would be very costly from a traffic standpoint (it would probably slow down Internet traffic to a degree).
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ksfokAuthor Commented:
So no MySpace proxy should be allowed internally and is hard to stop externally?
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banks1850Commented:
right.  If you see someone on myspace though, you can be 100% sure they are circumventing policy.  
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