What is a Proxy Server?

Learn the basics of Proxy technology.

Updated over a week ago

The topic of this article will be to provide basic knowledge about proxy servers and their usage.

What is a proxy server?

A proxy server acts as a middleman between users and the internet. It’s a server that is separating end users from the websites they are browsing. Proxy servers provide users different functionality options depending on users' use cases, needs, or company policies. In most cases, it is used for security and privacy.

When the proxy server is used, internet traffic flows through the proxy server before it goes to the address you requested. The request then comes back through that same proxy server and then the proxy server forwards the data received from the website to you. Depending on user preferences proxy servers can be used to cache data, high levels of privacy, like firewall or web filter, really all depends on the user.

How do proxy servers work?

Every device with access to the internet has a unique Internet Protocol Address (in further text IP). The IP is used so the internet knows how and where to send the correct data.

A proxy server is basically a gateway on the internet with its own IP address that the user's device communicates with. When users send a web request, it goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then makes users' web requests on their behalf using a single IP address or pool of addresses that are assigned to that proxy server, collects the response from the webserver, and forwards the web page data so users can see the page in their browser.

The key point is when the proxy server makes requests and provides the data to the end-user. While this is happening depending on proxy server configuration, the proxy server can for instance change users' IP addresses as well as their location, so the web server does not know where exactly the end-user is located. It can encrypt users' data so when data is in transit no one can read it or track the information. Or simply depending on the IP address block certain web pages.

Why IPv6 proxy?

IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) standard intended to eventually replace IPv4, the protocol many Internet services still use today. Every device connected to the Internet needs a numerical IP address in order to communicate with other devices. The original IP address scheme, called IPv4, is running out of addresses. And when something is getting lower in stock it becomes much more expensive.

RapidSeedbox offers IPv4 to IPv6 proxy servers. This means every proxy server has its own dedicated IPv4 address and block of IPv6 addresses assigned to it which are used when making requests. By doing this we offer our customers a large number of addresses for a much lower price. Most of the big and newer websites have IPv6 support so using it will not make any difference.

How to start?

First of all, go to our proxy server pricing page and select the server. Once the invoice is paid it takes around five minutes for the server to be configured and delivered.

Once the server is ready you will be able to find it on your client customer area page. By navigating to it all information regarding your server will be displayed on the "My services-credentials page"

Basically, this is all the information you need to start using your new proxy server. Which are URL/IP address, username, password, and port number (which changes depending on selected mode) for both HTTP(S) and SOCKS5 proxy.

When getting a proxy server, the only thing that needs your attention is mode selection. Depending on the mode you dictate how the proxy server will send requests. Will it rotate IP addresses, use one, or do the mix of the other two modes. This topic is a long one so for a detailed explanation of modes and how they work please read our article on that topic: "Proxy servers: Differences between rotating/fixed/mixed modes". Modes can be changed at any time. To change mode just click on it and confirm the change in the pop-up window.

Now once everything is set, you can access the internet.

How to access the internet using a proxy server?

There are a few ways on accessing the internet via a proxy server, and the easiest one is to use a browser extension. When using browser extensions you are always one click away from changing from your dedicated IP to proxy access. You can always set your global options to use proxy servers on your system but we do not recommend it.

There is a lot of browser extension for proxy servers, and every browser has its own extensions. So depending on your preferred browser select one. In this how-to article, we will use Chrome with SwitchyOmega proxy extension. No reason at all why we selected these two you can use whichever you like.

Once you select one and install it. Open the extension settings and add all the information from your credentials page.

After this turn on your extension and you can browse the internet. Once you are finished just turn it off and that is it.

I don't know what to do next...

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