What is a Proxy?

Anytime a user connects to the internet, whether it be through their computer or mobile phone, that device will use an IP address. Akin to your personal home address, an IP address will serve as a guideline that tells incoming data where to go and provides outgoing data with an address that devices can authenticate. This means that any online website you visit or web application you utilize will be able to see your IP address.

A proxy is a server or computer that acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. Instead of your device sending internet traffic directly toward a website, it would have to first go through the proxy server before it’s sent. When you receive the internet traffic back, it will then have to go through the proxy server again. This makes it so that any website or application will only be able to see the IP address of the proxy server and your own IP address will be hidden.

As all of your web requests will be handled by the proxy server, it can make changes to your requested data. This doesn’t mean that all of your data will then become different though, as you will still be able to view the data that you requested. The only ones affected by this are web servers as they won’t be able to see your actual IP address as they can only view the proxy server’s IP address, which it has millions of.