What Is A Proxy Server? Simply Explained


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Proxy server is a term that you have probably encountered in connection with your browser or while surfing. What a proxy server is and what you can do with it is explained in our practical tip. What is a proxy server? When you establish an Internet connection with your computer, for example to call up a website, you send as a client your IP address, which belongs to your PC, comparable to a digital fingerprint. If you are a client and you are viewing a web page, you send a request to the server that holds the contents of the web page, and the server sends the contents back to you. A proxy server is a server that is connected between your PC and the destination server. It acts as an intermediary, so to speak. If you send a request with an activated proxy server, the request first arrives at the proxy server. The proxy server then forwards the request with its own IP address. The content from the target server is sent back to the proxy server and then forwarded to you. What is a proxy server for? A proxy server can serve various purposes: Obviously, with a proxy server you can disguise your identity. It is not your own IP address that is sent, but that of the proxy. Proxy servers can also serve as a cache. Web pages or content that is often needed can be cached on the proxy server. So not every request that arrives at the proxy has to be forwarded to the destination server. If the requested content is in the proxy cache, it is sent back to you directly. If you use a proxy server located abroad, you can make the target server believe that the request does not come from Germany. For example, you can bypass GEMA locks on YouTube or watch Hulu in Germany. To what extent the so-called bypassing of proxy locks is legal, we have clarified for you.