Major concerns over internet privacy and malicious threats have caused an influx in individuals, businesses and organizations turning to online solutions like proxy servers. But what are the key reasons people incorporate this technology into the workplace and home?
Firstly, a proxy server can control employee internet usage. No matter how large the business or organisation, most managers won’t want staff surfing non-work-related websites. A proxy server can be configured to block certain websites and redirect users to a more polite version of ‘not while you’re on the clock, pal’.
Alternatively, some managers choose the monitoring method; a vigilant, somewhat more sneaky approach. They may prefer to grant staff free reign on the network, instead logging and monitoring all web requests to gain insight into who isn’t pulling their weight, and, for how long each day. Families can also implement either of the above methods in the home.
Next, optimize bandwidth usage/network speed. Since proxy servers can cache popular websites (save a local copy to be used later), businesses can benefit from better network performance. So, if you visit popularsite.com, the proxy server will check for a recent copy and send it to you, saving time. If all employees visit the website, the proxy will only send one request to popularsite.com.
Enhanced privacy and security. Users often unwillingly share their IP address and other identifying data when they surf the internet. Many individuals and businesses aren’t a fan of this privacy pitfall and call upon proxy servers to cloak their browsing habits, with some proxies capable of changing IP addresses and other sensitive information.
In the area of security, proxy servers can be configured to encrypt web requests, denying snoopers and fraudsters from eyeing your personal information and transactions. Furthermore, they can halt known malware sites from being accessed through the proxy.
Lastly, to unlock the internet. A proxy server can bypass online censorship – whether company or government-based – meaning users can roam freely and from anywhere. For instance, if you want to watch a geo-blocked stream, a proxy server can make it appear as though you are in a viable region to unlock that content.