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home> FAQ > Product problem > What is a Proxy Server and How Does it Work?

What is a Proxy Server and How Does it Work?

Put simply, a proxy is an intermediary server between two devices on a network. It's like a lofty viaduct connecting you to the wilderness of the internet.

The word "proxy" has been floating around the internet for quite a while. Though it might be hard to believe, you don't need to be that tech-savvy to start using proxies. 

Let's take a look at what's it all about and why folks plump for proxy servers.

What is a proxy?

How proxies work

Let’s learn right off the bat that a proxy is a server that acts as a gateway or intermediary between any device and the rest of the internet. A proxy accepts connection requests, forwards them to other servers, and then returns data for those requests. Sure, that’s pretty basic as there are dozens of proxy types with their distinct configurations. Yet, this definition serves well as a starting point.

Say, your device is a house on a particular street with a certain number (or an IP address). You wouldn’t want a stranger laying their hands on your property, would you? That’s where a proxy server comes in. A mailman, if you wish. A trusty mailman who hides your number.

When using a proxy, the information that you send and receive doesn’t go from your home (your real IP) address, but through the proxy server instead.

A proxy forwards your connection requests to websites without revealing your data but still gathers the information you need. This way your details remain secure and unattainable. How does the other side see it? The website you’re accessing will see the IP address of a proxy, not yours.

What are the most popular types of proxies?

Residential proxies

Residential proxies maintain the highest quality because they look like real mobile or desktop devices. In fact, they ARE real devices. Each residential IP is an actual device that acts like a proxy server. So to any site, traffic coming from residential proxies looks like a request from an ordinary person, just like you and me.

And listen to this piece of mind-blowing news – even if you “abuse” a residential proxy and the server blocks it, you can use another residential proxy from the same server without any issues. Residential proxies are immune to blocks and are the safest and most reliable ones. Period.

What I can do with proxies

Short answer: a looooot! From SEO analysis to brand protection, from dating on Tinder to searching for plane tickets, from getting online votes to verifying ads – proxies can fulfill basically all your needs!

You can use proxies for:

  • Market research

  • Social media

  • Retail

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