Every computer has a unique IP address that automatically registers whenever you browse the Internet. It becomes necessary to hide one’s IP address at times, and there are several ways to go about it. Using a web proxy is one of the most popular options.
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What is a Web Proxy?
A web proxy is essentially an anonymous proxy that is used to hide public IP addresses. It is a proxy server that is designed to forward HTTP requests with one limitation – it only accesses websites.
Web proxies function much like search engines. They have a search query box where the user types in the URL of the desired website and the proxy returns search pages. The website is actually hosted on the proxy instead of the original client computer.
How a Web Proxy Works
Web proxies are easy and fast to use as they are designed for convenience – they are portable and do not need extra software or hardware to operate.
First, it is important to note that there are many web proxy tools that are freely accessible – you can find many leads by simply searching “web proxies” on your search engine. Once you have found your preferred proxy you can proceed to type in the URL of your desired website in the search box. The proxy will then access the website on your website’s behalf. The technical aspects of web proxies, however, are more complex than that.
How to Access and Create Web Proxies
As mentioned earlier, there are thousands of web proxies available online. Most of these proxies are available for free with a simple online search.
You too can create your own web proxy with the right tools and skills. You will need a virtual private server to host your proxy – as explained, a proxy is similar to a server that acts on behalf of a computer. You will also need to know how to set up a web server and install the proxy script needed to run the proxy. There are several source codes that you can use to develop your web proxy.
The Pros and Cons of Web Proxies
Web proxies come in handy when navigating the web. They have two main uses: masking one’s public IP address and accessing blocked sites. To this end, they are indispensable for those seeking to browse anonymously or bypass geographical and other IP-related restrictions.
However, web proxies also have several shortcomings. Their main shortcoming is that they are not as secure as search engines. Since web proxies are hosted on private servers, they can be used to collect users’ sensitive information such as passwords. The other disadvantage beside insecurity is that the typical web proxy reduces loading speeds considerably. This happens because each web page loaded on a proxy has to be cached independently before loading.
A web proxy is ideal if you are seeking to browse the internet anonymously or bypass blocked websites. Web proxies are easily accessible, free, and easy to use. However, it pays to be careful about the data you access or upload when using web proxies.