What is a proxy server?

Computers work by requesting and collecting information from other servers and networks. When you enter a query or click a link, your computer is sending a request to the server that hosts the site of the chosen query. Once it gets a request, the host site sends the information to your computer. But there are also some other things that happen behind the scenes that the user might not know about.

First off, search engines record activity from your IP address and track it, and changes the results to your next search query based off of your previous searches. While most people might find this feature helpful, some wish to have completely unbiased searches, either to collect more information for their SEO campaign, or to find products not related to previous purchases. While Google might use your information about you and your IP address to provide more helpful results to searches, some sites record your activity for more malicious activities. This is where a proxy, (or anonymous proxy, or highly anonymous proxy) comes in. The proxy works as a middle man for your requests, blocking the way between you and the host server. When you make a search, and click a link, you send the request to the proxy. The proxy then covers up your name/IP address, and passes the anonymized request on to the host server. This way, you can still get the request, but have an anonymous proxy protecting your identity. Businesses use anonymous proxies, and purchase lots of IPs unrelated to that network, so businesses that scrape through massive amounts of internet requests a day can get results unaffected by any added features from Search Engines.

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