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On top of the challenges of running a business, internet security and efficiency are significant priorities. A proxy server is a kind of go-between for internet traffic. It provides substantial benefits for companies by shielding sensitive data, speeding up company internet, and providing greater control over traffic. A proxy for eCommerce is a simple way to help your business run more smoothly. Click here for more information.

What Is a Proxy Server?

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A proxy server is a gateway between a user and the websites they are accessing. It works by directing user requests through the proxy server to the website, and data flows back to the user when the proxy server forwards it.

Why go through the process of forwarding information through a proxy server in the first place? The answer lies in the benefits of having a hidden IP address, which not only allows anonymous browsing but filters the web, protects data, facilitates shared network connections, and balances web traffic. A proxy server also shields your IP address from hackers and those who want to profit from your data.

How Does a Proxy Server Work?

A proxy server shields all requests the user makes as if they are being made by the proxy server. It works the same way your server works when you browse the web, except that all communication is done through a third-party. The user sends a request to access a certain website, and the proxy makes the same request on behalf of the user. When the website’s HTTPs validates the request, the user gains access to the website.

Types of Proxy Servers

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There are several types of proxy servers providing various levels of anonymity and security. A residential proxy is associated with a single IP address. Other types of proxies may also be residential. A transparent proxy, often used by libraries, lets websites know it is a proxy and reveals the user’s IP address.

Anonymous servers will reveal they are proxy servers but keep the user’s IP address hidden. A distorting proxy will provide a fake IP address. A high-anonymity proxy changes the IP address at regular intervals, so it is unclear to third parties where the traffic is going.

Why Should Your Business Use a Proxy Server?

Individuals and companies can benefit from using a proxy server with added security, balancing internet traffic, and internet access management. The following are advantages a proxy server can provide for your company:

Improved Security

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A proxy server enhances the control and tracking of data. You can adjust settings to encrypt all information that passes through your server and avoid interception of highly sensitive data such as credit card information, medical history, or transaction logs. It also gives you the ability to block problematic sites, such as competitors or those containing malware, from accessing your company’s data.

For remote workers, a proxy server coupled with a VPN or Virtual Private Network adds an extra layer of security. Employees working from home or are traveling for business can access the company proxy network directly through their VPNs. The use of a VPN together with a proxy server ensures your employees have access to company information they need while keeping unauthorized parties from intercepting data.

If you have visibility into your network, it is easy to spot suspicious activity right away. Malware and computer viruses work like a highly contagious infection. It can start with one computer and can quickly spread throughout the entire network if left unchecked.

This not only affects your ability to do business but can compromise your customer’s private data, including contact information, emails, and credit card details. With a network all of the company’s computers connect to, it is easy to catch malware and viruses before they spread and contaminate all of the computers.

Balance Internet Traffic

If you have a large number of employees collaborating on a crucial, time-sensitive project, the last thing you need is to have your server crash. A crash can also translate into significant revenue loss as customers abandon your site because of a crash and browse your competitors’ web pages.

A proxy server can store your data through on several locations with cloud technology and creates a single access point with one web address. This simplifies retrieval of data and distributes requests, so there is a balance of traffic.

Faster Speeds and Bandwidth Savings

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If the speed of your company’s internet keeps fluctuating, unbalanced traffic could be the culprit. A proxy server can reduce the number of requests when they cache or save a copy of often-visited websites. Therefore, if there are many requests for the site sent from employees during their workday, the proxy server will send only one request to the site. Shortcuts like this performed by proxy servers can save bandwidth and make your company internet faster.

Control Employee Internet Usage

It is no secret that social media and streaming sites eat into company work time. Even if an employee wants to take a short break to update a post or comment on a social media update, a few minutes can turn into considerably more time and can seriously threaten efficiency.

A proxy server gives employers the ability to block certain websites and prevent employees from accessing them on company time. It also makes it easier to monitor which websites are used during a workday and zero in browsing habits that waste time and money. Also, a proxy server allows blocking of problematic sites that may contain malware that an employee may otherwise access by mistake.

Improved Efficiency and Security

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Every business can improve employee efficiency and increase data security. A proxy server speeds up the internet and increases security, and visibility into internet activity during work time. It can help business managers monitor internet activity within the company and can prevent viruses and malware attacks. Also, by balancing traffic, a proxy can increase bandwidth and make your internetwork faster. These improvements enhance business operations and represent substantial savings to your company’s bottom line.