Is Your Windows PC Using a Proxy Server

Have you ever heard technicians quoting the term ‘unblock proxy’ and wondered why they’re doing it? Do you have a Windows PC and wish to check whether it uses web proxies or not? If yes, then quickly scan the article to know everything about such servers and know how to make your Windows proxy free.

Undoubtedly, every cyber user is concerned about his device, network, account and identity security, but some of the proxy sites manage to install a fake server to capture user’s details. The ever-growing cybercrime data is annoying the users every day, but the unfavorable thing is that you can’t do anything to stop such illegitimate activities. Some of the innocent users may install crapware, spyware or other malicious codes on their Windows system, resulting in compromising the data security and information privacy. Well, it is highly dangerous because a malware author can easily trace all your details and use it later for fraudulent purposes. Tech geeks recommend adopting preventive measures while accessing a lousy download site, as they might install web proxies.

What is Proxy Server?

A proxy server is a system that works as an intermediary or connecting link between a web browser and the Internet service. The main purpose of such servers is to improve web performance by virtually storing a copy or keeping a track record of the frequently accessible web pages. The basic function of these servers is to present the web page (cache) immediately, whenever a user commands a browser to open a particular website. The proxy server’s collection allows users to access a particular web page faster by going to it instead of following the entire web procedure. The proxy server also serves as an amazing security shield as it helps in improving system, browser, and user security by filtering out malicious web content or software. These servers find its usage in networks deployed inside IT wings of large organizations and companies to avoid some major security breaches and Internet threats.

Some Tips to Check the System Proxy for Windows

1. Open Internet Explorer on your Windows device and go to the ‘Internet Options’ page.

2. Quickly flip over to the ‘Connections’ tab and then click on the ‘LAN settings’ button, located at the bottom of the webpage.

3. As soon as, you’ll click on the ‘LAN settings’ button, you’ll get a dialog stating that whether you are using a proxy or not. If the box is check marked, then it simply means you are using a proxy.

4. Click the ‘Advanced’ button to see what proxy you are using or use the netstat – ab command from a command prompt to know the process name, on which proxy is running.

5. Once you identify the process that’s running a proxy, it’s time for some malware or virus scanning.

Conclusion

It is better to adopt some preventive measures to keep malicious codes and threats away from your device. But sometimes malicious software may accidentally enter your device and steal your crucial information to raise unmanageable situations for you. It is true that almost all applications use the system proxy settings to manage inward and outward internet traffic, so making changes in them can help you avoid some bigger risks. You can easily find the proxy server settings in the Internet Options panel in applications like Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Tech geeks recommend installing regular Windows updates to keep your device secured from major malware infections and virtual threats. You will also notice that a few applications can set their in-app proxy settings, but you should monitor them manually to avoid big performance and security flaws.

Function of Server Proxies

Server Proxies act as middlemen between the web and the web user. They are easily installed on the user’s network or computer, such as the business office. Server proxies were originally invented to speed web browsing for caching proxies. However, they can also be used for spying, web anonymity and content filtering.

Server proxies store frequently accessed resources that speed up the load time and saving bandwidth.

Server proxy content filtering, used in countries, businesses and schools, restrict access to certain sites and pages by using blacklisted site database or flagging sites that contain specific keywords.

Salient Features

Server proxies who circumvent override the content filtering proxy instructions for gaining access to blocked sites. Often, web tracking is tracked by search histories and IP addresses of inspecting visitors. Few proxy servers enable users to hide their IP address behind proxies to anonymously browse the web.

As anonymous web proxies permit browsing anonymity, hostile proxies eavesdrop on web browsing of the user. Before hitting the website, most reverse proxy servers send online requests through proxy.

As the traffic passes through, proxies encrypt the information, including password, before passing them into website.

Advantages

Server proxies are firewall mechanized which substitutes a protected host network’s IP address with temporary addresses for data traffic. It makes decisions for authenticating the client or user’s IP address to establish connection to remote computers.

Server proxies act as intermediary or interface to connect two or more computers having different protocols, placed at remote areas over the net. When users try to connect to other users for connections, web pages and files available on database, the proxy server evaluates the connection based on the remote computer’s existing settings.

The moment the proxy server authenticates that the conditions are met, it makes the request on user’s behalf, establishing the connection.

Set Up Your Own Proxy Website

Browsing anonymously is very simple. You go to one of the free proxy websites, enter target address and you get the desired page without exposing your data to that page. While this is free and you hide your IP address, you still present your data to one server or website. You never know what is this server doing with your data. The best solution would be to have your own proxy. This way you would have total control over what data is stored and how this data is used.

To set up a proxy website is pretty simple. There are many free scripts available on web. Simply search for “proxy script” and you will get a lot of choices. One popular script is Glype. This is a free web-based PHP script. This script downloads web pages and forwards them to your browser. The script is in fact a complete website with only one function: to act as a proxy between your computer and the destination web server where your wanted page is hosted. Most such scripts have plenty of parameters to configure, but default values work well in most situations.

To install a web proxy scrip you need hosting as for any other type of website. The installation is usually very simple. You downland the script, unpack it, configure some data like password for administration or cache time and your files are ready to be uploaded to the web server. Once the script is there it is already operational. Of course, this depends on each script, you should always follow the installation instructions. The Glype script needs no special installation–it is a plug and play application. Once you have a proxy page you can use it to browse anonymously without worrying who will examine your data. Such scripts need little maintenance. You only need to periodically check the log files for anything unusual.

To host a web proxy you don’t need a separate domain name. You can install it into a separate folder on your existing website. You can access it by simply entering you domain and the folder where your script is located. Proxy servers usually provide caching functions. This can significantly increase access speeds for frequently visited websites. You can also block certain IP addresses if you would like to prevent access for some users.

Having your own proxy website is a good idea. When you will need total anonymity you will know where to go. Nobody will check your log files and nobody will intercept the data that you will transfer while browsing.

Finding the Best Web Host for Proxies

Web proxies are becoming a hot topic amongst web masters as of late. They appear to be easy money and traffic but there are many considerations to be made before you seriously jump into the proxy hosting market. You should do your research if you are seriously considering joining the ranks of proxy web masters.

First off, proxy hosting starts with a web host. Most webhosting companies will NOT accept proxies. They are extremely resource intensive and can easily bring shared servers to a stand still if they get any decent amount of traffic. For anyone seriously considering hosting a proxy a VPS or dedicated server is a requirement. You need at least 256MB of ram on your server and 512 or above is highly recommended. Another thing to be careful of is control panels, cPanel, the most popular control panel amongst webmasters is very resource intensive and can use all 256mb of ram on a vps before your sites are even running. DirectAdmin and other lighter weight control panels are highly recommended to save resources for your users.

Disk space, proxies take minimal disk space. This should not be a huge concern in choosing a web host. A proxy acts as a relay of data, it plays a middle man of sorts between your users and the websites they wish to visit. This requires all websites use double the normal bandwidth of viewing a website. The first half of the data is your server requesting the website your user wishes to visit. The second half of the data is sending that website’s data back to the user. Popular proxies can eat a lot of bandwidth, make sure you have plenty to spare.

This covers the two main aspects of proxy hosting, ram and bandwidth. A decent processor such as a Core2Duo, Xeon, Opterons are a huge plus but generally this will become an issue after ram and bandwidth.

What should you be looking for in a web host when choosing one? Price isn’t everything. If you want to make money you better be prepared to spend some too. The $5 special on a shared server spells disaster if you plan on being successful. If a host lets you host proxies in a shared environment this might sound great and cheap but you have to wonder what else is running if they are going to allow you to use a lot of resources of the server. Only an irresponsible web host would let one user eat all the server resources, and you may not be the one using all those resources and then you will be very unhappy.

If you are going with a dedicated or vps solution as suggested you probably want good support response times in case something goes wrong. Depending on your skill level with servers, management may also be a good thing to have so you don’t have keep your machine securely patched and running yourself. Uptime guarantees are also a nice thing to have, a server that is not online isn’t making money.