dcsimg
Main » TERM » P »

proxy server

A proxy server is a server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfill the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server.

Purpose of a Proxy Server

Proxy servers have two main purposes: to improve performance and to filter requests.

Improve Performance

Proxy servers can dramatically improve performance for groups of users. This is because it saves the results of all requests for a certain amount of time. Consider the case where both user X and user Y access the World Wide Web through a proxy server. First user X requests a certain Web page, which we'll call Page 1. Sometime later, user Y requests the same page. Instead of forwarding the request to the Web server where Page 1 resides, which can be a time-consuming operation, the proxy server simply returns the Page 1 that it already fetched for user X. Since the proxy server is often on the same network as the user, this is a much faster operation. Real proxy servers support hundreds or thousands of users. 

Filter Requests

Proxy servers can also be used to filter requests. For example, a company might use a proxy server to prevent its employees from accessing a specific set of Web sites.

Recommended Reading: See the Server Types page in the quick reference section of Webopedia for a comparison of server types.










LATEST ARTICLES
Texting & Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »

List of Well-Known TCP Port Numbers

Port numbers 0 to 1024 are reserved for privileged services and designated as well-known ports. This list of port numbers  are specified in... Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Computer Architecture Study Guide

Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »