What Is a Proxy Address? [In Simple Words]

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Oct 16, 2022

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If you’re a regular internet user, you probably stumbled upon something called a proxy. Luckily, it’s nothing you should be afraid of. In this article, we’ll cover some info about proxies and help you answer the question, “what is a proxy address.”

Keep reading to see how proxies work and why you may want to use them.

What Is a Proxy Address?

An internet proxy is a server on another computer that acts as an intermediary for internet access. It processes the requests from your computer and masks your user identity. A proxy address is the IP address that is shown online instead of the user’s real IP. Since only the proxy IP is visible, the user remains hidden and can browse the web anonymously. 

What’s more, these addresses bypass online geolocation and content-filtering restrictions, so users can visit any website they like and download things safely.

A proxy is ideal for individuals who want to remain anonymous online. Many businesses also use it to manage a corporate network, and some people turn to proxies because they can speed up their internet connection.

How It Works?

The proxy server address works similarly to a virtual private network (VPN), only without encryption. Web proxies pass the request made from a user’s computer to the IP address proxy server; then, the server takes over. Once the request is out there, the server receives the response and sends it back to the user.

There’s no software to download when installing and using proxies. Instead, people look for proxy service providers to get their addresses. Additionally, proxies require a manual setup, which may be somewhat complicated for non-tech-savvy internet users.

Benefits and Risks

There are several advantages and disadvantages to using proxy addresses. Let’s check them out below.

Benefits

Here are the top five benefits of using a proxy server address. These include: 

  • Security: Some proxies come with firewalls, so the chances of being a victim of a cyber attack are lower.
  • Privacy: Since a proxy hides your IP address and shows another one, you can browse the web anonymously at any time.
  • Proxy mailbox: A proxy email address lets you configure and connect your primary and proxy email, for easier email management.
  • Access to location-specific content: Geo-restricted websites are annoying, but using a proxy server gives you full access to any restricted content.
  • Bandwidth saving: Since using a proxy server blocks ads, caches pages, and compresses traffic, you can increase the speed of your internet connection by saving bandwidth.

Risks

Unfortunately, there are certain disadvantages to using a web proxy address too. Check them out below.

  • Limited privacy: Proxy servers save cookies with the users’ data, which may be stolen by the server owner or a third party.
  • Lacks encryption: Some proxies don’t support HTTPS connections, which means that users don’t get an encrypted connection to the internet.
  • Possible security hack: Free proxies may also come with malware that can infect your computer or steal information.
  • ID theft: Since there’s no encryption while using a proxy IP address, there’s more danger of hackers stealing sensitive data and committing identity theft.
  • Broken internet: Proxies often require a manual setup, so inexperienced users may end up with a lost connection.

Wrap Up

Proxy servers act as a link between your device and the internet. They use their own IP to mask yours and keep your online identity hidden. Using a proxy server has many benefits, such as giving you access to blocked content or boosting internet privacy.

Proxies are not ideal, however. They don’t include encryption, as VPNs do, and free proxies carry a certain amount of risk. Still, they can help you speed up your connection and can be used together with a firewall to increase your online security.

FAQ.


Is proxy the same as IP address?

A proxy describes a server that acts as an intermediary between you and the internet while you’re connected to it. On the other hand, an IP address is associated with your physical location and online activity. You can choose to use your own IP or opt for a proxy server IP for online anonymity.

What does a proxy number look like?

Proxy numbers usually consist of a few numbers separated by a period. Once you correctly configure your proxy settings, you can find the proxy number under the HTTP proxy box.

How do I set up a proxy IP address?

Now that you know what is a proxy address, to correctly set up a proxy IP, go to your browser settings. Find the Proxy section in the Settings, then use the selected properties to set up a connection. Enter the port number and proxy address in the designated fields and save the changes.

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Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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