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Different Types of Proxies

While a proxy might seem straightforward to the typical end user, there are many variations of the simple proxy website. While you might want only you chat with Facebook friends while at work and need to hop online anonymously through a proxy, what’s happening behind the scenes can be quite complex. While many proxies look similar on the user’s end, they can be very different to the developers and programmers.

PHP Proxy – A PHP proxy uses a script written in PHP to take webpages from your regular server and then processes your search request to protect your main server. A PHP proxy can be a form of CGI proxy or simply a bit of code to attach to the URL as you type it in. PHP proxies can also be used by site and program developers to help cloak their original server to increase the effectiveness of web applications.

CGI Proxy – A CGI proxy allows you to search through the proxy site for the URL you’d like to reach. CGI proxies allow you to search anonymously by hiding your IP address behind the proxy site. Thanks to this simplicity and anonymousness, CGI proxies are the most common proxies for the typical internet user searching for a means to unblock a website or search anonymously.

HTTP Proxy – The HTTP proxy works with web browsers (HTTP clients) and servers that support HTTP. The HTTP proxy caches pages, or store them, for faster retrieval and are used occasionally to increase metadata services available on the website.

Gateway Proxy – A proxy that allows requests and information to travel through without modification is called a gateway, or gateway proxy. These can also be called tunneling proxies as they “tunnel” around blocks put into systems through filters. Tunneling proxies are used frequently in workplaces and educational offices where there are frequent blocks on material that employees or students wish to access.

Content Filter – The filter that might be blocking the sites you wish to access is likely a form of a proxy as well. These specialized proxies called content filters require all requests to pass through for review. The content filter proxy then blocks requests that match requests on a “black list” or based on certain security settings. Depending on the complexity of the content filter, network administrators can add to or remove items from the black list.