Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Is An Internet Proxy? Why Use One? How Would You Use One?

By: Gabriel Adams

The term internet proxy is one of many online terms that have a techie sound to them. In some cases, such terms sound more complicated than they are. In the case of internet proxies, unfortunately, this is not the case.

An internet proxy is not an easy thing to understand or implement. For the non-tech-savvy individual, a proxy might seem a bit over your head.

For intermediate to advanced internet users, however, a proxy can be a handy thing. Let’s take a look at what an internet proxy is, what it can do for you, and how to go about using one.

What does Proxy mean?

You may already know that proxy (in general) means to substitute one thing for another, or one who speaks on behalf of another. That meaning is not far away from the application of this word when it comes to the internet.

In layman’s terms, a proxy is basically a way of connecting to the internet without being traced in the process. Whether or not this is fully effective is another discussion. Can privacy ever be fully achieved when ones uses the internet? Conventional wisdom suggests not.

Why Use a Proxy?

When a proxy is implemented, a barrier is created between your computer or network and the website you are visiting. The implied benefits of this include increased security and privacy.

The most popular internet browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, for example, contains a proxy setting. Although many software programs may use a proxy in some form or another, there is a difference between this as opposed to your actively using a proxy for the purpose of online anonymity.

Why Be Anonymous?

The reasons to attempt to be anonymous online are many and include:

* Surfing Privacy
* Security from Hackers and Online Attacks
* To remove limitations of a Public Network
* To Prevent Websites from Tracking Your Behavior

Proxies Won’t Protect Criminals!

Another reason some people may want to be anonymous is because they think they could get away with online internet crimes. Committing crimes always has a consequence, regardless of where it takes place. The internet is no exception.

Just as there is no perfect crime in real life, there is no perfect crime online. Before you consider committing any crimes, think again. Think about whether you want to have regrets in life, disgrace your family and friends, pay fines, spend time in jail, or worse.

No matter how anonymous you think you are online, there is always a way for the authorities to get around the barriers and detect your wrongdoing. So simply don’t do it in the first place!

How Can I Use An Internet Proxy?

Making use of an internet proxy is most easily done using a third-party company to provide the proxy for you. Go to your favorite search engine (like Google or Yahoo) and type in “internet proxy.”

There may be free options but the best type is trial based software. They let you try the proxy out and see if you like what it does. Freeware usually has a catch (keep that in mind) so trial ware is better.

Many routers have proxies built into them. Before you invest in a third-party proxy online, call your router manufacturer and ask if a proxy is built into your router and how to enable it.