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proxy server
Last modified: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 

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.

Proxy servers have two main purposes:

  • 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. The major online services such as America Online, MSN and Yahoo, for example, employ an array of proxy servers.
  • 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.
  • See the Server Types page in the quick reference section of Webopedia for a comparison of server types.

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    For pages about proxy server . Also check out the following links!

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    Open Networks Today 
    Networking news moves at a fast pace, and Open Networks Today lets you keep up with it. Open Networks Today offers its readers the ability to control how news is presented through customizing content filters, discussions, and news feed links. provides easy-to-understand help for small-network builders. The site contains how-to information for setting up and debugging home-office and small-business networks. Users can also find extensive troubleshooting information, tips on getting applications to work through firewalls, product reviews on network hardware and software, and more. Discussion Forums 
    If network connections, sharing computers, router problems or other networking issues are bogging you down, then the discussion forum is the place to be. Here you'll find help and support for all your network-related problems.

    ServerWatch Proxy Server Page 
    Offers in-depth news and reviews of proxy servers.

    The Truth About Servers 
    What makes a server a server? Is there a difference between an e-mail server and a messaging server? Should a firewall be considered a server in certain circumstances? These questions and more are answered in an extensive tutorial that cuts through the marketing hype and explains the basics of key server types.

    An Idiot's Guide to the Resource Description Framework
    Designed for the novice to understand.

    Caching Proxy Servers
    Describes what a proxy server is and how it works. Includes some advantages and disadvantages as well as notes on implementation.

    Overview of Web Proxy Servers
    Describes what a Web proxy server is, how they are used, and information about communication.

    Sharing Cable Modems
    Good resource for information on sharing a cable modem connection with multiple computers. Contains clear, easy-to-follow instructions for both the PC and Mac, as well as other related resources.

    WinProxy Product Information
    Home page for Ositis Software, developer of the WinProxy firewall proxy server.

    World Wide Web Proxies
    W3C document on the history of proxy servers.

    Yahoo!'s proxy servers page
    Yahoo!'s directory of proxy servers.

    Sponsored listings

    Citrix Access Gateway - The world is your office with seamless connectivity from any location. Find the secure access you need with Citrix.

    related categories



    related terms

    application gateway




    network-attached storage

    proxy cache

    remote access server


    server farm


    staging server


    Web server


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