What are Proxy Sites?, Why use a proxy site?In very simple terms, a proxy site is a web page that allows you to browse sites that may otherwise be blocked by a content filter. Below are two great reasons for using one.
Security and Anonymity
Internet as we know it, has not evolved and became what it is today with privacy in mind. Privacy has always been an afterthought for the internet. As people surf on the net, most do not realize what kind of trace they leave behind. For example, did you know that many sites including google can track your actions, sites that you visit and use this information to their advantage in their marketing efforts? Have you ever noticed that after doing a keyword search on google, and clicking on a link to visit a web site, you start seeing that particular web site's advertisments on other web sites you visit? Nowadays, people are just starting to realize the importance of internet privacy, staying anonymous and avoiding being tracked.
The challenge however is that, in order for various functions between you and the web sites you are visiting to work properly, most of the internet communication needs to be non-anonymous, this how everything was originally designed to keep things simple. Your IP address(think of it as your computer's identity) is an important factor that plays a critical role in this communication architecture, but it also reveals the fact that you are using a particular computer with certain identification. This identification called IP, can be traced to your internet service provider(ISP) and from there to your work place, school, home or wherever you are connecting from.
When you use for example, one of the free proxy sites listed here, they will position themselves between you and your final destination, providing you the security and privacy that you need. They do this by using their own IP as an intermediary, routing all communications between your computer and the Internet. The web site you visit will just see or tract proxy server/site's IP address instead of yours.
Access to blocked contentUsually, all you want to do is unblock and use Facebook, MySpace, or access your email at work or school while keeping your privacy safe. Some work places, schools and even countries place filters that will block people from accessing their favorite web sites, why? because they deemed it inappropriate for viewing. Filters generally block web sites by certain keywords that users type in the url. For example when you type facebook.com, facebook.com in your url, filter will detect the keyword "facebook" and will not allow you to go further. There could be other legitimate sites that you may want to access to complete your work related tasks as well. In all these scenarios you can simply use one of the proxy sites to browse to your desired destination. Content filter will basically see the proxy site url, and IP, and allow it through the filter while you enjoy and use the site you would like to access. Some countries like China, Iran and others also place content filters for all users in their country. Again these proxy sites can be used to bypass filters in those instances.
Next Steps for more security, anonymity and accessThere will be instances where a free proxy site may not be sufficient for your browsing purposes. Maybe it is too slow, or the web site you are browsing may not function fully. In those instances, we recommend you use a VPN Service, such as boxpn.com. These services work just like proxy sites but they are not free, however they work better, faster and they are transparent to the end user. They will function in the background allowing you to access all web sites without losing any functionality. These VPN services usually have multiple servers in many countries, so you can access the web as if you are in one of those countries.