25Apr 2019

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What Exactly Is Transparent Proxy?

A transparent proxy is different from an ordinary proxy. A proxy is a server that is present between the client computer and the website’s server, user is trying to visit. This can be used to authenticate, filter and cache your requests. Clients whose online traffic is redirected through transparent proxy are not aware of it. Let’s know the difference between an ordinary and transparent proxy. Also check out our article on Some Less Known Yet Powerful Web Browsers to know about the best web browsers.

An ordinary proxy forwards requests on your behalf to the internet. Your initial request will got to a proxy server which will convert your private IP to public IP and the request is forwarded to your destination. These proxies are usually accessed via browser extensions or some specific software. On the other hand, transparent proxies do not require client-side configuration. They are invisible to clients and are set up across the whole network. These proxies do not modify your information which means the destination receives request directly from you.

 

Why Use Transparent Proxy?

Large organizations and some ISPs use transparent proxies as setting up proxies for individual devices would consume large resources. Let’s see why these proxies are required:

Bandwidth Usage

A transparent proxy is also used for caching which helps in saving bandwidth. For instance, if a company has 100 systems which require to download same software a single request from a single computer can request the download. This request will be cached and when other computers require it will be sent from the proxy.

Monitoring & Censorship

Companies use transparent proxies to censor the web content that is accessed through their networks. Whitelists and blacklists are created for employees. For instance, social media sites come under blacklist to browse during working hours. It is also used by parents to avoid their kids from accessing disturbing content from web.

User Authentication

Companies providing public WiFi keeps transparent proxy to authenticate users. For instance, if you are trying to connect to WiFi of your favourite coffee shop, you will be redirected to login page. You must agree their terms and conditions in order to get connected to internet. So now you are a verified customer.

 

Is Transparent Proxy necessary?

Transparent proxies solve problems for directing traffic of group of devices of same network to internet. However, routers nowadays have NAT firewall inbuilt which does the same thing. Keep below points in mind when going for a proxy.

  1. A proxy reduces internet speed especially when user authentication is involved. Your device connects with proxy server which sends your requests on your behalf. This process could slow down the speed. This could happen with a VPN as well. But VPNShazam is well known for its fastest VPN speeds. Also there are many ways to speed up your VPN as well.
  2. Online traffic through a proxy is not encrypted revealing your system’s IP. Whereas, VPN ensures that your online activity is encrypted thereby evading you from hackers and snoops.

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