When many people think of proxies, they often imagine public school Internet filters or the tools people use to circumvent them. There are, however, numerous other uses for proxies, especially for dedicated servers.
A proxy is basically a network layer that sits between the computer and the Internet. All traffic passes through the proxy, rather than going directly to and from the computer. Both local and remote proxies are common, depending on the usage. Here are five possible uses for proxies.
1. Firewall – With firewall software running on its own device, a proxy server will filter all traffic before your server.
2. SPAM filter – Some SPAM software solutions actually intercept SPAM before the server can process it, taking a large load off of the mail server.
3. DNS server – Everything must talk to the DNS server first anyway. Some remote proxies act as DNS services for your server.
4. IP Privacy – If, for whatever reason, you need to mask the true origin of your server, you can use a remote proxy to make it appear as though your IP originates somewhere else.
A proxy server, particularly a remote one, requires an extra connection before a user reaches your dedicated server. This has the potential to make connections slower, so you need to take care in selecting a remote proxy that is geographically close to the server and/or exceptionally fast. Local proxies only take processing power, and for filters like SPAM proxies, it may actually be faster than the alternative solutions.