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A proxy service is an intermediary role played by software or a dedicated computer system between an endpoint device and a client which is requesting the service. The proxy service may exist on the same machine or on a separate server. The proxy service enables the client to connect to a different server and provides easy access to services like Web pages, connections or files.
The main purpose of a proxy service is to filter requests to ensure that no dangerous traffic creeps in by applying strict routing rules and to boost the performance of the system. A proxy service works simply – when a proxy service receives a request, for example, to open a Web page, it looks for the already cached pages. If it finds the requested page in the already cached page, it returns it to the user. If the page is not yet cached, proxy service uses its own IP address to fetch the page from the server for the client.
Proxy services are mainly of two types – forward proxy and reverse proxy. Forward proxy is an Internet-facing proxy that is used to retrieve a range of sources. A reverse proxy is particularly used for protection and security of the server. It includes tasks like caching, authentication and decryption.
Other types of proxies include transparent proxies, anonymous proxies, DNS proxies and highly anonymous proxies.