A proxy is a type of computer service that collects access requests from clients and forwards them to the destination on behalf of the requestors. After receiving replies, the proxy sends back the information to the requestor. It works as an intermediary service between sources and destinations. Although the idea was first presented almost 30 years ago to structure a powerful framework for distributed computing systems, it is now commonly used for monitoring and filtering internet communications. There are also different proxies, such as reverse proxies, which focus on distributing server load, accelerating TLS/SSL, or optimizing content by compressing it to speed up loading times.
Proxies can be used both for internet filtering and bypassing such internet filtering attempts. Schools, governmental agencies, and most private companies use proxy solutions to limit users’ access to specific websites or internet services. If users want to bypass those limitations, they can connect to a different proxy server outside the perimeters they connect to the internet.
If this channel to the proxy cannot be detected and blocked within the perimeter, they would circumvent the limitations and bypass the restrictions.
There are different types of proxy solutions available in the context of circumvention techniques, such as web proxies, HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) proxies, and Socket Secure (SOCKS) proxies.
To benefit from web proxies, it would be enough to know the proxy website’s address’s Unified Resource Locator (URL). Visiting that website will allow the user to use the service. HTTP proxies require the user or a piece of software to modify the browser settings. This type of proxy is very common in corporate environments, and it only works for web content. SOCKS proxies are similar to HTTP proxies, but they also allow other internet applications like e-mail, IM tools, and DNS to be tunneled over them.