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A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary between a workstation user and the Internet so that the enterprise can ensure security, administrative control, and caching service. A proxy server is associated with or part of a gateway server that separates the enterprise network from the outside network and a firewall server that protects the enterprise network from outside intrusion.
A proxy server acts as a middle man between one computer and another. This may be to remain Anonymous, or to just bridge a connection between two networks. They accumulate and save files that are most often requested by thousands of Internet users in a special database, called cache. Therefore,proxy servers are able to increase the speed of your connection to the Internet. The cache of a proxy server may already contain information you need by the time of your request, making it possible for the proxy to deliver it immediately. The overall increase in performance may be very high. Also, proxy servers can help in cases when some owners of the Internet resources impose some restrictions on users from certain countries or geographical regions. In addition to that, among proxy servers there are so called anonymous proxy servers that hide your IP address and preventing from unauthorized access to your computer through the Internet.