How do I run a proxy server?

Every computer on the Internet needs a unique Internet protocol (IP) address. Think of this IP address as your computer's street address. Just as the post office knows to send your mail to your street address, the Internet sends the right data to the right computer via IP address.


A proxy server is basically a computer on the Internet with an IP address that your computer knows. After sending a Web request, your request will first reach the proxy server. The proxy server then makes the Web request on your behalf, collects the response from the Web server, and forwards the Web page data to you so that you can see the page in your browser.


As the proxy server forwards your Web request, it can make changes to the data you send and still provide the information you want to see. The proxy server can change your IP address, so the Web server doesn't know exactly where you are. The software encrypts data so it cannot be read during transmission. Finally, proxy servers can block access to certain web pages based on IP addresses.


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