What is the difference between an HTTP proxy and an HTTPS proxy?

These are two very different types of proxies with different behaviors and different design goals.

1. The HTTP proxy

The HTTP client sends a request to the HTTP proxy asking the proxy to retrieve a remote resource and forward it to the client. Resources can be accessed using a different protocol than HTTP; That is, if the HTTP proxy supports this feature, the client can pass FTP or other urls. This also includes HTTPS resources. HTTP clients send requests using common HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, HEAD, and so on.

The HTTP proxy accepts requests from clients, analyzes them, and acts accordingly. If a remote resource needs to be retrieved (for example, not from the cache), the HTTP proxy establishes a connection to a remote server and acts as a client for that remote server. The resource is downloaded and passed to the client.

If the HTTPS protocol is used to access remote resources, the HTTP proxy validates the X.509 certificate provided by the remote server.

End-to-end security cannot be achieved using this HTTP connection alone. Security can be ensured by pre-securing resources, but even if both the client and the proxy use HTTPS, the proxy can access raw data that is not protected by HTTPS. In addition, unprotected data may remain in the proxy's cache if the proxy uses caching.

2. The HTTPS proxy

The HTTPS proxy is a repeater that receives a special HTTP request (CONNECT verb) and establishes an opaque tunnel to the target server (not even necessarily an HTTPS server).

The client then sends an SSL/TLS request to the server, and they continue with the SSL handshake, followed by HTTPS (if required).

The whole HTTP, HTTPS, proxy thing can get a little messy. You can connect to an HTTP proxy using HTTPS. In this case, the communication between the client and the proxy is encrypted.

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