A proxy service is a gateway system that provides the communication between a local network (or a PC connected to the Internet) on the Internet and the world. They can be used for two purposes:
A proxy service (server) processes information requests it receives from you on your behalf and, delivers the result to you back. However, at the same time, a copy of this information (cache) is kept on
this proxy server and, for the next access, the information requested by the user, comes from the proxy service instead directly from the relevant site; hence, communication will be faster.
A proxy service is not necessarily required to access the Internet, however; using the proxy service at a service point closest to you, will speed up your Internet access considerably. Where firewall security systems are used, users`
outputs may be through a single device. In this case, the proxy server operates as an intermediary only. There are many advantages to using a proxy service. Any information you want get from any site (web page, ftp document, etc.), will be taken
from the site where this information is available and transmitted to you, since it has not yet been stored in the proxy service you are using. However, later on, when another user (or you) request the same document / information, it will be directly
transmitted to you from there, since the relevant document / information is stored in the proxy service (cache) and thus, your access will be much faster.
Proxy services are very useful tools to reduce the density of international Internet connections, speed up access and use the network more effectively. The most popular proxy services are defined for Web (http), FTP, Gopher and Wais Internet tools.