Users connect to a proxy server by entering its IP address and port on a web browser's proxy settings page. The process to set up a proxy varies between browsers; however, the settings are commonly found on a connection or network tab within a browser's settings window. Users should seek proxy setup instructions for their specific browsers.
A proxy is a server that establishes an indirect connection to other computers and servers. The process works by taking a user's request, retrieving the desired data and returning the results. One reason for using a proxy is to hide a user's identity. A proxy may return data stored in cache, allowing content to be served without ever connecting to the target server. Additionally, some proxies may even change a user's request for one or more reasons.
Proxy servers involve four different types: transparent, distorting, anonymous and high anonymity. A transparent proxy reveals the original IP addresses of its users along with the fact it is a proxy. This proxy type does not hide the identity of users and is typically used for caching websites. A distorting proxy operates in a similar manner but instead generates false IP addresses for users. An anonymous proxy also identifies itself as a proxy but completely hides the IP addresses of its users. A high anonymity proxy hides users' IP addresses.