What are the benefits of using a proxy?

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I know students and employees use them to get by web filters. But what else? I hear about "privacy and security" but I can never find anything really explaining it.

I did see one link that said it stops pages from putting cookies on your computer. But why is that such a big deal when you can just use ccleaner to get rid of them?

What are the benefits of using one?

Best Answer

I see a lot of answers about avoiding stuff and privacy. This is true today.

But the reason we used proxies in the past was speed. If you have a few hundred people in an office, all of whom sometimes check a news website (e.g. the BBC homepage for our friends across the channel) then that page would be downloaded for every one of them.

That is needlessly wasteful. You could download it once, store it somewhere (on the proxy), and then when the next person requests it, you check if it has changed. If it has not changed, you forward the local copy to that person.

(The HTTP protocol allows things like checking if a file has changed since date/time, without requesting the whole page).

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