What is a Transparent Proxy and How Does It Work?

So what is a Transparent Proxy?

A transparent proxy is a proxy that serves as an intermedial agent between a client’s computer and the internet. It intercepts the outbound information on a network before it reaches the internet. It can also be called a forced proxy, inline proxy, or intercepting proxy.
This proxy is termed “transparent” because it carries out its function of redirecting clients’ requests and responses without any modification in contrast to a non-transparent proxy. Since only a server configuration is required, they remain undetected on a network by leaving clients’ computer proxy settings intact.

How Does a Transparent Proxy Work?

In using a transparent proxy, the traffic is usually redirected into a proxy at the network layer, without altering the computer’s configuration. For example, Emilia, after registering on the Wi-Fi, might request to continue reading an article she started at home on soax.com. However, without her knowledge, the article is delivered not from soax.com server, but rather from a transparent proxy running on the public network. Although her experience is exactly the same, her activity can now be monitored.

What are the Main Transparent Proxy Settings?

  • Interception
  • Reverse proxy
  • Authentication
  • Caching
  • Data Streaming

Examples of Transparent Proxies’ Uses:

  • Modifying or Blocking Network Traffic by Gateway Proxies
  • Preventing Access to Certain Websites by Filtering Proxies
  • Creation of Copies of Data that is Stored on the Server by Proxy Caches

Advantages and Disadvantages of Transparent Proxies

Advantages:

  • A transparent proxy provides higher bandwidth and reduces transmission latency thus, improving the quality of the service.
  • No configuration is needed on the user’s network or computer settings.
  • It allows businesses to selectively deny access to their network services. In addition, before users are permitted to use the internet, confirmation of identity and a term and condition agreement is required.
  • A user’s web browsing quality is improved through the frequent use of cache, and they can easily add websites that they want to visit to a favorite’s list that usually takes a long time to be loaded due to congestion in the network.
  • Websites can be protected against DDoS attacks and can up the efficiency of servers used for streaming videos.
  • It shapes the way users connect to the internet and simply adds functionality to the internet provider without adding inconvenience.
  • If poorly configured, the redirection and caching of web traffic may cause problems with the internet connection, especially when there is a need for authentication to connect to the internet.
  • User traffic is being intercepted and can be tampered with.
  • There is a risk of user data or information breach It keeps all your information: the proxy server stores user details which might raise privacy concerns.
  • Users do not have control over transparent proxies as they are forced on them. This is a disadvantage to users who are not comfortable with caching and would want to avoid it.

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