Is a proxy service hard to use? Is it hard to setup? It will not work with online games that is for sure!
Although not commonly used it is also known as an "alternative" service...
Here is the concept:
The service accepts a request to forward a network connection. Depending on the 'rule' that the
service has in it's data base it will either allow or deny the connection.
Note: Do not confuse this with the service NAT (Network Address
Translation) that changes the receiving and sending address when using a
cable or DSL router or modem.
The service is software, it has to be to write the rules.
It also works in conjunction with a firewall ( I will tell you that a software firewall is hackable, if the firewall gets hacked then this software will be attacked also - use a hardware solution for your firewall!) because you
can set your firewall to reject WAN requests (see this article).
article: Proxy Service goes deeper in to how the service works.
What would a rule look like? That depends on the program.
Here is a diagram of what the communication would be like by steps:
- You need to check your email so you click on the Send/Receive button on your email program.
- Email program sends a request query to the network card in your computer:
- The network card sends the request to the your Proxy Server, then
your Server accepts the request and decides if the request goes, is searches it's data base and comes up with the allow/deny rule for your email, if the email request has the email host and port and is set for allow the request is sent on to your
cable / DSL modem then to the host. At the same time the
your server knows that you sent out a request so holds that port open for the return communication, you have new email or no new email and forwards it to your computer and then to your email program.
- Suppose you were surfing the internet when you connect to a web site that is propagating a virus. The virus is downloaded to your computer and your trusty AV program doesn't catch it because it is a new virus that the program doesn't know about.
- So while you are working away or playing a game your word processor or spread sheet program is quietly working in the back ground gathering all the data it can from your files. Then it sends it to your router to the originating computer of the virus.
Scary thought isn't it?
But with this service / server the virus would attempt to send the data to the router but would fail.
Troubleshoot, repair, maintain, upgrade & secure...
Because a virus is not aware (yet) of Gateways and Proxy Servers. By having a separate computer between your computer or network with two
dissimilar NIC's, one to the router and one to you internal network with the Proxy Server or service any unauthorized communication will not go out through your router.
But you say you have both services and have been hacked! How did that happen?
Easy: You invited the hacker in to your network/computer!
How did you do that?
When you were surfing the net you went to a web site that was a trojan or
hacked web site, you asked for the web site to give you some information, it
gave it to you and either a virus or a connection directly to a hacker who in
turn used your request to get in to your network/computer.
The services did their job but you failed to do you due diligence in where you
were surfing to, this is not a common occurrence but it does happen and there
are people out there looking for the unwary.
Believe me it works, I have been using a one since 1992. (It annoyed the heck out of my kids too!)
Actually it is two words in the IT world: Proxy service or Server .