- A system (software or hardware) that acts on behalf of another to
perform some service. A proxy acts as an interface, hiding the system that
ultimately performs the service.
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, a proxy is typically used to provide for any of the following:
- to bridge separate networks
- for performance
By caching requests - if two or more users are using a cache then there are situations where a single centralised cache will outperform separate caches local to the users.
- to provide centralised logging of requests
- to provide anonymous access
The user that initiated the request hides behind the proxy and only the proxy is visible to the server that ultimately responds to the request.
An HTTP Proxy is a typical example of a proxy.