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What Are Proxy Server Ports?

A public proxy server transfers information through an anonymous IP address.
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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Proxy server ports facilitate network communication between two or more computer devices. A port is used to send and receive data from one device to another. The transmissions are typically sent from the ports over an established network, such as the Internet. A similar communication standard or protocol is used to ensure that the devices understand each other.

When one computer wishes to retrieve information from another, it uses proxy server ports to connect to other devices such as modems that send the request for information. Typically there is a software interface, such as a web browser, that has an embedded communication protocol. For example, the protocol used by proxy server ports to retrieve information via Internet web browsing software is hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). A common protocol ensures that all of the connected devices are speaking the same language.

Another example of a commonly used protocol is TCP/IP or transmission control protocol/Internet protocol. Proxy server ports employ TCP/IP when sending and receiving data. The protocol used by the proxy server ensures that transmitted data is sent and received properly.

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Essentially, a proxy port is a means of entry into a computer device and its stored information. While proxy server ports can be secured through the use of secure language protocols such as HTTPS, many of them are susceptible to intrusion. For instance, the transmission of harmful computer viruses would not be possible without the widespread use of TCP/IP ports. There are some TCP ports that are dedicated to virus and intrusion detection. Computer network administrators will often use these types of ports to set up firewall protection.

Public proxy web servers help conceal the Internet identity of individual computer devices. Usually when a device connects to the Internet through a service provider, it transmits an Internet protocol (IP) address. The IP address identifies the specific device that is requesting information and can possibly make it vulnerable to unwanted exposure. A public proxy server facilitates the transfer of information through an anonymous address.

Web proxy ports such as these actually receive the information request from the individual computer device through the Internet service provider. The proxy port sends the information request to a web server, which sends it back to the port. The public proxy server port then forwards it back to the individual computer through the network service provider. The web server does not have immediate access to the IP address of the device that is requesting information, but instead thinks that the proxy web server is the source of the request.

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