Proxy Server Vs Router

Proxy Server Vs Router

Difference between proxying and routing – Super User

I’m well aware what proxies and routers are used for. But I don’t know how to reliably differentiate them.
Here is a list of factors that I find in them.
Proxy server
Can freely modify application layer data
Usually receives a TCP session from origin
Usually forms a TCP session to target
May read application layer data to define target
Is target of an IP packet when using the IP protocol
Let’s rather not think about a piece of network equipment here. Think about a mesh of application servers that route SOAP requests. Router
Conforms to well-defined routing protocols
Is it called routing when rules of routing are known to all parties and proxying when not? I do believe there is a definitive factor to differentiate the two.
asked Sep 18 ’14 at 10:14
MikuzMikuz4761 gold badge4 silver badges10 bronze badges
A proxy server and a router act at different levels in the protocol stack. A proxy acts at the application layer (e. g. an HTTP proxy). A router acts at the internetwork layer (e. IP protocol).
The primary job of a router is to move packets between networks.
The primary job of a proxy is to perform some useful service such as caching HTTP content, applying application-level filtering and authorization functions and so on.
Routers are usually not concerned with establishing TCP sessions. Even a router performing Network Address Translation (NAT) just keeps track of sessions between internal clients and external servers and amends IP-addresses as needed.
In normal use, routers are not the end-points of TCP sessions.
In normal use, routers do not read the contents of application-layer protocols.
answered Sep 18 ’14 at 10:57
RedGrittyBrickRedGrittyBrick76. 9k16 gold badges127 silver badges194 bronze badges
3
In the OSI model, routing is generally restricted to layer 3, the network layer. Routers will be primarily shuffling IP packets between networks (not really being too concerned with TCP streams unless QoS is in play). Routers cause the IP header to be changed on packets as it traverses between networks, but usually don’t modify the payload of the packets.
Proxies generally work on layer 4 (transport) and above (layer 7, the application layer, being most common). Proxies likely work on a data unit greater than a single packet, and are more likely to do things like add to modify the payload of data (HTTP proxies adding Via: headers a good example).
As with most of anything in networking, the borders between the layers can and sometimes are blurred. Routers can perform many functions of proxies, such as modifying traffic, filtering for security, etc. and proxies can be used to enable two disparate networks to talk to each other. It usually makes the most sense for a router to do as little as possible for performance and cost reasons, since typically needs to reliably handle ALL Internet traffic for an entire network, not just specific application traffic.
LawrenceCLawrenceC69. 4k14 gold badges119 silver badges208 bronze badges
I think I figured the defining factor.
Proxy server forces target to reply to back to itself. Proxy server can then relay the response to the origin, synchronously or asynchronously. Forcing the reply through itself defines the proxy server.
Proxy can also be a cluster. In this case the reply is forced through a single proxy cluster instead of a single proxy server.
answered Sep 18 ’14 at 10:40
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How to Set Up a Linksys Router As a Proxy Server - Small ...

How to Set Up a Linksys Router As a Proxy Server – Small …

When configuring your network within your home or office, it is important to know what tools to use. This involves understanding the terminology employed and how certain technologies work. A Linksys router, for example, can function as a proxy server for your network. This involves setting up the router to act as a gateway for local traffic. This means that, should the network service your local office, the Linksys router can serve as a proxy for all the computers connected. Proxy Servers Proxy servers serve as online services that allow computers an indirect connection to other network services, such as the Internet and other networked computers. Network traffic travels through the proxy server, which then may or may not perform some additional task before routing traffic. For example, the proxy server might save often-viewed web pages or censor web traffic directed to particular computers on the Internet. In any case, the server will be the only way in which certain computers can access Internet traffic. Transparent Proxy Servers The most basic proxy servers are “transparent” proxy servers. While some servers cache web pages for later viewing, or hide user information while the Internet is accessed, a transparent proxy server simply directs traffic between network computers. This means that computers on the network can see each other, share data and access shared resources through local IP addresses or computer names. On the local network, there may be little or no privacy in a transparent proxy system. Accessing the Linksys Administration Routers function as transparent proxy servers. In order to set up a Linksys router to function properly in this capacity, you must first access its administration panel. The administration panel is Web-accessible, meaning that you can access it from a Web browser on a computer attached to the local network. Simply enter “192. 168. 1. 1” in your browser’s navigation bar to navigate to the login page of the router. The default factory settings of Linksys routers leave the user name blank and use “admin” as the password. Configuring the Router as a Proxy Once in the administration window, click the “Setup” tab and ensure that the “Obtain an IP Automatically” is selected from the drop-down menu. Also, click on the “Administration” tab to enter a new user name and password for future access. Finally, click on the “Advanced Routing” tab, followed by the “Show Routing Table” button to display all computers using the router as a transparent proxy. Using these IP addresses, you can connect to any other computer on the network as long as they allow communications in some form, such as through SSH or FTP. References Writer Bio G. S. Jackson specializes in topics related to literature, computers and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and computer science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
What Is A Proxy Server? | PCMag

What Is A Proxy Server? | PCMag

A proxy server is a computer system or router that functions as a relay between client and server. It helps prevent an attacker from invading a private network and is one of several tools used to build a firewall.
The word proxy means “to act on behalf of another, ” and a proxy server acts on behalf of the user. All requests to the Internet go to the proxy server first, which evaluates the request and forwards it to the Internet. Likewise, responses come back to the proxy server and then to the user.
Proxy Servers Provide Anonymity
Like a virtual private network (VPN), a proxy server hides the user’s IP address when accessing the Internet. See VPN and TLS.
Address Translation and Caching
The proxy server is a dual-homed host with two network IP addresses. The address on the outbound side is the one the Internet sees. Proxies are often used in conjunction with network address translation (NAT), which hides the users’ IP addresses on the internal network. Proxy servers may also cache Web pages so that the next request for that page can be retrieved much faster. See NAT and proxy cache.
Other Proxies
Anonymous proxy servers let users surf the Web and keep their IP address private (see anonymous proxy). Although not specifically called proxies, Internet email (SMTP) and the Usenet new system (NNTP) are somewhat similar because messages are relayed from sender to recipient. See firewall.
Application Level and Circuit Level
“Application-level” proxies or “application-level gateways” are dedicated to specific content such as HTTP (Web) and FTP (file transfer). In contrast, a “circuit-level” proxy supports every application (see SOCKS).
Forward and Reverse Proxies
In this definition, the proxy servers are “forward proxies” that hide the details of the clients from the servers. However, proxies can also reside at the website to hide details from the clients (see reverse proxy).
A Proxy Server in a LAN
In this example, the proxy server functions as a firewall in the public side of a company network, which is called the “demilitarized zone” (see DMZ).

Frequently Asked Questions about proxy server vs router

Is a router a proxy server?

Routers function as transparent proxy servers. In order to set up a Linksys router to function properly in this capacity, you must first access its administration panel. The administration panel is Web-accessible, meaning that you can access it from a Web browser on a computer attached to the local network.

What does proxy mean on a router?

A proxy server is a computer system or router that functions as a relay between client and server. It helps prevent an attacker from invading a private network and is one of several tools used to build a firewall. The word proxy means “to act on behalf of another,” and a proxy server acts on behalf of the user.

Is it better to use a proxy server or not?

Improved security: Proxy servers provide security benefits on top of the privacy benefits. You can configure your proxy server to encrypt your web requests to keep prying eyes from reading your transactions. You can also prevent known malware sites from any access through the proxy server.May 7, 2021

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