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In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by making requests to other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server. A proxy server provides the resource by connecting to the specified server, with some exceptions: A proxy server may alter the client's request or the server's response. A proxy server may service the request without contacting the specified server.
A proxy server that passes all requests and replies unmodified is not called a proxy server. It is a Gateway.
A proxy server can be placed in the user's local computer or at specific key points Between the user and the destination servers or the Internet.
Proxies that focus on WWW traffic are called web proxies. Many web proxies attempt to block offensive web content. Other web proxies reformat web pages for a specific purpose or audience (e.g., cell phones and PDAs or persons with disabilities). Network operators can also deploy proxies to intercept computer viruses and other hostile content served from remote web pages. (For example, Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server.)
Many organizations including schools, corporations, and Countries use proxy servers to enforce acceptable network use policies (see content-control software) or to provide security,