How do you use a web proxy?
When using the internet, you're relying on a collection of networks to translate information to and from your computer. If you're at school, for example, the internet service provider (ISP) your school has provided for student use sends messages to other servers to return the website results you're looking for during a search. If the school's network blocks certain sites, however, you're simply unable to access the webpages for certain content through the school's assigned IP address. To reach the sites and networks that have been blocked, you must bypass the monitored IP address and instead connect through a middleman, or web proxy.
Web proxies are separate anonymous servers or websites that provide you an alternative or revolving IP address for searching anonymously online. The new IP address allows you to bypass the blocks set up on the original system and it also allows you to search the internet without revealing your personal demographic information, keeping you safe on public systems such as those used in educational settings.
Understanding IP Addresses
Every computer or network has an IP address that equates to an online fingerprint. It's your online identify. Your IP address tells others where you are located and what you do online. Other networks make decisions based on information recorded through your IP address. If your IP address shows you as being from a foreign country, for example, you might not be allowed to visit certain sites or join certain programs. If your IP address is used to filter content, you won't be able to view certain things at work or school. But obtaining a new IP address through a proxy server gives you a blank identity online without these restrictions.
Using Web Proxies
Using a web proxy is straight forward. To connect through a proxy website or server, you must first locate an authentic and trustworthy proxy site. A list of proxies from a reputable site such as this one is an excellent place to begin.
Once you've selected a proxy server, simply follow the instructions on the website for that proxy. Most free proxy websites simply ask you to type in the desired URL and download the site through their server - not yours, effectively allowing you to circumvent the filters on your current network. Another proxy option is to invest in a paid proxy server to give yourself a proxy IP address you can use anytime without concern that it has been identified or blocked by your current network.