In this video, Mike describes how proxy servers work to block certain websites and filter outgoing and incoming content. The video shows how to set up a browser to connect to a proxy server.
- Most of the time when you're connecting to a web server or an SSH server or an FTP server or whatever you're connecting to, it's basically a direct connection with nothing between you and that server other than a bunch of routers as it gets your packets between the two of ya'll. However, there is a situation where we could have somebody in between us, somebody that we want called a proxy server. Let me explain the situation. So here I am in a network and the network ID is 192.168.4. And I'm sitting on computer 192.168.4.106. And I got a router and here's some server way out here with some webpage. Now normally we just go from our computer, through the web, through the internet, however that has to go, and then it gets to the server and back. However, what I'm going to do is I'm going to add a computer. I'm going to add another computer and I'm going to make him 192.168.4.20, say. And I'm going to make him what we call a proxy server. So now what's going to happen is whenever I send anything out to the internet, or I should be careful here, anything that's to the web, instead of going directly out to the router, it's going to go through the proxy server and then out the router. But why in the world would we do something like this? Well, there's a lot of good reasons to do a proxy server. Number one, I could have in that proxy server a list of places you shouldn't be going to. And instead of just making my firewall store all this stuff I could put it on this proxy server. I could have it filtering for your information. For example, you start typing in hi my name's Mike Myers and my social security number is, and I could have it watch for stuff like that to prevent you from being evil. Equally, when data comes back it's going to go through the proxy server and then to your computer. So if there's imagery I don't like, if there are URLs you're going to that I don't like, if there's verbiage there I don't like, I can filter all this stuff. Proxy servers are extremely popular in like schools and things like that to protect kids from going to places they shouldn't go. So if we're going to make that proxy server work, though, if you look at my diagram, somehow I got to tell your web browser whenever it fires up, don't just go to the router, we need to go to the proxy server instead. So proxy servers are application specific. If you want to proxy webpages you've got to go into your web applications, your web browsers and make some changes. If you want a SSH proxy, never heard of such a thing, but if you wanted one you'd have to be able to go into your SSH clients and make some changes. So what we're going to do right now is jump onto my Windows 10 system, so that when they try to get out to the internet, they're not just going to go through my router, they're going to go through my proxy server. Your one-stop shop to do this in Windows is Internet Options. By setting these options, this works for no matter what web browser you install. It all works exactly the same. So I'm going to click on Connections, and it's down here in LAN settings. And you'll see right here it has Proxy server. So I'm going to say use a proxy server, and then I'm going to give the IP address of that proxy server. And you'll see it's set for port 80. Now if I want to I can go to advanced. You got to remember that a web browser is a lot of different clients. It's an HTTP client, it's a secure client, it is a FTP client, and there's something called socks, which they don't even bother filling in the blank anymore. I could also say do not use a proxy server for any addresses that start with, say, 192.168.4. This way if I have an in-house web server and I don't want it to go through the proxy servers for something in-house. Now you'll look at this and you go wait a minute, it's secure and it says port 80. Well I can change all that if I want to. Woops. How does that look for ya? Okay, so I've gone ahead and set up this proxy server, and now what's going to happen is anything that I do on any web browser, just setting this up once, I don't care if I install Firefox or Edge or whatever, they will all go through that proxy server. The nice part about a proxy server is not only does it filter out things we're not really happy about, but it also has some real benefits. Number one, a proxy server can do caching. So if I've got web pages that everybody goes to a lot, a lot of times I'll just set up a proxy server just because everybody can very quickly get to that webpage. Now if that webpage has a couple of things that update every three minutes, most proxy servers are very smart today, so they'll only cache the static stuff and then just go out and grab that one little piece of the webpage that's updating. So it's a very, very powerful tool. Proxy servers are not cheap things. There are some free versions but they're pretty static. Most of the time if you're using a proxy server you're paying for a service that keeps these things updated in a real time basis so they can be very powerful, but they also tend to be very expensive, and you want 'em to be because they're watching for every bit of naughtiness that can possibly happen out there. Now, the last question people ask me, they go well wait a minute, Mike. So we install this proxy server, well what if I just don't update my proxy settings? Maybe I just want to ignore it. Yeah, we got you covered there. 'Cause on the firewall in that router, I block all outgoing port 80 unless it comes from the proxy server, so you're going to have to use that proxy server. Gotcha. (light guitar music)
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- Internet tiers
- How dial-up and broadband connections work
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
- Classic email protocols
- Setting up a generic VPN
- Typical IoT setups and configurations
- Setting up a new virtual machine (VM)
- Networking with VMs
- Cloud ownership