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Introduction to Using an HTTP Proxy

What is an HTTP Proxy?

An HTTP Proxy is a web caching system, which stores commonly accessed pages locally, on the server. With an HTTP Proxy configured, any request for a URL will be first checked against the cache : if the page is found in the cache, the page is returned to the client without sending the request out onto the network. If the page is not found in the cache, the request is sent out onto the internet as normal.

With an HTTP Proxy configured, any request for a URL will be first checked against the cache : if the page is found in the cache, the page is returned to the client without sending the request out onto the network

The primary purpose of an HTTP Proxy is therefore one of accelerating HTTP requests. It can, however, be used to restrict Web access, by the definition of access rules. So, if you want to speed up your Web access or control access to your internet resources, an HTTP Proxy is what you need!

The main HTTP Proxy used with Ubuntu seems to be Squid - although there are several others you can use. The articles in this section will concentrate on Squid configuration.


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