A. A proxy server is a system that sits between the client applications (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer—IE) and the connection to the Internet (server). The proxy server intercepts requests to the Internet to determine whether the proxy server can act on the requests itself. This process filters requests to the Internet and thereby improves performance.
The proxy server can cache files that it downloads from the Internet for a client. For example, if a user requests the same page as another user, the proxy server can return the version it’s holding in its cache rather than send a request on the Internet. Proxy servers can also act as a firewall by filtering IP traffic by port or IP address.
Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0 performs all of the typical proxy server functions but includes extra functions such as Winsock proxy. Proxy Server 2.0 replaces Winsock on the client machines so that Winsock-based clients (e.g., Windows 95) can use Winsock proxy to enable IP-type access even when the local network protocol is, for example, IPX. You can also use Proxy Server 2.0 to hide your network’s TCP/IP configuration because the software lets you use any TCP/IP address on your Intranet as the only proxy server IP address for use on the Internet.
Proxy Server 2.0 also includes the Socks proxy service for non-Winsock-type clients such as UNIX-based machines.