When people hear or read the word "proxy" their minds start to wander and the look on their faces change, may consider such words to be too geeky to enter the common language, the fact is that the word is not self explanatory that's why it is necessary to explain the meaning and functions of such systems, you will soon learn that they are very handy.
As shown by the online etymology dictionary the word proxy comes from the term prokecye, which means "agency of one who acts instead of another." It is also contracting of Anglo-Fr.term "procuracie", from ML procuratia "administration," from L. procuratio "care, management," from procurare "manage"
In order to eliminate the complexity of the origins of the word we will use the first one "agency of one who acts instead of another" when we translate and incorporate such terms into the computer world, internet to be more precise, we see that some machines act on behalf of others in order to keep the requester of the information anonymous, untraceable and safe.
Proxies are web services which are free (most of the time) and provide security to internet users who browse multiple pages a day and are concerned with spyware, hackers and other forms of malicious applications which use the information transmitted by your browser through its header. Without using a proxy a web site which has tracking software and scripts that can tell the exact geographic location of your system, in other words you can be located easily.
Another function of the proxy is to speed up your web browsing speeds by acting as a buffer which grows the pages you request and sends it to your computer. There are three types of proxies:
These are used by people who want to speed up their web browsing experience without hiding any information, the proxy server will reveal your system information just like you would if you were not using this service.
This type of proxy speeds up your connection just like the transparent option but it does not transmit your IP address and system information so you remain as the name implies, anonymous. There is one small detail though, when you use anonymous proxies the servers are configured to send variables to the sites which let them know that you are using a proxy.
Through this proxy type you can speed up your connection and browse the web in a complete stealth mode. No information from your system is transmitted and the proxy server does not send any variables indicating you are using a proxy, this allows you to go from site to site in a faster more secure way.
As you see there is more than it meets the eyes when it comes to weird computer terms, learning how to find an configure these systems to work with your applications will allow you to remain anonymous while browsing any site.