An anonymous proxy server ("proxy") is a special type of server that acts as an intermediary between a home network and the rest of the Internet. An anonymous proxy server makes requests for Internet information on your behalf, using its own IP address instead of yours. Your computer only accesses Web sites indirectly, through the proxy server. This way, Web sites will see the proxy's IP address, not your home IP address.
Using an anonymous proxy server requires a simple configuration of the Web browser (or other Internet client software that supports proxies). Proxies are identified by a combination of URL and TCP port number.
Numerous free anonymous proxy servers exist on the Internet, open for anyone to use. These servers may have bandwidth traffic limits, may suffer from reliability or speed problems, or might permanently disappear from the Internet without notice. Such servers are most useful for temporary or experimental purposes.
Anonymous proxy services that charge fees in return for better quality of service also exist. These services are designed for regular use by households.