What is a proxy?
A proxy is for a given application that mediates a connection between the client and server to relay the request being made. Thus, the client is always directed to the proxy, and sends the request to the server. A proxy works for a given application, http, ftp, etc… It can modify the information sent to the server, as well as those returned by it. The downside is that you need a proxy application. However, many new fresh proxies are in fact multi-proxies that are able to understand the most common applications.
An amalgam is often made between features that can be brought to a proxy, and the proxy itself. Thus, it is often a proxy must make NAT or cache server, but are only added features. Indeed, it is often useful to add functions to a proxy cache because it is responsible for centralizing access to the web. Thus, if 15 people request the same website, it will be loaded only once and kept in the proxy cache. On the other hand, NAT is also often necessary for a proxy works, as it is supposed to be an intermediary; it must change the source address of the packet to the answer through its. However, even if this is what is most often used, it is not mandatory. If these features are useful and often used, this is not a reason to think they are synonymous with proxy.
Is it better to have a NAT or proxy?
– Benefits of proxy
As we have seen, a proxy is a dedicated protocol (application) specific. Thus, it is able to interpret traffic including hiding information. This reduces traffic and increases the bandwidth at the same time. You can also allow or deny access to certain parts of a site, some features, etc… So we have a good control of what goes over the network, and we know what protocols can circulate.
– Benefits of NAT
Unlike proxy, NAT is independent of the applications used. So we can spend most of the protocols that we want.
– So? NAT or proxy
The answer is of course … it depends! You are disappointed? It should not, because if you have read and understood the above, you should be able to make your choice according to what you have (addresses equipment, etc…) And what you want to do (applications, security policy, etc…).