A proxy server and a cache server both serve as intermediaries between the client and the server, but they perform different functions and are used for different purposes. Let’s explore each of them.

What is the difference between Proxy Server and Cache Server?
  1. Proxy Server

A proxy server acts as a gateway between the user and the internet. It separates end users from the websites they browse and provides varying levels of functionality, security, and privacy depending on the use case, needs, or company policy.

Key functions of a proxy server include:

  • Anonymity: Proxy servers can hide the client’s IP address, providing anonymity to the user.
  • Security: They can provide security by blocking access to certain websites, implementing encryption services, and protecting against malware.
  • Access Control: Proxy servers can also control internet usage by blocking access to certain sites and limiting the amount of data that can be used.
Cache Server
  1. Cache Server

A cache server is a dedicated network server or service acting as a storage for temporary data (cache) that has been requested from an upstream server. Caching allows you to store copies of frequently accessed data in close proximity to where it’s being used.

Key functions of a cache server include:

  • Speed: By storing data locally, cache servers can reduce the time it takes to access that data. This is because it’s faster to get data from the local network than from the internet.
  • Bandwidth Saving: They also reduce bandwidth usage, as fewer requests have to go out to the internet. If multiple users are accessing the same data, the cache server delivers the local copy to each user, rather than each user pulling the data from the internet individually.

In a nutshell, a proxy server serves as a mediator for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers, providing anonymity and security. A cache server, on the other hand, speeds up access to resources by storing a copy of the data locally. The two can be combined, however, in a caching proxy server, which performs the functions of both.

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