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I know. The title is not so specific. My question may range from "simple router at home" from "the whole internet".

I have a background in Networking, complicated answers will be apreciate, but one thing that I can't seem to understand is the relation of Proxy, ISP and the whole internet involving these two.

I have a couple of questions if you have the time to answer them.

  1. What do I pay for when I pay my ISP for a fee at monthly basis?
  2. What is the process when I hit enter at my keyboard when I'm using a proxy and when I'm not using it?
  3. Isn't suppost for ALL my requests go through my ISP server?
  4. If I use a proxy, how can I be sure of that none of the traffic will be seen from other source other than the proxy? (assuming there's no MITM, sniffer, etc...)

Concerning question number 1: am I paying for a network that is used in my country/area? I pay xx€ for month and I can use this network to send requests to whoever IP i would like? When I set a proxy of 175.152.123.121, does that mean that the first one to handle my request will be 175.152.123.121 (excluding my home router) or my ISP server?

closed as too broad by Daniel B, fixer1234, DavidPostill, nc4pk, mdpc Jan 12 '16 at 0:52

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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You claim to have a background in networking but do not understand these simple concepts?

1) Depending on your T&C with you ISP, you are most likely just paying for a "pipe" to the public internet, restricted to a set maximum speed limit or data volume limit without a guaranteed level of service.

2) See below explaining proxy

3) Your ISP likely doesn't have "servers" on the internet, but routers and switches connecting to a bigger upstream pipe. All of your data will always go through them as there is no other physical or logical path for the data to take.

4) You can't, without physical control of the devices there is no way of knowing. Although if your proxy service supports a VPN connection, the data will likely be encrypted so that even if it is spied on it would be useless to the person looking at it.

In this case, proxy service essentially submits all requests to/from the internet on your behalf and it to the far end it appears to be talking to your proxy service and not you directly, the physical and logical connections of your ISP are still used.

Normal interaction with Google.com, simplified for example:
Your web browser -> ISP network -> Internet Cloud -> Google
(path back is just reversed)

But when a proxy service is in use, it looks more like two separate transations like this (again, simplified):
1) Your web browser -> ISP network -> Internet Cloud -> Proxy server (STOP)
2) Proxy Server initiates new request -> Internet Cloud -> Google
(path back is reversed in two distinct steps as well)

The proxy server becomes your agent... Imagine you wanted to buy something at the store, you have two choices to buy the product, you can either buy the product yourself or send Proxy to do it for you. If you buy it yourself, the store knows some information about you such as what you look like and maybe how often you come into the store. But if you have Proxy go buy it for you, the store doesn't know you or anything about you, just that Proxy comes in buys a product, and probably a bunch of other products too. Make sense?

All of the above is talking about a "web proxy", but some proxy services use a VPN to connect to their proxy server, this is kind of the same thing, but still different. In this case all of your data (not just web traffic) is sent over an encrypted tunnel to your proxy service before going out to the internet, the information still flows through your ISP's network but it is an encrypted tunnel of data.

  • I have little background in Networking. I know the basics of it. I asked this question because i wasn't sure how the process worked. I wanted to make sure that my concept of the idea was correct, which was not. Nonetheless, thank you for your answer. – The dude Jan 12 '16 at 9:29
  • Sorry, I meant no offense. Saying you have a background in networking typically means you are trained and work(ed) in the field and are very familiar with the topic. I just misinterpreted your statement. – acejavelin Jan 12 '16 at 12:06
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What do I pay for when I pay my ISP for a fee at monthly basis?

In short, you are paying for access to the larger Internet through your ISPs network. Using an analogy with roads, you can think of your ISP's network as your neighborhood and city streets, and the wider Internet as the major highways. The "highways" are composed of various organizations that have agreed to physically link and exchange data with each other.

The ISP's job is to get access to the highways by making peering/transit agreements with companies that operate them (e.g. Tier 1 providers or transit providers). Then, in exchange for money, the ISPs give you access to the "city streets" they've built which will get you onto the highway. Once there, you can get to pretty much anywhere else in the world.

What is the process when I hit enter at my keyboard when I'm using a proxy and when I'm not using it?

Say you want to get groceries in a neighboring city. Not using a proxy would be akin to driving to the neighboring city yourself to get the groceries. Using a proxy would be like driving to your friend's house and giving him your shopping list so that he can get them for you. Now, from the point of view of the grocery store (aka the web server you wanted to access), it seems that your friend is the one getting groceries, even though he's only doing it on your behalf.

Isn't suppost for ALL my requests go through my ISP server?

Yes - assuming the proxy is not inside your home network, you would still need to use your ISP's "city streets" to get to your friend's house. (In other words, you still need to send traffic through the ISP in order to ask the proxy to download a webpage for you.)

If I use a proxy, how can I be sure of that none of the traffic will be seen from other source other than the proxy? (assuming there's no MITM, sniffer, etc...)

Can you clarify this question? If no encryption is being used, the "no sniffer" assumption doesn't make much sense because anyone between you and the proxy, and between the proxy and the website you want to visit, can see your traffic if they wanted to.

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