Proxy servers are important aspects of virtually every business. They can accomplish a wide variety of important and beneficial tasks. However, as with many types of technological advancements, it is hard to make the most of a resource when users are not familiar with the specifics and key concepts connected to the product. Learning about proxy servers key terms and concepts can allow businesses and employees to understand, accomplish and produce results on a larger scale. Firewall When a proxy server is used as a firewall, it acts as a shield between a the hosting network and your computer. The proxy server retrieves a requested web page from the hosting network, then sends it to your computer so that you never come into direct contact with the host. Digital ID Digital IDs are also known as digital certificates. These certificates or aspects of identification are utilized by proxy servers in order to prove a user's identity, allowing them access to specific information or online services. In the business world, digital IDs and digital certificates are beneficial because they allow business personnel and organizations access to secure transactions across networks. Anonymous IP address Anonymous IP addresses are provided by anonymous proxy servers working to hide or cloak the identity of an IP address. However, many studies link anonymous IP addresses to credit card fraud, spam on forums, blogs and discussion boards, and the defacement of visitor editable web pages. As a result, many businesses look for ways to prevent anonymous IP addresses from accessing their websites. Online authentication Online authentication refers to the monitored legitimacy of an end user to access specific information found online or through specific networks. Such information may be stored on proxy servers or with proxy server providers. Free proxy servers Free proxy servers allow individuals and businesses to enjoy all of the benefits provided by proxy servers, without having to pay for their use. While this can lead to scams and illegitimate free proxy service providers, free proxy servers may offer some financial and security related relief. Transparent proxy servers Transparent proxy servers do not modify the requests and responses that pass through them. They offer less security than a normal proxy server.