Anonymity For Users
By accessing the web via Deputy your users are protected from providing information about their computer and web browser to unscrupulous website operators. Also with the site filters it is possible to protect your users further by preventing access to potentially dangerous sites.
There are different ways in which proxy servers can operate in order for one computer to handle requests from multiple clients. Some use synchronous communications which means that the software is busy while one request is being processed. To get around this bottleneck some proxy servers utilise multi-threading, which is a way of handling multiple connections simultaneously. However, this is not a scalable solution beyond hundreds of connections (remember that each client can have multiple connections open for images, scripts, stylesheets etc.) and a server can soon grind to a halt.
By far the best way is to use asynchronous communications. It allows the operating system to wait for data to arrive on the network before calling code in the application which means that other applications can continue to operate while Deputy is delayed by network latency. This is also a much more scalable solution allowing many hundreds of clients to be serviced by a single computer.
Automatic Blocking Based on Content
Deputy allows you to setup content filters which will examine pages coming from the Internet for key words or phrases. If the incoming information does not pass the filter you can choose to create a new content blocking rule which will deny further access to the domain or server hosting that page, or just to block the page itself. This is a very powerful feature as it allows you to set up basic rules which can then be enforced automatically without having to scan logs and manually create site blocking rules.
The new rules created as a result of the content filters take immediate effect meaning you don't have to restart the software or manually intervene in any way.
Caching Reduces Network Load
Deputy is a caching proxy server. This means that it keeps copies of pages, scripts and images etc. of the sites that are visited by its users. This means that once somebody has loaded a web page, the contents of that page are saved on the server running Deputy. When another user requests that page it can be retrieved from the cache rather than going out to the internet and connecting to the hosting server. Your Internet access becomes less congested and your users’ browsing experiences are improved. This also eases congestion on the hosting server.
Central Point of Control
Using Deputy gives you a single point of access and a single point of control for your web access. This makes Deputy ideal for small companies, schools, universities or larger organisations that wish to allow groups of computers access to the web without exposing them to the Internet directly. By utilising the site blocking rules and caching Deputy can make browsing in our organisation safer and more efficient.
Compression Reduces Network Load
Deputy supports gzip compression which makes for faster downloading of web resources. Compressible resources are also stored compressed in the cache making more efficient use of your server’s disk space as well as reducing the load on your network and your internet connection.
Flexible Site Blocking Rules
You can set up rules that determine which networks, sites or even individual pages can or cannot be accessed by your users. Deputy uses regular expressions to match incoming requests against it's site blocking rules. Regular expressions are very powerful and allow you maximum flexibility over which resources can and cannot be viewed.
You can enter these rules manually or you can use Deputy's content filter mechanism to create rules on your behalf. When the content filter is triggered it will automatically create a blocking rule which will take immediate effect, without you having to configure anything or restart any services. Once your filters are set up you have zero configuration site blocking.
HTTPS Tunnelling For Security
More sites are using HTTPS to secure transactions with websites. It is especially important when providing extra-sensitive personal information such as credit card details, but it is also important for securing passwords. Deputy automatically detects connections to secure websites and acts accordingly, ensuring that all users on your network are completely secure.
Generally, pages are made up some HTML, maybe stylesheets, scripts and images. Each of these items is retrieved in a separate connection to the hosting server. With Deputy it is possible to pipeline these requests so that a single connection is used to retrieve multiple resources. This reduces the load on the hosting server, it also reduces the load on your server and your network.
Of course there is always the option to operate multiple proxies, in a larger organisation to balance the load across multiple servers. Deputy supports upstream proxies that implement standards protocols so it is interoperable with any other proxy server, and not limited to only operating with other Deputy servers.