Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wonder why would companies use non-transparent proxies when the transparent ones seems better to me.

share|improve this question
Proxies for what (which protocol(s)), and in which usage scenario / for which purpose(s)? – Jesper Mortensen Apr 18 '11 at 13:39
@Jesper I'm talking about corporate HTTP proxies – Jader Dias Apr 18 '11 at 13:40
From "transparent" and "http" it is a fair guess that you mean forwarding proxies, f.x. a proxy server which sits on a LAN between some company's desktop PCs and the company Internet connection. A reverse proxy (a.k.a webserver accelerator) is also transparent, but that's not what you mean? – Jesper Mortensen Apr 18 '11 at 13:50
@Jesper I mean forwarding proxies – Jader Dias Apr 18 '11 at 13:50
up vote 7 down vote accepted

One big disadvantage to using a transparent proxy is that you're unable to force users to authenticate prior to gaining access without resorting to something more complex like a captive portal:

You then risk breaking lots of tools that have no problem running properly configured with a regular proxy, and force your users to actually use a browser even if their work does not require one.

In a related vein, it's also more difficult to use ACLs per-user or per-group.

If you're not interested in authenticating your users or using ACLs then you might be better off with a transparent proxy because of its ease of deploying (basically no configuration needed on the client), of course.

share|improve this answer

Transparent proxies are also less good at handling https - the two options are to use SNI (which requires a recent browser) which will give accurate domain information, which can be used for monitoring, blocking or kicking off some sort of MITM, and reverse-dns which is possibly accurate enough for monitoring and not much else.

share|improve this answer

Another one is that you can not bypass them. If your proxy is stuck or soemthing, the user can not just try to load a site without.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.