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    What is a proxy server?

    Proxy servers can help with everything from network security and privacy, to content filtering and efficiency, but what exactly are they? Discover more about proxy servers and how they operate below.

    What does a proxy server do?

    A proxy server is a computer system that acts as a middleman between your computer and the server you're trying to access over the Internet. When your device is connected to a proxy, it will intercept the information you transmit from your computer, as well as the information being transmitted by the server of any website you access.

    A proxy server can allow for anonymity as by randomly generating your computers IP address, your location can be unknown (our page explains more about IP addresses).

    How does it work?

    A proxy server works by intercepting connections between a sender and a receiver. All incoming data enters through one port and is forwarded to the rest of the network via another port, acting as a buffer between the data being transmitted by an Internet server to a computer, and vice versa.

    This means that when a request is made over the Internet, such as downloading a file or accessing a web page, the information is passed first to the proxy, then to the computer that has made the request. This process removes any direct contact between the source and the computer that has made a request, allowing a proxy to do things like block certain websites or types of content, improve speed and performance, or prevent hackers or malicious programs from having direct access to your computer.

    Why use one?

    The main benefit of a proxy server is safety. As a proxy acts as a halfway house between your computer and the Internet and makes it significantly more difficult for hackers or malicious programs to access or attack your machine.

    This is also true for businesses, as a proxy can use a technique called network address translation, making all the computers on a network anonymous, reducing the risk of an individual computer being targeted, or compromised, by hackers or viruses.

    There are plenty of reasons why a proxy server might come in handy, with privacy, performance, and security among some of the chief reasons for using one. Some of the most common proxy types are explained below:

    How does a content filtering proxy work?

    A content filtering proxy server can be used within a workplace to implement filters on Internet usage and to block certain websites or types of content. This is especially useful in situations where inappropriate content must be censored, like schools or Internet cafés.

    This works by analysing requests made by a computer, and then deciding whether this search term, website, or download, violates the content rules that have been set on the proxy server. If a computer makes a request for content that is inappropriate, it's intercepted by the proxy which determines if the request breaks any rules – then blocks the request so it never reaches the target server, preventing access. This can be a common practice in some offices, especially those where access to social media is prohibited.

    In some cases, content filtering proxies can slow down your connection, as everything you input must be sent to a third party.

    What is an open proxy?

    An open proxy can be used via the Internet by anyone, instead of a closed proxy, which only allows users within a network group access, e.g. a content filtering proxy.

    Open proxies are sometimes installed on devices by malware and viruses without the knowledge of the user, allowing hackers to hide their activity behind the location of the infected computer. Open proxies are also used to facilitate email spam using a similar method, using multiple networks of infected machines to avoid detection.

    What is a caching server?

    A caching server is used to improve performance by saving web pages in its memory (or "cache"), so it can serve web pages quicker without loading them from scratch. Caching proxies store a copy of a requested web page locally, so that when a user wants to see the same web page again, it loads the copy, which vastly improves performance speed.

    These types of proxies are particularly useful in scientific fields, or any occasion where large amounts of data would put pressure on server performance if new requests were made often. One downside to cached websites is that the information will often be out of date, as the server will display the older version which has been saved to its cache. On this occasion, the cache must be emptied (or 'flushed') to remove the out of date version and make a copy of the newest one.

    A woman sat on the floor at home and a man standing nearby. Both looking at the screens of their tablet devices.

    Want to know more about internet safety?

    Check out our page explaining the data behind malware, viruses and more.

    Here’s the legal bit

    You can see our full residential terms and conditions here.

    * The price for broadband, line rental, call plans and call charges will be increased each March from 2022 by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in January of that year plus 3.9%. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract. See our CPI Plus 3.9% Guide for details.

    Line rental is included in all our broadband packages. The standard line rental price is £21.22 a month, except where you sign up to Unlimited Broadband on an 18 month contract, the standard line rental price is £19.99 a month for the first 18 months, then £21.22 a month (line only, no calls included). The standard line rental price, or where applicable the discounted line rental price, is included in the package price.

    Unlimited Fibre Extra (12 and 18 month contracts)

    Prices and terms are subject to change during your contract.

    For new Plusnet customers that sign up for 12 or 18 months (as appropriate). Line rental is included in the price (line only, no calls included). Price from month 13 or 19 (as appropriate) currently £43.50 a month (incl. line rental). Compatible line required otherwise a £49.99 installation charge may apply (excluding any external construction charges). We'll include a wireless router. Outside of your 14 day cancellation period, if you choose to end your service within the minimum period, you will have to pay an early termination charge.

    The date your broadband and line rental activates, or where your services do not activate at the same time, the service that activates first, will be used as your monthly billing date. If your broadband or line rental service are not activated at the same time, for the service that is activated at a later date, charges will be pro rated for the first month and any applicable discounts for that service will apply once the service starts.

    Subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative. Exclusions and terms apply.

    Unlimited Fibre (12 and 18 month contracts)

    Prices and terms are subject to change during your contract.

    For new Plusnet customers that sign up for 12 or 18 months (as appropriate). Line rental is included in the price (line only, no calls included). Price from month 13 or 19 (as appropriate) currently £38.20 a month (incl. line rental). Compatible line required otherwise a £49.99 installation charge may apply (excluding any external construction charges). We'll include a wireless router. Outside of your 14 day cancellation period, if you choose to end your service within the minimum period, you will have to pay an early termination charge.

    The date your broadband and line rental activates, or where your services do not activate at the same time, the service that activates first, will be used as your monthly billing date. If your broadband or line rental service are not activated at the same time, for the service that is activated at a later date, charges will be pro rated for the first month and any applicable discounts for that service will apply once the service starts.

    Subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative. Exclusions and terms apply.

    Unlimited Broadband (12 and 18 month contracts)

    Prices and terms are subject to change during your contract.

    For new Plusnet customers that sign up for 12 or 18 months (as appropriate). Line rental is included in the price (line only, no calls included). Price from month 13 or 19 (as appropriate) currently £32.88 a month (incl. line rental). Compatible line required otherwise a £49.99 installation charge may apply (excluding any external construction charges). We'll include a wireless router. Outside of your 14 day cancellation period, if you choose to end your service within the minimum period, you will have to pay an early termination charge.

    The date your broadband and line rental activates, or where your services do not activate at the same time, the service that activates first, will be used as your monthly billing date. If your broadband or line rental service are not activated at the same time, for the service that is activated at a later date, charges will be pro rated for the first month and any applicable discounts for that service will apply once the service starts.

    Subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative. Exclusions and terms apply.

    Unlimited Broadband (no contract)

    Prices and terms are subject to change during your contract.

    For new Plusnet customers that sign up for a 30-day rolling contract. Line rental is included in the price (line only, no calls included). Price from month 13 currently £34.48 a month (incl. line rental). Compatible line required otherwise a £49.99 installation charge may apply (excluding any external construction charges). We'll include a wireless router. You may terminate your services at any time without having to pay an early termination charge.  Outside your 14 day cancellation period, you'll have to give at least 14 days' notice.

    The date your broadband and line rental activates, or where your services do not activate at the same time, the service that activates first, will be used as your monthly billing date. If your broadband or line rental service are not activated at the same time, for the service that is activated at a later date, charges will be pro rated for the first month and any applicable discounts for that service will apply once the service starts.

    Subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash alternative. Exclusions and terms apply.

    Existing customers

    Please see our price guide, log into your account in the Member Centre or call us on 0800 073 1120 to discuss your contract.

    Speeds

    Φ Broadband speed is described as 'average download speed of 10Mb', as it is based on speed available to at least 50% of customers at peak time (8-10pm). Your actual speed will be dependent on your location, phone line, home wiring, Wi-Fi connection and time of day. Find out why speeds vary. Check your speed and products available at your location via 'check availability' on our home page.

    † Fibre broadband speed is described as 'average download speed of 66Mb' and 'average upload speed of 18Mb' on Unlimited Fibre Extra and 'average download speed of 36Mb' and 'average upload speed of 9Mb' on Unlimited Fibre as it is based on speed available to at least 50% of customers at peak time (8-10pm). Your actual speed will be dependent on your location, phone line, home wiring, Wi-Fi connection and time of day. Find out why speeds vary. Check your speed and products available at your location via 'check availability' on our home page.

    Ө Up to 6x faster: based on a comparison between the average Unlimited Fibre Extra download speeds with the average Unlimited Broadband speeds. The actual speed you'll get depends on your location, phone line, home wiring, Wi-Fi connection and time of day. Find out why speeds vary. Check your speed and products available at your location via 'check availability' on our home page.

    ** Plusnet Reward Card

    Once your broadband and line rental are activated you will be issued claim information via email. Follow the instructions in this email to be issued with your Plusnet Reward Card. You must submit your claim within two months of the email being issued. The card must be activated within three months of it being issued.

    Your Plusnet Reward Card is issued by GVS Prepaid Ltd, an Electronic Money Institution authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority with Firm Reference number 900230; pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard ® is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Inc. GVS Prepaid Ltd's company registration number is 09193070 and its registered office is at Westside, London Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9TD.  See Plusnet Reward Card terms.

    £50 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Broadband

    £50 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Broadband on an 12 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Broadband

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Broadband on an 12 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Broadband

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Broadband on an 12 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability. Please note that for this offer, you do not have to follow the above redemption process to claim you Plusnet Reward Card. Once your home phone is activated you will receive a Plusnet Reward Card within 45 days.

    £50 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre

    £50 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £100 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre

    £100 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £25 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre

    £25 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 15 January 2025, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £95 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £95 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £60 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £60 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £75 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 1 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £100 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £100 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 2 December 2021, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £25 Plusnet Reward Card with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £25 Plusnet Reward Card offer ends 15 January 2025, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on an 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    Amazon.co.uk Gift Card

    Once your broadband and line rental are activated you will be issued claim information via email. Follow the instructions in this email to be issued with your Amazon.co.uk Gift Card. You must submit your claim within two months of the email being issued. The card must be activated within three months of it being issued.

    Amazon.co.uk is not a sponsor of Plusnet, line rental vouchers promotion or otherwise affiliated with Plusnet. The logos and other identifying marks attached are trademarks of and owned by each represented company and/or its affiliates. Please visit the Amazon.co.uk website for additional terms and conditions.

    Amazon.co.uk Gift Cards may be redeemed on the Amazon.co.uk website towards the purchase of eligible products available on Amazon.co.uk. Gift Cards cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash or applied to any other account. Amazon.co.uk is not responsible if a gift card is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission. See Amazon's website for complete terms and conditions. Gift Cards are issued by Amazon EU S. à r.l. All Amazon ®, and © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

    Cashback Cheque

    Once your broadband and line rental are activated you will be issued claim information via email. Follow the instructions in this email to be issued with your cashback cheque. You must submit your claim within two months of the email being issued.

    Please note that your cashback cheque may be automatically sent to you without having to claim for it as set out above.  If this applies, this will be confirmed to you in the order journey.

    £25 Plusnet Cashback Cheque with Unlimited Fibre

    £25 Plusnet Cashback Cheque offer ends 15 January 2025, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre on a 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    £25 Plusnet Cashback Cheque with Unlimited Fibre Extra

    £25 Plusnet Cashback Cheque offer ends 15 January 2025, and is available to new Plusnet customers ordering Unlimited Fibre Extra on a 18 month contract online at www.plus.net or by calling Plusnet. Subject to availability.

    Broadband Extras

    Plusnet Safeguard

    Included with all of our broadband packages, Plusnet Safeguard filters inappropriate web content for your household. Further information can be found here.

    Plusnet Protect powered by McAfee

    Our security package protects you from online threats. Charges apply for Unlimited Fibre broadband customers. Further information can be found here.

    Evening & Weekend UK & Mobile calls:

    Evening & Weekend calls: Calls of up to an hour to UK landlines beginning with 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 numbers made Monday-Friday 7pm to 7am and any time Saturday or Sunday (except calls to indirect access numbers (which include calling cards) and dial-up internet access). Calls must be started and finished within these times to be inclusive (non-chargeable). A fair usage limit of 150 calls or 1000 minutes a month (whichever is reached first) applies to calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (if you exceed this limit, we have the right to charge you for further calls made, suspend and/or terminate your service in accordance with our terms and conditions).

    Mobile calls: Calls to UK mobiles and 070 personal numbering services made Monday-Friday 7pm to 7am and any time Saturday or Sunday. Calls must be started and finished within these times to be inclusive (non-chargeable). A fair usage limit of 1000 minutes a month applies (if you exceed this limit, we have the right to charge you for further calls made, suspend and/or terminate your service in accordance with our terms and conditions). Hang up and re-dial before 60 minutes and you won't be charged. Some 07 numbers do not constitute mobile numbers and may not be included as part of an inclusive mobile package.

    Unlimited UK & Mobile calls:

    Anytime calls: Calls of up to an hour to UK landlines beginning with 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 numbers at any time (except calls to indirect access numbers (which include calling cards) and dial-up internet access). Calls must be started and finished within these times to be inclusive (non-chargeable). A fair usage limit of 150 calls or 1000 minutes a month (whichever is reached first) applies to calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (if you exceed this limit, we have the right to charge you for further calls made, suspend and/or terminate your service in accordance with our terms and conditions).

    Mobile calls: Calls to UK mobiles and 070 personal numbering services made at any time. Calls must be started and finished within these times to be inclusive (non-chargeable). A fair usage limit of 2000 minutes a month applies (if you exceed this limit, we have the right to charge you for further calls made, suspend and/or terminate your service in accordance with our terms and conditions). Hang up and re-dial before 60 minutes and you won't be charged. Some 07 numbers do not constitute mobile numbers and may not be included as part of an inclusive mobile package.

    Anytime International 300:

    Anytime calls: Calls of up to an hour to UK landlines beginning with 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 numbers at any time (except calls to indirect access numbers (which include calling cards) and dial-up internet access). Calls must be started and finished within these times to be inclusive (non-chargeable). A fair usage limit of 150 calls or 1000 minutes a month (whichever is reached first) applies to calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (if you exceed this limit, we have the right to charge you for further calls made, suspend and/or terminate your service in accordance with our terms and conditions).

    25% discount to top 35 international destinations: (Anytime International 300) Get a 25% discount on chargeable calls to all countries listed in our top 35 international destinations. For more information see our tariffs guide.

    300 Anytime minutes: (Anytime International 300) Means 300 inclusive minutes to USA mobiles, Canada mobiles and all landlines listed in our top 35 international destinations. Hang up and re-dial before 60 minutes and you won't be charged.

    Other call information:

    Mobile minutes: Are available to Line Only and the Anytime International 300 call plan and adds 100 inclusive minutes to UK mobile numbers and 070 personal numbering services at any time. Hang up and re-dial before 60 minutes and you won't be charged. Some 07 numbers do not constitute mobile numbers and may not be included as part of an inclusive mobile package.

    Service calls outside of your inclusive minutes: The charge for calls to service numbers beginning 084, 087, 09 and 118 consists of a 9.58p per minute access charge from Plusnet, plus a service charge set by the company you called. For more information visit www.plus.net/ukcalling.

    Calls to Plusnet Support and other Plusnet line rental customers are included in all line rental packages. Calls to other Plusnet phone customers are included for the first hour. Hang up and re-dial before 60 minutes and you won't be charged.

    For more information on our landline tariffs, see our guide here.

    For more information on call rates for service numbers, see our guide here.

    Phone Line Extras

    Voicemail

    1571 Voicemail: Included as standard, our answer phone-style feature takes messages when you can't get to the phone.

    Voicemail Extra: This advanced voicemail service lets you record your own greeting, store up to 30 messages and listen to them when you're not at home. Voicemail Extra costs £3 a month. Further information about Voicemail Extra can be found here.

    Caller Display

    See the number of the person who is calling you (you'll need a phone that supports this service). Further information about Caller Display can be found here. Subject to availability.

    Plusnet Call Protect

    Included in all line rental packages, this blocks nuisance calls on your landline and sends them straight into your junk voicemail. Further information about Plusnet Call Protect can be found here. Subject to availability.

    BT Sport from Plusnet on the Sky Digital Satellite Platform

    BT Sport is available to existing UK Plusnet residential broadband customers with a Sky satellite receiver box, a satellite dish installed and an active viewing card. No access to any online content is made available by BT via www.btsport.com or via the BT Sport App. Excludes Multi-room. BoxNation available in SD only. There is a minimum term of one month starting from your next billing date following sign up.

    † BT Sport HD requires a Sky HD satellite receiver box, HD cabling and an HD-ready television to view the HD channels.

    You don't need a Sky viewing card to order, but if you already have one you'll need to give us the viewing card number.

    BT Sport App from Plusnet

    BT Sport App from Plusnet is available to existing UK Plusnet residential broadband customers. There is a minimum one month term starting from your next billing date following sign-up. Monthly rolling contract.

    You can access BT Sport online or via the BT Sport App in the UK and in over 25 European destinations. Requires minimum 400Kbps line speed or good Wi-Fi/3G/4G signal and a compatible device. Maximum of two devices may be used simultaneously. Must be aged 17 or over. TV licence required. Terms apply.

    Our award-winning, UK based customer support is available 7 days a week

    0800 432 0200

    8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
    9am - 7pm Saturday
    9am - 6pm Sunday

    0800 432 0080

    8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
    9am - 7pm Saturday
    9am - 6pm Sunday