There have been some questions here on the forum concerning the WildBlue optimizer and the proxy server, specifically concerning what it does and why we want you to use it. I thought I knew all the answers, but I thought I would verify these with our engineering department to confirm. Good thing that I did -- I learned some stuff.
Here's the deal: the WildBlue Optimizer sets your browser to use our proxy server at the gateway(s). You'll use the proxy server at the gateway that services the beam that your WildBlue connection uses. The Optimizer also may configure some other settings, different for each browser, to speed up your web browsing as much as possible.
The benefit: The whole point of the optimizer is to get you, our customer, the fastest web surfing speed possible. There is no benefit to reducing the data transmission that goes over the satellite or anything else. It's sole purpose is to "optimize" your connection to take advantage of the best possible speeds you can get using WildBlue.
So what does the proxy accomplish? Here's what I learned.
1. The number one purpose is to do all the DNS lookups at the gateway. Essentially, when you request a web page, there is a bunch of setup transactions that take place before the web page can be displayed. This is especially true for web pages that have a lot of objects for which DNS needs to be resolved. At minimum, any commercial website (CNN, MSN, etc.) that displays ads falls into this category, but you'd be surprised to see how many objects are hosted on different domains and/or servers. If the proxy is setup in your browser, either via the optimizer or because you set it up manually, you can get the DNS for all of these objects much more quickly -- you're hitting one server right at the gateway, instead of reaching out to every server for the information. This is the #1 reason for using the proxy, and it should make your web surfing much more responsive.
2. The number two purpose is caching content. If the content is at the gateway, you can receive it more quickly than if you need to reach out to the originating server(s). It should be noted that my engineering expert said that this is far more secondary than the first reason to use the proxy.
There is no benefit to bandwidth usage, neither for customer nor company. The purpose is to make your web surfing experience as fast as possible.
Get the optimizer here.