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What is proxy in JavaScript

Exploring JavaScript Proxies

JavaScript, an object-oriented programming language, has a variety of advanced features that can seem daunting to beginners. In this article, we'll demystify one of those highly powerful but often misunderstood features - the JavaScript Proxy.

What is a Proxy?

A proxy, in the simplest terms, is an object that controls access to another object, which we'll call the target. Imagine a proxy as a middleman between you and the object you want to interact with. This middleman can customize the behavior of the target object without directly modifying it.

Getting Started with JavaScript Proxies

To create a Proxy, JavaScript provides us with a new global constructor called Proxy. It takes two arguments: the target object and the handler object. The target object is the object we want to control access to, while the handler object defines the custom behavior we want our Proxy to have.

Let's create a simple Proxy:

let target = {};
let handler = {};

let proxy = new Proxy(target, handler);

In this code, we've created a Proxy for an empty target object. The handler is also an empty object which means our Proxy doesn't change the behavior of the target object in any way.

Customizing Proxy Behavior with Traps

To customize the behavior of our target object, we can set up traps in our handler. Traps are methods that provide property access. For example, the get trap can intercept attempts to retrieve a property from the target object.

let target = { message: 'hello world' };
let handler = {
  get: function(target, prop, receiver) {
    return 'JavaScript Proxy says ' + target[prop];

let proxy = new Proxy(target, handler);
console.log(proxy.message); // Outputs "JavaScript Proxy says hello world"

In this example, the get trap intercepts the retrieval of the message property and adds 'JavaScript Proxy says ' before the actual message.

More Advanced Proxy Traps

There are many other traps you can use to customize the behavior of your Proxy. For example, the set trap can intercept attempts to change a property's value.

let target = { message: 'hello world' };
let handler = {
  set: function(target, prop, value, receiver) {
    target[prop] = value.toUpperCase();

let proxy = new Proxy(target, handler);
proxy.message = 'goodbye'; // Sets the message property to 'GOODBYE'
console.log(target.message); // Outputs "GOODBYE"

In this example, the set trap intercepts the setting of the message property and converts the value to uppercase before setting it.

Proxies in Real-World Applications

Proxies are powerful tools that can be used in a variety of real-world applications, such as data binding, where they can trigger updates in the user interface when data changes. They can also be used for logging and profiling, where proxies can log interactions with objects for debugging or performance tracking.

Pitfalls of Proxies

While proxies are powerful, they also have a few downsides. They can add complexity to your code, and understanding their behavior can be challenging. Additionally, proxies can introduce performance overhead, as interactions with objects through proxies are slower than direct interactions.


JavaScript Proxies provide a powerful mechanism to customize behavior of objects without directly modifying them. Like a secret agent, the Proxy can intercept messages, alter them, and even take actions based on them. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Use them wisely, and they can become an indispensable tool in your programming toolkit. Happy coding!