What is a SOAP Proxy and why is it invalid?

We use CiviSMTP for our SMTP provider. When I test the settings that were entered by our previous developer in our SMTP provider account settings, I get the following error:

Civimail User Check : it appears that the proxy URL that you gave is invalid

The SOAP proxy URL entered is: https://www.example.com/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/soap.php

I am not sure what effect, if any, that this is having on our website. I believe it was working correctly until I upgraded CiviCRM from 4.3.8 to 4.7.15.

Edit: I looked at the patch that needs to be applied to 4.7.x versions of CiviCRM but didn't apply it because the code in my version doesn't match what's in the advice for the patch here.

Here is the debug output for this debugging script:

SoapFault exception: [Client] looks like we got no XML document in /var/www/html/example/docroot/sites/all/modules/civicrm/check_soap.php:13
Stack trace:
#0 /var/www/html/example/docroot/sites/all/modules/civicrm/check_soap.php(13): SoapClient->__call('authenticate', Array)
#1 /var/www/html/example/docroot/sites/all/modules/civicrm/check_soap.php(13): SoapClient->authenticate('example_username', 'example_password')
#2 {main}
Raw Response:
<br />
<b>Notice</b>:  Constant CIVICRM_MEMCACHE_PREFIX already defined in <b>/var/www/html/example/docroot/sites/default/civicrm.settings.php</b> on line <b>26</b><br />
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/

See https://www.civismtp.com/drupal/accountsetup#invalidproxy - for how to troubleshoot/debug.

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  • Using the debugging script in this, I was able to determine that I needed to comment out a line in the civicrm.settings.php file that was defining the memcache prefix, which apparently didn't need to be done. Once I commented that out the authentication error went away. – Christia Feb 15 '17 at 19:19

The function of the SOAP proxy is somewhere hidden in the CiviSMTP documentation. In their documentation they write

The CiviCRM Soap script comes with CiviCRM installation and can be accessed via the web after you have successfully installed and activated CiviCRM and CiviMail. This is the URL that we will be contacting about bounces, unsubscribes, replies, and etc.

So, when an email bounces and is returned to CiviSMTP they call the Soap Proxy to report this to the CiviCRM customer. I expect it sets the email address On Hold.

Issue CRM-12343 gives me the impression that the SOAP Proxy is created specially for CiviSMTP.

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