The concept and term “proxy” is relatively new, but since its inception, it has quickly become a popular tool for many individuals who require anonymity and security online. Proxies allow web traffic to be sent anonymously over the Internet, protecting the user’s data from being tracked, monitored, or intercepted – making it a smart choice for anyone looking to boost their privacy or increase their access to certain content.
However, choosing a proxy server can be challenging, depending on specific needs; some are highly specialized in offering encrypted connections with full or partial anonymity, while others excel in providing restricted access to international websites.
This guide will cover how to choose a proxy server in simple steps. But before that, here are a few basics.
What Is A Proxy Server?
A system or router known as a proxy server is a gateway for users to access the Internet. As a result, it aids in preventing online intruders from accessing a private network. It is a server, and because it stands between end users and the websites they visit online, it is referred to as an “intermediary.”
A computer uses an IP address to connect to the Internet. Similar to your home’s street address, this directs incoming data to the appropriate location and includes a return address on all outgoing data so other devices can authenticate it. A proxy server is a machine connected to the Internet with a unique IP address.
What Does A Proxy Server Do?
A generous layer of protection is added to your computer through proxies. Your computer may be protected from online dangers like malware by setting them up as web filters or firewalls.
This added security is also beneficial when used with a secure web gateway or other email security technologies. By doing so, you may categorize traffic based on its safety level or the volume of traffic that your network—or individual computers—can manage.
How can I employ a proxy? Some people use proxies for personal objectives, including disguising their location when accessing movies online. However, they might be operated by a business to carry out some significant responsibilities, including
- enhancing security
- They are protecting employees’ internet activities from snoopers by providing a firewall.
- To avoid crashes, balance internet traffic.
- They are limiting the websites that office personnel and employees can access.
- By caching data or compressing incoming information, you can conserve bandwidth.
How Does A Proxy Server Work?
A proxy server is a middleman between a computer and the Internet since it has its IP address. Your computer knows this address, which is forwarded to the proxy when you submit an online request. The proxy then receives the web server’s answer and passes the page’s contents to your computer’s browser, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.
What Is A Proxy IP Address?
The definition of the term “proxy,” according to a dictionary, is “a substitute who stands in for or represents another.” In the realm of the Internet, a proxy is an IP address you may use while browsing the web while simultaneously hiding your current IP address.
What Is The Difference Between A Proxy Server And A Firewall?
A network’s security includes both a firewall and a proxy server. Proxy servers successfully conceal your internal network from the Internet, unlike firewalls, which can prevent illegal access to your computer by blocking ports and applications.
What Are The Different Types Of Proxies?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that there are several sorts of proxies before picking one. You can select the ideal server by knowing how each one operates. Here is a list of the many proxy types:
One of the most well-liked categories of proxy servers is this one. You may even refer to this server as “the singing bird.” Here’s why: by transmitting your IP address to the web server, this proxy notifies websites that it is a proxy server and identifies you to the web server. This proxy is widely used by enterprises, educational institutions, and even public libraries due to its simplicity of setup.
As its name suggests, an anonymous proxy provides anonymity. Your IP address is not sent to the websites you visit. This lessens the possibility of identity theft and conceals your browsing activities. Do you become irritated whenever you see a message on your screen that says, “Hot girls in your area”?
Everyone who despises seeing location-based advertising would appreciate this kind of proxy. This may stop a website from targeting you with marketing information. For instance, if a news website is aware of your location, it will send you updates on local news.
However, websites are less likely to use specific ad-targeting strategies while employing an anonymous server.
HIGH ANONYMITY PROXY
This is among the safest methods for browsing the Internet. The IP address that a High Anonymity proxy server displays to the web server are changed regularly. Because of this, it is challenging and nearly impossible to follow the traffic flow.
With a minor modification, this one functions almost exactly like an anonymous proxy. It sends a bogus address instead of entirely obscuring your IP address, giving the impression that you are operating from a different location. This server will be helpful if browsing a website with content restrictions.
How to Choose A Proxy Server?
Advice for Picking a Trustworthy Proxy Service
Finding The Best Type of Proxy Server for You
Different types of proxy servers are needed for various use cases. The first item on your to-do list should be locating the supplier supplying the proxy you require. This is the first step to do before jumping on to how to choose a proxy provider.
Proxy servers come in a severalarieties, each with a different set of features and prices.
The cheapest, quickest, and easiest-to-see proxies are those used in datacenters. They work best when you need to access geo-restricted information, need speed, or use unsecured websites. Residential IPs come in sizable rotating proxy pools and are challenging to block. They are more expensive, though. The most common use cases are search engine monitoring, extensive site scraping, and purchasing limited-edition footwear.
Fast and difficult to detect, ISP proxies (also known as static residential proxies) fall somewhere amid the previous two, but they are also significantly more costly. These IPs are perfect for jobs generating traffic or logging into secure websites that demand a consistent identity. The most dedicated IPs are mobile proxies. The difficult to block and able to handle mobile-based websites, they are also the priciest. Mobile proxies are used to test mobile apps and the most complex websites, such as social networking platforms.
You could want to utilize a proxy-based API instead of proxies entirely in some use scenarios. These solutions facilitate data collection from intricate websites like Google or Amazon, which equip proxy servers with web scraping and, occasionally data processing capabilities.
Confirm the IP pool’s size
The size of a proxy pool indicates how many IP addresses a provider holds. It’s among the most crucial considerations when picking a proxy service. Let’s understand why shall we?
For instance, datacenter proxies frequently originate from the same subnet, which has a block size of 256 IP addresses. The subnet diversity will be limited if the proxy provider has a tiny proxy pool, which means you’ll be given IPs from fewer blocks. Websites can easily ban the entire datacenter subnet of IPs, so you’ll need to purchase extra addresses to cover the prohibited ones.
When referring to residential proxies, the size of the IP pool is much more crucial. Since it’s a peer-to-peer service, it depends on actual people’s IP addresses. Since proxy peers can connect and disconnect their devices from the network anytime, the claimed number of proxies in such pools is only an estimate, and available addresses vary daily.
So, even if it can seem like overkill, it makes sense to seek for the largest proxy pool that fits within your price range. According to our research, the more premium a firm is, its promises are more accurate. Some companies grossly overstate their stats. Therefore, when you are considering to how to choose a proxy server, you must not skip this step.
Research About the Features You’ll Require
Determine the characteristics your project will require as well. They can range from choices for location filtering and authentication to settings for IP rotation. The degree to which a proxy service can accommodate your demands will depend on these features.
When web scraping, for instance, you might wish to change your IP address with each connection request. Despite having IP rotation, some providers are unable to provide this capability. As a result, you might have to put some effort into configuring the service to your preferences or modify your configuration in light of the constraint.
Similarly, you could want a provider that offers ASN, city, or country targeting. You won’t be able to rely on the keyword, pricing, or other information provided for specific locations if the service provides a wide range of locations but no way to filter them.
Test Service Efficiency
Performance tests the proxy infrastructure’s sturdiness. A lot of companies provide free trials or a money-back guarantee. There are various ways to evaluate a proxy service’s performance if that is not an option.
You can check out consumer reviews, read reviews from market experts, or try proxies for yourself. However, you shouldn’t follow them blindly because there are different use cases and because sometimes success depends on things other than the proxy network. Imagine you wanted to scrape a secure website. No matter how effective the proxies are, if you have a web scraper that isn’t configured correctly, your IP will be blacklisted. The proxy service wouldn’t be at fault in this situation.
Check out our evaluations of the top proxy services if this sounds like too much work for you and you don’t have time to complete your homework. You can discover which proxy services handled load the best (or worse), had the best (or worst) success rate, and how quickly they responded.
Pay Attention to Customer Support
Proxy services include intricate procedures that require ongoing observation. Even though providers supply paperwork, it can never handle all problems or urgent situations. When things go wrong, customer assistance will be there to assist you.
24/7 customer assistance is essential if you depend on a proxy service’s ongoing availability. But why would you require a service that is available 24/7? The obvious: You could experience problems both day and night. Even if that’s not the case, people who reside in highly different time zones occasionally struggle to seek help.
Excellent client service enables immediate access via live chat, Skype, and other instant messaging services in addition to promptly responding to queries.
A dedicated account manager is available with some proxy services. They will be your only point of contact while the service is in operation. Account managers can assist you with particular issues or provide their experience to help you achieve your business objectives.
But be aware – you’ll find many promotional tips out there. Don’t stick with a service that you don’t like. Try other providers if you bought a monthly plan and the service doesn’t seem to work out. Don’t think about using proxy services for illegal activities. Before getting a plan, you’ll most likely have to go through a KYC check. It usually takes up to three days but helps to keep the network clean.
Think About the Cost
Good proxies are typically pricey. However, it doesn’t follow that you can’t locate a trustworthy provider that fits your spending limit. You can eliminate applicants by listing the qualities you value most.
You might not require, for instance, some sophisticated functionality like ASN targeting. Giving it up will cut the cost of Bright Data in half and open the door to several excellent providers, like Smartproxy. Paying extra doesn’t guarantee that the provider will have a better connection or quicker speeds if your main priority is performance. The size of the proxy pool is one element that typically has a cost, though.
Also Read: 10 Cheapest Residential Proxy Providers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Need A Proxy Server?
A proxy server is a powerful tool for protecting users from malicious activity as they browse the internet. Acting as an intermediary between a user and a source on the web, proxy servers retrieve data from an external site in a secure manner.
In doing so, they provide an extra layer of security beyond what can be achieved through traditional firewalls alone. This feature makes proxies highly sought-after by organizations that value their network security – after all, there are no guarantees when it comes to maintaining safe activity online.
Proxies reduce data leakage and other risks associated with online browsing by allowing access through a secure channel. Altogether, proxy servers provide invaluable assistance to those seeking efficient internet protection. Therefore, it is essential to know how to choose a proxy server.
What Can I Use Instead Of A Proxy Server?
Although proxy servers offer some level of protection, they are not as secure as VPNs. VPNs create an encrypted tunnel that allows users to browse the web without exposing their IP address and other data associated with their connection. Encryption scatters your data across the internet making it difficult to authenticate and track your activities online.
In addition, a VPN offers additional security such as authentication, access control and even virus scanning. Ultimately, this makes them one of the most secure technologies available for keeping user’s data private and safe from malicious actors on the web.
Use paid services only. For continued operation, high-maintenance services require several (paid) resources. There is no such thing as free unless they receive something in exchange, like money or your data. Ask questions without reservation. Contact customer service; they are available 24/7 to assist with your needs. Or you might join other Discord groups and ask people about the service you wish to buy.
The company’s positioning heavily influences the prices. The smaller clientele is the focus of providers with reduced per-gigabyte costs. Although premium services are more expensive, the difference might become negligible if you want terabytes of data.