Proxies are an integral part of anonymous internet surfing. But beyond anonymity, proxies also improve performance and can act as traffic filters.
There are different types of proxies, all of which can be paid or free. Whichever you choose to use will work. However, there are some differences in the service you get from free and paid proxies. Hence, the need for this article explores everything you should know.
What Are Proxies?
When browsing the internet, your identity follows every page you visit. This is thanks to the IP address attached to your internet requests.
But you’d agree that this can be uncomfortable sometimes. Also, with the growth rate of cybercrimes, it’s impossible not to be worried about who can see your online activities.
Furthermore, big tech collect as much data as they can from users, and use it for advertisers’ bidding. This is where proxies come in.
Proxies are software or hardware devices that randomly mask a user’s IP address to ensure the user maintains anonymity through their browser session. A proxy acts as the intermediate between your browser and the internet.
Hence, when you enter a URL, your browser requests the page from the internet. Your IP address follows this request. The requests first make a stop at the proxy server.
A new IP address is assigned to the request, which hides your original IP address. The request is then forwarded to the website server you want to visit. The website returns a response to your proxy, and the proxy displays the page on your browser.
This primary function of proxies is a common resource you should leverage in staying anonymous online. When your IP address is not visible on the internet, it’s almost impossible to trace your activities back to you. You can enjoy proxy privacy and improved safety with a free or paid proxy.
Finally, you don’t get to be a victim.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Free Proxies
Free proxies are available to the general public without having to pay. Like any service, free proxies come with advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of Free Proxies.
- The major advantage of a free proxy is that you don’t have to pay for it. This makes it ideal for infrequent users who only need a proxy once in a while.
- A free proxy can give you access to content restricted in your country.
- Free proxies are not safe, as they could easily have been built by hackers looking to access your data.
- They are mainly not encrypted services. Hence, they don’t provide the security and privacy you need from a proxy.
- Ad spamming is a major problem of free proxies. Because they are free, the only way the creators can generate revenue is to serve ads, which makes the platform open to spam.
- Free proxies are also known to have terrible connections.
- The proxies can be blocked anytime because they need more resources to maintain each user’s anonymity.
Features Of Paid Proxies
Paid proxies are services offered by businesses with dedicated teams maintaining, supporting and improving the service. Since these providers generate revenue from their user base, they have more resources to make the platform safe, reliable, and high-performance. Paid proxies offer you everything free proxies fail at and more.
Most times, these providers offer private proxies, personal proxies used by one person per time. The user has complete control over the assigned IP address as long as they are subscribed to the service. Click here to read more about the best private proxies.
Here are important features of paid private proxies to note:
● Customer service
Private proxy providers have a customer support team on hand, which are there to help users through any issue. Some paid proxy providers also have an online compendium of information to guide users through difficulties that may arise.
Performance is at the core of paid private proxies. The proxy servers are optimized, and users enjoy seamless connection and bandwidth.
Paid proxies are safe and offer better anonymity than free proxies. They also have advanced security systems that keep users’ data safe. Also, these proxies make it impossible for any traffic to be traced back to your device.
● Diversity of service
Paid proxy servers offer different types of proxies. These are HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS proxies. If you’re web scraping, HTTP is a good choice.
Common use cases of proxies
Both individuals and businesses need proxies. Here are some of the use cases that make these add-ons necessary.
- Brand protection: Proxies offer added data security
- Market research: Proxies help you get local insight into target locations
- Access to geo-restricted content: You can use proxies to skirt any geo-restriction on sites like Netflix.
- Traffic filtering: As a website owner, you can use proxies to filter your site’s traffic.
As a business, subscribing to a paid proxy service is essential. Though either free or paid, proxies are beneficial components of web surfing. With proxies, you can enjoy different security perks while exploring different marketing strategies.