Control over the users’ actions on the Internet has greatly increased in recent years. Many resources restrict access to their materials geographically, and the counties’ authorities block objectionable platforms on their territory. Regardless of the exact reason, proxy servers can help you solve the problem with such restrictions. Find out what they are, their benefits, and how to choose the right service for you.
How Proxy Servers Work
When searching for information on the Internet, all parties involved in this process exchange information. For example, your ISP and the site you visit know where you currently are based on your IP address. Because of it, as we mentioned above, access to certain materials may be limited. When using a proxy, an intermediary appears between you and the resource you are interested in. Your request arrives at a server and is sent further on its behalf. This way, sites “think” the request came from a different location due to the changed IP, so you can open it.
Pros of Using a Proxy
All the advantages of using proxies are based on the fact that they ensure the anonymity of users in the Internet space:
- you have the opportunity to study any resources, regardless of restrictions;
- you maintain your data confidentiality, which in turn prevents companies from imposing targeted advertising on you;
- it’s possible to use SEO and SMM tools to the fullest, for example, to analyze the target audience in a particular region;
- proxy settings allow you to restrict access to certain sites on your part, which is often used in educational institutions or companies;
- when choosing a reliable mobile or residential proxies provider, you are protected from hacker attacks and scammers.
As you can see, changing the visible IP address can be helpful for a variety of purposes.
Industries That Use Proxies
While such servers are also utilized for private use, they are extremely important and sometimes indispensable in the following industries and areas:
- all types of marketing;
- software testing;
- online casinos, sports betting, and video games;
- running and promoting your own business;
- comfortable use of the Internet for private purposes.
Also, any company can use proxy servers to control which sites their employees visit and restrict access to entertaining or inappropriate content.
How to Choose the Right Proxy
There are really a lot of proxy providers, and choosing the most suitable service for your purposes can be tricky. When searching for a company, pay attention to the parameters described below.
There are both paid and free proxies. Of course, the latter is more accessible. Open (public) servers that you can connect to for free are not the best option as they can malfunction, slow your traffic, and not protect your data. As a rule, such resources do not have customization options, so they are best used for simple Internet surfing. Paid proxies are much more secure, reliable, and comfortable to use. They provide you with a private IP and high-speed and high-quality access to blocked platforms or games. In general, paid accounts do not have all the disadvantages the free ones have.
Since a lot of your information passes through proxy servers, including sensitive data, you should trust your service provider. Therefore, before buying, you should carefully study the ratings and reviews of a company. The supplier should have a clean reputation and preferably a long history, which reduces the likelihood of your personal information being used for fraudulent purposes. While negative reviews may come from users of the highest quality company, the presence of a large number of dissatisfied customers should be a warning signal to you. Avoid such providers so as not to suffer from a possible leak of your data.
Available servers and IP pool
The breadth of coverage is one of the key factors for those involved in the digital industry. The more available servers your provider has, the more stable your connection is. Besides, it allows users to access even those sites only open to residents of certain regions. If you work with clients of a particular country, the provider should have servers there. Usually, the list of locations and the number of available IPs can be viewed directly on the provider’s website.
There is a huge variety of proxy servers that can be divided into various groups depending on their work features and technical criteria:
- used protocol: HTTP, HTTPS, or SOCKS;
- level of anonymity;
- placement: mobile, datacenter, or resident;
- static or rotating IPs;
- public or private (general and dedicated);
- support for IPv4 or IPv6 protocols.
Regardless of the type you choose, the purchased server will ensure your anonymity and provide access to blocked resources. However, each of the described kinds has its own unique features that can be really important for your business. So study this issue in more detail before buying a proxy.
Trial period and extra features
Using a trial period, you can fully evaluate the available functionality and understand whether the chosen proxy is suitable for you before paying for a subscription. The list of additional features may vary depending on a specific company but usually includes such useful things as script and banner blocking. It’s good if your provider offers the possibility of replacing a server if the previous one didn’t suit you. Do not forget to clarify how technical support works and whether you can get around-the-clock consultation.
Test Several Companies to Determine The Best
The choice of a provider and server type largely depends on your needs. You can pick the most accessible service for simple Internet surfing, while it will not be enough for complex work tasks. A reliable service provider will ensure you have access to the resources you need, maintain your anonymity, and allow you to avoid blocking your account due to high activity. Try free trials with several providers to see who offers the best proxy.
Have you ever looked for a proxy server for work or private use? What criteria did you focus on? What do you consider the most important when choosing a company?