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With the internet filled with a lot of predators waiting for prey to fall in their trap, the advent of proxy servers has bought about some level of sanity.
Asides protection from cybercriminals, proxy servers help you to access a library of unrestricted content online without having to worry. You also get to enjoy your privacy – mixed feelings?
Most people believe privacy is an issue with proxies, and they are right to think this too. But, (yes, there is a but), this issue is only applicable to when you use free proxies.
Free proxies are mostly high risk because not a lot of work is put into making them safe. So don’t be surprised if you are on a proxy server and still get expected privacy. Reason? You may be using the same free proxy has your hacker – quite ironic!
So, what is the solution?
The short answer is – try premium proxies. Before you get carried away, take a look at this.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is simply the middleman between a client and other servers. This ‘middleman’ basically lives to get requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
For instance, when a client connects to the proxy server, it requests for some kind of service, such as a file, connection, or other resources available from a different server. In turn, the proxy server analyses this request, and finds a way to simplify and control its complexity.
You can also imagine the proxy server as a bridge, taking you from where you are to the place you want to be. Most times, when this gateway is discussed, it is described as just that – a gateway, or a bus. The truth is there is more to a proxy server than just this.
While the proxy server is an intermediary, it also serves as a firewall and web filter. If you need shared network connections, and cache data to speed up common requests, don’t look too far.
Also, it may make slight changes to the data you send but still get you the information you requested. A proxy server also can change your IP address, so the webserver can keep on pondering on where you are in the world!
The best thing about the proxy server is that it provides calmness from the whole craziness of the internet. With hackers and attackers on the prowl, this provision is much needed.
Although a lot of people get confused about whether to use a proxy server or VPN, this confusion will be debunked as you read on.
Why Choose a Proxy Server?
Using a proxy server has a lot of perks, although people still believe VPN is better. As said earlier, there is more to a proxy than just connecting you to your destination on the internet. Here are some reasons you should choose a proxy server;
Using a proxy server will help to keep you protected while surfing the web – even the hidden parts of it. Most people use proxy servers to surf the internet privately. With the ability to change/conceal IP addresses, your identity and personal information are private. This means the destination server is denied from knowing who made the original request.
You may wonder how this works?
A proxy server typically has its own IP address. So when you use it to connect to a website, it will see only the IP address of the proxy and not your IP address.
Accessing Restricted Content
Another useful thing about the proxy server is its ability to get you around location-based restricted content and give you access to blocked websites.
It is quite easy to use, simply turn it on and that’s it. The only thing is you need to be sure of using a proxy server that’s in the right location. For instance, if you’re based in the UK and trying to access a video content that’s blocked in your country, but accessible in the US, then you’ll need to use a US-based proxy server.
One feature you can always trust with any proxy server is better and improved network performance. Proxy servers can cache the site contents.
Meaning every time you log on to a website, the proxy server saves the information of that website. Upon subsequent visits to that website, the proxy server will check to see if it is the most recent copy of the site, and then send you the saved copy.
For example, when hundreds of users log in to a website at the same time from the same proxy server, the server only sends one request to the site until the content is modified. This process helps the proxy server to serve the content faster.
Why Premium Proxy?
A premium server is a fast, reliable, and fully anonymous proxy server. They are stable, secure, and anonymous. Unlike the free proxy servers, which are laden with risks, premium proxies are much more reliable and efficient in function.
The use of a premium proxy server saves you from the troubles of going through an entire list of a public proxy server. With a premium proxy, you will have control over its authentication, plus you can rest easy.
Another thing is unlike the free proxy servers; these premium servers do not crash or shut down. You do not need to worry about getting disconnected.
The servers are managed by trustworthy companies and are configured and supported by experts. So no worries here!
I hope by now, you have an idea about proxy benefits. Let’s explore the following premium proxy solutions.
Access the whole pool of 40M+ rotating residential IPs in more than 195 locations worldwide and scrape freely with Smartproxy. They also offer all sorts of niceties like rotating sessions, random residential IPs, geo-targeting, sticky sessions, the automatic proxy rotator, and more.
With Lime proxies, you get to enjoy high network performance and functionality. The fully automated control panel makes it easy for you to navigate your way through.
Besides, you can change your IP address anytime you want. Plus you get to add as many as 25 IPs to be authenticated for proxy usage.
Lime proxies allow both IP and Username-based authentication, and you enjoy a dedicated IP. Meaning no one shares your address with you!
My IP Hide
My IP Hide is one of the trusted premium proxy servers. It has a lot of great features and got more than 75 servers in 22+ countries.
You can use the built-in encrypted connections to bypass any firewall, accessing any website at any time. My IP Hide is fast and stable. More stable than the free proxy and 13 times faster than a VPN! Another thing is you can use it on any of your devices (Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux). Meaning your devices can use the same license as there is no limit on the data transfer.
Proxy-seller gives you reliable technical workability of proxy. All the proxies offered are considered to be extremely reliable when it comes to performance and stability.
You have an option to buy IPv4 or IPv6 proxy.
Oxylabs gives you instant access to continually maintained residential proxies. You get to enjoy 100% anonymity on the web, with smooth, and effective human-like scraping.
Oxylabs got more than 30 million IPs around the world and can be a perfect choice for the home user as well as business-like the following.
Email delivery and protection
IPs are available in almost all countries, including China.
Scrape the web with Netnut and never get blocked. It gives you a system that will ensure that you get an identifier mapped to your IP. You can define your Static IP address using this unique identifier.
Also, the server provides a unique IP per each browser session that can be integrated into any browser. Along with the dashboard access, all your usage statistics are made available in near-real time for retrieval via a simple API.
GeoSurf residential IPs are based on a P2P Network. This means you can harvest the web by accessing a pool of over 2 million unblocked IPs.
With the inbuilt IP rotation API, you can enjoy high scope & high-performance enterprise-level activities. You can also send unlimited parallel requests through millions of 100% verified working IPs. GeoSurf also gives you detailed usage statistics for your account. Allowing you to monitor and optimize your data collection process.
Premium proxy is slightly expensive than VPN but considering its benefits, totally worth it! I hope the above-listed solution helps you to choose one for your requirements.
What is a Proxy Server? How It Works & How to Use It | Fortinet
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server provides a gateway between users and the internet. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online.
When a computer connects to the internet, it uses an IP address. This is similar to your home’s street address, telling incoming data where to go and marking outgoing data with a return address for other devices to authenticate. A proxy server is essentially a computer on the internet that has an IP address of its own.
Proxy Servers and Network Security
Proxies provide a valuable layer of security for your computer. They can be set up as web filters or firewalls, protecting your computer from internet threats like malware.
This extra security is also valuable when coupled with a secure web gateway or other email security products. This way, you can filter traffic according to its level of safety or how much traffic your network—or individual computers—can handle.
How to use a proxy? Some people use proxies for personal purposes, such as hiding their location while watching movies online, for example. For a company, however, they can be used to accomplish several key tasks such as:
Secure employees’ internet activity from people trying to snoop on them
Balance internet traffic to prevent crashes
Control the websites employees and staff access in the office
Save bandwidth by caching files or compressing incoming traffic
How a Proxy Works
Because a proxy server has its own IP address, it acts as a go-between for a computer and the internet. Your computer knows this address, and when you send a request on the internet, it is routed to the proxy, which then gets the response from the web server and forwards the data from the page to your computer’s browser, like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge
How to Get a Proxy
There are hardware and software versions. Hardware connections sit between your network and the internet, where they get, send, and forward data from the web. Software proxies are typically hosted by a provider or reside in the cloud. You download and install an application on your computer that facilitates interaction with the proxy.
Often, a software proxy can be obtained for a monthly fee. Sometimes, they are free. The free versions tend to offer users fewer addresses and may only cover a few devices, while the paid proxies can meet the demands of a business with many devices.
How Is the Server Set Up?
To get started with a proxy server, you have to configure it in your computer, device, or network. Each operating system has its own setup procedures, so check the steps required for your computer or network.
In most cases, however, setup means using an automatic configuration script. If you want to do it manually, there will be options to enter the IP address and the appropriate port.
How Does the Proxy Protect Computer Privacy and Data?
A proxy server performs the function of a firewall and filter. The end-user or a network administrator can choose a proxy designed to protect data and privacy. This examines the data going in and out of your computer or network. It then applies rules to prevent you from having to expose your digital address to the world. Only the proxy’s IP address is seen by hackers or other bad actors. Without your personal IP address, people on the internet do not have direct access to your personal data, schedules, apps, or files.
With it in place, web requests go to the proxy, which then reaches out and gets what you want from the internet. If the server has encryption capabilities, passwords and other personal data get an extra tier of protection.
Benefits of a Proxy Server
Proxies come with several benefits that can give your business an advantage:
Enhanced security: Can act like a firewall between your systems and the internet. Without them, hackers have easy access to your IP address, which they can use to infiltrate your computer or network.
Private browsing, watching, listening, and shopping: Use different proxies to help you avoid getting inundated with unwanted ads or the collection of IP-specific data.
Access to location-specific content: You can designate a proxy server with an address associated with another country. You can, in effect, make it look like you are in that country and gain full access to all the content computers in that country are allowed to interact with.
Prevent employees from browsing inappropriate or distracting sites: You can use it to block access to websites that run contrary to your organization’s principles. Also, you can block sites that typically end up distracting employees from important tasks. Some organizations block social media sites like Facebook and others to remove time-wasting temptations.
Types of Proxy Servers
While all proxy servers give users an alternate address with which to use the internet, there are several different kinds—each with its own features.
A forward proxy sits in front of clients and is used to get data to groups of users within an internal network. When a request is sent, the proxy server examines it to decide whether it should proceed with making a connection.
A forward proxy is best suited for internal networks that need a single point of entry. It provides IP address security for those in the network and allows for straightforward administrative control. However, a forward proxy may limit an organization’s ability to cater to the needs of individual end-users.
A transparent proxy can give users an experience identical to what they would have if they were using their home computer. In that way, it is “transparent. ” They can also be “forced” on users, meaning they are connected without knowing it.
Transparent proxies are well-suited for companies that want to make use of a proxy without making employees aware they are using one. It carries the advantage of providing a seamless user experience. On the other hand, transparent proxies are more susceptible to certain security threats, such as SYN-flood denial-of-service attacks.
An anonymous proxy focuses on making internet activity untraceable. It works by accessing the internet on behalf of the user while hiding their identity and computer information.
A transparent proxy is best suited for users who want to have full anonymity while accessing the internet. While transparent proxies provide some of the best identity protection possible, they are not without drawbacks. Many view the use of transparent proxies as underhanded, and users sometimes face pushback or discrimination as a result.
High Anonymity Proxy
A high anonymity proxy is an anonymous proxy that takes anonymity one step further. It works by erasing your information before the proxy attempts to connect to the target site.
The server is best suited for users for whom anonymity is an absolute necessity, such as employees who do not want their activity traced back to the organization. On the downside, some of them, particularly the free ones, are decoys set up to trap users in order to access their personal information or data.
A distorting proxy identifies itself as a proxy to a website but hides its own identity. It does this by changing its IP address to an incorrect one.
Distorting proxies are a good choice for people who want to hide their location while accessing the internet. This type of proxy can make it look like you are browsing from a specific country and give you the advantage of hiding not just your identity but that of the proxy, too. This means even if you are associated with the proxy, your identity is still secure. However, some websites automatically block distorting proxies, which could keep an end-user from accessing sites they need.
Data Center Proxy
Data center proxies are not affiliated with an internet service provider (ISP) but are provided by another corporation through a data center. The proxy server exists in a physical data center, and the user’s requests are routed through that server.
Data center proxies are a good choice for people who need quick response times and an inexpensive solution. They are therefore a good choice for people who need to gather intelligence on a person or organization very quickly. They carry the benefit of giving users the power to swiftly and inexpensively harvest data. On the other hand, they do not offer the highest level of anonymity, which may put users’ information or identity at risk.
A residential proxy gives you an IP address that belongs to a specific, physical device. All requests are then channeled through that device.
Residential proxies are well-suited for users who need to verify the ads that go on their website, so you can block cookies, suspicious or unwanted ads from competitors or bad actors. Residential proxies are more trustworthy than other proxy options. However, they often cost more money to use, so users should carefully analyze whether the benefits are worth the extra investment.
A public proxy is accessible by anyone free of charge. It works by giving users access to its IP address, hiding their identity as they visit sites.
Public proxies are best suited for users for whom cost is a major concern and security and speed are not. Although they are free and easily accessible, they are often slow because they get bogged down with free users. When you use a public proxy, you also run an increased risk of having your information accessed by others on the internet.
Shared proxies are used by more than one user at once. They give you access to an IP address that may be shared by other people, and then you can surf the internet while appearing to browse from a location of your choice.
Shared proxies are a solid option for people who do not have a lot of money to spend and do not necessarily need a fast connection. The main advantage of a shared proxy is its low cost. Because they are shared by others, you may get blamed for someone else’s bad decisions, which could get you banned from a site.
A secure sockets layer (SSL) proxy provides decryption between the client and the server. As the data is encrypted in both directions, the proxy hides its existence from both the client and the server.
These proxies are best suited for organizations that need enhanced protection against threats that the SSL protocol reveals and stops. Because Google prefers servers that use SSL, an SSL proxy, when used in connection with a website, may help its search engine ranking. On the downside, content encrypted on an SSL proxy cannot be cached, so when visiting websites multiple times, you may experience slower performance than you would otherwise.
A rotating proxy assigns a different IP address to each user that connects to it. As users connect, they are given an address that is unique from the device that connected before it.
Rotating proxies are ideal for users who need to do a lot of high-volume, continuous web scraping. They allow you to return to the same website again and again anonymously. However, you have to be careful when choosing rotating proxy services. Some of them contain public or shared proxies that could expose your data.
Unlike a forward proxy, which sits in front of clients, a reverse proxy is positioned in front of web servers and forwards requests from a browser to the web servers. It works by intercepting requests from the user at the network edge of the web server. It then sends the requests to and receives replies from the origin server.
Reverse proxies are a strong option for popular websites that need to balance the load of many incoming requests. They can help an organization reduce bandwidth load because they act like another web server managing incoming requests. The downside is reverse proxies can potentially expose the HTTP server architecture if an attacker is able to penetrate it. This means network administrators may have to beef up or reposition their firewall if they are using a reverse proxy.
Proxy Server vs. VPN
On the surface, proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) may seem interchangeable because they both route requests and responses through an external server. Both also allow you to access websites that would otherwise block the country you’re physically located in. However, VPNs provide better protection against hackers because they encrypt all traffic.
Choosing VPN or Proxy
If you need to constantly access the internet to send and receive data that should be encrypted or if your company has to reveal data you must hide from hackers and corporate spies, a VPN would be a better choice.
If an organization merely needs to allow its users to browse the internet anonymously, a proxy server may do the trick. This is the better solution if you simply want to know which websites team members are using or you want to make sure they have access to sites that block users from your country.
A VPN is better suited for business use because users usually need secure data transmission in both directions. Company information and personnel data can be very valuable in the wrong hands, and a VPN provides the encryption you need to keep it protected. For personal use where a breach would only affect you, a single user, a proxy server may be an adequate choice. You can also use both technologies simultaneously, particularly if you want to limit the websites that users within your network visit while also encrypting their communications.
How Fortinet Can Help
FortiGate has the capability of both proxies and VPNs. It shields users from data breaches that often happen with high-speed traffic and uses IPsec and SSL to enhance security. FortiGate also harnesses the power of the FortiASIC hardware accelerator to enhance performance without compromising privacy. Secure your network with FortiGate VPN and proxy capabilities. Contact us to learn more.
What is a Proxy Service? – Definition from Techopedia
What Does Proxy Service Mean?
A proxy service is an intermediary role played by
software or a dedicated computer system between an endpoint device and a client
which is requesting the service. The proxy service may exist on the same
machine or on a separate server. The proxy service enables the client to connect
to a different server and provides easy access to services like Web pages,
connections or files.
Techopedia Explains Proxy Service
The main purpose of a proxy service is to filter requests to ensure that no dangerous traffic creeps in by applying strict routing rules and to boost the performance of the system. A proxy service works simply – when a proxy service receives a request, for example, to open a Web page, it looks for the already cached pages. If it finds the requested page in the already cached page, it returns it to the user. If the page is not yet cached, proxy service uses its own IP address to fetch the page from the server for the client.
Proxy services are mainly of two types – forward proxy and reverse proxy. Forward proxy is an Internet-facing proxy that is used to retrieve a range of sources. A reverse proxy is particularly used for protection and security of the server. It includes tasks like caching, authentication and decryption.
Other types of proxies include transparent proxies, anonymous proxies, DNS proxies and highly anonymous proxies.
Frequently Asked Questions about premium proxy service
What is a proxy service used for?
A proxy server is a system or router that provides a gateway between users and the internet. Therefore, it helps prevent cyber attackers from entering a private network. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online.
What is meant by proxy service?
A proxy service is an intermediary role played by software or a dedicated computer system between an endpoint device and a client which is requesting the service. … The proxy service enables the client to connect to a different server and provides easy access to services like Web pages, connections or files.
What is the strongest proxy server?
Here’s the list of the best proxy servers that you can find in 2021.KProxy – Best free proxy.HMA – Best proxy browser.VPNBook – Best for security.ProxySite – Best for smartphones.Whoer – Best value for money.GeoSurf – Best for unlimited IP connections.Zyte – Best for scraping websites.More items…