Getting cheap or free proxies sound good until you learn what you are giving away to gain access to them. Sometimes a shady free proxy can steal your cookies and even inject scripts on the websites you visit.
What Is A Proxy?
A proxy is an intermediary between you and the website you want to visit. There are many benefits of having a middleman between you and the wide internet, privacy, security, and unrestricted access are among the few. There are a couple of different types of proxies available, we will discuss the major ones that you can easily find for either free or from a reputable provider.
Types of Proxies
Residential proxies give you IP addresses of real, physical devices that are actually there. This allows you to be completely safe from detection and reduces the chances of your allotted IP getting blacklisted. When you are using a residential proxy, you will appear like a normal day-to-day user to most servers and you’ll be virtually impossible to distinguish. This is the best proxy to use if you are aiming to avoid regional restrictions, get authentic information from websites, and remain anonymous.
As the name suggests, datacenter proxies are proxies that originate in a datacenter. The IP addresses are manufactured artificially at the data center and a single server holds thousands if not hundreds of proxies. The downside is that all the IPs of a server will share a subnetwork. This can make them easier detected and put on a blacklist. The upside is that most websites simply won’t care if you are using a datacenter proxy and they are blazingly fast, especially when compared with other types of proxies.
Shared proxies are proxies that are shared among multiple clients. They can be used by anyone at any time. These are the ones you can find for cheap and the major reason is that multiple clients split the costs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, many good quality shared proxies are backed by powerful network architecture. We recommended to read more about shared proxies and best providers https://proxyway.com/shared-proxies.
Public proxies are what you can easily find for free online. They can work alright one moment and go down the other. They are usually unsafe, unreliable, and incompetent. Most of them are just traps set up by surveillance agencies or hackers.
Are Free Proxies Safe?
Free proxies and proxy services are usually unsafe. They can take anything from your data to your browsing cookies. Some proxies go as far as injecting scripts directly on the websites you visit. Many do this to insert advertisements, but that can be exploited in shady hands.
Sure, if you just want to check out one website that’s blocked in your region without the need to log in or give any credentials, a free proxy can get the job done. However, if you plan on doing anything more, using a free proxy is not a good idea. Especially if you are a business owner or deal with sensitive information.
Are Cheap Proxies Good?
A cheap proxy can work however, the quality of that work depends on the company that’s providing the service. Many of them are shady outright, and even if you find the one that works, speed and reliability will be an issue. Some of the services are out there just to scam users as well.
If you need to perform a couple of non-sensitive tasks then yes, a cheap proxy will get you through. If you have a long term need for a proxy, especially if you aim to do web scraping, then getting a better service is the way to go.
Selecting the Best Proxy
There are a couple of ways you can select the perfect proxy provider for your needs:
- Be clear on why you need a proxy, i.e. anonymous surfing, avoiding region restrictions, using social media accounts, or do web scraping.
- Narrow down a couple of potential providers.
- Look at their ratings and reviews. Feel free to contact the company if you have any concerns, this is a great way to see if they have good support or not.
- Check out what other review sites are saying about the provider.
- Select the one that suits your needs the best.
It is always important to select the best proxy that can do tasks you need it to do. Some proxy providers are excellent if you want to manage multiple social media pages, some are awesome in browsing speeds, and some are amazing at smooth web scraping.