What is a Proxy Server and How Does it Work? – Varonis
The actual nuts and bolts of how the internet works are not something people often stop to consider. The problem with that is the inherent danger of data security breaches and identity theft that come along with the cute dog pictures, 24-hour news updates, and great deals online.
But what actually happens when you browse the web? You might be using a proxy server at your office, on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or you could be one of the more tech-savvy who always use a proxy server of some kind or another.
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What’s a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is any machine that translates traffic between networks or protocols. It’s an intermediary server separating end-user clients from the destinations that they browse. Proxy servers provide varying levels of functionality, security, and privacy depending on your use case, needs, or company policy.
If you’re using a proxy server, traffic flows through the proxy server on its way to the address you requested. The request then comes back through that same proxy server (there are exceptions to this rule), and then the proxy server forwards the data received from the website to you.
If that’s all it does, why bother with a proxy server? Why not just go straight from to the website and back?
Modern proxy servers do much more than forward web requests, all in the name of data security and network performance. Proxy servers act as a firewall and web filter, provide shared network connections, and cache data to speed up common requests. A good proxy server keeps users and the internal network protected from the bad stuff that lives out in the wild internet. Lastly, proxy servers can provide a high level of privacy.
How Does a Proxy Server Operate?
Every computer on the internet needs to have a unique Internet Protocol (IP) Address. Think of this IP address as your computer’s street address. Just as the post office knows to deliver your mail to your street address, the internet knows how to send the correct data to the correct computer by the IP address.
A proxy server is basically a computer on the internet with its own IP address that your computer knows. When you send a web request, your request goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then makes your web request on your behalf, collects the response from the web server, and forwards you the web page data so you can see the page in your browser.
When the proxy server forwards your web requests, it can make changes to the data you send and still get you the information that you expect to see. A proxy server can change your IP address, so the web server doesn’t know exactly where you are in the world. It can encrypt your data, so your data is unreadable in transit. And lastly, a proxy server can block access to certain web pages, based on IP address.
What are Forward Proxies
A forward proxy server sits between the client and an external network. It evaluates the outbound requests and takes action on them before relaying that request to the external resource.
Most proxy services that you’re likely to encounter are forward proxies. Virtual Private Networks and Web content filters are both examples of forward proxies.
What are Reverse Proxies
A reverse proxy server sits between a network and multiple other internal resources. A large website might have dozens of servers that collectively serve requests from a single domain. To accomplish that, client requests would resolve to a machine that would act as a load balancer. The load balancer would then proxy that traffic back to the individual servers.
Some popular open source reverse proxies are:
Why Should You Use a Proxy Server?
There are several reasons organizations and individuals use a proxy server.
To control internet usage of employees and children: Organizations and parents set up proxy servers to control and monitor how their employees or kids use the internet. Most organizations don’t want you looking at specific websites on company time, and they can configure the proxy server to deny access to specific sites, instead redirecting you with a nice note asking you to refrain from looking at said sites on the company network. They can also monitor and log all web requests, so even though they might not block the site, they know how much time you spend cyberloafing.
Bandwidth savings and improved speeds: Organizations can also get better overall network performance with a good proxy server. Proxy servers can cache (save a copy of the website locally) popular websites – so when you ask for, the proxy server will check to see if it has the most recent copy of the site, and then send you the saved copy. What this means is that when hundreds of people hit at the same time from the same proxy server, the proxy server only sends one request to This saves bandwidth for the company and improves the network performance.
Privacy benefits: Individuals and organizations alike use proxy servers to browse the internet more privately. Some proxy servers will change the IP address and other identifying information the web request contains. This means the destination server doesn’t know who actually made the original request, which helps keeps your personal information and browsing habits more private.
Improved security: Proxy servers provide security benefits on top of the privacy benefits. You can configure your proxy server to encrypt your web requests to keep prying eyes from reading your transactions. You can also prevent known malware sites from any access through the proxy server. Additionally, organizations can couple their proxy server with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), so remote users always access the internet through the company proxy. A VPN is a direct connection to the company network that companies provide to external or remote users. By using a VPN, the company can control and verify that their users have access to the resources (email, internal data) they need, while also providing a secure connection for the user to protect the company data.
Get access to blocked resources: Proxy servers allow users to circumvent content restrictions imposed by companies or governments. Is the local sportsball team’s game blacked out online? Log into a proxy server on the other side of the country and watch from there. The proxy server makes it look like you are in California, but you actually live in North Carolina. Several governments around the world closely monitor and restrict access to the internet, and proxy servers offer their citizens access to an uncensored internet.
Now that you have an idea about why organizations and individuals use a proxy server, take a look at the risks below.
Proxy Server Risks
You do need to be cautious when you choose a proxy server: a few common risks can negate any of the potential benefits:
Free proxy server risks
You know the old saying “you get what you pay for? ” Well, using one of the many free proxy server services can be quite risky, even the services using ad-based revenue models.
Free usually means they aren’t investing heavily in backend hardware or encryption. You’ll likely see performance issues and potential data security issues. If you ever find a completely “free” proxy server, tread very carefully. Some of those are just looking to steal your credit card numbers.
Browsing history log
The proxy server has your original IP address and web request information possibly unencrypted, saved locally. Make sure to check if your proxy server logs and saves that data – and what kind of retention or law enforcement cooperation policies they follow.
If you expect to use a proxy server for privacy, but the vendor is just logging and selling your data you might not be receiving the expected value for the service.
If you use a proxy server without encryption, you might as well not use a proxy server. No encryption means you are sending your requests as plain text. Anyone who is listening will be able to pull usernames and passwords and account information really easily. Make sure whatever proxy server you use provides full encryption capability.
Types of Proxy Servers
Not all proxy servers work the same way. It’s important to understand exactly what functionality you’re getting from the proxy server, and ensure that the proxy server meets your use case.
A transparent proxy tells websites that it is a proxy server and it will still pass along your IP address, identifying you to the web server. Businesses, public libraries, and schools often use transparent proxies for content filtering: they’re easy to set up both client and server side.
An anonymous proxy will identify itself as a proxy, but it won’t pass your IP address to the website – this helps prevent identity theft and keep your browsing habits private. They can also prevent a website from serving you targeted marketing content based on your location. For example, if knows you live in Raleigh, NC, they will show you news stories they feel are relevant to Raleigh, NC. Browsing anonymously will prevent a website from using some ad targeting techniques, but is not a 100% guarantee.
A distorting proxy server passes along a false IP address for you while identifying itself as a proxy. This serves similar purposes as the anonymous proxy, but by passing a false IP address, you can appear to be from a different location to get around content restrictions.
High Anonymity proxy
High Anonymity proxy servers periodically change the IP address they present to the web server, making it very difficult to keep track of what traffic belongs to who. High anonymity proxies, like the TOR Network, is the most private and secure way to read the internet.
Proxy servers are a hot item in the news these days with the controversies around Net Neutrality and censorship. By removing net neutrality protections in the United States, Internet Service Providers (ISP) are now able to control your bandwidth and internet traffic. ISPs can potentially tell you what sites you can and cannot see. While there’s a great amount of uncertainty around what is going to happen with Net Neutrality, it’s possible that proxy servers will provide some ability to work around an ISPs restrictions.
Varonis analyzes data from proxy servers to protect you from data breaches and cyber attacks. The addition of proxy data gives more context to better analyze user behavior trends for abnormalities. You can get an alert on that suspicious activity with actionable intelligence to investigate and deal with the incident.
For example, a user accessing GDPR data might not be significant on its own. But if they access GDPR data and then try to upload it to an external website, it could be an exfiltration attempt and potential data breach. Without the context provided by file system monitoring, proxy monitoring, and Varonis threat models, you might see these events in a vacuum and not realize you need to prevent a data breach.
Get a 1:1 demo to see these threat models in action – and see what your proxy data could be telling you.
About proxy servers – IU KB
A proxy server, also known as a “proxy” or “application-level gateway”, is a computer that acts as a gateway between a local network (for example, all the computers at one company or in one building) and a larger-scale network such as the internet. Proxy servers provide increased performance and security. In some cases, they monitor employees’ use of outside resources.
A proxy server works by intercepting connections between sender and receiver. All incoming data enters through one port and is forwarded to the rest of the network via another port. By blocking direct access between two networks, proxy servers make it much more difficult for hackers to get internal addresses and details of a private network.
Some proxy servers are a group of applications or servers that block common internet services. For example, an HTTP proxy intercepts web access, and an SMTP proxy intercepts email. A proxy server uses a network addressing scheme to present one organization-wide IP address to the internet. The server funnels all user requests to the internet and returns responses to the appropriate users. In addition to restricting access from outside, this mechanism can prevent inside users from reaching specific internet resources (for example, certain websites). A proxy server can also be one of the components of a firewall.
Proxies may also cache web pages. Each time an internal user requests a URL from outside, a temporary copy is stored locally. The next time an internal user requests the same URL, the proxy can serve the local copy instead of retrieving the original across the network, improving performance.
Do not confuse a proxy server with a
NAT (Network Address Translation) device. A proxy server connects to, responds to, and receives traffic from the internet, acting on behalf of the client computer, while a NAT device transparently changes the origination address of traffic coming through it before passing it to the internet.
For those who understand the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model of networking, the technical difference between a proxy and a NAT is that the proxy server works on the transport layer (layer 4) or higher of the OSI model, whereas a NAT works on the network layer (layer 3).
This is document ahoo in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-11-15 11:25:00.
13 Best Proxy Server Services for 2021 – Free and Paid – TechJury
195 locations worldwide
Unlimited proxy connections
Smartproxy offers one of the best proxy services for both residential and business use. It’s best suited for conducting basic online scrapping tasks such as data harvesting. You get back-connect proxies, anonymous browsing, global connectivity – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
The setup process is straightforward. You have the option of choosing between Firefox and Google Chrome extensions. The dashboard of both is very easy to navigate. All features are well-arranged. Best of all – support is available via chat to help you at all times.
This is a feature-rich proxy service. It has 195 data centers spread across 8 cities worldwide. This enables you to benefit from over 40 million IPs. You can comfortably access geo-blocked services. The service supports simultaneous proxy connections.
Smartproxy provides robust and reliable residential proxies. IPs are assigned to physical devices such as computers and smartphones. That way, internet service providers recognize IP addresses as actual visitors. This lessens the risk of getting blocked. You’ll also find data center proxies that support an unlimited number of concurrent connections. Unlike the former, it’s cheap and comes with a substantial bandwidth allotment.
This proxy service limits IP sessions to a maximum of 30 minutes. A different address is immediately assigned once the allocated time elapses. It prevents users from engaging in abusive behavior.
On the downside, some users complain of slow internet speeds when using this service. But that’s not surprising – there’s no SOCKS5 protocol. Other than that, the pricing starts at $50, which is reasonable. Should it disappoint, you’ll have up to 3 days to claim your money back.
Cloud proxy manager
Mobile device IPs
Bright Data is one of the best alternatives to free proxy services online. It offers feature-rich tools for gathering information. Over 10, 000+ professionals currently trust this vendor globally.
You’ll be greeted with a neat dashboard. It has a quick walkthrough guide of the available services. Each feature also has a snippet preview.
Moreover, you can manage the online proxy server services from the console. That’s because it offers pay-as-you-go plans (PAYG). Here, bandwidth, IP pool size, and network ports are easy to allocate.
As for the features, it’s a bed of roses.
Data unblocker unlocks websites with toughened anti-crawling technologies. In addition, you get access to over 72 million real-user IPs to enhance its effectiveness. The company also bills you for successful requests only.
The proxy service has a wide range of options. Firstly, it has a search engine crawler. It provides real-time data collection by scrapping Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and others.
Secondly, it comes with mobile proxies that use 3G/4G connections. These are assigned to actual mobile carriers from around the world. Furthermore, it comes with over seven million residential IPs.
But that’s not all.
You can use Bright Data’s application programming interface (API) to create custom apps. It’s compatible with Java,, C Sharp (C#), and Shell. Public proxy server providers, on the other hand, don’t offer such a feature.
Proxy management is incredibly flexible. There’s a Google Chrome extension for a start. Installing a custom web server script is a good alternative. You can also use its cloud manager that costs $150/month extra.
The company provides a dedicated account manager for support. While that sounds good, they’re available during business hours only.
But, on a more positive note, it offers a 7-day risk-free trial. Should it impress, you can upgrade from as little as a dollar on PAYG.
Real-time web crawler
Over 100 million IPs
Automatic proxy rotator
Oxylabs ranks highly among the best proxy servers for businesses. It offers global coverage and a pool of over 100 million IPs. Its services are ideal for performing various proxy-driven jobs, e. g. marketing intelligence tasks.
It has a colorful dashboard that’s easy to navigate. You can use it to access statistics of your usage. There are separate sections for billing and ordering new services as well.
You can’t manage proxies from the dashboard. However, Oxylabs’ products plugin well into the software that supports proxies. Oxylabs even offers a Google Chrome extension, which allows users to test the proxies or browse around the internet. Likewise, proxies work well with third-party proxy managers such as FoxyProxy.
You’ll find different types of server proxies for various needs. SOCKS5 Proxy comes in handy for using proxies with custom programs or protocols.
Residential Proxy pools handle bulk scrapping. They provide unlimited simultaneous connections for by-passing IP blocks online. It’s also possible to geo-target locations up to the city level.
You can optimize your business activities using datacenter proxies. For example, datacenter proxies help companies to find markets with counterfeit products. This type of proxy service can also be used for the identification of malicious attacks. Examples include finding viruses in files, identification of phishing links, and locating data breaches published online.
You’ll find a proxy rotator that automates IP switching. It enables you to forget about proxy management while carrying out scraping operations.
Oxylabs Real-Time Crawler can help gather data from websites that employ advanced anti-bot solutions with a higher success rate. The Real-Time Crawler also supports providing already parsed data from select websites.
The high price tag is the only disadvantage. Plans start from $180/month for the cheapest options.
On the upside, customer support is excellent. You can request help via email or live chat 24/7. Its higher tiers even come with a dedicated account manager.
Automatic IP rotation
Time-based sticky IPs
Dedicated 4G mobile proxies
Caching for bandwidth saving
IPRoyal is among the best proxy platforms that has extensive network coverage. It includes top locations such as:
Best of all, it has affordable prices with no minimum requirements.
The vendor takes pride in offering a wide selection of services. Apart from the usual ones, it provides sneaker proxies for lovers of sports shoes. It bypasses restrictions in fashion sites that limit customers from making bulk purchases.
Another notable mention – the 4G mobile proxy. It’s powered by real user devices and residential IPs from cellular networks. The setup boosts trust and reduces the chances of getting banned. So you can do web scraping, competitor research, and complete SEO tasks with confidence.
The company has a pool of over two million IP addresses. And it adds hundreds of new proxy sites daily thanks to the IPRoyal Pawns program. It uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) approach that allows customers to share their bandwidth. In exchange, the vendor pays them for using their internet connections as proxies.
You can use randomize that frequently rotates your IP on autopilot. But sticky is the best option if you want to use one address. It comes with a time limit of 24 hours before it changes. That’s, however, not a guarantee – the system can swap it any time.
SOCKS5 enhances security by using multiple authentication methods to process data. Likewise, there’s HTTPS for end-to-end encryption between your device and the internet.
IPRoyal also claims it uses caching to save bandwidth and supercharge internet speeds. We were able to use less data when testing its proxy network. However, it took ages to load websites and download files. To add salt to injury, the vendor doesn’t have a refund policy. The good news is you can buy its proxy services for as little as $1. 00. The payment options include credit cards and bitcoin.
Offers free unlimited browsing
Support for any browser
BitTorrent client support
Fast ping times
is one of the best free proxy server software on the market. This solution offers a long list of features that you will love – auto-connect, IP leak protection, and BitTorrent support among others. The best thing about it – you’ll experience zero ads by using this product.
So, is it worth it?
is lightweight and easy to set up. All you need to do is install the Google Chrome/Firefox extension. There’s also an in-browser tool available, great for those that don’t like add-ons.
The features side is where it gets interesting. Unlike Smartproxy, gives you SOCKS5 for free. It allows you to enjoy swift response times during gaming and media streaming. Torrent lovers will enjoy the fast peer-to-peer file-sharing that this free proxy server offers. You also get to enjoy limitless bandwidth usage throughout.
has WebRTC in place to shield your IP from leaking. You can use an auto connection to switch between servers. To maximize protection, this vendor doesn’t record any logs of your activity.
This free proxy service lets you choose server locations. Only three regions are supported – Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Of course, nothing is perfect. We couldn’t find the total number of IPs offered. The support team couldn’t tell us anything about it. also doesn’t support multiple connections. But given it’s a free proxy program, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Over 40 million IPs
Rotating sticky IPs
Avoid bot detection
Proxies automatically rotate in the background. Just enter the URL of any site and you will get the raw HTML in return. If you’d like a more permanent session, you can easily use a static IP as well.
You also get custom header support, automatic retries, and desktop and mobile user agents. In other words, you can make your traffic appear like it’s coming from a computer or a phone.
Nonetheless, it is not as advanced as others, meaning you’ll have to parse the data yourself. Its simplicity and full API access, however, make it ideal for developers with their own scraping solutions. You can even call the API via web browser, as follows:
A seven-day free trial for up to 5, 000 requests lets you see if it’s the right fit. This requires no credit card, so you won’t accidentally get billed.
After the trial expires, you can decide whether to upgrade to one of three well-priced plans or negotiate an Enterprise solution.
The good news is low-volume users can access a free proxy server that permits 1, 000 requests per month. Here’s what the rest of the plans offer:
Hobby: $29/mo – 250, 000 requests, and 10 concurrent threads.
Startup: $99/mo – One million requests, 25 concurrent threads, and US geotargeting.
Business: $249/mo – Three million requests, 50 concurrent threads, 12-country geotargeting, and access to residential proxies.
If you still decide it’s not for you after purchasing a plan, there’s a seven-day money back guarantee.
Although all plans use rotating proxy pools, it is only the business plan that unlocks access to residential IPs.
Its dedicated proxy pools for different types of scraping really stand out. This includes products, search engine results, social media content, and more.
As for customer support, staff are available 24/7 by email or live chat. Business users get priority in the email queue, while Enterprise customers get a dedicated support channel. Everyone has access to documentation and help pages.
To manage your account ScraperAPI provides a web-based dashboard. Here you can access billing and view usage statistics. You’ll also find your API key and lots of useful code for PHP, Node, Ruby, Bash, and Python/Scrapy. A lot of this can be pasted directly into your custom scripts.
To sum up, ScraperAPI is an excellent solution for web scraping. It takes the hassle out of managing proxies by doing all the hard work in the background. Plans are affordable and it gets extra points for providing one of the best free proxy plans on the market.
Affordable pricing plans
Offers ads-free experience
Unlimited bandwidth allocation
Portable KProxy browser
Kproxy is one of the best proxy server options, no matter what budget you have. This solution is great for both novice and expert users that have undemanding web browsing needs.
Let’s check out the features.
The configuration process is fast. You can choose between Google Chrome and Firefox extensions. If you lack either, Kproxy’s proxy browser is readily available. Also, the product is currently compatible with the Kiwi Internet Access App for Android.
Kproxy has a lot to offer in terms of functionality. For starters, it automatically selects a server for you. You also have the option of switching between 5 countries, among which Canada, France, and the USA.
IP leak protection is enabled by default for hiding your location at all times. WebRTC’s protocol also allows you to browse restricted websites easily. But it gets better – this proxy program has a separate plugin for bypassing network filters. This inclusion helps you to access blocked sites by system administrators at work or school.
At times, users can engage in abusive behavior leading to a ban of IPs. Such an incidence usually affects user experience. To avoid that, you can use server management to delist affected regions. You can isolate slow proxies from your network.
Just as, Kproxy gives you limitless bandwidth. But there’s a catch. It limits downloads/uploads to a maximum of 300 megabytes. This means that you can’t use this service to transfer large files.
Another drawback is the limited choice of private proxies on the free plan. But that shouldn’t worry you. From just $10/month, you can enjoy 120+ servers located in North America and Europe. That’s quite a bargain.
Free proxy service
Unlimited bandwidth support
Online proxy browser
IP leak protection
HideMyAss (HMA) is an easy-to-use free proxy server that has basic features for browsing. First-time users will surely appreciate using this solution to browse online anonymously.
Unlike other developers that provide browser extensions, HMA comes with none. It has a simple web-based proxy for accessing online sites. All you need to do is enter a web address and select a preferred server to connect to.
This solution has many great features. The use of bandwidth is unrestricted. You can browse, mine data, and download an unlimited number of files. There are no ads whatsoever.
On the server side, you have a choice of six countries to use, including two regions in the US and one in the UK. But that’s just it. Crucial features such as Kproxy’s IP blocking are missing. You also won’t be able to select a network based on server location.
However, it lags behind the competition on various fronts. SOCKS5 for speeding up internet speeds is lacking. This makes the use of demanding services such as gaming and streaming problematic. IP leak protection only does a basic job of shielding your address, so your service provider may still be able to track your online activity.
Overall, this free proxy service works okay in accessing blocked websites online.
Free web-based service
Auto IP selection
Four locations available
Dedicated IP per session
If you’re looking for the best free proxy server, get VPNBook. The service provides dedicated IP and unlimited browsing sessions. As if not enough, there’s a web browser to make it better.
Getting started with this product is easy. Just as HMA, it offers an online proxy browser. You can pick the fastest server for you. You can also select a preferred region from the dropdown list of data centers. During sessions, a sticky bar is always available for swapping websites fast.
VPNBook tops the best proxy server list when it comes to security. It provides SSL browsing by utilizing AES-256bit data encryption. WebRTC is in place to protect your IP from leaking. It also blocks other scripts, which websites use for tracking user activities. To cover one’s tracks, it doesn’t keep your history.
But wait – there’s more.
Finding a solution that’s compatible with all devices is a challenging task. To address this problem, VPNBook loads websites via iFrames. This feature combines HTML and CSS, fitting for all screen sizes. You’ll have a smooth experience browsing from mobile phones.
Whereas other online proxy sites offer dynamic addresses, VPNBook gives you a static one. This lessens interruptions in platforms sensitive to IP changes. The vendor also blacklists people that abuse their servers. In doing so, it preserves the integrity of the service for other users.
On the downside, this product is strictly for personal use. It’s also ad-supported. Apart from the bad side, you can get a premium version for $7. 95/month. It provides support for gaming, VoIP, torrents, and much more.
Lightweight on system resources
Quick links access
Limitless bandwidth support
Fast gigabit connection
When it comes to functionality, ProxySite tops the list of the best free proxy services. This solution is not only feature-rich but also built for performance. Users that need to access blocked websites will greatly appreciate this product.
The setup process is simple. ProxySite comes with a browser-based proxy. It has shortcuts for accessing popular sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. You also have the option of selecting one of 25+ servers between the US and EU.
But it doesn’t end there.
ProxySite comes with proxy configurations. It provides an endless list of custom presets to utilize. With it, you can easily simulate popular browsers, devices, and operating systems. The most notable ones include Blackberry, iPhone, macOS, and Windows 7/10.
Developers are also not left out. There’s a slot for changing the user agent of your browser. This enables you to test websites that you’ve created. It’s also ideal for running custom bots for data mining tasks.
This is the best paid proxy server software for managing cookies. It gives you a list of all the browsing data stored on your device. This allows you to use or selectively delete them before visiting any website. As simple as it sounds, some sites rely on these files to track you. And removing them helps you cover your steps.
Speed is also worth mentioning. ProxySite has a gigabit network that delivers faster connectivity. When combined with SOCKS5, you’ll be able to stream on the fly.
Of course, ProxySite isn’t perfect. During testing, sites such as Google blocked our requests. The user interface of most websites that we visited also appeared distorted.
The pro version that includes a VPN will set you back $9. 99/month. It offers premium security, more servers, and compatibility with most websites.
Supports multiple browsers
Standalone apps for smartphones
Servers in 17 countries
Whoer is the best proxy server software for people that have multiple devices. It has an app for Windows, Mac, Linux, web browsers, and smartphones. It’s ideal for families/groups of friends of up to 5 members.
When using Whoer, you’ll find a dedicated application/extension for your favorite device. Once you install, it takes a single click to get started. The free plan only allows you to use one server location. Premium users get to choose from 17 regions.
The browser extensions have WebRTC for protecting you against IP leaks. There’s also a kill switch. When the internet connectivity fails, it will shield your address from being visible. A great reason to put Whoer on our Best Proxy Server list.
Another great addition is end-to-end encryption via SSL. It utilizes a 256-bit file encoding, which secures the connection between your server and device. Whoer’s servers leave no trace of your online activity.
For pro users, internet speeds are blazing fast. You can watch Netflix, play online games, and share torrent files. In comparison, the free version throttles connections to a maximum of 1mb/s. Even though you won’t be able to run heavy tasks, it’s still okay for browsing.
Whoer offers fewer server locations in the US and UK. Similarly, the limitation of bandwidth on the free plan is a turnoff. It’s also impossible to select an IP proxy.
Then again, the free version covers all the important bases. If you like it, you can go pro for $9. 90/month. Whoer has a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.
2. 5 million IPs
Static and Residential
Extensions for Chrome and Firefox
If you want to buy proxy services, GeoSurf is one of the longest-running providers on the web. The Tel Aviv-based company covers every major city in the world via 2. 5 million IP addresses.
It offers both residential and static IPs. The former is delivered on rotation by an API. Therefore, you can make as many simultaneous requests as needed without being blocked or slowed down.
If you’d prefer a static IP, GeoSurf covers over 130 countries in over 30 designated market areas in the US. They are more prone to identification, though.
Georsurf’s other key feature is a VPN for mobile. VPNs easily allow you to hide behind proxies as you browse or otherwise use the internet. This one complies with Android and iOS and uses numerous protocols, including OpenVPN and PPTP. This feature is limited to 120 locations.
For a proxy site, GeoSurf is certainly pricey. But it comes with a long track record and many extra features.
The starter plan is $450/month for ‘130+ IPs’ and 38GB of traffic. At the top end, you get unlimited IP access for $2, 000/month, and 250GB of traffic. All plans are auto-recurring. Enterprise plans can be negotiated if you contact the team. Due to the price, GeoSurf is more suitable for medium to large businesses than individuals.
The sign-up process is a little labored. First, you must give your name, email, and country, and then a salesperson will arrange a Skype chat. You can’t just buy a plan and get going.
Once you’ve been prodded and chosen a plan, you can manage your account from a web dashboard. Here you can see billing info, traffic usage, and access the gateways.
There are many ways to implement your proxies, including mobile. A toolbar can be added to Chrome and Firefox browsers. You can delete your browser data and switch IPs with just a few clicks.
To set your whole computer behind a proxy, you can use the Desktop VPN – some of the best proxy server software Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users can surf the web with any browser this way, but it also allows you to use other applications.
Meanwhile, developers might connect to the API directly to run scripts and other operations that can benefit from some of the best proxy servers around the globe. All it really lacks is support for SOCKS5 protocol.
Although its service is brilliant, the current incarnation of the website could do with improvement. Many pages have stock text filling up space. Moreover, there are pages for ‘Instagram Proxies’ and ‘Ad Verification Proxies’. This, however, is just marketing for the exact same plans. There are no dedicated proxies for Instagram or ad verification. Nonetheless, you can use GeoSurf for those purposes.
Performance-wise, it provides a lot of unique IPs, but falls short to Bright Data and Smartproxy. It also doesn’t quite match up to the speed of Smartproxy or Oxylabs.
In conclusion, we found their IPs to be clean and plentiful, and the overall infrastructure to be fast and secure. A legally binding agreement that states they don’t pass on your personal info was good to see. In the future, we’d like a clear free trial (you have to ask for a live demo or wait for a special promotion). And, SOCKS support would be nice.
Great scraping tool
Automatic proxy management
Residential proxies available
Lots of plans
Zyte grew as an internal platform for web scraping company ScrapingHub. After using the name Crawlera for over a decade, it’s gone for something a little more inclusive now.
Under the hood, however, it is a continuation of the same rotating proxy network. It’s one of the best proxy sites for bots and scraping. Most importantly, it doesn’t trigger CAPTCHAS or IP bans.
Zyte does not sell users on the number of IPs it has access to or how clean they are. Instead, it applies its own complex rotation system over IPs it rents from other providers. That is to say, you’re buying a robust web scraping tool that utilizes proxies, rather than the proxies/IPs themselves.
The IPs aren’t well suited for other purposes, which is a downside. Furthermore, plans are based around the number of requests.
Two key features make up the Zyte experience. First is a ‘Smart Proxy Manager’ of thousands of data centre IPs from across the world. Everything is rotated automatically in the background. The tool is able to assess your requested site for its load and ban likelihood. Then, it adjusts your request rate to keep you on the green list.
If an IP proxy is blocked, it assesses why and retries with a new IP address.
Second, is the ‘Automatic Extraction’ tool. This saves you using a third-party crawler. Simply enter a URL into the intuitive dashboard and it will pull the data without coding.
Product databases, news articles – there are lots of possibilities. Plus, you can use the Extraction API with your own more advanced methods off the back of Zyte’s infrastructure.
The proxy manager starts from $29/month for up to 50, 000 requests, 50 of which can be concurrent. The $349/month ‘Advanced’ plan supports 2. 5 million monthly requests, 200 of which can be concurrent. Enterprise solutions start at $999.
For automatic data extraction, pricing starts at $60 per 100, 000 requests. The upper limit is 500, 000 requests per month. Alternatively, you can rely on bespoke data services from $450 per month, but you’ll need to speak to a sales rep.
You can try both tools for free for 14 days, with a limit of 10, 000 requests.
Residential proxies are now available, but they’re a paid extra, on top of any other plans you purchase. The smallest plan is $300 per month for 25GB of traffic and access to over 500, 000 IP addresses.
At the other end, you can get 200GB of traffic and priority in the support queue for $1, 000 a month.
Customer support is excellent, albeit tiered. On the cheaper plans you must rely on a ticket, reading the help pages, or asking the community forum. Responses are guaranteed within one business day, but we received a reply within an hour for a test question.
The high-priced plans get priority in the queue, while Enterprise clients have a dedicated account manager.
In short, Zyte is an excellent proxy program for those that need to use many IPs for data mining. You can find better services, however, if you require proxies for other means.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy is an access point that acts as a gateway to the internet. All traffic requests to and from a website are processed by a computer server. This approach protects your real identity from being exposed.
Under typical circumstances, workplaces, schools, and libraries block specific sites from access. Likewise, some websites are geo-restricted. Using a proxy helps you freely access those web pages.
Some of the best private proxy server services offer enhanced security features – SSL encryption, audit logs, firewall, and more. They provide an additional layer of defense between computer systems and outside traffic. This plays a huge role in shielding users/organizations from hackers.
Paid Proxies Versus Free Proxies
Both have upsides and downsides. While the former provides more options, the latter has basic functions to get the job done.
Here are the details.
Service providers offer free proxy services to you at zero costs. However, vendors enforce restrictions on bandwidth, server resources, and more. Such limitations are usually in place to maintain the quality of service. That way you handle lightweight tasks such as browsing and opening blocked sites. It allows users to test the waters before going pro.
Paid proxies offer more features at a premium price. You can choose between different regions and specific IP addresses. It also guarantees you 99% anonymity and privacy online. You’ll experience fast connections by browsing at full speeds.
Over the years, competition has drastically lowered the cost of these services. A good example is Whoer that charges $9. 90/month with support for up to 5 users. That’s as cheap as a cup of Starbucks coffee.
The majority of best internet proxy server providers have a zero cost plan in place. But the truth is – there’s nothing as free lunch. Vendors usually use this approach to upsell products and services.
Web browsers store cookies when you visit websites. These are small files that are generated based on user behavior online. When you use free proxies, developers collect and sell this data to third-party advertisers. Vendors such as VPNBook directly serve advertisements to you. In simple terms – you indirectly pay for the service.
The other drawback is related to security. When using free proxy services, your anonymity isn’t guaranteed. IP leaks are bound to happen and this can expose your real identity. However, if you’re an occasional user, that shouldn’t be a matter of concern.
On the flip side, paid proxies aren’t that reliable. Downtimes and server breakdowns can occur at any time. Dealing with them is extremely annoying.
Types of Proxies
There are many proxies available. They mostly differ on essentials such as configuration, software, and functionality.
Here we’ve covered 6 of the most common proxy types:
This type of proxy is built on an extensive computer networking infrastructure. It’s normally used to serve several clients at the same time. This allows vendors to split the costs amongst users; hence, make the service affordable. To ensure quality, the majority proxy of service providers utilize load-balancing to handle traffic spikes. It helps to distribute large requests across a web of interlinked data centers. This setup enables users to enjoy a smooth experience all through.
This is a type of proxy that combines the benefits of shared and dedicated proxies. It usually allows a maximum of 5 users per server. This grants superior service at budget-friendly prices. However, you risk service interruption due to overloading by a single user. It’s a great option for casual users that need privacy online.
A dedicated proxy allows a single user to utilize all resources. This solution offers more agility and computing power to the client. It’s also efficient, stable, and secure. The chances of getting your IP banned are minimal. You’ll have greater control over managing your online tasks. All these benefits do come at a high price, though.
Security is a top priority for people that prefer to be anonymous online. That’s where SOCKS5 proxy comes into the picture. It covers the highest standards of data encryption. It supports protocols such as TCP/UDP layer 4 and SSL layer 7. Using it allows you to transfer coded information over HTTP/HTTPS, SFTP, P2P, and more.
If you need the best anonymous proxy server, get a residential proxy. With it, IP addresses get attached to actual devices – smartphones, gaming consoles, or computers. Connections generated by this solution are usually undetectable. The service makes websites give you the greenlight by identifying you as an actual visitor.
A reverse proxy is a computer network that mediates between a web resource and visitors. It usually retrieves information from the source server on behalf of users. This configuration is ideal for organizations that need a high level of security. It’s useful for filtering bad traffic and blocking cyberattacks.
Proxy vs VPN – What is Better?
VPN and proxy do the same task of protecting the identities of users online. While both serve the same purpose, their mode of operation is different.
A proxy program transfers your data across the internet in raw format. This approach increases the likelihood of exposing your real identity.
A VPN provides end-to-end encryption between your device and the remote computer. You
Frequently Asked Questions about server proxies
What is proxy server example?
Some proxy servers are a group of applications or servers that block common internet services. For example, an HTTP proxy intercepts web access, and an SMTP proxy intercepts email. A proxy server uses a network addressing scheme to present one organization-wide IP address to the internet.Nov 15, 2018
What is a good proxy server?
Best Proxy Server for 2021Smartproxy – Best for individuals.Bright Data – Best for small business.Oxylabs – Best for small and midsize businesses.IPRoyal – Best for residential proxies.Hide.me – Best for streaming.ScraperAPI – Best for running scripts by API.KProxy – Best free proxy.HMA – Best proxy browser.More items…
What are different types of proxies?
There are two types of proxies: forward proxies (or tunnel, or gateway) and reverse proxies (used to control and protect access to a server for load-balancing, authentication, decryption or caching).Aug 13, 2021
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