Web browsing is becoming less private every day. Websites and apps control just about everything you do, pushing more and more people to look for ways to maintain their privacy. Proxies are one of the many options you can use to protect your identity while browsing. The cost of a proxy can be found on the website Proxy-Seller.com.
However, proxies also offer a number of other benefits, which we’ll cover in this article.
Let’s get down to business!
What is a proxy server and why you should use it?
When you browse the Internet, your computer connects to a remote server that sends information to it. The proxy server acts as an intermediary for this connection. Your client or application connects to a proxy server that redirects your requests to the final destination.
The proxy server handles your requests, but covers a lot of identifying information, including your original IP address, the source of the request, operating system (OS) data, and more. In simple terms, it prevents third parties from easily tracking you.
You need to understand that proxies work at the application level. For example, you can connect to a proxy server address through a browser that protects you while you browse.
However, the same will not notice your footprints in other apps unless they are also connected to it. This gives you more granular control over how you surf the Internet, but it also makes it difficult to achieve “complete” privacy (if such a thing still exists).
So far, we’ve talked about the most common privacy-related benefits of proxy servers. However, they also offer many other benefits, including:
- They allow access to geo-restricted content
- Accelerating downloads due to caching
- They protect against malware by filtering content
- They prevent access to restricted websites on corporate networks.
It is important to understand that there are different types of proxy servers that you can use. However, they all have one thing in common, which is that you need a proxy address to connect to them.
What is a proxy server address?
To connect to a public proxy server, you need to know its IP address. With it (and knowing which port to use) you can configure your browser or application to route requests through that server.
How this process works varies from browser to browser and from OS to OS. On macOS, for example, you have a dedicated proxy settings page where you can enter the address you want to connect to:
Before we go ahead and start exploring proxy servers, you need to understand that they come in different types. Each of them performs different functions, so it is important to choose the one that suits your needs.
Explanation of the 3 types of proxies
There are several types of proxy servers to choose from. The most popular of these is the so-called “open”, which most people think of when they talk about proxies.
Let’s take a look at the most common types:
- Open proxy. This type of proxy does not require authentication and is often publicly available. This means that while you can use it to enhance anonymity, your data may not be safe from whoever controls this server.
- Direct proxy server. Companies and institutions rely on this type of proxy to route internal connections to the outside world. Forward proxies determine whether specific websites or services can be accessed, which helps keep networks secure.
- Reverse proxy server. In simple terms, they help filter incoming requests to your site, which, among other things, helps to ensure privacy and caching.
You can find dozens, if not hundreds, of open proxy services on the web. They are usually free and allow you to connect to them using your IP address or directly through your browser. Some even offer extensions so you can always keep them active while browsing the web:
Free proxy servers seem like a practical solution on paper. Unfortunately, they exacerbate security concerns.
Why you shouldn’t use a free proxy server
If you plan on using a proxy, privacy considerations are probably at the top of the list of reasons why you want to use one. Using a free service often negates many of the security benefits of using a proxy server, primarily because: