Internet technologies significantly affect our daily lives. Over three decades, the Internet spread worldwide, involving e-commerce and social networks, and even became a primary source of income for some. Currently, there are more than 5 billion Internet users globally, with 4.7 billion using social media.
However, this rapid development does not come without its challenges. The virtual space is plagued with cybercrime, online surveillance is posing risks to privacy, and geographical restrictions deny access to specific online content.
Many turn to proxy servers as an effective and affordable solution. Renowned proxy service providers offer worldwide servers bypassing geo-blocks, simultaneously strengthening online privacy protection. However, proxies are an advanced networking technology, and there’s much to know before subscribing to their services.
This article will briefly overview what proxy servers are and what things you should consider when picking the suitable proxy server for your needs.
Table of Contents
- What is a Proxy Server?
- 1. Global Server Coverage
- 2. Limited IP Address Pool
- 3. Connection Speed
- 4. Several Proxy Server Types
- 5. Additional Features
What is a Proxy Server?
Proxies stand between your device and the Internet. When you browse the Internet without them, your device sends requests directly to the target destination. But on certain occasions, it might be risky.
First, you are exposing your unique IP address without a proxy server. DDoS or IP spoofing cyber attacks rely on the original user’s IP address. Instead of using your own IP address, you can connect to a proxy server. It will obfuscate your actual IP and issue an alternative to prevent IP leaks. Your device will send requests to a proxy server, which will forward them to the end-point. Upon receiving the required data, the proxy server will send it to your device.
Even though it sounds straightforward, there are several things to know before choosing a reliable proxy service provider. Let’s dive right in.
1. Global Server Coverage
The Internet is full of geographical restrictions. For example, due to Europe’s GDPR, much U.S. content is inaccessible from this region. You may find yourself locked out of valuable news sites, retail stores, and streaming options. Proxies are among the most popular methods to bypass geo-blocking. A proxy server will assign you a new IP address from a different region, granting you access to a more open Internet.
However, inspecting the proxy service provider’s global server coverage is crucial. If they don’t offer servers in the United States, you will not be able to browse its local Internet. Make sure you get proxy servers in all major geographical regions before making a long-term commitment.
2. Limited IP Address Pool
Even with global proxy server coverage, the service will not be good enough without a vast IP address pool. Streaming sites like Netflix, HBO, and others scrutinize user IPs to detect and ban proxies. That’s why having dozens and more IPs to choose from is essential. If a specific website identifies you as a proxy user and restricts access, you can switch to a different valid IP address and continue browsing. Most professional proxy service providers list the number of proxy servers on their websites.
3. Connection Speed
One of the leading proxy server comparison categories is its connection speed. Whether you’re using it to bypass geo-blocks, scrape web data, or protect online privacy, it mustn’t slow you down. Several aspects impact proxy server speed. Firstly, it should come from a trusted provider that guarantees sufficient connection speed. Second, it should not share the server between multiple users. If any active users on your proxy server start downloading, it could negatively affect your online activities.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to verify proxy server speed before making a purchase. Most proxies offer free trials, and you can use an online connection speed test before committing.
4. Several Proxy Server Types
Proxies have numerous use cases. They protect your online privacy, assist in scraping publicly available web data, enhance SEO and social media management, and ensure access to a more open Internet. However, proxy servers are not the same and excel at different tasks. When subscribing to a service, you should make sure it provides these proxy server types:
- Residential (static or rotating);
- Datacenter (static or rotating);
- Mobile (when you require a mobile IP address);
- Private proxies.
Supporting the SOCKS5 protocol would be a significant benefit. SOCKS5 proxies ensure additional online security without negatively impacting the connection speed.
5. Additional Features
Additional features are what really separates professional proxy servers from the rest. City-level targeting will assist in localized business operations. Google Chrome and Android proxy managers will help you with proxy server management. Around-the-clock professional customer support is mandatory for active proxy users. And pay-as-you-go payment plans are perfect when you require a mix of quality and affordability.
Proxies are essential for safe and comfortable Internet use. However, many netizens find it hard to choose the correct one. We hope this article will help you navigate in a dynamic proxy market. Following these tips you should avoid mistakes when picking the right proxy server adhering to your specific needs.