What Proxy Solutions are Available in 2023?
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between two or more devices, allowing them to communicate with each other securely. It is a secure way of accessing networks and online resources while providing privacy and anonymity to users.
Proxies can be used for many business applications, such as improving online security, accessing restricted websites, scraping data, and protecting against viruses. They can also access different versions of the same website in other countries or geographical regions.
However, you need different proxy solutions for different needs. In this guide, we discuss some proxy solutions available in 2023.
What Kind of Proxy Solutions are Available in 2023?
There are many types of proxy solutions businesses, and individuals can use them for several purposes. Here are some of them.
A forward proxy transmits a client’s requests to one or more different servers. It intermediates the connection between the user’s computer and the Internet.
It also provides additional functions such as authentication, filters, and web content caching. Forward proxies are mainly used to access the Internet from a corporate or private network or to filter and monitor the traffic between a client and the Internet.
The proxy offers traffic visibility and facilitates policy enforcement in a corporation. It allows monitoring and logging of all traffic, which helps identify threats and prevent external attacks.
A public proxy can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet by any user. Since it’s accessible to the public, anyone can use it for free.
It’s similar to private proxies in the following ways:
- Keeps you anonymous while surfing the web
- Hides your IP address
- Provides access to blocked websites
However, unlike private proxies, public proxy servers are not secure. Since they are open to the public, there is no guarantee of privacy or security. Furthermore, public proxies can be slow and unreliable. As so many people use the proxy simultaneously, there’s a risk of bandwidth overload, resulting in slower speeds.
They are also more prone to abuse, leading to IP bans or blocks. You should not use a public proxy for sensitive activities, such as banking or shopping online.
Shared proxies are similar to public proxies, except that you have to pay for them. They allow multiple users to connect simultaneously using a single proxy. Everyone who pays for the proxy can use it.
You get access to a dedicated IP address when you pay for shared proxies. You can use this address to access websites and other Internet services.
Shared proxies are cheaper than private proxies but aren’t as reliable or fast. Since multiple users are sending requests through the same proxy, it can slow down the connection.
Shared proxies are a good option if you don’t need a lot of anonymity. They are usually used by people who want to access blocked content or browse the web privately.
A distorting proxy is a step up from the anonymous proxy as it sends a false IP address, making it even more difficult to track down the user’s true identity. It also masks incoming requests with a different IP address, making tracking even more difficult.
The false IP address gives the impression that the request is coming from a different location than the user’s original location. Distorting proxies provide mid-level anonymity, which is lower than private proxies.
Common use cases of a distorting proxy include:
- Identity protection
- Accessing location-restricting content
- Caching web content
- Encrypting internet traffic
Data Center Proxies
Data center proxies come from a wholly owned and controlled IP address pool. Unlike residential proxies, they are sourced from a secondary corporation.
Datacenter proxies are faster than their residential counterparts but are easier to block. They also provide a lower level of anonymity than residential proxies. However, they’re much cheaper, making them best for ad verification, SEO marketing, and customer segmentation.
Residential proxies are affiliated with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and are connected directly to a physical address. They provide the highest level of anonymity, as it is not possible to determine where the request is coming from.
Common use cases of residential proxies include:
- Data Scraping
- Ad verification
- Travel fare aggregation
- Price monitoring
- Brand promotion
- Review monitoring
They are more expensive than data center proxies but offer more anonymity and are harder to block.
Use Cases for Proxies
Now that you know about different proxy solutions, here are their common use cases in a business landscape:
- Review monitoring
- Ad verification
- Business intelligence
- Data aggregation
- Competitor analysis
- Organizational security
Individuals can also use proxies to access geo-restricted content and protect their privacy when browsing the web. Proxies are used to bypass firewalls, access certain websites at school or work, scrape websites, crawl the web, and stay anonymous when downloading files.
With a wide range of proxy solutions available in 2023, businesses and individuals are spoilt for choice. If budget is not a concern, private residential proxies are the best option for your needs.
But if you’re not as concerned about data security and merely want to be anonymous, you can use shared proxies. Users looking for an in-between solution that offers moderate anonymity but doesn’t break the bank should opt for data center proxies.