Before we dive into the details about buying proxies online, let us quickly discuss what proxies are and how they function. Think of proxies like a buffer or a mediator between you and websites or content you browse on the internet. Proxies can help hide your personal information like IP address, maintain anonymity, enhance privacy and security. They also help break any restriction or limitation, enabling access to content that is otherwise not accessible. One might say proxies are like modern-age tools imperative to get an optimum experience of browsing the internet.
There is a common confusion between proxies and VPN (Virtual Private Network). Proxies and VPN might superficially seem to serve the same purpose, but they are not the same. A VPN primarily encrypts your data or traffic, thus rerouting your information, while a proxy does not encrypt but actually hides your information. Proxies commonly find use in social media marketing or web marketing, web scraping, and to maintain anonymity. There are different types of proxies available–both free, public proxies and dedicated private ones. To understand what serves your purpose best, let’s briefly discuss the differences and weigh their pros and cons.
These are basically free proxies shared among multiple users–for example, one IP address gets shared among multiple users. Theoretically, this sounds great because why pay for something when you can get it for free, right? But the biggest problem with free or shared proxy is that your data and information are never completely secure. Many hackers or scammers are using these free proxies for illegal activities too. Sharing the same proxy with other random users keeps you at potential risk because websites will ban all users on that proxy in case of any fraudulent activity from any one user. It does its job well superficially, but with your data not being completely secured and with such risks at stake, it is not worth saving a few bucks.
- Free of cost
- You can access restricted or censored content.
- Innumerable free proxies to choose from
- Personal information is never totally secure.
- Possibility of a security breach
- It can lead to a ban from websites.
- You don’t get optimum or high-speed connectivity.
Primarily handy for web scraping, rotating proxies keep rotating your IP address from one to another. During web scraping, users collect a tremendous amount of data or information in a short time. Since they collect a lot of information at a fast pace, some websites feel that a certain user is gathering too much data at once and flag them. Rotating proxies are quite secure and provide anonymity in a genuine sense. One drawback is that rotating proxies are not the best choice for precise geo-targeting or other activities where a consistent pool of IP addresses might work better. Although they come with a heavy price tag, rotating proxies do have their unique advantages to offer too.
- Helps overcome IP blocks
- Beneficial for web scraping
- Higher anonymity and security
- Can bypass bandwidth and rate limits
- Not effective for certain scenarios
- Not beneficial for geo-targeting
Semi-dedicated proxies are those which a limited number of users share–mostly up to 3. They are a much cheaper option, and if you have a lesser budget, this might be more up your sleeve. Semi-dedicated proxies, mostly run by legitimate service providers, remove the red flag of our personal information being misused. However, sharing the same proxy with other users still keeps you at risk of getting affected by others’ illicit activity on the same proxy. It is advisable to be careful and research well if you are buying semi-dedicated proxies, as they serve their purpose very well and are quite cheaper than the other paid proxies. If you can share with people you know, like family or friends, then this might be the best option to go ahead with.
- Most cost-effective
- Personal information is secure.
- Better connection speeds
- Benefits of using a dedicated server
- Other users’ activities might still affect you.
- You do not influence other user’s online activities.
- Only one IP for a group of users
IPV 4 Proxies
Internet protocol version 4 proxies are actual devices as opposed to a “fake” location and are used in a variety of situations. The reasons people use them are to hide their location, spoof other sites, search Google and other search engines as well as log in from one place to appear to be in another locale in order to post information on various sites.
Quality IPV4 proxies are not hard to come by but quality ones at a fair price are hard to find and oftentimes people get faked out thinking they are buying quality a a good price but are buying overly abused IPV4 proxies at a cheap price. Certain sites sell the cheapest private IPV 4 proxies at great prices so one should be looking to purchase from them. Ignore some of the proxy forums and other locations that have fake reviews as well and do your due diligence when sourcing them.
- Reasonably priced.
- Can be found not abused
- Great for searching in Google.
- Some sellers lie about their quality and amount they are used.
Dedicated proxies ensure you are reaping maximum benefits out of your money’s worth! Buying a dedicated proxy means you are the sole user–so you can wave off your worries about security, anonymity, and the activity of other users that might affect you. Dedicated proxies provide the best connectivity speed, optimum security and ensure your personal information is completely safe. You do not have to deal with ads or pop-ups, and you can even gain access to multiple IPs. They do come with a hefty pocket pinch, but with the horde of advantages that you are getting against it, dedicated proxies are definitely the most recommended option if you can afford it.
- Personal information is safe & secure.
- Great connectivity speed
- Negligible chance of getting banned
- Most expensive option
Now that you know what kind of proxy you need to buy to suit your needs the best, here are a few additional pointers to help you make a well-informed choice.
Key Features to Consider
Speed: Nothing beats blazing speed when it comes to any internet activity. When you decide how and where to buy proxies from, check for any speed limitations or restrictions imposed by the provider. Ideally, you would want to buy proxies from a provider that does not restrict bandwidth usage and provides great internet speed along with unmetered bandwidth. After all, who likes lags and downtimes?
Location: The location of the service provider and access to various proxy locations is both extremely crucial. Some locations are usually at high-risk of shady or fraudulent activities, and you need to avoid them strictly. Also, choosing a provider that hosts servers from a wider array of locations leaves you with more options and choices while buying proxies.
Buying proxies online for the first time can really confuse us, and we all want to get the best worth of our money spent. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand proxies and has provided you with all the basic information you need to make a well-informed choice. Proxies not only help you overcome geographical or device barriers or limitations while surfing the internet but will also enhance security and anonymity for your online activities and data. So, to enjoy full freedom while using the internet, make sure you buy the right proxy for your needs to make life simpler.