How Do I Choose the Best Free Proxy Server?
1. Understand the Requirement
There are different types of proxies available based on the user’s requirement. For example, a proxy that can keep the user’s IP address hidden is called an anonymous proxy.
It will stop the marketing advertisements from reaching the user’s browsing session. If the user wants to show a fake IP address, he can use a distorting proxy throughout the session.
2. Choose the Most Reputed One
Many websites review free proxy servers based on their availability and performance. Genuine reviews from the users are the best way to understand the reputation.
The user must go through the terms and conditions for the proxy server. Some proxy servers keep the user session log for weeks, and some don’t. It’s always better to choose a proxy that doesn’t store user log details.
4. Server Locations
Certain proxy providers will allow the user to choose servers and IP locations. It will help the user to get the fastest and secure connections possible.
Advantages of Using a Proxy Server
1. Stay Unidentified
The usage of proxies will keep the person’s public address hidden. Some websites or online services are not at all safe if people are accessing them directly.
Hackers can extract personal information like credit card details or identity details with the help of specific techniques.
A proxy keeps the user details masked so that hackers cannot reach back to the device used by the user. Thereby the proxies can block similar online threats to an extent.
2. An Extra Protection
Many online threats are waiting for system users to sneak into their system. The site redirect can cause malware installation to the user’s device, leading to a security breach and cause severe damage.
All the threats will reach the proxy location by proxy usage and thus protect the actual user.
Certain countries will restrict the online services of particular websites. The users cannot access such online sites directly as their geolocations get identified and blocked based on the public IP address.
But since the proxy service can mask the user’s actual location, they can log in to such websites without any issues.
Similarly, specific organizations restrict the usage of certain online services or social networking sites. A proxy can provide easy access to these sites without being noticed.
4. Restrict Accessibility
The previous point specified that proxy usage could help access sites restricted by organizations (workplace, communities, etc.).
But organizations can use proxy services to block their employee’s devices from specific sites at work time.
5. Speed and Performance
Proxy servers can keep the cache data of the sites that the user once visited. When visiting again, these cache data can speed up the loading and can boost the performance.
What Are the Risk Factors in Using a Free Proxy?
Now that we have discussed the significant advantages of using the free proxy service, let us check the other side of the coin.
1. Protected but Not so Protected
The latest technologies use various advanced techniques to bypass the security provided by the usage of proxies.
Such an approach called SSL stripping can breach proxy protection since most proxies use SSL certificate-based encryption.
2. Proxy Provider Can Track Your Activities
A user may be safer from intruders online, but what if the proxy provider itself becomes the intruder? Free proxies especially can keep track of their user’s activities online.
Proxy providers can gather details from user’s cached data, saved passwords, etc., and can misuse the credentials unnoticed. Hence it’s always better to choose the proxy after a good research.
3. Configuration Compatibility
Since free proxies are not custom-created for a specific user or requirement, choosing a suitable proxy for the purpose is essential.
Sometimes, the user has to configure the proxy to become compatible with the system configuration that the user usually operates.
The other method is carefully choosing the proxy compatible with user devices, which needs in-depth research and careful analysis.
4. Free Proxies Are Limited
Advanced websites implement proxy detection and blocking mechanisms to identify requests from proxy servers in short periods and eventually block them.
Authorities can block free proxies easily since they come with a limited number of IP addresses. Hence the proxy provider has to update the IP address list regularly to maintain the site access.
Best Free Proxy Services
Hidester is a geo-location-based free proxy service that can encrypt the SSL certificate providing the user a malware-free browsing experience.
(Image Source: Hidester)
Advantages of Hidester proxy
1. They Are User Friendly
Since hidester doesn’t ask the user to sign up or install their software, this proxy service is straightforward to use. The user can directly paste the target site URL to the hidester search bar from a computer or mobile phone and can use it.
2. Hidester provides privacy – AES-256-CBC TLS 2048-bit algorithm
Hidester secures the browsing information by encrypting the URLs. Users also have the option to turn off the cache storage setup.
Hidester is one of the most used and referred proxy services. The providers are confident that they don’t keep any user visit logs.
4. Hidester is based in Hongkong and it supports torrenting.
5. Hidester also has a cheaper premium monthly plan when compared to other expensive proxy services.
Disadvantages of Hidester proxy
1. Outdated compared to its counterparts
Currently, more advanced proxy services are available that can replace the Hidester for regular updates. Hidester was last updated in 2018 as per the website.
2. Service policy is short and incomplete
Even though Hidester claims about not recording the user’s details, specific information, including the country, connection date, VPN server location, etc., the service policy does not mention anything regarding the deletion of these connection data.
3. Weak streaming
Hidester online streaming is comparatively slow, especially when outside America. It has a high ping ratio, and the longs distance speed is poor.
Kproxy service has been available for over a decade, which gives this service enough credibility. It has extensions for most browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox.
People can also download and use the Kproxy browser, which is a portable firefox version, and can use it.
(Image Source: Kproxy)
Advantages of Kproxy
1. Kproxy can satisfy most of the user requirements with a decent performance
2. The premium version charges for the number of days the service is used and not for months, unlike some other services. Also, it has an excellent money-back guarantee.
3. Kproxy can change the IP address.
4. Users can switch manually from the ten servers available, ensuring that the user is still protected even if one server is down.
5. It has a user-friendly console.
Disadvantages of Kproxy
1. The maximum time used in a single session is 3 hours or a 300MB data cap. After reaching this limit, the site will ask the user to buy the premium version but not mandatory. However, the user has to wait for 30 minutes to continue his free session.
2. The user logs are kept, and there is no clarity about when Kproxy will remove these logs
3. The free version contains lots of ads
VPNbook proxy service uses the AES-256 encryption method. This Swiss-based proxy service is free and generates revenue through ads and donations.
(Image Source: VPNBook)
Advantages of VPNBook
1. Free proxy service without any user registration.
2. Unrestricted internet access by bypassing ISP censorship.
3. No Bandwidth limit.
Disadvantages of VPNBook
1. Limited server numbers. There are only ten servers available across six countries.
2. VPNBook stores the user’s login information and IP address for at least one week time.
3. The absence of a Kill switch makes the user details vulnerable to exposure in unexpected proxy setup failure.
4. Not recommended for online gaming: The reasons are high ping rate, low speed, and security issues.
5. Even though VPNBook claims easy access to online streaming and torrent, the facts are different. Different tests show that VPNBook fails to unblock platforms like Netflix, Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
This Malaysian-based free proxy service has been available in the market since 2011. It advertises that the company never keeps any user logs, unlike some of its competitors.
And they specifically mention that they cannot pass any logs related to the user to any law enforcement since they are not recording any connection logs or timestamps.
(Image Source: Hide.me)
Advantages of Hide.me
1. Most streaming platforms can be accessed using the Hide.me proxy, as they promise.
2. Consistent speed without significant drops. Even the distant servers are showing considerable speed while browsing and streaming.
3. The presence of AES 256-bit encryption, SoftEtherVPN, WireGuard, and log-free sessions keep the user secure.
4. No Ipv6, DNS leaks.
5. Hide.me proxy is good enough for casual gaming.
Disadvantages of Hide.me
1. Even though it has over 1900 servers worldwide, the free version offers just 5 of them.
2. The free plan consists of 1 connection, 10GB/month, and five servers.
HMA is considered to be one of the most popular and oldest proxy services available in the market. It has a vast network of 210 or more countries with 1080+ servers.
(Image Source: HMA)
Advantages of HMA
1. The Lightning-mode feature connects the user to the nearest and fastest server automatically.
2. HMA offers a good Torrenting experience with the help of high-speed servers.
3. HMA follows a no-log policy.
4. Easy Online streaming across various streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.
5. The military-grade encryption ensures the protection of the user details.
Disadvantages of HMA
1. Sometimes, HMA fails to unblock the streaming of Amazon Prime.
2. Since HMA is based in the UK and UK being an integral part of 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, the no-log policy is at questionable premises.
3. Users from China cannot access HMA.
Unlike other proxy setups, Whoer comes as an extension quickly added to browsers like Google Chrome, Yandex, Mozilla, Opera, etc.
(Image Source: Whoer)
Advantages of Whoer
1. It has a double VPN option that can be activated from the console quickly. The VPN uses 256-bit encryption.
2. Whoer allows its users to test their internet speed and server response times.
3. Fast proxy change is possible compared to the rest of the services.
Disadvantages of Whoer
1. Streaming is limited to 16 countries across Europe and in the US.
2. Slow for torrenting. The servers are limited to Russia, Ukraine, and the Netherlands.
3. The killswitch doesn’t automatically become active.
TOR(The Onion Router), as the “onion” suggests, it has a distinctive structure that allows users to be anonymous throughout their online activity.
But please note that TOR is just another high-security browser that keeps user’s whereabouts hidden to the receiving end. TOR is best for geo-location-based network access, dark web access, etc.
(Image Source: TOR)
Advantages of TOR
1. TOR allows free access to blocked websites in the user network
2. Keeps the user devices and related details anonymous.
3. TOR has Anti-spy protection that protects users from others finding the websites they visited.
4. Web browsing history and cookies will be automatically reset after the TOR session.
5. TOR offers multilayer encryption.
Disadvantages of TOR
1. TOR can hide the user, but the trackers will understand that the user is in the TOR browser, which can raise suspicion for illegal activities.
2. TOR is very slow.
3. It is almost impossible to upload and download large size files using the TOR network
CyberGhost, situated in Romania, has 6000 servers in around 80+ countries. This proxy plugin is readily available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
(Image Source: CyberGhost)
Advantages of CyberGhost
1. User friendly. It gets activated instantly.
2. CyberGhost supports seven devices per one account, and they are available on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Raspberry pi, iOS, Android, etc.
3. CyberGhost offers stable speed for servers near the user location.
4. For premium users, the price is affordable with 45 days money return Guarantee.
5. Decent performance during Netflix streaming.
Disadvantages of CyberGhost
1. CyberGhost has a no-log policy, but it uses Hotjar scripts that usually keep session logs.
2. CyberGhost is owned by a digital advertising agency now. Hence its credibility is under doubt.
3. The payment options are limited.
This free proxy is suitable for streaming videos from YouTube and similar platforms.
(Image Source: 4everproxy)
Advantages of 4everproxy
1. High-speed connection with a speed of 1 GBPS across all servers.
2. User can choose both the IP location and server manually.
3. 4everproxy has Open SSL encryption
Disadvantages of 4everproxy
1. The server logs user session for at least a week time.
ProxFree is a simple, easy-to-use free proxy service, especially for users who want to stream videos online. The ProxFree proxy has four servers in Europe and 7 in North America.
(Image Source: ProxFree)
Advantages of ProxFree
1. Offers wide geographical reach and security
2. Automatic and manual options available for choosing IP location.
3. The encryption method used is SSL
4. ProxFree provides options for the user to activate or disable referer, user-agent headers, cookies, page titles, scripts, objects, etc.
Disadvantages of ProxFree
1. Too many advertisements.