Subscribing to the wrong proxy server provider is one of the most frustrating and draining things that can happen to any internet user. You will end up wasting your time and money yet still have your project ruined.
This experience is something nobody desires, but many still fall victim to scams by unscrupulous proxy server providers. To help you avoid such occurrences, we have put together the best proxy servers.
We would also give you in-depth knowledge of what proxy services entail before looking at the top proxy servers to check out.
Best Proxy Servers
There are hundreds of proxy server providers worldwide, and as expected, not all proxy server providers offer the same quality of services.
Some are reliable and effective, while some will be a waste of time and resources.
If you are worried about investing in the wrong proxies, here are the best proxy server providers.
Bright Data which was formerly called Luminati, is ranked by experts as the best proxy server provider for Scraping.
They offer proxies in the mobile, datacenter, and residential proxy categories. Their residential proxy is credited for Minecraft in the proxy market.
Their mobile and residential proxies are very popular, though their datacenter proxy is not widespread due to their pricing.
Bright Data proxies are regarded as the best proxies in the market in terms of security, speed compatibility with web services.
Pros of Bright Data
- Excellent location support
- Compatible with all websites and services
- Large proxy pool with over 72 million IPs
- Seven days free trial
- Proxy API, Chrome extension, and Bright Data Manager
- User has 100 percent control over their sessions
- Impressive service performance and uptime
Cons of Bright Data
- Expensive pricing
- Web data extraction
- Poor usability
- Poor email support
- Limited bandwidth usage on all plans
Features of Bright Data
Excellent Location Support
Bright Data boasts of the best location coverage and support in the market. They have proxies in every famous city and state in all countries worldwide.
This gives Bright Data their unbeatable geo-targeting support. Users of Bright Data can select proxies from specific cities, states and countries worldwide for their use.
Largest Proxy Network
Bright Data not only has the best geo-targeting support, but they also have an impressive number of proxies for users.
With over 7 million IP addresses in their mobile proxy pool, over 72 million IP addresses in their residential proxy pool and over 700K datacenter IPs, they are the most prominent proxy network in the market.
Perfect Session Control
Bright Data offers rotating residential proxies; therefore, a new session is created for every change in IP address.
Their support for IP rotation is rated among the best in the market.
This is because of their time-based IP rotating feature that ensures IP addresses are changed after a specific time and their high rotating proxies that ensure IP addresses are changed after every request.
The SSL Private Proxy provider is the top and leading private proxy service in the market today.
SSL Private Proxy, which was founded in 2012, has grown to become one of the most premium proxy services in the world and ranked amongst the best private proxies.
They are highly trusted by users worldwide and offer specialized packages for specific tasks.
Their specialized services include social media, online gaming, advertising, shopping, and several other target proxy use cases.
SSL Private Proxy offers various unique features, including high-grade privacy and security.
They use both username/password authentication and IP authentication and support only HTTP and HTTPS protocols.
Pros of SSL Private Proxy
- Availability of monthly randomization of proxies which is enabled for most packages.
- High-speed connection.
- High anonymity private HTTP and HTTPS proxies.
- Effective 3-days refund policy.
- Several specialized packages for specific use cases.
- A large pool of proxy IPs.
- Unique location support is available across the world.
- Use of both Username/password authentication and IP authentication.
- Instant proxy delivery.
- Easy to set up
- Long term purchase at a cheaper rate
- Multiple payment options, including cryptocurrency payment
Cons of SSL Private Proxy
- Expensive proxy plans
- They don’t support SOCKS proxies.
- SSP Types
- Expensive Pricing.
- No trial period or free plans.
Features of SSL Private Proxy
The SSL Private Proxy is known for its top-level anonymity available to users worldwide. Users’ identity is completely hidden when surfing the internet, and they are almost impossible to detect.
IP Authentication Method
One good feature of SSL Private Proxy is that it supports easy and secure authentication, as users can log in with the IP Authorization method.
This allows users to connect from multiple devices on the same IP address easily.
3-days Refund Policy
SSL Private Proxy supports a 3-days refund policy which is very effective.
When a user purchases their services, they are entitled to a refund if not satisfied with the service within three days. However, users are not allowed to test run their services before payment.
Proxy-seller is a highly rated datacenter proxy provider which is very popular among a lot of small-scale Internet marketers.
The Russian-based company supports SOCKS5 and HTTPS protocols. Proxy-seller provides an easy-to-use and hassle-free proxy service.
A fantastic feature of Proxy-seller is their flexible payment option, as users can pay for weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, and annually plans at meager prices. Users have several payment options, as they can pay with PayPal, credit cards, and Bitcoins.
Pros of Proxy-seller
- High-speed connection
- Easy to use and hassle-free
- SOCKS5 and HTTPS protocols supported
- Flexible payment option
- Good customer support
- Good location support
Cons of Proxy-seller
- Average use case
- Expensive pricing
- Poor compatibility
Features of Proxy-seller
Good Customer Support
One of Proxy-seller’s features is their fantastic customer support. Their live chat support is very responsive and efficient, as users can chat with a customer rep online in real-time.
In a case where all agents are busy, users have the option to use their ticket support. Users can also make use of their social media platforms to resolve any pressing need.
Acceptable Internet Speed and Response Time
One of Proxy-sellers ’ selling points is their fantastic internet speed and response time. They are not the fastest in the market but offer excellent internet speed.
Good Location Coverage
Although Proxy-seller offers datacenter proxies, they are not faced with the problem of having a good number of locations that most datacenter proxies face.
They provide coverage in countries such as the United States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, India, Ukraine, and ten other countries.
Soax is a top-rated proxy service ranked as the best proxy provider for mobile proxies and the cleanest Pool for Instagram automation.
They also provide great residential proxies, and users can get a mix of both mobile and residential proxies.
Soax offers proxies from lots of locations worldwide with a large mobile proxy pool. Their mobile proxy pool is constantly being monitored, thereby offering one of the cleanest proxy pools globally.
Once bad IPs are noticed in the proxy pool, they are removed. One other factor that makes Soax popular is its flexible payment plans that are unrivaled.
Pros of Soax
- Easy to use
- Flexible pricing
- Acceptable connection speed
- Excellent location support, supporting about 120 countries
- Large IPs pool Large
- Mobile Proxy Pool
Cons of Soax
- Free trial is limited to one hour
- High latency
- Expensive plan pricing
Features of Soax
Mobile Proxy Pool
Soax is one of the world’s leading proxy providers of mobile proxies, with over 3.5 million mobile IPs.
It has the most prominent mobile proxy IPs behind Bright Data, with 7 million mobile proxy IPs. The main reason for this is likely because the mobile proxy is a new invention in the proxy market.
A fantastic feature of Soax is that they have one of the most flexible payment packages. Users can subscribe to their daily, weekly or monthly proxy plans.
However, the daily and weekly plans are more expensive compared to their monthly plans. Also, when their monthly plan is compared to other proxy providers, Soax’s plans are deemed expensive.
Compatible Instagram Automation
Instagram users into Instagram automation will find it hard to crack, as it uses protocols that effectively detect proxies.
Soax proxies easily bypass the Instagram anti-spam system and are undetectable. They are also entirely compatible and effective with the most popular and complicated SEO tools in the world.
Soax mobile proxies are also perfect for other proxy use cases like web scraping.
Smartproxy is a top proxy provider that offers the best value for your money. They offer the best residential proxies worldwide with fast connection speed.
They are just as effective as Bright Data for most use cases and also surpass Bright Data in some use cases.
One fantastic thing is that they are less expensive than Bright Data and have flexible prices, accommodating big corporations and small marketers.
Smartproxy proxies ensure that users can overcome IP-based restrictions for effective marketing. They are easy to set up, integrate and use.
For new users who might have trouble with navigating their services, Smartproxy provides a quick help guide for assistance.
Pros of Smartproxy
- Premium residential proxies
- Large proxy pool with over 40 million IPs
- Comprehensive location coverage with proxies from about 195 countries
- Compatible for most proxy use cases
- Flexible pricing for both big and small marketers
- Easy to Integrate
- Efficient customer support
Cons of Smartproxy
- Limited bandwidth usage on all plans
- It supports only eight cities
- No free trial
Features of Smartproxy
One fantastic feature of Smartproxy is its excellent price flexibility. With this, users can enjoy the best value for their money.
However, users’ might have to cope with the bandwidth usage limit dependent on the plan subscribed to.
Proxy Address Generator
A unique feature of Smartproxy which gives it an edge over other proxy providers is that Smartproxy enables users to generate their proxy addresses.
These proxy addresses are rotating proxies, but you don’t wish they rotate proxies for you; you will need a proxy list to use.
Excellent Location Support and Large IP Pool Size
Smartproxy is widely recommended because of its excellent location support. They have their servers in over 195 countries worldwide, with a large proxy pool of over 40 million residential IPs.
Shifter, which has been in the proxy market since 2012, is a proxy provider ranked as the best backconnect proxy.
They offer affordable unlimited bandwidth, and their backconnect residential proxies are best for scraping.
Shifter uses rotating proxies, which are time-based, with the IP address assigned per port changing every 5 minutes.
They have over 31 million IP addresses, making them one of the proxy providers with one of the largest proxy pools. Their proxies are perfect for all proxy use cases.
Pros of Shifter
- Unlimited bandwidth usage support
- Large proxy pool
- Excellent location support
- Perfect for all proxy use cases
- Decent Pricing
Cons of Shifter
- Speed is a little bit slow when compared with others
- Restrict access to some sites, including Amazon
- Customer support is slow
- Shifter Residential Plans for Everyone
Features of Shifter
Unlimited Bandwidth Usage
One of the main reasons why Shifter is ranked amongst the best proxy server providers is because it supports unlimited bandwidth usage.
Bandwidth usage is one of the criteria most premium proxy users rate their proxy providers by, and Shifter is top on the list.
The beauty of it all is that the cost of their plans is decent compared to other proxy server providers.
This helps you save a lot of money such a sizable amount of bandwidth would have cost you with other proxy providers. They are perfect for tasks streaming requires much bandwidth.
Numerous Use Cases
Another fantastic feature of Shifter is that it offers numerous use cases. Some of the tasks you can use Shifter for include price comparison, SEO, ad verification, web testing, sales intelligence, brand protection, online shopping and many more.
However, Shifter users are blocked from using some other web services like Amazon by default. To use these blocked services, users have to contact the Shifter support team to request access.
Also, you will have to agree not to bridge their guidelines before access is granted.
Large Proxy Pool
Shifter claims to be the largest proxy provider in the proxy market on their website. Although this could just be a marketing gimmick, it is recorded that Shifter has over 30 million residential proxies.
This is lesser than what Smartproxy and Bright Data boasts of.
MyPrivateProxy – Best Private Proxies
Myprivateproxy is ranked as the best private proxy server provider in the market and is known for its fast dedicated IPs.
Their private proxies are one of the fastest dedicated IPs in the world, offering maximum speed. They offer some use cases others don’t have and are rated as one of the easiest to use in the market.
Pros of MyPrivateProxy
- Fast dedicated IPs
- Supports both IP whitelisting and username/password authentication
- Supports many locations
- Responsive and efficient customer support
- Perfect proxy for sneaker copping, catching Pokemon, and ticket scalping, with diverse packages of private proxies
Cons of MyPrivateProxy
- It doesn’t support Socks proxies
- No free trials
- Not as cheap as many other proxy services
Features of Myprivateproxy
Offers Specialized Proxies
One of the advantages Myprivateproxy offers is its specialized proxies for some exceptional use cases. This includes catching Pokemon, sneaker sites, and ticketing.
Their general private proxies will fail to work for these specific use cases; therefore, it’s always best to go for their dedicated proxies.
Their servers are earth-friendly based on their activities, which aligns with the ever-increasing demand for government, corporate bodies and individuals to go green.
MyPrivateProxy wind energy to power some of their servers are powered.
Supports Many Locations
MyPrivateProxy is a proxy provider that supports many locations, unlike most private proxy providers, which support a few areas.
MyPrivateProxy has coverage in many regions of the US, Canada, and some places in Europe.
StormProxies is a top proxy server provider for the most affordable optimized rotating proxies.
This reverse backconnect premium rotating server is entirely out of the league of the mentioned proxies above in areas like the number of IPs in their proxy pool and location support.
However, it will do a pretty decent job for far less price.
Irrespective of their shortcomings, they still offer a reasonable amount of optimized tasks like ad verification, SEO, price intelligence, web scraping, bulk account creation, brand protection, and many more.
Their proxies are time-based and change their assigned IPs after every 5 minutes. One of StormProxies’ selling points is that they allow access to unlimited bandwidth usage.
Pros of Stormproxies
- Cheap pricing
- It offers many use cases
- Unlimited bandwidth usage
- Easy to set up and use
- Different packages for particular use case flexibility
Cons of Stormproxies:
- It doesn’t support username/password authentication
- Small IP pool size
- Socks proxies not supported
- Limited geo-targeting options
Features of Stormproxies
Unlimited Bandwidth Usage with Affordable and Cheap Pricing
Stormproxies significant selling is its cheap pricing. The plans are incredibly affordable for specific use cases. With as little as fifty dollars, users can purchase up to 5 ports.
Another selling point is that for a cheap proxy service, they also offer unlimited bandwidth usage. They also have flexible packages, making it possible for users to buy a smaller package.
Diverse Proxy Packages
Stormproxies offers specialized proxy packages apart from their general proxies.
These special use case they offer includes sneaker proxies, SEO proxy tools, and social media proxies for one of the best social media automation.
Their sneaker proxies permit users limited-edition of sneakers copping.
Easy to Use
One of the easiest residential proxies to use in the market is Stormproxies residential proxies. A reason for this is because of Stormproxies lean nature.
They only make use of whitelisting your IP address and do not use username and password authentication methods.
Blazing Proxies is the world’s best-optimized sneaker proxy. Blazing Proxy, which is a subsidiary of a cloud-based solution provider, Blazing SEO LLC, with interest in servers, proxies, and scraping.
Although Blazing proxies are datacenter proxies and don’t support any other types of proxies, they are still reliable sticker proxies.
They are rated as the best sneaker datacenter proxies available. They are perfect for sneaker copping, which is said to be best with residential proxy providers.
Blazing proxies offer concurrent thread support and unlimited bandwidth. They are flexible to use and are reasonably affordable.
Pros of Blazing Proxies
- Reasonable pricing
- Two days free trial available
- 13 countries supported
- High compatibility with sneaker copping and SEO monitoring
- Fast proxies with unlimited bandwidth and threads
Cons of Blazing Proxies
- Poor customer support unit
- Complaint of lousy performance from time to time
Features of Blazing Proxies
Sneaker and SEO Support
Blazing proxies from inception were not designed to provide general proxy use cases but to offer dedicated use cases for some specific tasks.
Although Blazing proxies can be used for many general use cases, they are specialized proxies for sneaker copping and SEO auditing and monitoring.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Threads
Blazing proxies offer unlimited bandwidth and concurrent thread. Putting them among the few proxy providers in the market that support both unlimited bandwidth or thread.
Supports Many Countries
Blazing proxies may not support many locations as most proxy providers listed above, but they support a reasonable amount of countries.
They currently support 13 locations which include the US, Canada, UK, ten other countries. With this, they are the best datacenter proxy providers based on location support.
Oxylabs is one of the leading residential proxies in the market in terms of network coverage.
It offers users a wide range of proxy options, with more than 2 million datacenter and 70 million residential proxies in their proxy pool across many cities in all countries worldwide.
Users target proxies they use based on the autonomous system number.
Their IPs use backconnect gateway servers, which indicates that users will have to manually modify these addresses for targeting information.
Oxylabs not only offer residential proxies, but they also provide datacenter and mobile IPs, giving their users more options.
Their residential proxies can be rotating IPs or static non-rotating residential proxies. They support SOCKS5 protocol and other next-gen protocols.
Pros of Oxylabs
- Large IP pool
- They support datacenter, residential and mobile proxies
- Real-time crawler
- They support the SOCKS5 protocol
Cons of Oxylabs
- No separate mobile proxies
- Manual proxy configuration
- Limited SOCKS5 support
Features of Oxylabs
Large IP Pool
Oxylabs is a proxy provider with a large pool of proxy IPs. Their datacenter proxies have over 2 million IPs, while their residential proxies have over 70 million IPs to choose from.
This large proxy pool ensures that users can have extended internet time.
They Support Three Proxy Types
A unique feature of Oxylabs is that they support all three types of proxies. Their datacenter and residential proxies have a large proxy pool.
Their mobile proxy pool is not as large but still has a sizable amount to run all desired tasks.
InstantProxies are one of the best shared proxies and are fabulous for search engines. They are one of the most famous datacenter proxy providers, and this is due to their cheap pricing.
Although they are datacenter proxies, they can be used for a reasonable number of tasks. One of such tasks includes SEO auditing and management. Instantproxies has good location coverage, with proxies from different cities worldwide.
They offer users unlimited bandwidth with subnet variety. A unique feature of Instantproxies is that their proxies are highly anonymous and compatible with numerous websites.
Instantproxies are also unique because they ensure that the proxies provided are tested before handing them over to their users.
Pros of InstantProxies
- Fast connection speed
- Easy to use
- Unlimited bandwidth and thread
- 7-days refund policy
- Responsive and efficient customer support
- Free proxies
- Cheap and affordable pricing
- High Anonymity
Cons of InstantProxies
- Locations of servers not disclosed
- Socks proxies protocol not supported
- Only IP authentication supported
Features of Instantproxies
Instantproxies is one of the proxy providers when it comes to pricing. They are both free and paid proxies; even at that, the paid proxies are very cheap.
Users can buy proxy access for as little as a few cents. Users can get ten proxies for as low as $10.
Most datacenter proxies have limited usage because most of them have been flagged or blocked by numerous web services. This is because they are easily detected.
However, Instantproxies is a datacenter proxy that still functions considerably fair in the market.
They thrive in certain proxy use cases, and one of such areas includes search engine optimization research. Users of Instantproxies can easily carry out SEO research at a cheap cost.
Ease of Usage
Instantproxies are one of the easiest proxies to use in the market because the method of authentication is through IP whitelisting.
Instantproxies doesn’t support the username and password authentication method.
RSocks is a fantastic proxy server provider that offers mobile, residential, and datacenter proxies. It has a fair amount of proxy pools, with more than 3 million proxies available to its users.
They offer unlimited bandwidth usage on all their plans. RSocks users are allowed to run about 500 concurrent threads on most of their plans.
One fantastic feature that sets RSocks apart from their counterparts in that they support all the popular protocols, even new generation protocols.
Some of the protocols they support include SOCKS5, HTTP, and HTTPS.
Pros of RSocks
- Offers unlimited bandwidth
- Supports SOCKS5, HTTP, and HTTPS
- Offers mobile, residential, and datacenter IPs
Cons of RSocks
- Limited geo-targeting
- Very small proxy pool
- Only supports whitelist authentication
Features of RStocks
Offers Unlimited Bandwidth
A good feature of RStock is its unlimited bandwidth. They ensure that users can enjoy unlimited access to their services worldwide at affordable prices.
This is their unique selling point and a feature that separates them from many other proxy providers in the market.
Cross-Platform Proxy Checker Tool
RSocks offers its users a unique feature known as a cross-platform proxy checker tool. This enables them to sort through their users’ list of shared proxies and sieve out bad proxies.
With this, they can pick the most valuable proxies best suited to work for specific use cases based on parameters like their speed, location, and presence against effective anti-spam protocols.
Geosurf proxies are one of the highly-rated proxy providers on this list. They offer one of the most stable proxy networks, and their residential proxies are unblockable.
With Geosurf, users can maintain one proxy session for some time before it is forcefully ended due to IP rotation.
Their proxies are of good quality and are premium, as well as their pricing.
Although their pricing is deemed expensive and placed in the same league as Bright Data, it is meant for only users who can afford them.
Pros of Geosurf
- Good location support
- Large IP address pool
- Fast and compatible with many web services
- Proxies are high-quality
- Stable network
- Dedicated account managers
Cons of Geosurf:
- Expensive pricing
- No free trial is available
- Poor email support
- Limited geo-targeting option
Features of Geosurf
Good Session Control
Geosurf offers incredible session control, as it supports two types of IP address rotation which are session-based IP rotation and time-based IP rotation.
Session-based IP rotation ensures that the IP address is changed after every request, while the time-based session control ensures that the IP address is changed after a specific time.
Users can use the same IP address on Geosurf proxies for either one, ten or thirty minutes. Before the particular change periods, users can also trigger a change.
This makes Geosurf unique and suitable for account management.
Good Location Support
Geosurf doesn’t have an excellent geo-targeting option, but they offer excellent location support. They offer support to about 130 countries worldwide across over 2000 cities.
Dedicated Account Manager
A unique feature of Geosurf is that it offers superior customer support. They go to the extent of assigning dedicated account managers to all users.
This ensures their users get the needed help as quickly as possible.
Proxy-cheap, like the name implies, is a cheap residential proxy good for data collection. They don’t demand a minimum monetary commitment, and this distinguishes them from most residential proxies.
Their data plan is quite flexible, and users can purchase as little as a 1GB data plan for as low as $3 to $5, depending on the plan you choose. The icing on the cake is that their larger packages offer discounts.
Proxy-cheap proxies have good location coverage and are compatible with most general proxy use cases.
They support country-level targeting and are available in about 127 countries. Proxy-cheap has a fair IP address pool, with over 7 million residential IPs, which are both session and rotating IPs.
Pros of Proxy-cheap
- Easy to use
- Large IP address pool, with over 7 million IP addresses
- Good location support
- No minimum monetary requirement
- Proxy Generator Support
- Cheap pricing
Cons of Proxy-cheap
- No free trial option
- Limited payment method option
Features of Proxy-cheap
Large IP Pool
Proxy-cheap is known for having a sizable IP pool, with more than 7 million residential IP addresses.
Their IP addresses are not concentrated in one but spread across more than 127 countries worldwide. They offer a peer-to-peer proxy network, which comprises both session and rotating IPs.
Proxy Generator Support
A unique feature of Proxy-cheap is that it supports proxy generation, which allows users to generate their proxy lists dynamically. They rotate users’ IP addresses, but users can also make a list of IPs to use.
Suitable for Many Use Case
Although Proxy-cheap is a cheap residential proxy server provider, they interestingly support many use cases. Proxy-cheap proxies are optimized to be secure and undetectable.
Some use cases they support include brand protection, market research, price monitoring, SEO utility, price monitoring, sneaker copping, ad verification, and web scraping.
Proxyrack is one of the best residential proxy providers in the market for multithreading. They are great for sending API requests and also support SOCKS proxy.
They are rotating proxies that support sticky IP, making them great for account management.
Although Proxyrack doesn’t have an extensive IP pool size like most of the other proxy server providers listed above, they offer a sizable enough IP pool for most tasks.
They offer users more than 5 million residential IPs. About 500K – 600K of the IPs in their proxy pool are constantly online.
Pros of Proxyrack
- Affordable pricing
- Access to whitelist up to four IPs
- Has support for both SOCKS and HTTP(s) proxies
- Good location support
Cons of Proxyrack
- Can be slow
Features of Proxyrack
Excellent IP Whitelisting Support
Proxyrack has excellent IP whitelisting support, with up to four IPs at a time. This makes them unique, as it is rare to see this amount of IP whitelisting support available in the market.
Only proxy servers that have support for sub users provide more than one IP whitelisting option.
Good Location Support
Proxyrack is a proxy server that offers good location support. The source of their IP addresses is from a P2P network.
They have over five million IP addresses in their proxy pool across more than 140 countries worldwide.
Webshare is a well-rated proxy server provider known for its signature Rotating Datacenter proxies.
They offer free proxy services and provide excellent connection speed, making them ideal for fast scraping projects.
Their paid users have access to more of the features they offer, and they are not easily detected by anti-spam systems that effectively detect proxies.
- Easy to set up
- Very cheap Pricing
- Free trial available
- Poor location support
- Higher latency
- Easily get detected
Rotating Datacenter proxies
Webshare has a unique feature that the majority of proxy providers don’t offer. This unique feature is the rotating datacenter proxy option.
This combines both the benefits of rotating proxies and static proxies. Webshare proxies are perfect for both crawling and web scraping.
Another feature of Webshare that makes it famous is its cheap pricing. It makes them stand among other providers. Although they are very affordable, they are also very secure.
What is a Proxy?
Proxy servers function as intermediaries between the web servers and your computer when on the Internet. Proxy servers help you redirect your requests on the web and ensure they don’t go directly to the intended website.
When your request goes directly to the intended website, you are exposed in many ways unless your network operator or ISP modifies your request.
A proxy provider changes the standard work mechanism of your internet service provider by routing your request through a proxy server, which now routes your requests to the intended website.
During this process, modifications are made. The initial IP address bundled with your request is replaced with another IP address.
The new IP address could be an arbitrary one or an IP address belonging to the proxy server. The intention is to hide your actual IP address, protecting you from several vulnerabilities and offering you many opportunities.
Therefore, proxies can be seen as shields used online by Internet users to hide their actual IP footprints.
Are Proxies Legal?
Generally, proxies are entirely legal. Many top businesses make use of proxies for the smooth running of their businesses daily. However, its legality is also based on a country basis.
Some countries may forbid the use of proxies, making it prohibited in that country. In the United States, for example, no laws are restricting the use of proxy servers.
In some countries, the use of proxy servers is partially legal. This means that citizens can use proxy servers, but proxy servers are restricted to specific websites.
If this law is bridged and these prohibited websites are accessed with proxies, it becomes illegal. In countries where the use of proxies is unlawful, if found wanting, violators will face the wrath of the law.
So proxies could be legal and illegal, depending on what they are used for and your location.
If you are in a new area, it’s best to get the opinion of a lawyer that is resident in that country to determine the legality of using proxies to avoid breaking the law.
What Can I Use Proxy Services For?
The primary use of proxy service is to shield users’ real IP addresses when browsing the web. The main question should be why internet users would want to hide their IP addresses?
There are some interesting reasons for this. Many internet users who use proxies know that web services use internet users’ IP addresses to effect certain IP-based restrictions.
Therefore, by hiding your actual IP address, it becomes difficult for these IP-based restrictions to affect you. Because your proxy providers give you access to as many IP addresses as possible.
Proxy services also have several other uses.
Proxies can be used for ad verification, account management, web scraping, brand protection, price comparison, cybersecurity, and fraud protection, application and affiliate link testing, and many more.
To successfully use proxies for this, your proxy server helps you bypass IP-based censorship and restriction. Individuals do not only use proxy services.
Government agencies, big corporations, and research institutions worldwide use proxies, although they may never admit it.
Are Proxy Servers Trustworthy?
Proxies help you hide your identity and activities from eavesdroppers like your ISP, intelligence and marketing agencies, government agencies, web services, and even hackers.
Some proxy servers even ensure that your web traffic is encrypted to provide better security online. What this implies is that proxy services offer both security and privacy when online.
However, while your identity is completely hidden from the web services you browse when using proxy servers, your proxy provider knows your identity.
They see the content of your requests and also your actual IP address. For this reason, the question of trust comes into play.
Some proxy servers can be so terrible that it’s better if you don’t use proxies at all than to subscribe to them.
They will eavesdrop on you, get all your information and hurt you with it. These days, most proxy servers claim not to monitor users’ activities, and they abide by a strict no-log policy.
The fact that you can’t access their code base or know what is done behind the scenes, you can’t know for sure if they speak the truth.
Based on this, if choosing a proxy provider, you should settle for a popular provider with recommendations from security experts.
This gives you very little assurance because users of these proxy servers would have had first-hand experience using them, and the security experts must have put proxy servers to series of rigorous tests.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Proxy Provider
If you are new to proxy services, picking proxy providers at random may end up as a disaster. It is essential to take time out to check for the kind of proxy service that suits your needs.
Here are a few factors to consider.
IP Address Source
The source of the IP address provided by the proxy server is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing a proxy server.
There are three primary IP sources which are mobile, datacenter and residential proxies.
Mobile IP proxy
Mobile IP proxies are the newest among IP proxies. The source of IP addresses is the Mobile Network Operators, that is, mobile Internet devices ISPs.
They are the perfect IP addresses for web services with robust anti-spam systems or require mobile simulations.
They are also the most expensive IP address source. Instagram is an example of such services and the most popular of them.
Datacenter IP proxy
The IP addresses for datacenter IP proxies are sourced from data centers just like the name implies. They are the cheapest IP address sources and also the least effective.
They are easily detected and are better used on websites with a simple anti-spam system.
Residential IP proxy
Residential IP proxies make use of IP addresses assigned to devices by ISPs. They are almost as effective and undetectable as mobile proxies and are perfect for nearly all proxy uses.
They are also cheap but not as cheap as datacenter proxies but as expensive as mobile proxies.
The location your proxy provider covers is another essential factor to be considered when choosing a proxy service.
This is because many proxy users use proxy services to spoof their location to access localized and geo-targeted data. When picking a proxy provider, don’t go for one that supports only your location.
Ensure you choose proxy providers that support as many locations as possible if you need to spoof the location.
Some proxy providers support all areas in the world, such as BrightData and Smartproxy.
Number of Users
Proxies can either be private proxies or shared proxies. Residential proxies are mostly shared proxies, which means you will have to share IPs from a proxy pool with other users.
However, residential proxies are constantly being rotated; therefore, there is nothing to worry about.
Datacenter proxies, on the other hand, are private proxies, which implies that users will have to stick to their individual proxies to guarantee reliability and better performance.
Some proxy servers rotate their IP addresses while some are static. When sending many requests to a web service, it is best to use rotating proxies to ensure that the web service doesn’t know that the requests are from one source.
Rotating proxies are used chiefly by residential proxy services and are notable for web scraping. They are also perfect for SEO, price monitoring, and ad verification, among others.
Static proxies, on the other hand, are best for maintaining the same IP address. They are perfect for online gaming and account management.
SOCKS and HTTPS proxy protocols are the two most famous proxy protocols worldwide. They are technically different and are used by most proxy providers.
If you like the look of a particular proxy server, you will need to check their website or contact the proxy provider for information on the supported protocol subscribing.
Special Proxy Use Case
Some proxy services have exceptional proxy use cases aside from the general proxy use cases in the market. This gives them an edge over their counterparts and also helps users satisfy some basic needs.
These proxies have been engineered and developed to meet certain requirements for the effective functioning of specific use cases.
Some of the specific use cases of these specialized proxies include SEO proxies, sneaker proxies, gaming proxies, ticketing proxies, many others. If you need proxies for any of such specific use cases, ensure you go for a proxy provider that offers dedicated proxies.
Residential IP Proxies vs. Datacenter IP Proxies
For many years, the residential IP proxies and the datacenter IP proxies have remained the only IP address source for proxy users.
They both vary in use case and offer users different advantages. Residential proxies are more secure and effective than the datacenter proxies, although they are also more expensive.
Residential proxies make use of rotating IP addresses, while datacenter IPs are static. Before opting for any of these types of IP proxies, ensure you know your reason for using a proxy service.
Are Free Proxies Safe to Use?
Free proxies are of course tempting to use because you don’t pay to use them. However, most free proxies are regarded as not secure, and you are at risk of having your data stolen.
Not only are you at security and privacy risk, but you also would most likely not enjoy the services from free proxies because they are usually slow, of low quality, and easily detectable by web services. Yet, there are few exceptions to this.
Some proxy servers offer quality free proxies or free trials that are worth checking out.
What are the Best Proxies for Web Scraping?
Rotating proxies are the best proxies for web scraping because they change their IP addresses after every request.
This ensures that no IP footprint is traced, and users won’t exceed the web request limit at any point.
What are the Best Proxies for Sneaker Copping?
Residential proxies are the best for sneaker copping because residential proxies are hard to detect by sneaker sites with effective anti-bot systems that quickly detect proxies.
However, datacenter proxies can work effectively on some sneaker sites without being detected.
What are the Best Proxies for Social Media?
Mobile proxies are the best for social media because most social media websites are perfect at detecting proxies.
Some are very much against it and would block the user immediately if it is detected. However, there are some social media websites that residential proxies work perfectly for.
How We Found the Best Proxy Servers
There are literally hundreds of proxy server servers today, and each proxy service promises to be the best.
Many of these proxy providers are better at marketing than providing the services they promise. They survive on hype, and the outcome is always terrible for the end-users.
After careful research on the proxy market, we have together some of the best proxy server providers for you to check out.
Our recommendations include proxies in categories such as datacenter proxies, residential proxies and mobile proxies.
The selection was made based on several factors, including their compatibility with popular web services, uptime, security, speed, customer support, among others.
The listed proxy providers are arguably the best proxy servers you can find on the market. They offer both general proxy use cases and specialized use cases.
The majority of proxy servers listed guarantee top-level security and anonymity.
Whatever reason you choose to use proxies for, if you need specific proxies to meet particular needs, you can pick from any of the proxy services listed above and trust them to deliver.