Proxy servers have recently become popular, and it seems they are going mainstream fast. Proxies offer many benefits for both individuals and organizations, yet users still tend to lack knowledge about this technology. While it might take time for people to get used to new tools, companies need a strategic, long-term approach when adopting new technologies such as proxies into their day-to-day operations.
Many things can be effected within the organization positively or negatively depending on how the technology is adopted. So, let’s see what you need to know about getting proxies and why free options are not suitable for businesses.
What are proxy servers?
Proxy servers are third-party servers that manage traffic between protocols and networks. They act as intermediaries that are located between online resources (websites or services) and end-users. A proxy server can have different levels of privacy, security features, and functionalities.
When someone uses a proxy, all the traffic goes directly through it when people make requests to web services. On the other hand, when the request is traveling back to you, the traffic again goes through the proxy before reaching the destination.
It might seem like it’s not a big deal from first sight and can even be interrupting because you’re adding another destination in your connection, but there is more to it.
How does proxy services work?
All computers connected to the web have their own unique IP addresses. This address is vital for each device as it lets websites send you traffic once you’ve made a request. Proxies are computers with their own IP addresses that users recognize.
In other words, when you are getting traffic from proxies, you can instantly recognize it. When you make a request, the proxy does it for you and receives all the data before it is sent to the computer that made the request. Proxies can change the data when sending it, filter it out, and prevent it if it recognizes it’s harmful.
Why do companies use proxies?
Both individuals and companies can benefit from using proxies. However, companies can particularly improve a variety of processes with this technology.
To make their actions anonymous
A lot of companies use proxies to get more anonymity online. There are a variety of threats to business organizations and their processes.
For example, if your competitors learn what you’re up to, they can get the upper hand and prevent you from achieving your goals. Proxies let you protect business processes, your research, and other sensitive information.
To have control over how employees use the internet
Companies tend to have issues with employees visiting inappropriate and insecure sites. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use proxy servers for running an internal network.
When accessing a network via proxy, administrators can manage access to sites and networks. It’s easy for companies to block content and increase productivity.
Better traffic control and bandwidth
Proxies create a single access point for your customers. It can balance all the requests to ensure there are no overloads, allowing you to provide a better customer experience.
On the other hand, proxies can cache files and pages and compress traffic. It also frees a lot of bandwidth and provides a faster connection to your site.
Companies use proxies for scraping because certain types of proxies can switch different IPs very fast, so you can access all the content you need without getting blocked.
On the other hand, they can also unblock content restricted to your location. For example, a UK proxy can make it look like your business is from the UK and open up blocked content.
5 reasons to avoid free proxies
1. They are slow
Free proxies usually have few resources, so that you would be sharing a proxy with many other users. In turn, the proxy could be slow and hinder your connection speed.
2. Poor security
3. Hacking scams
Hackers are no strangers to proxies or any other “free services” for that matter. They often used these services to monitor users, track them, and steal valuable information or resources.
4. Stealing credentials
When using a proxy and logging into a server, your browser creates cookies that contain your login credentials. Free proxy services could steal this information and gain access to your accounts.
Lots of free proxies display ads to get revenue. Not only can that be annoying, but some of the runaway ads contain malware that could expose your whole network.
Whether you’re looking for a Taiwan proxy, a UK proxy, or any other, make sure to find a reliable paid provider. For instance, you can check out Oxylabs, one of the market-leading proxy providers, website to learn more about what is UK proxy. Free services are rarely legit, and even when they are, they are only suitable for individuals, not companies.