What Are the Different Types of Proxies
Exploring the latest news on Google or browsing the online shop we seldom think about what technologies we use and how the internet works. Over the last few years, technology and the internet's functionality have transformed into the convenient systems we use daily. But what happens when you open your browser? Today we’ll cover the topic of proxies. What are they? What types they can be? Read more to become a real tech savvy and be aware of how to protect your web surfing and minimize the risks of being hacked.
A proxy server is a gateway between a user and the internet. It’s an intermediary server separating end users from the websites they browse. When you visit any website, you send and receive traffic. Using a proxy, all this traffic passes through a proxy server. But what role does it play? Why is it needed? Why don’t users just go straight to the website and back?
The reasons to use proxy servers may vary. Here are some of them:
- Controlled internet usage. Proxy servers can be used by parents or organizations to monitor and control internet usage by their employees and children, limiting access to specific websites.
- Improved speed and performance. Proxy servers can cache websites and send you the most recent copy of them. For example, when many users with the same proxy server send requests to any website simultaneously, they don’t overload the website, as the proxy server sends only one request. This reserves bandwidth for the company and improves the network performance.
- Protected privacy and anonymity. Both ordinary users and companies can use proxy servers to stay private and anonymous. Proxy servers can change your real IP addresses and the website you visit will not be able to identify who and where makes the original request.
- Access to blocked internet resources. Proxies allow you to bypass geographic restrictions or censorship of the state you are in. You can also get access to local websites or services while abroad.
But what types of proxies are there? How to choose the one you need. Let’s figure this out.
Proxies Based on Location of IP Address
Residential and data center are the two terms that describe proxies based on the location of their IP addresses. Residential proxies provide IP addresses of real devices in various places being hard to detect or block. Due to providers renting them from other genuine users, these proxies tend to be more costly.
Residential proxies are used to mask real IP addresses and physical locations. This technology can be used not only by ordinary users but companies as well. Businesses and organizations can also use residential proxies for web and SEO analysis, marketing research, etc. Residential proxies don’t encrypt your traffic (like VPNs do) but can provide you with some level of private browsing.
Datacenter proxies are provided by third-party companies and are not affiliated with Internet Service Providers. Even though they offer a decent level of privacy and anonymity, datacenter proxies usually come from data centers and cloud services and are used by many people at the same time. This increases the risks of being detected and blocked by a service you need.
Proxies Based on Direction of Traffic Flow
This type of proxy acts as a mediator between a user and the website he wants to visit. The user’s request proceeds through the forward proxy and reaches the site. After the relevant data from the website is received, it is sent back to the proxy server and redirected back to the user. The Internet server considers this request as if it was made by the proxy server but not the user. With the help of forward proxies, information sent and received can be cached and used for faster and easier further requests.
Reverse proxies are server-oriented and provide anonymity on the server side. They serve as a gateway to the web server you are about to interact with. Just as you don't want web servers to know your real IP address, some organizations also don't want you to know their actual server address. So, they set up a proxy that acts like their real server. But when requests come in, it directs them to the real server.
Proxies Based on Service
Public proxies are widely used by ordinary internet users free of charge. It provides anonymous access to the internet with a public IP address. This type of proxy suits cost-sensitive users but it can’t be recommended if you prioritize security and speed. Generally, it is not the best practice to use free services, as they are prone to lagging and pose a high risk of leaking sensitive data.
Shared proxies are a kind of paid public proxy servers. They are not free, but much cheaper than private proxies. A shared proxy is used and controlled by multiple users and assigns them the same IP address hiding their real one.
A private proxy is the most costly type of proxy. But by ordering a private proxy you get a dedicated IP address not shared with anyone. It is assigned exclusively to a specific user and brings much more safety and privacy than the previous two types of proxy services. If you value security and anonymity, private proxies are your choice.
Proxies Based on Level of Anonymity
A transparent proxy is a communication scheme when traffic is redirected to a proxy server implicitly (by means of a router). At the same time, the client can use all the benefits of a proxy server without additional settings. This type of proxy doesn’t require client-side configuration. It is set up on the whole network and stays invisible to individual clients.
Anonymous proxies are popular among those users who want to protect their original IP address from being leaked to the needed website. This type of proxy does not reveal your IP address but does reveal the fact that you are using a proxy server.
Elite proxies offer the highest level of privacy. With this type of proxy, you can connect to a server without revealing any information about your actual IP address. Actually, this service allows hiding the fact that you even use a proxy.
Do proxies hide your IP?
Yes. Hiding your IP address, location, and identity is the main purpose of using a proxy. All your traffic passes through a proxy server and the destination point server can not detect your original IP address. By hiding your IP address, you can protect your privacy and bypass geographic restrictions.
Do proxies really provide anonymity?
Yes. While using a proxy, the service you are visiting can’t trace your data traffic and your IP address back to you. The only information the service gets is the IP address of a proxy server, which means you have some amount of anonymity. However, your traffic is not encrypted, so websites can monitor your activity on the web, even though they can’t refer this activity to your real IP address.
What type of proxy are you using?
To figure out what type of proxy you use, you can use various proxy checker services. It will analyze your connection and see if a proxy is detected. If the service detects a proxy, it will show you all the proxy details it catches.
What proxy connection problems exist?
Here are the most common proxy connection issues problems:
1. Too many website IP bans. One of the most popular proxy issues. It happens if too many of your proxy IP addresses are banned. Though it’s impossible to protect your proxies from being banned, if you notice that bans happen too often, try to use another type of proxy.
2. Proxy provider failing. Sometimes you can notice that your proxy doesn’t even if all the settings are correct. It means that your proxy provider can have some issues. The easiest way to figure out the nature of connection failure is to check out the proxy on other devices. If the problem is the same, try to use another proxy from the same provider. If you still can not connect, then the proxy provider servers are probably down. This usually happens with free proxies, which don’t invest in their infrastructure.
3. Proxies not configured for your browser or OS. If you get a specific error it may indicate that your network or computer isn’t specifically configured for your proxy. The error text usually describes the error:
There is something wrong with the proxy server, or the address is incorrect: You need to fix your proxy settings.
- Err_Proxy_Connection_Failed: Your browser add-ons or settings may conflict with proxy settings. Check out the same proxy in another browser. If necessary, roll your original browser back to its default settings, and try again.
- Cannot connect to proxy server Windows 10: In this case, follow the offered Windows troubleshooting manual to resolve the issue. The problem may lie in the incorrect Windows install.
- No connection on your web browser: This error message indicates that your antivirus software may interfere with the work of your proxy and browser. Give the necessary permissions in antivirus settings.