To put it short, a proxy server is a device on the internet that takes all your requests, replaces your IP with a new one, and sends those requests to the destination. You can use a proxy to keep your private information safe, gain access to geo-restricted content and services, or make it look like you’re surfing in a different location.
What Are the Most Common Proxy Server Types?
While home users utilize proxies for privacy, companies mostly turn to them to improve security, monitor their closed networks, optimize performance, and for different marketing purposes like market research and brand protection. Proxies come in a few variations, each with different features and objectives. Here are the most common types of proxy servers out there.
A public proxy is by far the most unreliable and the most insecure variation available. You can’t rely on a public proxy because it can stop working at any moment, and many of them are nothing but a front to steal people’s personal information.
However, public proxy servers are free, and that’s the only reason people turn to them. Finding a list of these proxies is easy, but using them is a massive gamble because you don’t know who can see your data. On top of that, they’re often very slow because any number of users might be on a single proxy at any time.
These are the exact opposite. Only one client can use a private proxy at any time. Since you don’t share it with anyone else, you have complete control and don’t have to worry about compromising speed. They still replace your IP address with a different one, so your private data stays private.
Depending on the service you decide to go with, you can get proxies by location. It’s a great way to avoid any geographic blocks since you can surf USA websites like Netflix and enjoy their content without any restrictions, although you’re in the UK.
Residential proxies replace your IP address with one coming from an actual device. They’re the best type of proxy you can use because all your requests look like they’re coming from a genuine user and not a proxy. They’re undetectable and can easily get around most issues other proxy servers have.
Again, your residential proxy service of choice will dictate any additional options you get. The best ones offer global IP pools, instant IP changes, automatic rotation, sticky sessions, etc. All these features are crucial for web scraping without geographic limitations and without worrying about bands.
These are the exact opposite of residential proxies. They don’t come from real users but instead use IP addresses that are not attached to a device. In other words, it’s a cloud-based proxy. The most significant advantage of datacenter proxies is their speed which is often a lot higher than other proxy types.
Datacenter proxy servers make a great option for users who need high speeds, reliable service, and unlimited bandwidth. Just like the others, these proxies can be located anywhere in the world. They’re also dedicated, supporting only one user at a given time, so all the security benefits are still present.
The popularity of sneaker proxies has grown tremendously in recent years. They’re the best option for people looking to buy the latest limited-edition sneakers, hard-to-get tech, and any other goods that are often available in small numbers or for short periods only.
People use sneaker proxy servers to avoid any limitations like buying only one item per IP address. They still offer a secure, encrypted connection, they’re compatible with the most popular automation tools, and they can help you make sure you get your hands on that elusive pair of kicks, the newest console, or the latest fashion piece.
If you’re looking to improve your SEO strategy, do some private competitor research, or manage your social media without worrying about getting banned, mobile proxy servers are what you need. They significantly reduce the risk of bans or blocks because they come from an actual mobile network. In other words, you’re renting a genuine mobile device with a SIM card.
Mobile proxies are highly secure, fast, and reliable. They feature unlimited bandwidth with dedicated usage, instant IP rotation as needed, and impressive uptime of over 99%.
Now you know all there is to know about proxy servers and how useful they can be! If you’re up for experimenting, you can set up a simple proxy right at home. For other, more advanced usage scenarios, it’s best to go with a reliable proxy service you can trust.