Privacy online no longer exists. You are always tracked even if you go incognito mode, as Incognito mode prevents your browser from saving site activity. But that does not keep your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your employer, school, library or the websites you visit from seeing your activity. Let’s not forget the signed legal measure by Trump which allows ISPs to sell your data without any consent as well. Including your financial, health, browsing history information and much more. That’s pretty creepy for sure. How do they track it? Well, there are numerous ways to do so:
- With cookies (the reason why you get ads)
- By tracking your IP address (this is why they know your geolocation, can identify your device, your OS, and which browser you’re using)
- With browser plugins (which are notorious for collecting large amounts of your data)
- With search sites (which collect info on your searches that they later supply to their advertisers)
Remember kids – if you are using something for free on the web – you are most likely the product they are selling. But privacy issues whilst browsing the internet is one thing, completely different thing is when you try to use it to make money, let’s say trying to cop some sneakers or trying to boost your business with Instagram. Then, privacy issues become a whole new headache. Most people try to fight these issues by using a VPN or proxies. In this article, we’ll discuss the usage of proxies. Why not use a VPN one might ask. Well, there is a whole debate on the internet what is better, but it all goes down once again that, no matter what you do online if you want to achieve things in larger quantities, and with higher effectiveness, proxies are the way to go. Yes, you can buy a pair of sneakers with your one IP, but if you want more – you’ll need proxies. If you work long and hard you MIGHT get that attention on Instagram with your one account, but you can do it a lot faster with proxies. And bear in mind – most businesses use proxies already, so best be prepared than grind away for months or even years.
What is a Proxy Server?
It is a server that helps you anonymize your IP address and also lets you go to websites where you wouldn’t have been allowed before with your own IP. To simply put it, it’s a secure gateway between you and the internet. So when you use a proxy server, the traffic flows through it towards the site you want to reach. Then the data comes back to you through the proxy server. All this while you will be hidden behind a completely different IP address than yours. Proxy servers are known for their high levels of anonymity. Of course, it all goes down to the provider you choose. There are some dodgy providers there, especially the free ones (remember what we said about free services?). So be wise to choose the right one for you. Let’s go into what sort of proxy solutions you can find, which ones are best for anonymity online, and how to choose the right provider (and the risks you might encounter if you choose a bad one).
Proxy Server Solutions
Once you start looking into proxy server solutions, you’ll see many different kinds. Let’s go through the main ones and their pros and cons when it comes to using them for anonymity online, whether business based or personal use. There are two main proxy solutions that you will see online:
- Residential Proxies – these proxies are assigned by an ISP to a homeowner, making these proxies highly anonymous as they hide your real IP address with another legitimate IP address.
- Pros – secures high anonymity.
- Cons – due to being legit and highly anonymous, they come on the pricey side and can be not as fast as datacenter proxies.
- Datacenter Proxies – they run in a datacenter, on an IP address that belongs to a block of IP addresses that are used commercially, but not by an ISP for residential internet access.
- Pros – they are quite cheap, fast and stable.
- Cons – datacenter proxies are a lot more commonly used (and abused) so might have a history.
Now, both residential and datacenter proxies divide into three types: private, shared and semi-dedicated. Take note that private proxies can also be called dedicated. They are the same thing. So, what are the pros and cons of these three?
- Private – a private (or dedicated) proxy is one that belongs to only you. You do not share this proxy with anyone else.
- Pros – has barely any history, remains almost anonymous, and as you use it by yourself, it is very fast.
- Cons – because of all the reasons mentioned above, it is rather expensive.
- Shared – as the name already explains, these proxies can be shared with other users.
- Pros – they are less expensive.
- Cons – as they are shared, they won’t be as anonymous and can be unreliable (so do not really work here for us)
- Semi-dedicated – (or semi-private), a proxy that can be used between 2 to 5 people simultaneously or given only to scrape a specific target.
- Pros – sort of get the best of the two. A price of a shared proxy but nearly as reliable as a private proxy.
- Cons – not as reliable as private, hence, not as anonymous.
So, you can choose from residential proxies, either private, shared or semi-dedicated. Or from datacenter proxies – private, shared or semi-dedicate. When it comes to choosing proxy solutions for everyday anonymity/privacy online for an average user, private datacenter proxies would be sufficient enough, and a far cheaper solution than residential proxies. Especially if you buy them from a trusted proxy provider. However, if you are doing this for business measures and need proxies to buy high demand items, creating several accounts on social media etc., best use private residential proxies. They will be more expensive, but they will guarantee a higher level of anonymity and will keep you secure.
Choosing the Right Proxy Provider
When it comes to choosing a proxy provider, be sure not to go for the free ones. They are not reliable and often falsely advertised to be anonymous. Most of them are shared and there are a lot of scammers who are willing to use your own IP address for their needs. But more expensive does not mean better. Different proxy providers offer different speeds, uptimes, locations etc. and due to that, their offers vary. See this blog post on how do we test proxies and give scores to various providers. It is very important to be sure you are buying your proxies from a legitimate business. As a legal entity, they will be responsible for any issues you might encounter and you will be safer when it comes to legal matters.
When going anonymous online, it all goes down to the right proxy solution and their provider and your own needs. If it’s a day-to-day browsing, we suggest you look into a good proxy provider that offers private datacenter proxies, as it will have a low ping, quick response time and will be very fast and anonymous. But if you seek to manage several accounts on social media, scrape data or buy high demand goods, try private residential proxies.