What Is an Anonymous Proxy and How Can It Benefit You?
Cover your tracks with anonymous proxies.
You probably already know what proxies are, but in case you don’t, you’ve come to the right place. Let me explain: proxies are intermediaries between your device and the internet. They tunnel your requests through themselves and change your IP address. That’s how you become anonymous online—by using a middleman to cover your tracks. If that’s what you’re most concerned about, it’s time to get to know anonymous proxies.
- What is an anonymous proxy?
- How do anonymous proxies work?
- Why you should use proxies to browse anonymously
- Anonymous proxies and web scraping
- How else can you use anonymous proxy servers?
- Can using anonymous proxies be risky?
The anonymous proxy, or the anonymizer, makes your online activity harder to trace. It connects to the Internet on your behalf and hides your computer’s identifying information. Without using a proxy, your IP address is in plain sight when you go about your business on the Internet. It means that sensitive information, like your location, may be accessible to the website you browse. That’s why so many people use proxies when browsing the net.
When you make a request through a proxy, it tunnels the connection through itself and strips away your IP address. Then it sends 3 additional HTTP headers to your target server: HTTP_VIA, HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR, and REMOTE_ADDR. These headers allow the target server to know that you’re connecting via proxy, however, your IP address is not revealed. That’s why anonymous proxies are sometimes called semi-anonymous.
If you don’t want the website to know that you’re using a proxy, elite proxies can help you with that. Elite, or high anonymous proxies, don’t send the aforementioned headers. That’s why they can pose as real users on your behalf. It’s worth noting that some proxy providers rename elite to anonymous proxies for marketing reasons. That’s why you should get familiar with how exactly the proxies they offer work.
Telling you less internet-savvy friends of family members that they are being tracked online can make you sound paranoid. The truth is, many people still don’t realize that privacy on the internet doesn’t exist. Your internet service provider, employer, or even the government can have access to your online activity. Even worse than that, in some countries, it’s legal for ISP companies to sell their users’ data without any consent. Still wondering why anonymous proxies are so widely used?
Here are some more reasons how anonymous proxies can help you while browsing the net:
- Keep your browsing history private.
- Avoid censorship.
- Access geo-restricted content.
- Avoid targeted marketing and online advertising.
- Speed up loading times through caching.
- Prevent identity theft.
While keeping yourself anonymous while browsing the web is a good use of proxies, it’s only one among many. Read on about how proxies can aid you in web scraping.
Web scraping allows you to gather data such as product details, sports stats, or even help to get some insight into your competitors. However, to protect their precious data, websites limit access to it. If you make too many requests from the same IP address, a website may flag your scraping attempt as suspicious activity and ban your IP address. That’s why this process is unimaginable without the help of anonymous proxies. They allow you to hide your real IP address and employ a pool of new ones in the process.
Let’s dive deeper into why anonymous proxies can enhance your web scraping
- Anonymous proxies significantly reduce the chance of getting blocked or banned.
- With proxies you can make requests from specific geographical locations to access geo-restricted content.
- Proxies allow you to make unlimited simultaneous sessions to the same or different websites.
While anonymous browsing and web scraping are some of the most common uses of proxies, there’s so much more.
- Social media management. Many social media platforms don’t allow you to create multiple accounts. That’s why it’s impossible to manage several accounts at once, unless you’re using proxies, of course. That’s right! Anonymous proxies allow you to have separate IP dresses for your social media accounts. It helps to prevent temporary blocking or even get your account banned altogether.
- Sneaker copping. Those who keep trying to cop those sweet sneaker drops know that they go out of stock in a matter of seconds. So you have to act fast and smart, which means you should use proxies. They will make it look like each request is coming from a different real-life person preventing you from getting blocked and your IP blacklisted.
- Travel fare aggregation. Want to find the cheapest flight for your future trip? Proxy-powered travel fare aggregators can help you overpass travel website strict safety checks. The checks are usually placed to block IP’s related bot and automated activity.
- Better network performance. Many people have the misconception that using proxies will lower their internet speed. In fact, often the opposite of that is true. Proxies can cache your visited site and show the copy of it when you visit it again. Not only does it save your bandwidth, but you also get a faster speed and better network performance.
As you can tell, anonymous proxies are versatile tools. Yet, you may be wondering if there are any risks in using them. The answer is short: it all comes down to your proxy provider. If you can trust your provider, then there’s barely any risk involved. Of course, it’s also important to consider what you are using them for.
While it’s legal to use proxies almost everywhere, in some countries you should do that with caution. Take China, for instance. If you decide to access forbidden content via proxies in this country and get caught, you may face persecution.
If proxies are anonymous, how does one get caught? Government agencies set up free proxy services to trap citizens who do not obey the laws of The Great Firewall of China. What’s more, the government agencies are not the only ones placing traps for oblivious users – hackers also target free proxy services.
Basically, most risks come from using free proxy servers. Here are their most common risk factors:
- Even though they might not show your information to the websites you’re connecting to, they may be logging it for themselves.
- Free proxy servers don’t always encrypt your data
- There have been instances of free proxy services selling their users’ bandwidth.
When it comes to free anonymous proxy providers, things can get shady fast. That’s why we recommend buying services from vendors you trust.
Sure, there’s a lot of proxy providers out there making it very hard to pick the right one. That’s why we’re here to help. You can browse through Proxyway reviews to find the most suitable and trustworthy proxy providers.
Proxies open up many new possibilities for both enterprise and personal use. They keep you safe and anonymous online, allow access to censored and geo-restricted content. However, to make the best use of proxies, we recommend to only get services from reputable providers.