Using a proxy server can be a wise decision for more than one reason. We all know that the Internet nowadays is far from safe and could inflict some serious damage to our computer. There could even be some inaccessible parts of the Web we’d like to explore but aren’t able to because of our IP address. Whatever the reason, a proxy server could actually be the perfect solution to these problems.
Choosing one, however, might be a bit troublesome. Proxies come in many different packages, depending on the purpose, features and, of course, budget.
That’s why we’ll try to break down some options and, hopefully, make that decision a bit easier.
Benefits of free public proxies
Public proxies, or open proxies, are one of the most common and popular servers.
There are two main advantages to these proxies:
- they are free to use, so there are no fees to be paid in order to hide our identity while using the Internet;
- they can be used by anyone at any time and are easily available.
Besides these two points, in an ideal case, benefits should be the same as with any other proxy. By that, we mean providing us with anonymity while browsing the Web and helping us reach otherwise unreachable sites.
Risk of free proxies
While using a free proxy might be a valid decision, we suggest familiarizing with its disadvantages beforehand. That way you’ll spare yourself any unpleasant surprises.
First and foremost, these servers offer poor protection. Here’s more on this.
Since free proxies aren’t a paid service, the chances of having high-quality protection are minimal, which can be a big problem for someone with important data. The computers are prone to malware and cyber attack, which can result in stealing, manipulation or complete destruction of data.
Aside from this, malware or poor server configuration can make our computer an open proxy without our knowledge, which happens more often than one might think.
Next, there’s the problem of poor (or complete lack of) encryption, which is closely related to bad protection.
While using a proxy server, we’re giving access to personal data, which should be encrypted and saved. If a proxy server offers no encryption, all our web requests are written in plain text. Because of this, our passwords, account info, IP address, and history log are accessible to anyone interested in finding them.
The last thing might not be a risk, but it certainly is a disadvantage: public proxies crash and disappear.
Free servers attract a lot of people, which prolongs their response time. Since everything has its limits, when overused, these servers simply crash.
One example is Tor, which with its three layers of encryption slows down traffic considerably.
With all the serious risks that public proxies have, we recommend looking for a safer option that offers you the necessary protection at a fair price.
What are cheap proxies?
Exactly what their name implies: they’re proxy servers that provide web protection and anonymity at a reasonable price.
With the Internet playing a major part in various aspects of people’s lives, this market is full of different products, including many cheap proxies.
Nowadays we can literally pick and choose from the sea of offers compatible with our needs and within every price range.
Advantages of using cheap proxies
The first and most obvious advantage is that these proxies don’t come at an unreasonable price.
Furthermore, they use a firewall to protect your computer against malware or any other kind of threat.
In theory, these proxies should do basically the same as their pricier counterparts.
First, they should be able to hide the user’s IP address so that no one could track them down.
Second, they should make the whole browsing process easier by reducing the load. Since the proxy stores all the data requested by the user, there is no more need to reach out to the remote server for it. That significantly affects browsing speed, especially with private proxies where there’s no need to share the proxy with others.
Third, if a proxy is used to control Web usage (in cases of parental control, or for educational and work purposes), it should be possible to easily connect the computer with wanted sites and completely block the unwanted ones.
All these advantages make paid (even cheap) proxies a more stable and secure solution.
It’s important to say that cheap proxies are optimized for different purposes. Though most of them offer access to social media platforms and allow you to browse the web freely, some of them have impressive SEO tools for business purposes as well as possibilities of getting ranking reports, like ScrapeBox.
Besides the regular ones, some proxies are created to do very specific tasks. Some of those, which are pretty popular, are proxies for buying sneakers and tickets from websites like SupremeNewYork with bots like AIO Bot. Their main features are speed and efficiency because limited edition items and tickets usually sell out within a few minutes or even seconds.
Because of the constantly growing and competitive market, cheap proxies usually have very good customer service. Besides this, most of them allow many different payment methods — VISA, MasterCard, Amex to Paypal, and in some cases even Bitcoin.
When to avoid using cheap shared proxies
Even though using cheap proxies can be very smooth and satisfactory, they do have some downsides as well.
Cheap proxies come in two main variations: private and shared.
The first one is, as expected, somewhat pricier because there is no need to share it with anyone.
When choosing the shared option, the chances of facing some of the problems free public servers have are quite high.
First of all, just like free shared ones, they can get busy and therefore become very slow. The optimal number of users per proxy is three. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how many users are sharing the server.
The main piece of advice we can give you is: look for anything suspicious. The price, for example: if it’s too low, chances of getting quality service are pretty low. That’s especially the case with cheap proxies that advertise their ability to give everything for a dime. The safest thing to do would be to ask for a trial run and see how things really are.
Another important thing to consider are the user reviews and the provider’s reputation. Research is a smart thing to do before making a final choice. Even though it’s good to have an open mind and sometimes give second chances, it usually doesn’t pay off with cheap things, including proxies.
One more reason to avoid this type of server is potential IP recycling. In order to have very low prices, some things must be sacrificed, and one of them is data center packages. As a result of this, you might end up getting an IP that you already used.
When sharing a proxy, the important thing to know is that there’s a risk of getting banned. It’s enough for one user to make a mistake of doing something illegal for the provider to ban the whole proxy. So, if you don’t want the hassle of buying new ones because of someone else’s bad deeds, it might be a good decision to avoid this type of server.
Where to buy cheap proxies
Thankfully, the answer to this question isn’t very hard. There are several sites that specialize in selling proxies (including cheap ones) where it’s possible to explore the options and make a decision based on comments and reviews. Besides these, almost every proxy provider has its own site and shop.
Some of the best and most popular cheap proxies are HighProxies, Squid Proxies, and SSLPrivateProxy.
Some other popular options are Luminati, MyPrivateProxy, and, made especially for SEO purposes, Blazing SEO proxies.
Of course, the list doesn’t end here and with the range of offers constantly expanding, there are lots of other safe and cheap options just waiting for you to discover them.
In the end, let’s sum things up. Whether it’s cheap or expensive, pay attention to what the server is for. Paying for something that might not fulfill your needs doesn’t feel good (especially in the pricey scenario), and some providers won’t listen to your complaints or give you a refund.
It’s also better, more convenient, and economical to have one proxy that could be used for everything, than several for different purposes. That’s why putting some extra time and effort into finding the right one will surely pay off.
That applies especially to smaller companies and businesses that can’t afford to buy their own proxy because of a lot of additional maintenance expenses. Therefore, always think logically. Just like with most things in life, the price is usually the reflection of quality. And when it comes to important things with high risk, it might be better to pay a bit more now than regret later.