Making the best choice for a proxy provider is not an easy task. Fortunately, we have made it easy by combing the market and presenting to you the best proxy providers in the market for you to make a choice from.
Overview: Best Proxy Service Providers
- BrightData (Luminati Proxy) – Best Proxy Overall <Experts' #1 for Scraping>
- Smartproxy – Fast Residential Proxies <Best Value Choice>
- Soax – Best Mobile Proxies <Cleanest for Instagram automation>
- TheSocialProxy – Best 4G Proxy <For Social account management>
- Shifter – Best Backconnect Proxies <Unlimited Bandwith>
- Myprivateproxy – Best Private Proxies <Fast Dedicated IPs>
- StormProxies – Optimized rotating proxies <Budget Choice>
- Blazingproxies – Optimized Sneaker Proxies <Good for Footsites>
- InstantProxies – Best Shared Proxies <Good for Search Engine>
- Proxycheap – Cheap Residential Proxies <Good for data collection>
- ProxyRack – Proxies for API requests <Support SOCKS proxy>
- Webshare – Rotating datacenter Proxies <Fast Scraping project>
- GeoSurf – Stable Proxy Network <For account management>
Have you ended up buying proxies from the wrong provider before? Trust me, I have been there before and can tell you how frustrating and draining that can be. In my own case, my project was ruined, time wasted, and money lost.
If you have not experienced this before, then just know that it is better heard than experienced. With the help of our proxy experts, you will not end up with a bad proxy provider again – provided you follow all of the guides in this article to the later.
It is no longer news that many proxy providers survive on hypes. That is, they are better at marketing gimmick than proxy service provision – and the result always ends badly for the end-users.
For this reason, we have done our research and combed the market to find the best proxy providers you can use. Our recommendations cut across proxies in residential, mobile, and datacenter proxy categories. Whatever task you need proxies for, you are sure to get the best for it in this writeup.
Comparison of the Best Proxy Services
As stated earlier, we did extensive research before we were able to come up with these recommendations. In all, we considered about 70 proxy services in the market in other to come up with the best 12 in the market,
SPECS comparison for Best Proxies 2022
|Proxy Service||IP Type||Monthly Plan Price||Proxy Protocol||IP Pool Size||IP Rotation|
|Brightdata (Luminati)||Residential||Starts at $500 for 40GB||HTTP(S) + Socks5||72+ million||Yes – time and session|
|Smartproxy||Residential||Starts at $75 for 5GB||HTTP(S)||40+ million||Yes – session up to 10 min|
|Shifter||Residential||Starts from $249 for 10 ports||HTTP(S) + Socks5||31+ million||5 minutes|
|Soax||Mobile||Starts at $175 for 5GB||HTTP(S) + Socks5||8.5+ million||Time-based randomly|
|TheSocialProxy||Mobile||Starts from €90 per proxy||HTTP(S)||2.5+ million||1 min/ 10 min/ 30 min – after every request|
|MyPrivateProxy||Datacenter||Starts from $2.49 per proxy||HTTP(S)||N/A||No|
|Stormproxies||Residential||Starts from $50 for 5 ports||HTTP(S)||40K||Time-based – 3 or 15 minutes|
|Blazing Proxies||Datacenter||Starts from $1.20 per proxy||HTTP(S) + Socks5||N/A||Yes|
|InstantProxies||Datacenter||Starts from $10 for 10 proxies||HTTP(S)||N/A||No|
|Proxy-cheap||Residential||Starts from $5 for 1GB||HTTP(S)||6+ million||Yes – up to 30 min session|
|Proxyrack||Residential||Starts from $120 for 250 proxies||HTTP(S) + Socks5||2+ million||Yes – random 3 – 30 min|
|Webshare||Datacenter||Starts from $7.50 for 5 proxies||HTTP(S)||N/A||No|
|GeoSurf||Residential||Starts from $450 for 38GB||HTTP(S)||2.5+ million||1 min/ 10 min/ 30 min – after every request|
A lot of factors were considered, including but not limited to compatibility with popular web services, speed, security, uptime, and customer support, among others. Let take a look at the 12 proxy services that made it to our final Top Picks.
List of Details of Best Proxies Providers
1. Bright Data (Luminati) – Overall Best Provider
Experts' #1 for Scraping
Luminati Proxy Networks is Bright Data Now, Now Give a $250 Discount for New Sign UP!
In the proxy market, the Luminati proxy service is king. We have tested their proxies for a range of tasks, and we can categorically tell you that they are the best proxy provider in the market. Bright Data (Luminati) has proxies in the datacenter, residential, and mobile categories.
While their datacenter proxies are not popular because of their pricing, their residential proxies and mobile proxies are quite popular. Their proxies are secure, one of the fastest in the market, and quite compatible with most popular web services. If you are looking for proxies for web scraping, then Brightdata's residential proxies are the number one choice.
Excellent Location Support
Luminati has the best location support in the market. It might interest you to know that Luminati has proxies in all countries around the world. In addition to this, it also has proxies in all states and the most popular cities in each country. This has made Luminati have the best geo-targeting support that allows users to select and use proxies from specific countries, states, and cities.
Largest Proxy Network
Luminati does not only have proxies in all countries in the world, but the number of proxies it has altogether is impressive. In all, Luminati has a residential proxy pool with over 72 million IP addresses, a mobile proxy pool with over 7 million IP addresses, and over 700K datacenter IPs. No other proxy provider in the market that has a proxy pool as large as this.
Perfect Session Control
Luminati residential proxies are rotating proxies – and for every change in IP address, a new session is created. However, Luminati’s support for IP rotation is one of the best I the market as it has both high rotating proxies that changes IP address after every request and the time-based IP rotating that changes IP address after a specific period of time.
2. Smartproxy – Fast Residential Proxies
Best Value for the Money
While Luminati takes the seat as the overall best proxy provider, Smartproxy comes in as our best residential proxy provider, and this is not without reasons. They are as effective as Luminati for most use cases, and they even surpass Luminati in some of our tests. With proxies from Smartproxy, you can overcome IP-based restrictions in other to scale up your marketing efforts.
Not Just residential proxies, smartproxy also provide Dedicated datacenter proxies from the US, which allow you to have full control over your IPs
One thing you will come to like about the Smartproxy proxy service is that it has flexible pricing that accommodates both small marketers as well as big corporations. Creating an account and integrating their proxies into your service is easy – and they will quickly help you out if need be.
With Smartproxy, you can get the best value for your money even though there is a bandwidth usage limit depending on the plan you subscribe to. One thing you will come to like about Smartproxy is that even though it can be as effective as Luminati, you can get started with using their proxies with just $75 as opposed to Luminati that you will need a minimum of $500.
Excellent Location Support With Large IP Pool Size
Another feature you will come to like about the Smartproxy service is their support for many locations. According to the information available on their website, they have proxies in about 195 countries, supporting almost all big cities. Interestingly, they match this up with a large pool as they have over 40 million residential IPs, which you can use without getting blocked.
Completely free tools & Apps
Smartproxy offers some fantastic free tools that help you easily integrate with their proxies, such as X Browser, Smart Scraper, Firefox, and Chrome browser extensions. You can also get code integrations in 6 programming languages on Smartproxy’s GitHub.
Proxy Address Generator
Smartproxy has support for proxy address generation. It is a rotating proxy service with millions of IP addresses. However, you might need a proxy list to make use of instead of them rotating proxies for you on their end. With the Smartproxy Proxy Generator tool, you can dynamically generate proxy lists with your active Smartproxy subscription.
3. Soax – Best Mobile Proxies
Cleanest Pool for Instagram automation
City & ISP-Level GEO-targeting, Now Offer 100MB test at $1.99!
Soax provides a mix of both residential and mobile proxies. But if you want, you can either pay for either of the two separately. Our focus here is on their mobile proxies, as that is where they really stand out. While Luminati is the overall best provider and also offers mobile proxies, Soax is our recommended mobile proxy provider. The have proxies from many locations around the world.
One other thing you will come to like about the Soax mobile proxy pool is that it is one of the cleanest, and the pool is constantly being monitors – and bad IPs are removed to make sure you only have to make use of the good IPs in it. Soax is popular for providing unrivaled flexible payment plans.
Large Mobile Proxy Pool
One thing we find interesting about Soax is that it has one of the largest mobile proxy pools in the market. Currently, it has a proxy pool with over 3.5 million mobile IPs in it. While you might think of this as not large enough, it might interest you to know that only Luminati has more mobile IPs than it. Most other mobile proxy providers have fewer IPs. This is because, unlike residential proxies, mobile proxy service is a new invention.
Soax has one of the most unrivaled payment packages. From Soax, you can buy daily, weekly and monthly proxies from them. However, you need to know that this provider is considered expensive when you compare their monthly plans with that of other providers.
Compatible Instagram Automation
If you are into Instagram automation, you will know that Instagram is arguably one of the hardest nuts to crack as it is very effective in detecting proxies. With mobile proxies from Soax, you can get past the Instagram anti-spam system easily as they are undetectable. Aside from IG, Soax mobile proxies are 100 percent compatible with all popular SEO tools in the market. It has also proven to be perfect for web scraping, among other proxy cases.
4. TheSocialProxy – Best 4G Proxy in the Market
For social account management
When it comes to 4G proxies, then you will have to give it up to TheSocialProxy as it has proven to be the best in that regard. While there are many providers before it, it has been about to provide proxies with unrivalled quality in the 4G proxy space. This is not unconnected to the fact that while most providers utilize P2P networks to get IPs, it makes use of 4G modems under its control to provide you IPs and that has given it an edge.
Interestingly, the proxies have proven to be some of the best for social media automation as they have been engineered specifically for Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest. You will enjoy high speed and wouldn’t experience blocks as you would when using some of the other mobile proxies in the market. Of late, TheSocialProxy has been improving, providing support for changing of location even after paying for a subscription – a feature not supported in the past.
Owned IP Sources
In a bid to cut the cost of setting up and managing mobile devices for proxies, many providers have opted for P2P networks to source for IPs. With this model, providers do not have control over the performance and even the availability of IPs in their pool. In the case of TheSocialProxy, it does not make use of such – it uses its own modems, giving it control over availability and performance, making it possible for them to offer static mobile IPs for a while.
Optimised for Social Media Platforms
It is no longer news that social media platforms are some of the most effective at detecting proxies. Take, for instance, Instagram is effective at detecting most proxies in the market including some mobile proxies. It was because of this that the TheSocialProxy has been developed – to provide you proxies that can evade Instagram anti-spam system. It does work with all other social media platforms and integrates well with all popular social media automation tools.
Simple Pricing Model
At first, the €90 per proxy price looks expensive but aside from this, the system is simple since all you are saying for is a port and you can use as many IPs as you want as it does have support for IP rotation. Interestingly, it does allow you to enjoy unlimited bandwidth usage too. This makes it the perfect proxies for tasks that consume a lot of bandwidth.
5. Shifter – Best Backconnect Proxies
Residential proxy services are known to price their services based on bandwidth usage. If you are looking for a residential proxy service where you can enjoy unlimited bandwidth usage, then the Shifter backconnect proxies are the way to way to go. Just like the other residential proxies discussed above, Shifter proxies are rotating proxies.
Shifter’s IP rotation is time-based and the IP address assigned to each of their ports changes after every 5 minutes. Very important to mention is the fact that they have one of the largest proxy pool in the market. They currently have over 31 million IP addresses. For those not aware, Shifter has been in the market for a while as Microleaves since 2012.
Unlimited Bandwidth Usage
If there is one reason why this Shifter is one this list, then that has to be because of its unlimited bandwidth usage support. Most premium providers price their proxies based on bandwidth usage, and this can make holes in your pocket if the tasks you need proxies for consume a sizable amount of bandwidth. If you know that you require proxies for streaming purposes or other tasks that require much bandwidth, then Shifter can help you save money.
Numerous Use Cases
Just like the other proxies discussed above, Shifter proxies can be used for a good number of tasks. It might interest you to know that you can use Shifter proxies for many tasks, including price comparison, ad verification, SEO, sales intelligence, web testing, brand protection, and online shopping, among other tasks. However, it is important I stress here that Shifter blocks its users from using Amazon and a few other web services by default – you will need to contact them and agree to stick to their guidelines first.
Large Proxy Pool
If you visit the Shifter website, you will see that they claim to be the largest proxy network in the market. As someone that has been in the market for a while, I know this is just a marketing gimmick as other providers such as Luminati and Smartproxy have more IPs in their pool than Shifter. However, they are still one of the largest proxy networks as they have over 30 million residential IPs.
6. MyPrivateProxy – Best Private Proxies
Fast Dedicated IPs
From the above, we already have the overall best provider, which is Luminati, the best residential provider which is Smartproxy, and the best mobile provider – Soax. When it comes to the datacenter proxy service, then MyPrivateProxy is considered the best provider, especially when you consider their private proxies.
Interestingly, their private proxies are considered some of the fastest dedicated IPs in the market. With this provider, you will enjoy the maximum speed you can expect from a proxy service. But this not all; MyPrivateProxy has other pecks and strengths that other providers do not. It is also one of the easiest proxy services to use in the market.
Offers Specialized Proxies
Datacenter proxies are notorious for their unreliable nature as they easily get detected by most web services. For this reason, unless a private proxy is labeled specialized for some special use cases, you are better off not using them for that. MyPrivateProxy has special proxies for some special use cases, including sneaker sites, ticketing, and catching Pokemon. For these purposes, their general private proxies won’t work. These special proxies are considered dedicated proxies by MyPrivateProxy.
There has been an increasing demand for individuals and businesses, and government agencies to consider earth-friendly option when varying out their activities. MyPrivateProxy is one of the web services that take this upon itself to make sure that it is earth-friendly. Some of the MyPrivateProxy servers are powered by wind energy, which is considered green and earth-friendly.
Supports Many Locations
Unlike residential proxy services that all you need to have proxies in a location is have Internet users in such location to join your proxy peer network, datacenter proxy provider need to have data centers in most cases or partners with datacenter centers in the location they support. For this reason, most private proxy providers only support a few locations. MyPrivateProxy is one of the few providers that have support for a good number of locations. MyPrivatProxy has support for locations in North America (US and Canada) as well as some locations in Europe.
7. Stormproxies – Optimized Rotating Proxies
Stormproxies cannot be said to be in the same league as the other providers discuss above as it lags behind in some areas, including location support and the number of IPs they have in their pool. However, if you are on a tight budget and you are looking for ways to cut costs, then the Stormproxies residential rotating proxies should be one of the options you should consider.
They have been optimized for a good number of task, which includes SEO, ad verification, web scraping, brand protection, price intelligence, and bulk account creation, among other tasks. Their proxies change the IP assigned to them after every 5 minutes. Interestingly, they allow users to enjoy unlimited bandwidth usage.
Affordable and Cheap
If you ask me, the major selling point of Stormproxies in the pool of other proxy providers is their pricing. They are incredibly cheap. If you look at their pricing for their residential proxies, you will see that at $50, you can buy 5 ports from them. It might interest you to know that with this, you can enjoy unlimited bandwidth with them. Also important is the fact that even if you need a smaller package, they can sell port for you at a price of $19. Looking at their pricing, we can tell that they are geared more towards small marketers.
Diverse Proxy Packages
Aside from general proxies, this proxy provider also has support for a good number of proxy packages dedicated to special use cases. Some of the special use case proxies offered by Stormproxies include sneaker proxies for copping limited-edition sneakers, social media proxies for social media automation, and proxies for SEO tools.
Easy to Use
Stormproxies residential proxies have got to be some of the easiest rotating proxies to use. This is partly so because of the Stormproxies lean nature. Unlike other providers, you do not need to use username and password for authentication. Just whitelist your IP address, and you are good to go. This provider supports only US and EU geotargeting, and selecting proxies from supported regions is done from the dashboard.
8. Blazing Proxies – Optimized Sneaker Proxies
Good for Footsites
Blazing proxy is a subsidiary of Blazing SEO LLC, a cloud-based solution provider with an interest in proxies, servers, and scraping. Blazing proxies are datacenter proxies and have proven to be some of the best datacenter proxies in the market right now. In fact, it might interest you to know that Blazing proxies are some of the datacenter proxies that can be used in sneaker copping, a market dominated by residential proxy providers.
One thing you need to know is that Blazing proxies come with unlimited bandwidth and concurrent thread support. One thing you will also come to like about this provider is that their proxies are reasonably affordable.
Sneaker and SEO Support
From inception, Blazing proxies were not created as general proxies but proxies dedicated to some specific tasks. While you can make use of them for many of the proxy use cases, it is important you know that they have been developed specifically for SEO monitoring and auditing, as well as sneaker copping. It is important you know that for sneaker site support, they have only been optimized to work for sites that datacenter proxies can work for. The sites their proxies support include Footsites and Shopify sites.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Threads
Blazing proxies is one of the proxy providers that make it possible for proxy users to enjoy unlimited bandwidth and concurrent thread. Most of the providers in the market provide either unlimited bandwidth or thread – but hardly both. However, with a provider like Blazing proxies, you have the two freedoms at your disposal.
Supports Many Countries
It might interest you to know that Blazing proxies has support for many locations. Currently, Blazing proxies have support for about 13 locations, including the US, UK, Canada, and 10 more other countries. This makes it one of the best datacenter proxy providers in terms of location support.
9. InstantProxies – Shared Proxies
Good for Search Engine
Instantproxies are one of the datacenter proxy providers that have become popular among proxy users. The popularity of their proxies is partly because of their cheap pricing. With their proxies, you can buy cheap datacenter proxies. One thing you will come to like about their proxies is that you can use them for a good number of tasks with SEO as the major tasks they are perfect for.
Instantproxies have proxies from worldwide locations. From this provider, you can enjoy unlimited bandwidth with subnet variety. Their proxies are high anonymous proxies and compatible with many sites. With Instantproxies, you are not just handed proxies; proxies are tested before being assigned to users.
When it comes to pricing, you just have to give it to Instantproxies. I am aware of the fact that some proxies can be used for free, and there are even some low quality paid proxies you can buy for a few cents. However, when it comes to working proxies, Instantproxies has got to be the cheapest in the market. One thing you will come to like about Instantproxies is that with $10, you can get access to about 10 proxies.
There is no denying that datacenter proxies have limited usage because of the fact that many of them have been flagged, and a good number of web services have them blocked when you make use of them as they are easily detected.
However, Instantproxies still have their place, and one of the areas that they excel in is in the area of search engine optimization research. With proxies from Instanntproxies, you can carry out SEO researches on search engines cheaply. However, they can disappoint when abused.
Ease of Usage
I have used proxies from many providers in the market to know proxies that are easy to use and the ones not easy to use. From my experience, I can tell you that Instantproxies are some of the easiest proxies to make use of. However, this is only true if you authentication via IP whitelisting. This provider does not support username and password authentication.
10. Proxy-cheap – Cheap Residential Proxies
Good for Data Collection
There is one thing I do not like about most of the residential proxy providers – they have a minimum monetary commitment and, as such, force you into paying for proxies you will not need. If you are like me, then there is a cheap option available – Proxy-cheap. This provider does not have a minimum monetary commitment, and as such, you can buy as small as a 1GB data plan. Interestingly, they have proven to be one of the cheapest options available in the market. The price per GB starts from $5 and could get to as low as $3 depending on the package you choose. Generally, their bigger packages come with discounts.
However, that they are cheap does not mean they are not of high quality. In fact, it might interest you to know that Proxy-cheap proxies are compatible with many use cases. In terms of location support, they have got proxies in about 127 countries and support country-level targeting. They have a pool of 7 million residential IPs with both rotating and session IPs.
- Sizable IP Pool
Proxy-cheap is cheap but has a sizable IP pool. According to the information on the proxy pool website. They have over 7 million residential IP address. These IPs are not concentrated in a single location but from over 127 countries around the globe. If you are wondering how they are able to have a network like this, the simple answer is – a peer-to-peer network, and that’s how most residential proxy service gets their IP.
- Proxy Generator Support
The proxy generator is a tool for dynamically generating proxy lists. While they rotate IP addresses for users, in some cases, users will need a list of IP:PORT pf proxies to use. not many proxy providers have support for this feature. But with Proxy-cheap, you have an easy tool for generating proxy list effortless at no extra cost.
- Good for Many Use Case
Proxy-cheap residential proxies are the proxies for many use cases. The proxies have been optimized to be stealthy and undetectable. These have made it perfect for a good number of use cases. Some of the popular use cases of Proxy-cheap includes market research, brand protection, SEO utility, ad verification, price monitoring, sneaker copping, and web scraping, among others.
11. Proxyrack – Proxies for API Request
Support SOCKS proxy
Proxyrack makes it to our list as one of the best proxy providers in the market, and we rank it as one of the providers you can use for sending API requests. Just like most other residential proxy services in the market, Proxyrack proxies are rotating proxies. Interestingly, they also have support for sticky IP you can use for account management.
While Proxyrack IP pool size is not breaking any record, it is sizable enough for the most task – currently, they have over 5 million residential IPs in their pool. However, only about 500K – 600K are online at any given instant. They actually provide this information, and I respect their honesty as other providers will tell you their total pool size.
Excellent IP Whitelisting Support
Many proxy providers except those that have support for subusers do not allow more than one user to share the same subscription. In their bid to fight that, they place a restriction on the number of IP addresses that can be whitelisted. Take, for instance, Stormproxies only allow a user to whitelist one IP address. however, Proxyrack has one of the best support for IP whitelisting as you are allowed to whitelist one 4 IP addresses.
Good Location Support
Just like most residential proxy services in the market, Proxyrack gets the IP addresses in its pool from a P2P network – and this can be seen by the number of IPs active IPs to total IPs in the pool. Through the P2P network, Proxyrack is able to provide support for over 140 countries around the world. From these locations, it was able to harness over 5 million IP addresses.
12. Webshare – Rotating Datacenter proxies
Fast Scraping Projects
Webshare is a proxy provider not very popular among paid proxy users – a good number of proxy users make use of them because of their free proxy services. However, if you actually want to unleash the power of Webshare, then you need to become a paid user.
One thing you will enjoy when using their proxies is that you will enjoy one of the cheapest pricing you can get in the market. Interestingly, their proxies are rotating proxies that you can use for quick scraping projects that involve scraping websites that are effective in detecting proxies.
Rotating Datacenter proxies
Webshare is one of the few providers that offer rotating datacenter proxies. Unlike static proxies that you are given, a list of proxy is when you pay for a subscription, rotating proxies only provide you gateway to a proxy pool, and then the IP address assigned to you is rotated, making the proxies perfect for web scraping and crawling.
Another major feature that makes this provider stands out is its pricing. Unlike other providers, this provider makes it possible for you to make use of working and secure proxies with a small amount of money.
13. Geosurf – Stable Proxy Network
For Account Management
Geosurf is another premium proxy provider on the list. It is one of the providers that you can term as highly stable as you can maintain a session for a considerable period of time before a session is forcefully ended by IP rotation.
Just like their proxies are premium and of good quality, so is their pricing meant for only those that can pay for them. in terms of pricing, Geosurf can be said to be in the same league with Luminati as you will require $450 to get started using their proxies. While this is not a lot of money for many marketers, it could make a hole in the pocket of small marketers getting started. If you can afford to pay the price, then Geosurf is actually worth it.
Good Session Control
Geosurf has support for two types of IP rotation – time-based IP rotation and session-based IP rotation. Session-based IP rotation changes IP address after every request while time-based change IP address after a specific period of time. With Geosurf proxies, you can maintain the same IP address for either 1 minute, 10 minutes, or 30 minutes. Interestingly, you can also trigger a change before any of the specific periods reaches. With this, you can use Geosurf for account management.
Good Location Support
When it comes to location support, we can say that geosurf has good support. This is because it has support for about 130 countries. Even though one can say it supports fewer countries when compared to Luminati and Smartproxy, there is no denying that the countries are the popular countries among proxy users. In terms of city support, Geosurf has support for over 2000 cities.
Dedicated Account Manager
When it comes to customer support, you will get it in its premium form when you make use of Geosurf. This is because Geosurf assigns dedicated account managers to their customers. This makes it easier for you to get help when you need it.
What is a Proxy?
Proxy servers are otherwise known simply as proxies, are servers that act as an intermediary between clients’ computers and web servers on the Internet. Without using a proxy server, all web requests you send go straight to the intended website except your ISP or network operator modifies it – by the way, network operators such as the WI-FI you connect to can also be seen as proxies too.
However, when you are using a proxy server, the working mechanism becomes different. With a proxy server, your requests do not go to the intended website directly. They are routed through the proxy server, which then routes it to the intended website.
Before being routed, modifications are made, and your IP address bundled with the request is replaced with either the IP address of the proxy server or an arbitrary one. By doing this, your real IP address is hidden, and this comes with a lot of opportunities. You can see proxies as fronts Internet users use as shields to hide their real IP footprints online.
Are Proxies Legal?
The question of the legality of proxies has to be on a per-country basis. However, on a general level, proxies are completely legal. It might interest you to know that most of the popular businesses make use of them.
If you are in the US, you need to know that there is no law that makes creating or using a proxy server illegal. For some countries, the use of proxies could be completely illegal, and you will have to face the wrath of the law if you are found wanting. In many others, the use of proxies becomes illegal if you use it to access a web server that has been blocked in that country.
So, while proxies are legal on a general basis – it could be illegal depending on your location and what you need them for. I will advise you to seek the opinion of a lawyer in your country to help you determine when you will be crossing the legal line.
Proxy Services: What Can I Use Them for?
From the above, we stated that the major use of proxies is to serve as fronts to shield our real IP address. But why would we want to hide our IP address? It might interest you to know that web services make use of them to effect some IP-based restrictions. By hiding your real IP address, you can get as many IP addresses as you wish. If you are using proxies, you need to know that you are not alone; big corporations, research institutions, and government agencies all around the world are making use of them – even without admitting it.
There are a good number of uses you can put proxies into. Some of the most popular uses of proxies are ad verification, web scraping, brand protection, account management, price comparison, application & affiliate link testing, cybersecurity, and fraud protection, among others. Basically, you will need them to bypass any IP-based restriction and censorship.
Are Proxy Services trustworthy?
From the above, we stated that it helps hide your activities and identity from your ISP, web services, intelligence and marketing agencies, and any other eavesdroppers. Some proxy services even go further to encrypt your web traffic to provide you better security. In essence, they provide you privacy and security online.
However, while other web services that you interact with don’t know your real identity and what you do online when using a proxy server, the proxy server actually knows – they do know real IP addresses and the content of your requests. This now brings us to the issue of trust. Some proxy services can be worse than not even using a proxy service at all as they could eavesdrop on you.
Now, many proxy servers claim they stick to a strict no-log policy and do not monitor individuals’ online activities. But how can you trust their words when you do not have access to their code base and what they do behind the scene? I am sure you would not want to find yourself in the hand of an eavesdropper after paying them to protect you against the same eavesdropping.
For this reason, you will have to settle with a popular provider that security experts have put them to test rigorously and have heard a large number of users and organic testimonies. With a provider like that, you will just have to trust them to keep you private, secure, and not spy on you.
When making a choice of a proxy provider, there are some factors you need to consider to make sure you the proxies you end up with works perfectly for your use case. Let take a look at some of these factors below.
IP Address Source
The most important factor you need to consider when making a choice of proxies is the source of the IP address of the proxy server. There are basically 3 sources – mobile, residential, and data center.
Mobile IP proxy: These are the newest among them, and the IPs used are owned by Mobile Network Operators – the ISPs of mobile Internet devices. They are the most expensive and perfect for web services that require mobile simulation or have a very effective anti-spam system. The most popular example of such services is Instagram.
Residential IP proxy: The IPs used are assigned to devices by ISPs. They are also undetectable and perfect for most use cases. Interestingly, they are cheaper than mobile proxies.
Datacenter IP proxy: From the name, you can tell that the IPs are sourced from data centers. These proxies are the least effective and can be detected easily. They are also the cheapest in the market, with some even coming with no price tag. They are only useful on sits with a relaxed antis-pam system.
Another factor you need to consider when making a purchase is location support. Many proxy users make use of them for location spoofing in other to access geo-targeted and localized data
While you can go for a provider that supports just the location you need, I will advise you to go for a provider that has support for many locations if you need to spoof your location to many locations. Providers such as Luminati and Smartproxy has support for all countries around the world.
Number of Users
Some proxies are shared proxies, while others are private proxies. In the residential proxy category, you will most likely be sharing IP with other users using IP from the IP pool you are using. However, considering the fact that IP is being rotated, you don’t have a problem with another user ruining a particular IP.
However, for datacenter proxies that you buy proxies individually, you will have to stick to private proxies for better performance and reliability, Being that as it may, there are scenarios whereby you will need to make use of shared proxies to cut cost.
The two popular proxy protocols are HTTPS and SOCKS proxy protocols. The difference between them is a little bit technical and beyond the scope of a brief buying guide like this. However, just know that most software that has support for proxies has the protocol they support.
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You will need to make an inquiry to know from the developers of the software to know the supported protocol before making a purchase.
Some proxies rotate IP addresses, and these are call rotating proxies. others maintain one IP address and are known as static proxies. rotating proxies are used when you need to send many requests to a web service but do not want the web service to know the requests are coming from one source.
Rotating proxies are perfect for web scraping and everything in-between such as price monitoring, SEO, and ad verification, among others. On the contrary, static proxies are good when you want to maintain the same IP address, such as in the case of account management and online gaming.
Special Proxy Use Case
While many proxies in the market are general proxies you can use for most proxy use cases; some proxies have been developed and engineered to meet certain requirements in other to work for specific use cases.
Some of the special proxies include sneaker proxies, ticketing proxies, SEO proxies, gaming proxies, and many others. If your need for proxies falls under any special category, it is better you purchase dedicated proxies for such use cases.
FAQs About Best Proxy Services
Are Free Proxies Safe for Use?
Free proxies are proxies you do not have to pay in other to use them. They are considered not secure, and your data can be stolen. Aside from the security and privacy concern, they are also low quality, very slow, and easily get detected by web services. You should avoid them.
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What are the Best Proxies for Web Scraping?
The best proxies for web scraping are high rotating proxies. this is because high rotating proxies change IP address after every request. By rotating IP address, you won’t reach any web request limit – and no IP footprint is discovered.
What are the Best Proxies for Sneaker Copping?
The best proxies to use for copping limited-edition sneakers are residential proxies. this is because sneaker sites have anti-bot systems that are effective in detecting proxies, and you will need to use residential proxies that are not easily detected. However, there are some sneaker sites, including Shopify sites and Foot sites, that you can use datacenter proxies on.
What are the Best Proxies for Social Media?
Social media, with the exception of a few like Twitter, are very effective in detecting proxies. Instagram has been at the forefront in fighting the use of proxies and bots on their platform, and as such, the best proxies to use are mobile proxies. for other social media, you can make use of residential proxies – residential proxies work for Instagram too, but you will have to be careful.
I need to let you know that when logged in, avoid using high rotating proxies as that would raise suspicion – in this case, using time-based IP rotation works best – if you must rotate IP address.