The best proxy services offer a straightforward and convenient way to safeguard your online privacy, secure your networks, or gather publicly accessible data. A proxy acts as a go-between for your device and the internet. When you use the servers, information about the websites you visit and what you do online is stored on the server instead of your own computer. This arrangement lets you browse in a certain way without being seen. But it’s important to know that servers usually keep some information about what you do online.
Even though this may not be a big deal for most users, it is important to note that a thorough look at server records could possibly lead to the identification of a person. Still, most people don’t think this is likely to happen. The main benefit of the best servers is that they give you a simple way to avoid being tracked by advertisers and having your privacy invaded on a regular basis, which have become all too common on the internet and are often called “martech.”
What are proxies?
In the context of computer networks and the internet, proxies are servers or services that act as middlemen between a user’s device (like a computer or smartphone) and a server or resource on the internet. Proxy servers are often used for many things, such as security, content filtering, and improving network performance. Here’s a rundown of what proxies are and how they work:
🔄 Request Relay: When you connect to the internet through a proxy server, your device’s requests (like going to a website or getting a file) are not sent directly to the target server. Instead, the requests are sent to the proxy server first. The server then sends the request to the target server on your behalf. In the same way, the response from the target server is sent back to the server, which then sends it back to your device.
🕵️ Anonymity: It can hide your IP address from the server you want to connect to. When you use a proxy to connect to the internet, the server you want to connect to sees the IP address of the server instead of your own. Your real IP address is hidden, so this can give you a certain amount of privacy and anonymity.
🚫 Content Filtering: Proxy servers are often used by organizations to put their content filtering policies into action. By sending all internet traffic through a proxy, they can block or limit access to certain websites, types of content, or categories based on rules they set up ahead of time.
💾 Caching: Proxies can store locally content that is often asked for. This means that when multiple users ask for the same content, the proxy can serve it from its cache instead of getting it from the internet each time. This cuts down on the amount of bandwidth used and makes the network work better.
Best Proxy Comparison Table
The “Best Proxy” comparison table gives a full look at proxy servers based on things like speed, anonymity, reliability, and the number of countries they cover. This resource helps users find the best proxy for their needs, so they can browse the web or get to data in a safe and efficient way.
|Feature||Residential IPs||Data Center IPs||Pricing||Proxy Rotation||Authentication||Speed|
|Storm Proxies||Yes||Yes||Variable||Rotating||IP Authentication||Varies|
|Rampage Retail||Yes||No||Variable||Automatic||Username & Password||Varies|
|Smartproxy||Yes||No||Variable||Automatic||Username & Password||Varies|
- Residential proxy network
- Peer-to-peer proxy sharing
- High-quality, legitimate IP addresses
PacketStream is a proxy service that only uses residential proxies. This means there are no mobile proxies and no stable residential proxies that are based on an ISP. Instead, it is all user-based proxies, which number in the millions, that sell PacketStream the unused bandwidth on their network connection.
PacketStream then leases that bandwidth back to its users. People who run a proxy node have their bandwidth measured and get money back based on how much bandwidth PacketStream users use. They also say they have no restrictions and are up 99% of the time, even though other services claim even higher uptimes.
- Offers residential proxies for better anonymity.
- Pays users for sharing their bandwidth.
- User-friendly dashboard.
- Limited proxy locations compared to some competitors.
- Pricing can be higher than other providers.
- Offers both residential and datacenter proxies
- Rotating and dedicated IP options
- Proxy authentication and user-friendly dashboard
Storm Proxies is made for individual and occasional proxy users who are happy to give up many of the features offered by proxy heavyweights in exchange for cheaper pricing plans. The service provider offers rotating residential proxies, private dedicated proxies with IPs from a data center, and backconnect rotating proxies with a mix of residential and data center IPs.
Storm Proxies’ best feature is that all of its proxies have unlimited bandwidth. Instead, its private dedicated proxies limit accounts by the number of IPs, its backconnect rotating proxies base plans on the number of simultaneous connections, and its rotating residential proxies base prices on the number of ports. Each port can handle up to 50 connections at the same time.
- Provides dedicated and rotating proxies.
- Budget-friendly options.
- Offers specialized proxies for specific use cases.
- Limited locations for proxy servers.
- Some users report occasional connectivity issues.
- Provides datacenter proxies
- High-speed and reliable connections
- Supports HTTP and SOCKS proxies
Rampage Retail is a smaller business that started in the summer of 2020 and is based in Miami, Florida. Its goal is to be completely open about its providers and prices, with proxies available in any quantity at wholesale prices.
Rampage Retail buys proxies from some of the best services and then sells them to other people. They can get the proxies for less because they can buy a higher-end plan for the same price. They can then pass the savings on to their customers. It sells on behalf of well-known services like Oxylabs, Geosurf, and Smartproxy.
- Offers a wide range of proxy types.
- Competitive pricing.
- User-friendly interface.
- Limited proxy server locations.
- Some users have reported slow speeds.
- Peer-to-peer residential proxy network
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Browser extension for easy setup
When it comes to Webshare, both cyber security and speed are important. In fact, these people make the bold claim that it has the “fastest proxies,” which neither we nor they can prove or disprove. Webshare has a worldwide proxy network that is always fully “encrypted and protected.”
They are a high-volume service that processes more than 250 billion (yes, billion) data points each month and is used by more than 12,000 businesses. Webshare has a lot of features that attract and keep users happy. This starts with support for both HTTP and SOCKS5 proxy, with the option to use either authentication or a password.
- Large pool of datacenter proxies.
- Offers a free plan with limited access.
- Easy setup and integration.
- Limited locations for proxy servers.
- Free plan has limitations and restrictions.
- Residential proxy network
- Geo-targeting options
- Session control and rotating IP addresses
Smartproxy offers both residential and data center proxies. It has a pool of more than 540 million residential IPs that change and are shared by all of its users. These IPs come from desktop and mobile devices. This can be a problem because you could end up with a flagged IP, but the service provider assures us that its quick rotation policy keeps its proxies from getting banned. Smartproxy’s tiered plans are based on bandwidth, but you can run an unlimited number of threads at the same time.
- Provides both residential and datacenter proxies.
- Extensive proxy location coverage.
- High-quality proxy service.
- Pricing can be on the higher side.
- Limited free trial options compared to some competitors.
How to choose the best proxy for your needs?
Which proxy is best for you depends on your specific use case and needs. Proxy servers have many uses, such as improving privacy, getting around geo-restrictions, making the network more secure, or making the network work better. Here are some things to think about when choosing a proxy:
🌐 Location of Servers: Depending on how you plan to use a server, its location can be very important. If you want to see content that is only available in a certain region, choose a proxy that has servers in that region.
⚡ Speed and Performance: Check the proxy service’s speed and performance. Some proxies may add latency, which can change how a user feels, especially when using real-time apps.
🛡️ Security Features: Think about the service’s security features, like encryption, authentication, and logging policies. Proxy servers that focus on security are essential for keeping sensitive data safe.
📈 Scalability: Choose a proxy solution that can grow with your needs if you expect a rise in traffic or need to handle a lot of users.
🔐 Policies on Logging and Privacy: Look at the proxy provider’s policies on logging and privacy. Some proxies may keep track of what you do, which can be a problem for your privacy.
💲 Cost: Figure out how much the proxy service will cost, since prices can be set in different ways. Some proxies are free, while others cost money or require a subscription.
Setting up a proxy server depends on the type of proxy and the device or program you are using. Most of the time, you’ll need to set up proxy settings in your device’s network settings or in the app you’re using.
Proxy servers can help hide your IP address, which makes you more anonymous online. But you should know that not all proxy servers give you the same level of privacy, and some may keep track of what you do.