Public vs Private Proxy Servers
At first sight, “Free” Public Proxy Servers, “IP Rotation” services or "P2P" networks look like they could be the solution for SEM’s and web scrapers looking to get around “Google Block” or website blocking problems with their Search Engine Ranking or scraping software.
Just googling “free proxy severs” will find you lists of thousands of Proxy Servers. More often than not these services are too slow and unreliable to use.
But also keep in mind that when you connect to any type of Proxy Server, you are potentially opening up a “direct line” into your company’s network.
If you don’t know who owns or manages those Proxy Servers and network connections, you’re at risk of having your communications monitored, sensitive data stolen, and potentially opening up your company to all kinds of malware.
“There’s no such things as a free lunch” is just as applicable in the Proxy Server industry. If you’re using Proxy or IP rotation services, or “P2P networks” that are free or that are just “too good to be true” it is very likely you’re ultimately connecting to some kind of botnet and using other’s people’s compromised PC’s without their knowledge.
That opens up huge security and even legal risks for your company.
Can you afford to take these kinds of risks with your company’s network and potential legal liability?
Even if you’re told that all the users in the “network” have given their consent, aside from whether that’s verifiable, have you considered the possibility hackers are registering their computers on these networks, with the specific aim of conducting sophisticated “man in the middle” attacks to trick their way into your network?
With Trusted Proxies, you can rest assured that we’re managing all your Proxy Servers on your behalf inside secure Data Centers, to protect your data and network.
Why are Public Proxy Servers so Unreliable?
- It’s because there’s really no such thing as a genuine, free, Public Proxy Server.
- Any company that sets up Proxy Servers for their own use isn’t going to make them freely available as it may compromise their own security, and would almost certainly become overrun as so many people are looking for free Proxy Servers.
- There is a proud histroy in the Internet world of some kind folks making resources available for free. But not always. SMTP Mail Servers is a good example. As a mail server can be abused to send out zillions of spam messages, you never see free public SMTP mail servers. Any sensible Network Professional will secure their mail servers to prevent them from “relaying” and being hijacked.
- The same is true for Proxy Servers. No decent Network Pro configures Proxy Servers and leaves them open to the public, as they will quickly be exploited and overrun. And any underhand or illegal activity carried out through them will get traced back to their organisation.
- So the vast majority (if not all) publicly available free Proxy Server, that does not require any registration or authentication, are either misconfigured Proxy Servers belonging to someone else, or are computers that have been compromised by hackers who have installed their own Proxy Server software so they can use the computers as “Zombies” or “BotNets” for their own dubious ends.
- In either event, the actual owner of the computer hosting the free Public Proxy Server is not aware of it (at first) and certainly is not a willing host.
- As lists of compromised or misconfigured machines (otherwise known as “free Public Proxy Servers”) circulate through the Internet, more and more people start using them – like bees attracted to honey. Very quickly they become over-used and hence the slow response.
- Eventually the machines either completely crash due to so many people using them. Or the owner becomes aware their machine has been compromised (eg through anti-virus software) and the machine is fixed, and/or they install a firewall etc. One way or another, the “free Public Proxy Server” is no longer available.
If you have a business need for Proxy Servers, you can avoid all these hassles and risks by using Private Servers:
- Don’t waste time searching endless lists for free public Proxy Servers that work
- Don’t waste time reconfiguring your software every time you do find new Public Proxy Servers to test them
- Don’t waste time on Public Proxy Servers that work today and then don’t work the next time you use them
- Don’t risk your company’s reputation having your Internet traffic associated with Internet traffic generated from dubious or illegal activities (law enforcement agencies tracing back hackers who used the same Public Proxy Servers as you will knock on your door)
- Don’t risk your privacy or company data through fake Public Proxy Servers that may have been set up by hackers just to capture your personal or private details
- And finally, ask yourself the question, “is it OK and compatible with your company's policies to make use of someone else’s computer resources without their knowledge?”
Choose the type of Private Proxy Server most suited for your use: