For search engine marketers or web professionals, it’s crucial to be able to scrape the web without being blocked or penalized. At first glance, “free” public proxy servers, “IP rotation” services, or “P2P” networks look like a valid solution for avoiding the “Google block.” However, not all proxies are created equal, and it’s important to understand the difference between public and private proxy servers in order to make informed decisions about your own proxy server use.
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your devices and the internet as a whole. When using a proxy server, your web request (i.e. whatever you type into the address bar) runs through the proxy server first, which uses a different IP address, and then connects to the website through the proxy. In short, the proxy acts on your behalf as a go-between for you and the larger World Wide Web.
A public proxy, or open proxy, is accessible by anyone. Any internet user can go to the free proxy service using their browser, connect, and start using the proxy service.
Just googling “free proxy servers” will find you thousands of Proxy Servers. More often than not, these services are too slow and unreliable to use. Since they are open to anyone, public proxies typically have very limited speeds and bandwidth. Also, keep in mind that when you connect to a public 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 public 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 thing as a free lunch” is just as applicable in the Proxy Server industry. If you’re using Proxy or IP rotation services, or free “P2P networks” that seem too good to be true, it is very likely you’re connecting to some kind of botnet and using others people’s compromised PC’s without their knowledge.That opens up huge security and even legal risks for your company.
Even if you’re told all the users in the “network” have given their consent, aside from whether that’s verifiable, it is possible that 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 other networks.
Trusted Proxies offers a wide range of private proxy services to meet your proxy needs. Our premium proxy services include:
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 because it may compromise their own security. In addition, it would almost certainly become overrun because so many people are looking for free Proxy Servers.
There is a proud history in the Internet world of some kind folks making resources available for free—but not always. For example, take SMTP Mail Servers. A mail server can be abused to send out zillions of spam messages, so as a result, 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 professional configures Proxy Servers and leaves them open to the public, as they will quickly be exploited and overrun—and any underhanded or illegal activity carried out through them will get traced back to their organisation.
So the vast majority of (if not all) publicly available free Proxy Servers (that do not require any registration or authentication) are one of two things:
In either event, the actual owner of the computer hosting the free Public Proxy Server is not aware of it (at first) and is certainly 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 overused and create 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 (e.g. through anti-virus software) and the machine is fixed or patched with a firewall. One way or another, the “free Public Proxy Server” is no longer available.
Private proxy servers offer premium, dedicated proxy service to Internet users. These premium services offer a number of benefits over open or shared proxies, including: