Today, proxy servers' topic is very relevant and covers a wide variety of industries, structures, and corporations. People are looking for the best proxy services for affiliate programs, personal privacy, and other purposes. This article will describe in detail what a proxy server is in simple terms, why you need it, and how it works. We have also prepared a selection of the best proxy services and promotional codes for them!
Proxy-server is a service (software) that runs on a network and allows one computer to make requests to another on its own behalf. Thus, the proxy server acts as an intermediary between the client (for example, your computer) and the service (for example, some Internet site) that the client requests access to. The following illustration schematically shows direct data exchange processes and data exchange using a proxy server between two computers on the network.
Today, proxy servers are mainly used to hide or change the IP address when accessing a website. There can be many reasons to do this. Let's consider the most common ones.
There are several types of proxy servers, each of which has its characteristics.
As the name suggests, this type of proxy only supports the HTTP protocol and is suitable for browsing the web and downloading files from web services running on the standard TCP port 80. HTTP proxies are not suitable for browsing a site that only works over the secure SSL protocol. HTTP proxies cannot be chained. From the point of view of ensuring anonymity, depending on the content of the sent HTTP headers, proxy servers of this type are divided into:
Proxies of this type support the HTTP CONNECT method , which enables HTTP tunneling. In this process, the high layer protocol (HTTP) is used to transport the lower layer protocol (TCP). These proxies can connect to any port. Therefore, proxies of this type can work with almost any network application (TCP), including web servers over the secure SSL protocol. Consequently, they are called "HTTPS proxies". HTTP tunneling ensures the anonymity of HTTPS proxies and allows them to work in a chain.
Almost any network application can work through the SOCKS proxy . For example, you can use a SOCKS proxy to work with your mail client (POP3, SMTP, IMAP protocols). Another distinctive feature of SOCKS proxies is that you can use several SOCKS proxies in a chain at once, increasing your anonymity level. SOCKS proxies are always anonymous since they operate on a low-level protocol and do not update HTTP headers. There are three versions of the protocol: SOCKS4, SOCKS4a, and SOCKS5. The most functional is SOCKS5. It allows you to perform DNS queries on the proxy server side, use the UDP protocol and the BIND method, opening a port for incoming connections.
A web proxy, also known as "Anonymizer" or "CGI proxy ", is a web page that a user can use to visit another website, in most cases anonymously. Web proxies are easy to use as there is no need to change browser settings. Most web proxies support working with sites over the secure SSL protocol. Web proxies can be used in a chain.
From the point of view of a proxy server user, the fewer people have access to a given proxy, the better. First, the fewer the number of users using a particular proxy, the higher its speed. Secondly, violation of the rules for using any online service by one user will lead to a ban, which will make the proxy unsuitable for further work with this service for all other users. Thus, proxies of all types can be conditionally divided according to the limited access to them.
As the definition suggests, private proxies are proxies that only one person uses. Therefore, truly private proxies can be called only those installed on equipment that only you have access to, and access to these proxies is limited by IP authorization or login/password. Only in this case, you can be completely sure that these proxies are used only by you.
Some services offer proxies "one-handed", and these proxies will be private for you for the lease duration. However, it would help if you remembered that the quality of work with such proxies might largely depend on who used them yesterday, before you. Private proxies are more expensive on the market than all others, but they provide, perhaps, the most excellent stability and speed of work in comparison with other types of proxies.
The problem of restricting access to a proxy can be solved in different ways. Access to the proxy can be limited by IP binding or by login and password authorization. This solution is most often used by services that own the provided proxy servers. Such proxies have a conditionally unlimited lifetime.
This technology has its drawbacks for the user. Firstly, the client does not know what specific IP address it will work with, and, secondly, there will be a sudden change of the IP address every 10-15 minutes. Services that offer such proxies, as a rule, offer thousands, and even tens of thousands of online SOCKS proxies from all over the world to their users, which can be used without restrictions.
Public proxy lists are uploaded for free on thousands of sites worldwide. They have thousands of proxies, after checking which, depending on the source and date of relevance, about 5% of the list work.
Some services collect proxies from free access and regularly check and classify them, providing worklists' access for a fee. The percentage of working proxies received from such a service is much higher and can reach 80%.
There are many proxy providers on the market now, and each of them provides different types of proxies. Each of them can be suitable for solving your specific tasks. Not everyone needs expensive private proxies. Sometimes public ones are enough. Therefore, before choosing the type of proxy and provider, start from your tasks. It will help you find the most efficient solution.