Linux Proxies – Why You Need One And How To Set It Up
In a way, Linux is to an OS what WordPress is to a website CMS. Both are free, fast, stable, and convenient. They even both have a reputation for being safe from viruses. And all of this is before we even talk about how they are open source. There is a huge level of support from third-party developers on both platforms. So why are more people not using Linux personally?
We have seen that its stability and security have caused it to become a common OS for web hosting. However, we hear casual use is limited compared to iOS and Windows. Part of it is that Linux has a reputation for being only suited for the tech-savvy crowd. That is unfortunate because it has included a user-friendly interface and structure for years.
Another reason is likely that programs people are comfortable with are not readily available on the OS. While that is true for some, many programs do have a working Linux version (even many games). And you can always download a Windows emulator for the programs and games that are still Windows only. Perhaps some people already have their settings and proxies set for their current OS. Without looking into it, they may have decided it is too much trouble to start using Linux proxies. However, the process of using proxies on a Linux system is extremely simple. As long as you follow a short list of steps, you can get your proxies ready to go on your Linux system right away.
Table of Contents
What Are Linux Proxies?
A proxy is a server you connect to when interacting online. When connected, everything you do on the internet technically comes from the proxy instead of directly from you. From your side, everything still works how it did before you used a proxy. You still browse the web, play games, and watch videos like you normally do. But on the technical level, every click or request you make goes through the proxy first. Also, the returned information or media passes through the proxy on its way to you. So as far as your computer and ISP is concerned, you are only connected to your proxy. And as far as the sites you browse or services you use, they only see that your proxy is connected to them.
In case that description is a little hard to follow, let’s look at a simple metaphor. In this example, let’s say you need groceries, but you do not want anyone to know that you went to the store. Maybe you have called in sick and do not want to get caught, or perhaps you have a history with some of the employees. Regardless, you need groceries, but you do not want to go into the store. So, you call a grocery delivery service. They actually livestream the trip for you while you point out the food you want. Then the food gets delivered to you. You get what you need without directly connecting with the store. And as far as the store staff and customers are concerned, the delivery worker made the trip, not you.
Why do You Need a Linux Proxy?
Let’s look into the reasons for using proxies in Linux. There are many benefits to using Linux proxies.
Primarily, a Linux proxy gives you privacy and anonymity. Consider the metaphor above. When you send a delivery service to get groceries for you, the people there have no idea that you are the one getting the items. As far as they are concerned, the delivery worker is the one in the store. The same idea works with proxies. Every website you visit through a proxy is not able to see you or your identifying information.
Along with privacy, your Linux IP proxy gives you a sense of security. A lot of this goes hand-in-hand. When a site does not even know that you are accessing it, it is difficult for it to get any information from you. It cannot even tell where you are located. At the very least, your proxy adds an extra element that prevents a security breach. Now, not only do they have to follow your connection back, but they also have to figure out that you are even using a proxy in the first place.
Proxies can be used to pull in huge amounts of data automatically. They cannot do it alone, though. First, you need to have a scraping tool. Then, you can configure a scraping tool with the appropriate Linux proxy settings. When everything is set up correctly, your scraper can use your proxies to pull the data you need at incredible speeds.
Linux proxies also give you access to data that might otherwise be unavailable to you. Many countries have restrictions on available content. Some restrictions are due to specific copyright regulations. Others have to do with national governments banning certain sites and services.
Proxies get around this by acting as your go-between. Your ISP only sees you are accessing your proxy server. The site you are visiting only sees that the proxy is accessing its content. So if your proxy is in another country, then the site you are accessing thinks you are from that country. So any data or content available in your proxy’s location is now available to you.
How to Set up a Proxy in Linux
A proxy cannot do much for you until you configure the appropriate Linux proxy settings. For many proxy hosts, you will have access to step-by-step instructions on setting up your proxies. Luckily, Linux already has a simple process to do this.
Access your environment file
The first step is to open Terminal. When you have access to Terminal, you need to make sure you are signed in as a root user. Else, you will not have the ability to access and change your proxy settings. Then you need to use nano to open your /etc/environment file.
Set up your proxy
In the resulting text editor, you can now make changes to your proxy. You will see an option to set your http_proxy and your https_proxy. All you have to do is put in the proxy address that you get from your proxy host. If you have any specific username or password authentication settings, make sure those are represented in the file as well.
Then, finish editing and save the file. Afterward, you want to lock the file and restart your system to make sure the changes stick.
Linux HTTP Proxy vs SOCKS
How do you know if you need a Linux HTTP(S) proxy or a Linux SOCKS proxy? It all has to do with what you need it for. Before you can figure that out, though, you need to understand what each type does.
What is a Linux HTTP proxy?
Your first idea of a proxy is likely an HTTP proxy. It is likely you have even already seen that name. In that case, you also probably encountered the idea of a Linux HTTP(S) proxy. The difference between that and a simple Linux HTTP proxy involves a secure connection. With more sites seeking security as time passes, you will normally see HTTP(S).
You have most likely seen the abbreviation HTTP in regards to browsing websites. It is the protocol associated with visiting webpages. These proxies are best used for exactly that. When you know you intend to browse and visit HTTP sites, then you can use an HTTP proxy.
What is a Linux SOCKS proxy?
In regards to SOCKS, each version is represented by a number after the name. For example, a SOCKS5 proxy for Linux is the most recent version. That is why you will normally see it listed that way. These proxies are used more often in data collection, especially for general use. When you do not have an exact plan for what data you intend to grab, then you can need a SOCKS proxy.
SOCKS works with much more than just HTTP. However, the caveat is that it does not process the information at all. SOCKS is not a proxy for enjoying an afternoon scrolling through Google. However, it is really versatile with a lot of protocols. Since data is often stored in protocols other than HTTP, a SOCKS proxy is required to get that information.
What is the Best Linux IP Proxy?
There are far too many Linux proxies on the market to try them all. You need to get an idea of your needs before searching for a proxy service. Stay away from shared, free proxies. These either give a terrible performance with security issues or are a front for hackers. It is much safer to buy your proxies.
You definitely want fast speeds. You should never go for speeds of less than 1 Gbps. And while we are at it, always go for proxies that provide unlimited bandwidth. You want a proxy that will keep up with you. These qualities do not matter much if your proxy is down all of the time. So make sure your proxy service is known for consistent uptimes. One proxy service that satisfies all of those needs and more is Blazing SEO. We have a wide range of proxies available, and you can order any number of them. We provide reliable proxies with a 24/7 customer support line to handle and questions or needs you have. Take a moment and browse through our proxy packages today.
Linux is an effective OS that is made even better with Linux proxies. Proxies are easy to set up and have many uses to keep you safe and private while online. Just make sure you go with an equally productive proxy host that will keep up with your activities.
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