You’ve heard people talk about proxies, but you aren’t quite sure what they are. You want to ask those people, “What are proxies?” but that would be embarrassing. You don’t want people to know you aren’t up on the latest technology, so you just sit back and act like you know what they’re talking about, even though you’re lost.

It’s time to clear up any confusion you have so you’ll understand what a proxy is. Then, you can join in the conversation the next time people talk about proxies. You can show off your knowledge and let everyone know you’re on top of all of the latest technology.

Basic Definition

The easiest way to define proxies is to say that they’re intermediaries that act as buffers between people and the internet. This allows you to hide your IP address from website servers.

Let’s look at an example. If you connect to the internet without a proxy, you will provide the website with all of your information. You have to provide an IP address to make the connection, and since you aren’t using a proxy, the website will receive your IP address. That means the site will get all of your identifying information. The site will know where you are located and what internet provider you use. That information can be used to identify you.

On the other hand, if you use a proxy, it will act as an intermediary. Your IP address won’t be transmitted to the website. Instead, the proxy will send out an IP address. The address will come from a different location, and the website won’t know who you are or where you are located.

For example, let’s say you live in Florida, but you buy USA proxies located in California. The website you visit will think you are from California, not Florida. That is a great way to hide your identity.

That’s a basic explanation of proxies. Of course, when people ask the question, “What are proxies?” they want to have the details. Let’s take a closer look at the type of proxies you can choose from. This will give you a much better idea of what proxies are. Then, you’ll be ready to start using proxies to protect your identity when you’re online.

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Shared Proxies

Shared proxies are one form of proxies. As the name suggests, multiple people use shared proxies. Several people will use the same server with shared proxies. They can access and use the proxies at the same time, so people are using the same IP addresses.

There are two types of shared proxies. First, there are shared proxies that are open to as many users as the server will hold. These are typically free, but they do have some issues.

Free Proxies

Since you’re sharing these proxies with a large number of people, they can be extremely slow. The lag makes it difficult to surf the web or do anything else online. You might have to wait a minute or longer for a single connection. Imagine roaming around a webpage with that type of lag. It’s reminiscent of the days of dialup. In other words, it’s so slow that it’s almost impossible to get anything done. You will spend more time waiting than actually surfing online.

These proxies also go down quite a bit, and they stop working altogether on a regular basis. You might be in the middle of using a free proxy, and then it will go down all of the sudden. It might come up a little later, or you might have to find another shared proxy to use. It can take hours to find a semi-reliable connection. All of that can lead to a headache. If you want to get on and surf without any problems, these proxies aren’t right for you.

To top it off, a lot of the free proxies are nothing more than scams. Hackers operate the proxies just so they can steal people’s information. Once you connect to the proxy, the hackers break into your system. The hackers put malicious software on your computer and steal your bank account information, PayPal account information, and more. This can even ruin your computer. You can end up with some serious problems on your hands if your computer gets hacked.

Semi-Dedicated Proxies

Semi-dedicated proxies are another option. These are also shared proxies, but the administrator limits the number of people sharing a proxy. Only three people typically share the proxies, so you won’t experience much lag. Also, because they are run by companies, they stay up and running and you shouldn’t experience connection issues.

They’re also safe. You don’t have to worry about a hacker running semi-dedicated proxies. Legitimate companies offer these proxies, so you are safe to use them.

These proxies are inexpensive, but they do have one issue. If you’re sharing a proxy with someone who does something illegal, the entire IP address could get banned from the website in question. If you try to access that site, you will be banned, as well. This is the case with any type of shared proxy. You aren’t just responsible for yourself with these proxies. You’re responsible for everyone who uses them.

While semi-dedicated proxies are definitely better than free shared proxies, they can’t beat dedicated proxies.

Dedicated Proxies

Dedicated proxies, also known as private proxies, are only used by one person. If you get a dedicated proxy, you will be the only person who uses that proxy. As you can imagine, this comes with some advantages.

First, private proxies are the only option for truly anonymous internet browsing. That’s why when people ask, “What are proxies?” they often want to know about private proxies. After all, these are the proxies that people who have real online needs use.

Private proxies completely eliminate your digital footprint, so you can surf the web with ease. There are lots of reasons you will want to eliminate your digital footprint. You might want to surf the web at work, even though it isn’t allowed, or watch Netflix from another country. You also might need to take care of some SEO tasks or create multiple social media profiles. There are countless reasons why you’ll want to use proxies, and dedicated proxies are your best option.

Dedicated proxies are also much faster than shared proxies are. You’re the only person using the proxy, so no one else is eating up the resources. If you’ve ever dealt with lag online, you know how frustrating it can be. You can avoid that problem when you use a dedicated proxy. These proxies connect and transmit data at a fraction of the time it takes shared proxies to do so.

These proxies are also more secure than standard public proxies are. Spammers and hackers often run free proxies. Your personal information can be comprised when you use these services. That is not the case with private proxies. Your information is safe and secure with this service. No one is going to try to hack your data.

Dedicated proxies are also more reliable than public proxies are. You typically have to test free proxies to find out if they’re even working. Then, if you find one that is, it might go offline in the middle of using it.

That doesn’t happen with dedicated proxies. These proxies aren’t abused, so they can stay up and running. Also, since a legitimate company runs them, you don’t have to worry about the proxies getting shut down for no reason.

You’ll also notice a difference when it comes to advertising. Free proxy providers have to make money somehow, so they often run ads on your computer. That slows down the connection even more.

When you pay for proxies, you can avoid ads. That is key to a fast connection. You don’t have to worry about ads popping up every time you go to a new webpage.

Then, there’s the spam. Free proxy providers often sell email addresses to third parties. That means you can end up with an inbox full of spam if you use these proxies.

Again, that’s not the case with dedicated proxies. Your email address won’t get sold to a third party. That’s a benefit of doing business with a legitimate company like Sprious.

Then, you have to consider your options when you go with paid proxies. You can typically choose where you want the proxy to originate from. For example, you can buy USA proxies. Then, your proxies will all have servers in the U.S.

If you go with a public proxy, you usually don’t have a choice regarding the country of origin. You could end up with a proxy server that is halfway across the globe. That hurts the connection speed and the reliability.

Are All Private Proxies the Same?

Private proxies are definitely better than public proxies, but are they all the same? Just like with any other product on the market, there is a difference from one company to the next. You should look the speed, the country of origin, and the subnets. You need a provider that offers a lot of different Class A, Class B, and Class C subnets to prevent bans. In addition, you should choose a company that supports HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKs.

It’s also a good idea to check the company’s authentication process. You want to have access to IP authorization and User:Pass authentication.

Finally, you need to think about the support offered. No matter what you do, your proxies could get banned from time to time. That is just life. Some companies will switch the proxies out for you free of charge. That’s a good feature to have. It will protect you in case you make a mistake and get banned.

These are just a few of things you should look for when choosing private proxies. Do your homework and pick private proxies that fit your needs.

The Bottom Line

If you are going to use a shared proxy, made sure it is a semi-dedicated proxy. These proxies don’t have the issues you’ll get with free proxies. However, dedicated proxies are your best option overall. These USA proxies are safe, secure, reliable, and fast. They also offer the highest degree of anonymity.