Discovering the Different Types of Proxies and When To Use Them

By Srikanth
10 Min Read
Discovering the Different Types of Proxies and When To Use Them 1

When choosing a proxy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Knowing and understanding the difference is essential to buy proxies for a particular use case. Proxy servers can vary according to how they connect, the type of anonymity they offer, their application, and more. So, how do you know which proxy suits your business?

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In this article, we look at what makes proxies different. We’ll also be looking at some of the different types that you’re most likely to come across when you buy proxies, like the popular HTTPS proxies. Check out this page for more on these secure proxy types. Finally, we’ll also cover when you’d use each of these proxy servers so you can easily find the best one for your needs.

What Are Proxies Used For?

Proxies are intermediary servers that intercept incoming and outgoing requests between you and the internet. They act like a middleman between you and the web. In this exchange process, they also replace your IP address with a different one from their pool, making it difficult for the receiving web servers to identify you or track your activities.

By changing your IP address, the proxy provides additional anonymity and security online. This means you can access restricted content, change your location to find information in other countries, and more.

What Makes Proxies Different From Each Other?

Proxies mediate your connections in many different ways and can even impact only certain parts of the connection. As such, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for proxy servers. Proxy servers integrate and adapt all traffic requests and responses that come and go from another connection, like the internet. It’s these differences that make certain proxies better suited to specific uses.

Proxies are most commonly based on the following:

  • Location – Public-facing and private-to-private proxies
  • Traffic Flow – Forwarding and reverse proxies
  • Anonymity level – Transparent, anonymous, elite (highly anonymous) proxies
  • Application – SOCKS, DNS, HTTP, SSL, HTTPS proxies and more
  • Service – Private, dedicated, and shared proxies
  • IP – Datacenter, residential, and mobile proxies

Backconnect proxies automatically rotate between different IP addresses, pulling from a large pool of residential, mobile, or datacenter IPs. This rotation can happen with every request or at set intervals, significantly enhancing security and reducing the likelihood of being detected or blocked. Because of this dynamic nature, backconnect proxies are incredibly useful for tasks that require high levels of anonymity and the ability to avoid rate limits or IP bans, such as web scraping, data mining, and automated testing.

Types of Proxies Based on Application

These proxies are usually quite flexible because they work on an application level. These types of proxy servers show the most variety, and many different types are available. However, we’ll be looking at a few of the most popular.

SOCKS Proxy

SOCKS proxies reroute your traffic via the TCP protocol. These proxy servers send your data without reading it. SOCKS5 is the latest version of this protocol and adds additional security to files being transmitted, making the process much faster.

SOCKS proxies are best used when you need anonymity and speed. As such, they’re ideal for streaming, gaming and torrenting.

DNS Proxy

A DNS proxy can take over all the responsibilities of your DNS server. Doing this can resolve your domain name to an IP address. It can also act as a DNS query forwarder. In this process the proxy will cache and forward all queries to other DNS servers as well as for them.

DNS proxies are best used to secure and improve your website. These proxy servers will help make the domain lookup speed faster while improving the site’s performance.

HTTP Proxy

HTTP proxies are some of the most frequently used proxy servers, although they’re starting to be phased out and replaced with SSL or HTTPS proxies. Despite this, you might still come across them in your search to buy proxies. These proxy servers take all HTTP requests and responses and send them in plain text. Because of this, they aren’t the most secure and shouldn’t be used when working with sensitive information.

Despite being phased out, this proxy can still be used effectively when trying to copy the latest sneakers. An HTTP proxy can also be used as a reverse proxy. In this capacity it works between the user and server to filter any restricted, harmful, or malicious content.

SSL or HTTPS Proxy

HTTPS or SSL proxies are the most secure proxy servers, which is why they’re a favorite among cybersecurity experts. These proxies encrypt all incoming and outgoing requests. These proxy servers protect against hackers and surveillance agencies that use tracking processes.

SSL or HTTPS proxies offer the highest level of security. As such, they’re the ideal proxies to protect your website and business from hackers and other cybercriminals.

Types of Proxies Based on IP

When you’re looking to buy proxies, IP-based types are the ones you’re most likely to come across. These proxy servers are different because of how they obtain their IPs and how these IPs appear to websites.

Datacenter Proxy

For a long time, datacenter proxies were the most popular choice when looking for a proxy that hides your IP. Datacenter proxy servers don’t get their IPS from ISPs or real devices. Instead, they get their IPs from pools of addresses that are usually Local Internet Registries (LIR). Because of this, datacenter proxies are easily identifiable and can be blocked by sites.

Datacenter proxies are most well known for their speed, good performance, and affordable price point. As such, they’re best used if you want to improve your internet experience while adding some additional anonymity and security to your connection.

Residential Proxy

Residential proxies are quickly gaining popularity because of their superior anonymity and flexibility to be suitable for most use cases. Residential proxies get their IPs from real devices. This makes them extremely difficult to block as they look like real users.

Residential proxies can be used in a variety of different ways, from collecting data through web scrapers to automating certain processes. It’s very effective at accessing restricted content and bypassing geo-blocks.

Mobile Proxy

Mobile proxies are very similar to residential proxies, except that they hide the IP behind cellular IPs. This means that these proxies use SIM rather than Wi-Fi connections. These proxies are the hardest to block because operators already share the same IP among hundreds of people.

Mobile proxies are best used for testing mobile ads, testing apps, and more. They’re also a popular choice for managing multiple social media accounts.

How to Choose the Best Proxy 

Choosing the best proxy involves identifying your specific needs, such as the level of anonymity, security, speed, and budget. Understand the differences between proxy types, including datacenter, residential, mobile, SOCKS, and HTTP/HTTPS, to match your activities’ requirements. 

Consider the proxy’s features like IP rotation, geolocation options, bandwidth, and concurrent request capabilities. Evaluate the provider’s reliability, customer support, and user reviews to ensure quality service. You can also utilize free trials or money-back guarantees to test the proxy’s performance with your tasks. 

Additionally, ensure your proxy usage complies with legal standards and the targeted website’s terms of service. The optimal choice varies per individual need, combining the right features with a reputable provider to achieve your specific goals efficiently.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to buy proxies to help improve your web browsing or for specific uses for your business, don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of options available. Be clear about what your proxy needs to do, and that will make it easier to find the best one for your needs. Do you want to improve your data collection efforts while also automating certain processes? In that case, a residential proxy might suit you best. Perhaps you just want to play games without lags? Then you might only need a datacenter proxy.

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