There is a very common saying that nothing is ever free. And that if you are not paying for something in cash, you may as well be paying for it in kind.
The same is true of proxy services. A proxy might appear to be free, but the cost of using it could be worth more than what it would cost to get a legitimate service.
For instance, while some proxies are free for you to use, they may have a full day stealing your most sensitive data and then selling it off to buyers who could use it to violate your privacy.
When this happens, proxy services originally designed to keep us safe online can easily turn into our greatest nightmare.
To this end, we have put this article together to explain, in detail, why you need to avoid free proxies.
What Is A Proxy?
A proxy can be defined as an intermediary machine that helps transfer communications between users and the internet.
It is a medium through which internet users can channel their requests and surf the web conveniently. Proxies generally provide users with the choice of boosting their security while accessing just about any page on the web.
Proxies are great for maintaining privacy and anonymity and avoiding the danger of identity theft or security breaches.
What Are The Functions of A Proxy?
There are different types of proxies, each playing different roles and functions. However, all proxies have some functionality in common. Below are some of the general functions of proxies:
Being online is a crucial part of doing business in today’s world. However, it poses one of the most significant risks brands face today.
For instance, brands can lose their data to internet scoundrels, who can then use the stolen data to launch coordinated attacks that can crumple the business.
One of the major functions of all proxies is to ensure this never happens by hiding the user’s sensitive data such as internet protocol (IP) address and location.
Proxies are also popularly used because they allow you to stay anonymous during all your online operations.
Staying anonymous is important to ensure your competitors don’t find out what you are doing online.
Proxies can also help prevent you from getting tracked, which can easily happen when anyone sees you online.
Geo-restrictions are techniques used by some servers to avoid traffic from certain regions. They work by scanning the user’s IP and location and banning the user from browsing from a forbidden location.
On a grand scale, this can limit what data businesses can access and how easily they can run their e-commerce brands.
Proxies are highly effective in bypassing these restrictions and allowing users full access to the data they need.
For instance, by using a proxy Mexico server, a brand in Cuba can bypass any restrictions on a Mexican website and extract the data it needs. Also, according to Oxylabs, proxy Mexico servers offer some of the most numerous options worldwide.
The Importance of Choosing a Suitable Proxy Provider
Choosing the right proxy provider is important when you are looking to enjoy any of the above benefits, and below are some of the reasons why you must pick the suitable proxy provider:
The right proxy provider is built to offer you the best. When you use it, you keep yourself safe and your data away from the hands of cybercriminals.
The proper proxy hides your IP, keeps you anonymous, clears limitations, and makes all your internet activities effortless and seamless.
The best thing is, these are not just one-time offers but things you continue to enjoy every time you employ the proxy.
There is only so much half-baked proxies can do. They may take you into the internet but not too far.
Reasonable proxies, on the other hand, are well equipped to take you anywhere on the internet.
This is why some users can easily bypass any geo-blocking while others get stopped by simple CAPTCHA tests.
For instance, a user who deploys a sophisticated proxy solution from a reliable provider will have guaranteed success accessing target content compared to a user who chooses free, shabby proxies.
Firewall and Content Filter
Returning data is just as important as sending out connections. It is not just the ease of sending out traffic that you should be concerned about. It would also be a rational move to consider what is returned to you.
Fraudsters can load malware into the returning data, which, when allowed into local storage unchecked, can cause significant damage.
A good proxy server has a firewall and content filter that thoroughly scrutinizes what is being returned to you to prevent malicious content from passing through.
Reasons Why Free Services Could Be Potentially Malicious
Now that you understand why you need to consider only the best types of proxy services, let us see 5 reasons why you need to avoid free proxies:
- Many free proxies do not allow HTTP connections and usually fail security tests
- Free proxies may help you transfer connections but may also monitor your activities at the same time
- Most free proxies are often slow because many users share them at once
- Free proxies can steal your cookies and use them to impersonate you online
- Most free proxies have a poor customer support system as they usually don’t feel obligated to their users
Protecting yourself when you are online is important. So is staying anonymous and bypassing whatever restrictions some servers send your way.
And while it can be easily tempting to try to use a free proxy to do all these, there are a million and one reasons why you shouldn’t.