How to find a good proxy site
Proxies are easily found online, but finding a good proxy site can take a bit of time and research. Of course, the internet is not without dangers, and some unscrupulous individuals have established proxy portals that can be used to obtain your private information. It is important to ensure that you use a reputable proxy site.
This can be done by looking at when the site was established, as well as reading reviews from customers on others websites, forums, or blogs.
Before you start your search, here are some types of proxies which you may run into.
Web based Proxies
A “web based proxy” is strictly for browsing. It requires no installation, and is great for a quick-fix, allowing you to access content that would normally be blocked on your network. These operate entirely through a web browser, with no need for additional software or hardware.
Being browser-based means you can access your favorite web based proxy in many situations, not only on devices you own or are familiar with. Unfortunately, this also means these tools cannot be used with other applications and software. Many do not support flash or video streaming, but some do.
An “anonymous proxy” makes requests on your behalf, acting as a middle man between your current network and the internet. Your private information is removed from the request before being passed on. Your IP is replaced with the IP of the proxy, thus masking your identity.
This type of proxy is used for privacy online. It can be useful while accessing websites on shared networks, where you may not have control over data retention policies, or know who is monitoring the network, and for what reason.
“Open proxies” are proxy servers that anyone can connect to and use. They’re free, and located in just about any country in the world. Using a ‘proxy list’, you can get the IP address and port number for the open proxy of your choice, and then enter this information into your current browser’s manual proxy settings.
Open proxies are often rated on speed, levels of anonymity, and other metrics which can help you find the type of connection you want. Unfortunately however, the servers are often badly configured, and are notoriously used for spamming. Sometimes identity thieves use these open proxy servers as bait to obtain sensitive information about users. Regardless, they are still very popular because they’re free, and not all of them are run by malicious or incompetent people.
Premium Proxy Services
There are also premium proxy services, otherwise referred to as ‘paid proxies’. Premium proxies can provide you with web based or software based, anonymous proxy connections. They often come with tech and billing support, unlimited bandwidth, and exclusive access to proxy servers in The US, The UK, or other premium server locations.
In addition to these features, you’ll also find better connectivity, security, and speed through their exclusive proxy browser. This is a result of qualified individuals running newer and better maintained equipment. Of course there is a monthly fee that comes with premium services, but for many, a few dollars a month for a reliable service is well worth the price.
The proxy service I use is called SecuriTales. Of course, because I actually use it, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s fast, reliable, and worth the monthly fee of $4.5. It supports flash, so you can watch YouTube videos, and of course all browser based sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc can all be accessed with SecuriTales. This particular service also features 256-bit encryption, which you pretty much don’t see anywhere else. You can read a full review here.
To read a review of another proxy service I’ve used before – one that’s free, to the the Hide My Ass Review. Most of the review highlights the features of their ProVPN service, but regardless of whether you’re a customer or not, there is free access to their open proxy list and web based proxy (as well as other free anonymity tools).