Is Buying Cheap Proxies A Good Idea?

Cheap Proxies

There are so many advantages that come along with the use of proxies, especially when collecting vast quantities of data. A scraper used together with the right proxy can move mountains in web scraping related activities.

The question that many ask is - should you pay a reasonable price for a proxy, or should you use free or cheap ones? You could be risking your company’s security by just using cheap or free proxies. How could that be? Well, let’s find out. 

Before we go deep into the details, there are a few things you need to understand about proxies. 

What Is a Proxy?

We all use the internet almost every day. But do you know what happens any time you access the internet? Online fraud and data leaks are not new to us. How can you be able to avoid such cyber-attacks? It’s simple - use a proxy!

A proxy or a proxy server is an intermediary that exists between the internet and your device. A proxy server will send requests and receive a response from the internet on behalf of your computer. You can learn more in-depth about proxies on this blog.

Every computer accessing the web must bear an Internet Protocol (IP) address – your device uses this address to communicate with other devices. This IP address, in many cases, is assigned to your device by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). A proxy server also has its IP address. Every time you access the web, your ISP can track your online activity and location.  

Today, data has become a currency, and you must do all it takes to safeguard your valuable info. One of the ways to ensure that your data is safe is to use a proxy server. A proxy server will cover all tracks of your online activity.

When you browse using a proxy, the server will receive your request, change your IP address to its own, then send the request to the destination page. In the same way, the proxy will receive a response from the target site before forwarding it to your device. This happens in such a way that your original IP address is not exposed, and thus you can enjoy high anonymity levels.

Proxy Types 

Residential Proxies 

Residential proxies are IP addresses that have been provided by a real ISP to an actual homeowner. The IP addresses are real ones linked to physical locations. When you use these proxies to hide your IP address, they will imitate organic web user behavior. 

Data Center Proxies

Data center proxies are not in any way related to your internet connection or your ISP. Third-party corporations and cloud service providers create this type of proxies. These servers provide complete anonymity and IP authentication. 

Are Free Proxies a Better Alternative? 

You must have seen free proxy websites as well as providers offering paid proxies. Should you go for the free/cheap proxies? Some could be genuine; however, the majority of these providers are spam sites. If you’re not buying the product, the chances are that you are the product!

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Cheap or Free Proxies 

1. A Majority of Cheap/Free Proxies Don’t Use HTTPS

According to a study, many free/cheap proxies won’t allow an HTTPS connection. It only means one thing; your connection isn’t encrypted. If a malicious person is keeping an eye on your activity, they can access your data and information. 

2. Free/Cheap Proxy Provider Could Be Monitoring You

The reason why the majority of these connections are not encrypted is the fact that they might want to monitor your activity. In fact, some of them are hackers, and they use “free/cheap” to lure unsuspecting users. 

3. Some of Them Are Infected with Malicious Malware 

Free proxies could contain malicious malware programmed by the provider. Also, since these proxies are free, they run a lot of ads to generate revenue. Some of these advertisements contain malware (‘malvertising’), and you can become a victim accidentally.  

4. Poor Connection Services 

Cheap/free proxies are generally slow because of two things - a lot of users and lack of adequate funding. 

5. Cookies Theft 

Websites use cookies to track your online behavior. Login details and other credentials are found in cookies. When you browse the internet using a free proxy, there’s a chance that your cookies could be stolen and used to launch attacks. 

Should you use free or cheap proxies? The choice is yours; however, a trusted proxy provider will provide secure proxies that will ensure that you remain anonymous every time you browse the internet and that your data is safe. 

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