It’s worth remembering that anyone can set up a proxy server with only a little technical knowledge. Download some software like Glype, click a few buttons and enter some basic information and you’re ready to go. Obviously you need somewhere to host it but you can grab yourself a little space for only a few dollars. You can even install one at home, despite upload speeds generally being much slower they’re normally good enough to run a proxy for a few people without an issue. There is an additional danger with using your home equipment though as you’re potentially allowing access to your own hardware rather than some virtual space on a server in a datacentre.
The reality is that although it’s easy to get it working, there’s a huge difference from a working proxy to one that is secure, fast and can be used to hide the client behind it. A default installation won’t give you any of this and indeed the underlying configuration of the operating system in in many cases just as important. How secure you need your proxy is of course, dependent on what you’re actually using it for. If you’re just using it to bounce your connection from to add a little privacy to your connection then it might not be an issue.
However if you’re using proxies to make some money online, this is a completely different situation. Most websites now look out for proxies in a variety of ways, and a badly configured proxy is actually relatively easy to detect. A few years ago, pretty much any proxy server would allow you access to Netflix, Hulu, Craigslist and the BBC without any problems. Nowadays almost all proxies are blocked by these sites automatically – the BBC was probably the last major media website which allowed access via a proxy server.
If you want to access these media sites, or advertise on likes Craigslist or buy in bulk from commercial outlets then you need fast, securely configured proxies. It’s also important that hundreds of concurrent connections are not originating from these servers too, this is a primary method for detecting and blocking proxies. The complications don’t end there either, increasingly it’s very important how the IP address of the proxy is classified too.
The issue here is that IP addresses are actually classified in several ways including the sector they are registered in. So the easiest addresses to obtain are those which are classified as commercial which you can buy relatively easily and cheaply. This is because they are easily available and generally reside in commercial datacentres all over the world. However the problem is that these addresses are also easily identifiable as commercial addresses and not real home users. Which is why so many commercial sites have blocked access from these IP addresses, automatically. This means that for many of the webs most popular commercial sites, any proxy server located in a datacentre with a commercial IP address are completely useless,
So to summarise to use any sort of proxy online for making money or other commercial methods then there are some essential element. They shouldn’t be overloaded, they must be securely configured and they should ideally have a range of residential IP addresses available to them. These unfortunately tend to cost a lot of money, particularly as obtaining residential IP addresses is rather expensive. The best rotating proxies however will support all these requirements and will work with individual connections or even using automated software. The costs can be minimized and indeed there are some rotating residential proxies which you can rent at a fairly reasonable cost. They are specialised though and if you want any sort of volume for example to run automated software there’s only a couple of companies who provide this service.
If you’re primarily interested in security and privacy and don’t require lots of simultaneous connections then you would probably be best looking at a virtual private network instead of a proxy. First of all these are more secure because they add a layer of encryption to the connection, and also there are lots of commercial options to rent. There is still the issue of IP address classification, but these are also available from a couple of providers indeed you’ll definitely need a residential VPN in order to watch sites like Netflix properly.