It didn’t used to be so complicated but if you’ve stepped into the world of proxies recently you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. The need for proxy services is growing all the time and the market is expanding to meet that need. Unfortunately, as is often the case in fast, moving technology sectors phrases, definitions and concepts are being made up at the same time. You can no longer just buy a proxy, there’s a host of other terms that come with it.
Virgin proxies, exclusive proxies, rotating proxies, private proxies and dedicated proxies are just some of the terms you’ll come across! What’s more many are interchangeable and used in completely different contexts depending on whom you’re talking to. This absence of standard terms and definitions can make buying proxies extremely difficult. What’s even harder is finding proxies that actually solve your issue.
Let’s just remind ourselves what proxies are actually used for?
- Hiding your IP Address
- Accessing Geo-blocked content
- Operating multiple identities
- Privacy and anonymity
There are variations on these themes but most tasks generally come under one or two of these. Of course, there are many further uses in the corporate environments as web gateways and security servers. However these are generally installed directly on corporate and organisational networks and thus out of the scope of this post.
What people generally want to do is to route their traffic through an intermediary server (the proxy) in order to achieve some goal or complete specific tasks. Which service they use is likely to be crucial as to their success.
Just like anything else, the costs can vary extensively and it can sometimes be difficult to justify these in certain areas. There are many tasks that simply cannot be achieved with cheap proxies and alas virtually none that you can use free proxies for anymore.
Who needs these proxies?
Well you might be surprised as to how many different people need to use proxies. Here’s a few examples of who would use a proxy and for what purpose –
- Instagram Marketer who runs Multiple Accounts.
- Salesman who posts web adverts on different Craigslist directories.
- Market researchers who need to check web results in different areas.
- Advertising firms who need to monitor global web advertising campaigns.
- People who travel a lot to bypass geoblocks on different web sites.
Proxies are crucial to all these task and the proxies you use will be largely responsible for your success in them. So naturally you want to choose proxies that will actually work and preferably at the cheapest possible price.
Cheap Private Proxies that Work
The number one piece of advice I can offer in buying proxies that fulfill your requirements is to talk to the proxy provider. As mentioned so many of the terms are interchangeable and a ‘virgin’ or ‘dedicated’ proxy may be different depending on the suppliers. Any reputable proxy service provider (there are a few!) will rely on repeat business and will only sell you proxies tha meed your needs. Even saying that, the online world changes quickly so there’s no 100% guarantee especially when external factors are involved.
Take for instance one of our examples above, an Instagram marketer who needs proxies to manage and promote their multiple accounts needs certain things from their proxies. First of all they need to be assured that nobody else is using them to manage their own Instagram accounts. Secondly they need to be sure that Instagram doesn’t suspect that a proxy is being used to access an account.
So for example if you used a super fast proxy service which was based in a Russian datacentre to manage these Instagram accounts then you’d be in trouble. The Instagram platform would instantly know you were using proxies and any accounts managed through them would be in big trouble.
What you need to manage Instagram accounts is proxies that have either residential or mobile IP addresses. They should not be used by other Instagram users, so either ‘virgin’ – not used with that platform or dedicated for your use only. There’s a little more to it than this and you can read more on our post on Instagram proxies here. Yet as you can see if you get any aspect of this requirement wrong then your proxies are essentially useless and indeed dangerous for your Instagram accounts.
There’s definitely no single, perfect proxy provider which covers every scenario. Probably the one that covers the most scenarios is Luminati simply because they have by far the largest residential proxy network. Unfortunately cost is often a prohibitive factor for using them. There are lots of providers with smaller networks who have combined innovative technology and decent customer service to cover many, many options. It’s worth speaking to respected companies like Storm Proxies and RotatingProxies to check if they cover your requirements too.
A Private Proxy Server is the Ideal
There’s no doubt that if money is no object, then a dedicated private proxies that only you have access to is the ideal. However if you need a lot of residential IP addresses assigned to this server then it could become extremely expensive. However there are other options which can be as effective at a much lower cost. Many providers for example have dedicated proxies for sneakers, meaning they’re optimized for accessing the main sneaker e-commerce sites like Nike, Adidas, Shopify and of course Supreme. This is why it’s so important to speak to your provider and make sure they know what you need to use the proxies for.
Most of the best proxy providers reduce the costs by automating how their precious residential IP addresses are shared. These are normally rotating proxies, where a single gateway address rotates the IP addresses of external connections. These are ideal for ensuring that individuals have exclusive access to an IP address at any given point. It doesn’t however tie up the address for days and weeks when you’re not using it so reducing the cost significantly. It certainly makes decent proxies more affordable but unfortunately the days of finding elite private proxies for free are long gone. The ones you do find like this are normally run by cyber criminals for harvesting personal details i.e don’t use them !