A proxy server creates a barrier between your internet-connected device and the rest of the world. You've probably heard experts warn that no internet activity remains anonymous, and while that is true, proxy servers take you one step closer to that goal. Not only do they create a more secure browsing environment, but they also speed up page-loading times by reducing bandwidth.
If you're ready to use a proxy server, you might wonder which one offers the best service. Free proxies might appeal to you because you don't have to part with your cash, but paid versions often make better choices.
Making Security a Priority
A free online proxy might offer you a shield while you use the internet, but it might also expose you to hidden dangers. A proxy service requires bandwidth to funnel traffic through the server and route it back to the user. Since a free proxy doesn't charge its users, it must generate revenue through other means.
Some free proxies generate ads that appear on users' computers. Others sell personal information about their users to marketers and other customers. This puts your identity and privacy at risk. If you access your bank account online while using the proxy, for example, you might compromise your account numbers and other financial information.
Understanding the Importance of Stability
A Google search for "free proxy site" yields thousands of results. Free proxies spring up every day, many eventually disappearing when they run out of funds or receive negative exposure, only to pop up again under different names. If you use a proxy server, you want consistent protection.
Considering Free Proxies
Some of the best free proxies include CyberGhost and Proxify, both of which also offer paid versions. These programs remain available after years of operation, so they represent less risk than some of the lesser-known proxies. However, they still offer less protection than top-rated paid proxy server options.
Choosing a Proxy Server
When looking for the best proxy on the market, take the time to read reviews and evaluate each program's features. The most advanced paid proxies offer an extensive network of features and protections, such as 128-bit encryption, OpenVPN connections, compatibility with mobile devices and reliable tech support. Additionally, they allow you to launch them on many configurations, such as different versions of Windows as well as other operating systems.
HMA VPN, for example, receives high marks because it offers more than 50,000 distinct IP addresses and almost 60 server locations throughout the world. Use it on your main computer as well as your smartphone or tablet to ensure protection regardless of how you like to surf the internet. This VPN provides an extra layer of protection on top of the 128-bit encryption.
Other highly regarded proxies include PureVPN, IPVanish and OverPlay. Each features excellent customer support, high-level encryption and multiple ways to protect your data and your browsing habits.
If you're ready to route your browser activity through a proxy server, steer clear of free proxies unless you know you can trust the provider. While they might save you money up front, they could cost you more money in the long run if they compromise your identity.