The internet has a plethora of information which digital marketers and businesses can leverage for important business activities and decision-making. This data can be used for research work, analyzing and monitoring competition, or tracking your own business campaigns and consumer reactions, to name a few. This method is called data scraping that is used for gathering information from the web.
If you access certain websites regularly with the same IP, the chances are that you might get blocked and be charged for malpractices by Google. In such a case, businesses hide their actual IP addresses in order to maintain anonymity. This is why companies should know how to use a proxy IP.
A proxy server is a computer address between your IP address and the target website. An IP address is a unique address given to a computer. When you use a proxy IP, the target website is unable to see your computer’s IP as your request is routed through the proxy IP address. You can use a proxy server to hide your identity and even replace it with a pool of residential IP proxies, which enables you to be undetected by the target website. Many proxy providers use high rotation IPs so that whenever you send a request, you will be designated a new IP.
If you are still unsure about what is a proxy, check out Oxylabs take on explaining a proxy in under 5 minutes.
Benefits of using a proxy
- Stable connectivity - for extracting large amounts of data from the internet, your connection should be robust and stable. A stable proxy server is always preferable for processing vast amounts of data.
- Anonymity -as we discussed earlier, using your own IP address for scraping websites is likely to get you banned or blocked. You can use a proxy server with residential rotating IPs so that your IP keeps changing and your true identity does not get divulged on the internet.
- Security -proxy servers do not just have a stable connection; they are also more secure and allow seamless transfer of data without being leaked or stolen by hackers or fraudulent entities.
Different types of proxies
Depending on the applied technologies and protocols, they are different types of proxies. Protocol implies the speed, security, stability, and routing capacity of the proxies. You should understand the function and capacity of each to know how to use these proxy IPs.
Let us explore 5 different types of proxies:
- HTTP Proxy
Using an HTTP proxy allows for the caching of files and web pages, thus, allowing you to access them more speedily. If you search for a website that you want to access, the HTTP proxy server will look for the website in the cache. If available, it will return you the request immediately, saving on the time taken for complete download. The underside here is that the cache can slow down the surfing process and you will have to keep clearing the cache frequently.
- SOCKS Proxy
SOCKS stands for SOCKets and is basically an application. The connection in a SOCKS proxy is maintained through the exchange of messages. The connection is established, and it works through an IP(Internet Protocol) tunnel, which uses a firewall. You need to have a SOCKS proxy server to use a SOCKS proxy on your PC.
- SSL Proxy
SSL or SECURE SOCKETS LAYER is a protocol that provides secure data transmission on the web. An SSL proxy server provides secure transmission of data between the client and the server and prevents hackers from attacking the network.
- FTP Proxy
FTP or File Transfer Protocol is used in different web application, especially while building a website. This server provides cache function and encryption to secure the connection from hackers.
- Anonymous Proxy
As the name suggests, an anonymous proxy allows users to maintain anonymity while browsing the internet. An anonymous proxy can prevent cookies from tracking your web activity and prevent all elements that invade your internet privacy. Good anonymous proxy servers provide an SSL tunnel that prevents leakage of information.
Anonymous proxies work well in hiding your identity, prevent you from being stalked on the web as they can also mask your internet provider. Quality anonymous proxy servers should support HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols and provide a secure SSL tunnel. Weigh all pros and cons, understand how to use a Proxy IP, and then select the most suitable Proxy server for your system.