Proxies are a powerful tool for enhancing your security on the web as well as a way of bypassing some of the most frustrating Internet restrictions. Possible use cases vary from viewing a website that’s been blocked by your school admin to serious data scraping. In between, there are all kinds of professional, commercial, and hobby activities that all require an extra layer of protection and anonymity — a proxy.
An Introduction to Proxies
A proxy server acts as a go-between whenever you send a request to the web. Your request goes to the proxy before it can finally hit the website you are targeting, in which the IP with which it is associated changes.
The fact that you get a new IP address when using a proxy is attractive to many users. These days, to buy mobile proxies is an important step for many business owners as well as hobbyists. Here are some of the most valuable benefits it offers:
- access to restricted content such as YouTube videos that are not available in certain countries or sites which have been banned by your organization;
- unlimited web scraping or crawling;
- verifying your ads to make sure they show up in the right context in the countries where you want them to be.
As you can see, some of the potential uses for proxies can be more demanding in terms of security and anonymity than others, which is why there are different types of proxy servers available.
Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies
Initially, all proxies fall into two categories, which are datacenter proxies and residential ones. The former are not assigned by Internet service providers or ISPs. Instead, they are owned by web hosting companies or research organizations such as universities. It is a relatively affordable and quick option, but datacenter proxies aren’t genuine enough for serious activities such as scraping.
On the contrary, residential proxies are tied to actual IP addresses such as those provided by ISPs. The fact that there’s a real device/user behind the IP translates to a wider choice of locations if you get a pack and greater authenticity. Mobile proxies are a further step forward in this respect.
Mobile Proxies: What’s So Special About Them?
The term “mobile proxy” refers to a server that’s set up on a physical portable device such as a phone or tablet. Such gadgets are typically connected to 3G or 4G mobile networks like normal users would. This gives you the following benefits:
- mobile proxies are very hard to detect;
- this type of proxy usually works very smoothly;
- it fits the needs of mobile users perfectly as it promises maximum portability.
Choosing the Right Proxy for You
There’s no quick answer to the question of which proxy type is the best. Generally, those associated with genuine IPs, such as mobile proxies with real tablets or phones behind them, are the optimum choice as they meet the needs of most users.
Do you have any experience with proxies? Please share in the comments.