Privacy and data security are crucial for every Internet user. We all want to keep personal information secure and protect the internal network from any threats or undesirable attacks. That is why so many people benefit from using proxy servers.
A proxy server appears to be an intermediary between your computer and the web. It works as a web filter, preventing a flow of excessive information from floating around your internal network. Besides, proxy servers significantly expand opportunities for web surfing.
Overall, there are paid and free proxy servers providing different features and types of IP addresses. The final rating in this article includes 13 proxy and VPN websites.
Important! As always, I have agreed on special rates for my readers, which will be available only by clicking on my referral links. Enjoy! ;)
10 Best PAID Proxies:
3 Best Free Options:
While using a proxy server, you do not leave any traces around the web as the details of your internet surfing are saved not to your computer but to this specific server. It makes your web activity more secure and anonymous.
However, as the server does store some information about you, sometimes it is possible to identify your web activities. Although, it does not seem to be a problem if you deal with a good and reliable proxy server. Overall, most people use proxies to get rid of intrusive advertiser tracking and annoying privacy instructions. Besides, there are quite enough proxy server providers letting you benefit from paid (or even free) VPN (Virtual Private Network), to provide better privacy and security.
So, if you seek a reliable tool to protect your data from unauthorized collection, you'd better consider both of these options or choose an instrument that combines them. More about the difference between Proxy and VPN you can learn more from this video:
In other words, if you do not use a proxy, advertisers, government agencies, and hackers can easily track your online activity, type of device, and location when you visit a non-secure website.
Unfortunately, the number of such sites dramatically increases over time. This fact makes it possible to block you from browsing through certain content or to overwhelm you with annoying ads. Providing anonymity and online privacy is crucial for most internet users. Thus, using proxies becomes a part of our everyday routine.
However, it is not always clear how to choose the best proxy server. Thus, I have prepared this rating of the best proxies in 2021. To select the most appropriate options, I made sure to pay attention to the following criteria:
Before I proceed to detailed consider the best proxy servers out there, let's look into the types of proxies and what they are used for.
As aforementioned, a proxy is a gateway between your computer and the Internet. The proxy server provides an additional security layer that interacts with any website you visit. Proxies allow using different IP addresses that make it impossible to identify you. Thus, any website you are visiting cannot see your real IP address, but only the IP address provided by a proxy server. Herewith proxies IPs are regularly changed.
Proxies are widely used among individual users as well as businesses. There are several reasons why people turn to proxy servers:
Businesses can significantly benefit from using proxy servers. Otherwise, they would not be able to gather and process competitors' data. The point is when you try to process a large amount of information from a competitor's website, where this activity is often identified as suspicious. Thereupon, this website can easily block your IP. But it will never happen if you use a good proxy server that changes IPs over time by a proxy rotator (or rotating proxies).
There are different types of proxies - residential / data center, shared, semi-dedicated, and dedicated proxies.
Disclaimer: In this article, I only describe my experience.
Smartproxy provides data center and residential proxies. They also have mobile IPs available. The pool of rotating residential IPs collates with more than 40 million addresses. Driven by the quick rotation system, proxies provided by the service are rarely banned. While there are certain limitations on the bandwidth in accordance with your pricing plan, the number of concurrent threads you can run is unlimited. The service gives you an opportunity to choose a proxy you need from the list of servers in the dashboard. Thus, you can select an appropriate option according to the type of session, location, or other parameters.
Smartproxy provides browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Besides, pro customers can benefit from a functional API. The service has good customer support that operates 24/7. The prices depend on the types of proxies you need, as well as upon the traffic allowance. For example, the minimal pricing plan including residential proxies and 5 GB of bandwidth will cost you $75 per month. While the minimal plan for data center proxies (with a 100 GB traffic limit) will cost you $50 per month. These two options are suitable for individual professionals and freelancers. Conversely, the service also provides extended and more complex options for businesses.
Regarding the range of use, Smartproxy is highly effective in avoiding blocks or cloaking, ad verification, conducting competitor research, affiliate testing, etc. You can also use residential proxies to manage your social media accounts without the risk of being blocked.
What is so special about this proxy server? First of all, it aggregates more than 72 million IP addresses. Luminati provides all types of proxies including rotating residential IPs, static addresses, and mobile IPs. You can benefit from LPM (Luminati Proxy Manager) which allows optimizing bandwidth usage, setting rules for IP rotation, excluding certain IPs, etc. This tool can be easily integrated with macOS, Windows, or Linux.
Luminati is effectively used for business purposes providing all necessary features for data gathering, price comparison, ad verification, brand protection, SEO monitoring, and many more. However, not only companies but also individual professionals can benefit from this platform. For example, affiliate marketers can use Luminati to validate ad placement, verify affiliating links, and optimize marketing campaigns.
Residential proxies provided by Luminati support HTTPS, HTTP and SOCKS5 protocols. Regarding customer service, there are multiple ways to get assistance. If you have any questions about the platform, you can contact them directly by phone, email, social media, or messengers. There are also a lot of tutorials, video lessons, webinars, and documentation to learn more about the product.
The service provides various payment plans. For example, you can buy a monthly subscription or make up your own custom plan, paying only for specific features you need. The prices for a monthly subscription start at $500, which is more expensive when making comparisons to other competitors. However, this is one of the best proxy providers, targeting the audience with very specific needs.
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The first thing that catches the eye while dealing with Proxy-Seller for the first time is the alluring pricing options. It is fairly ranked first among the most cost-effective and versatile solutions. Though the service is comparatively new and the server network is not that vast, it is earning loyalty for the ease of use, impressive performance, and a variety of proxies available. In particular, you can benefit from SOCKS proxies as well as from packages of IPv4 and IPv6 proxies.
While highlighting Proxy-Seller's affordability, you can buy one proxy for a week just to try the service that will cost you $0.76. Or you can opt for the 1-month, 2-month, 6-month, or 1-year pricing plan. Plus, the number of proxies in your package can vary according to your needs. You can buy one or one hundred proxies - pick as many as you need, customize your payment plan however you want, and you will find out it is still the most cost-effective solution on the list.
Proxy-Seller has excellent around-the-clock customer service and various channels to reach them out such as live chat, email, and even social media. Besides, it allows using numerous payment methods, including Bitcoin, QIWI, WebMoney, and some other less popular ones. As for the overall performance, the tests demonstrated great results. The ping duration varies between 50-150 ms, the average speed reaches 50 Mbps, and the upload speed exceeds 350 Mbps in some cases. Although the refund policy is pretty limited, you can get your money back within 24 hours after you have paid for your proxies. Apart from that, refreshing your proxies is possible every month that is a nice touch for SEO professionals.
This service provides data center, residential, and mobile IPs. The pool of proxies exceeds 3 million IPs that you can share with others. The service offers several payment plans and does not set limits on traffic allowance. RSocks supports HTTPS, HTTP andSOCKS5 protocols. One of the most specific features of this platform is that it has particular pricing plans for mobile IP addresses. The list of IPs is regularly updated depending on the payment plan (every 5 minutes, or every hour, or two hours).
RSocks has one distinguishing feature that makes it stand out among competitors. If you do not use your proxies for some time, you can pause them saving your money. Similarly, you can benefit from a proxy checker to select shared proxies according to your parameters. RSocks' pricing plans do not imply limitations on the number of IPs in use or the bandwidth.
Instead, you can choose an appropriate option based on your personal needs and requirements. Thus, the prices for shared proxies start at just $10 per month. While the residential proxies' minimal plan will cost you around $30 per month.
Oxylabs is a Lithuanian company that specializes in providing mainly residential and data center proxies. This is one of the most appropriate options for business purposes. So, if you seek the proxy server that will help you with business intelligence, brand protection, marketing research, and ad verification, you can rely on Oxylabs.
This service provides a great many tools apart from proxies. For example, extracting data tools help in marketing research and brand protection. Oxylabs has a vast pool of data center IPs including more than 2 million addresses covering over 80 locations around the globe. As for residential proxies, they provide even wider choices as there are around 70 million IP addresses in every country and city of the world. You can also opt for static or rotating residential proxies to ensure the speed of your web-performance.
Another special feature worth mentioning is next-gen residential proxies based on AI and machine learning. They are meant to improve your overall browsing experience and better bypassing of any restrictions.
As for pricing, the minimal plan for the set of residential proxies starts at $300 per month and implies limitations on traffic allowance (20 GB). As for data center proxies, you are freer to define a comfortable pricing plan. For example, you may opt for a set of 100 IPs that will cost you $180 per month or prefer to pay $1.8 for one IP address.
This is probably the most universal solution out there. Both individual users and businesses can benefit from Proxy-Hub. The service provides dedicated and semi-dedicated private proxies. There are no restrictions and limits on the bandwidth. Besides, Proxy-Hub offers various payment options including online wallets, Bitcoin, and credit cards. All proxies support HTTP protocol and guarantee a high level of anonymity. You can get a fresh set of IPs every month or keep the same from the previous month.
Proxies provided by the service work well with social media accounts, on such platforms as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube. Proxy-Hub supports all types of SEO tools (BDM, SrNukeXcr, Scrapebox, GSA, Ultimate, etc.). Furthermore, you can benefit from the Proxy Manager, which is available on both Chrome and Firefox. Regarding the prices, they depend on the number of proxies you need, as well as their type. Thus, the minimal package including 10 semi-dedicated proxies will cost you $10 per month. While the price for the same number of dedicated proxies reaches $20 per month.
The service provides a 3-day trial period and clear refund guarantees. Thus, if you are not satisfied with ProxyHub's functionality, you can request a refund within 3 days and get full compensation.
This is one of the most affordable services out there and definitely one of the best options for personal use. Smart DNS Proxy is useful for unblocking content and keeping your private data secure. It also provides a VPN service included in the cost of the subscription. You can use Smart DNS Proxy on every device as there are mobile and desktop apps for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.
The service targets the audience of individual users that seek anonymous online surfing and web security. Thus, you can benefit from unblocking websites and streaming platforms, as well as from utilising the VPN service itself. Overall, Smart DNS Proxy aggregates all necessary tools for secure web surfing and protecting personal information within several payment plans. It provides several smart DNS servers in over 30 countries around the globe (the UK, the US, Canada, Europe, plus some regions of South Africa, etc.). Moreover, the VPN servers cover even more locations (up to 40 worldwide).
However, if you use the VPN service, the speeds can be less impressive while comparing with the smart DNS service providing a much smoother performance. On the other hand, the VPN service provides unlimited bandwidth, great encryption, and no logs. You can rely on a safe connection while using public Wi-Fi.
The main advantage of the smart DNS service is that it allows you to get access to over 300 streaming platforms in more than 30 locations, as well as bypassing geo-restrictions. Whilst the level of anonymity and security could have been higher, this is still one of the best solutions for individual users due to its affordability. The prices for a package of basic services (including VPN) start at just $5.90 per month. There is a 14 days free trial.
NetNut mainly targets businesses and companies that seek residential proxies together with the highest degree of anonymity and enhanced web performance. This is not the cheapest proxy provider out there, but it is definitely good value for money. NetNut has a pool of more than 10 million residential IP addresses. It provides advanced features for geo-targeting, residential and static IPs, plus different pricing options, etc. Otherwise, you can benefit from a 7-day free trial.
NetNut has anonymous proxies in every location around the globe. There are two main advantages of this platform. First of all, it is fast; secondly, it is easy to use due to its smart rotation system. NetNut has several payment plans. Some of them are based on the bandwidth, whilst others are request based. The minimal 20GB plan including static residential IP addresses, email support, and Chrome extension, will cost you $300 per month.
Subsequently, when using this service you can rely on the highest level of security, full anonymity, and access to any content, in spite of restrictions. This is a classic type of proxy server that conceals your IP when you surf on the Internet. Also, it contributes to the faster web performance as your own server is not used when you browse websites.
You are able to contact a customer support manager 24/7. When your package is running out you will get informed by email. The service provides money-back guarantees. So, if it does not meet your expectations, you can request a refund within 7 days.
I think this is the best choice for personal use. HideMy.name has a skillset similar to SmartDNSproxy, providing a lot of useful tools for secure online surfing. The service targets an audience of individual users and offers multiple content-unblocking functions at affordable prices. The customer support operates around the clock. Additionally, there is a free trial and refund guarantees.
Being mainly a VPN provider, the service can guarantee sufficient speed and satisfyingly smooth performance. While using this service, you can rely on the full anonymity and security of your personal data. Yet, by far not every VPN service can satisfy the needs of customers who instead turn to more expensive proxy services. However, HideMy.name appears to be a good alternative. By using this platform, you can benefit from over 300 shared IP addresses, covering more than 81 locations. Thus, there is no problem getting access to the most popular streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.
There are various pricing plans that are equally affordable. For example, if you need a monthly subscription, it will cost you $8. While the price of an annual subscription reaches $36 (that is $3 per month). Apart from that, if you think the service does not meet your requirements, you can get a full refund within 30 days.
The service collects around 70 000 IPs. While the pool of proxies is not that large, the prices are comparatively affordable. StormProxies mainly targets individual users and small-scale businesses. The platform provides multiple types of proxies. You can find private dedicated proxies with data center IP addresses, rotating residential proxies, and more specific backconnect rotating proxies. The last option implies a combination of residential and data center IP addresses.
The first thing about StormProxies to highlight is that it does not have limits for traffic allowance. However, the final price of the package depends on the number of IP addresses in use, along with simultaneous connections. The pool of IPs covers a variety of locations. However, if you need a 5-minute rotating residential proxy, consider that their number is more limited (about 40K IP addresses). The service is easy to use and provides 24/7 customer support. All basic requirements such as high levels of anonymity and security are guaranteed. In addition to this, you can benefit from browser extensions and APIs.
Regarding the pricing, the platform has various options for different budgets and requirements. Considering the quality of all basic features, this is one of the most effective, competitive and affordable services. The package of 5 private proxies will cost you $10 per month. While if you need backconnect rotating proxies, the minimal price starts at $39 per month (the package includes 40 simultaneous connections).
Overall, paid proxy servers expand opportunities for anonymous online surfing and enhancing the security of your personal information. They are essential for businesses as they allow doing research on competitors, optimizing SEO, verifying ads, and developing brand protection.
However, if you plan to use proxies for personal needs such as bypassing geo-restrictions or getting access to blocked content, SmartDNSproxy and HideMy.name are the best options. Although they cannot guarantee the highest level of anonymity or provide a variety of proxies, they are the most affordable and still effective.
Free proxy servers can give you the same benefits as paid ones. However, the highest level of security and anonymity is rarely guaranteed. Correspondingly, free proxy servers cannot offer so many types of proxies to choose from. Also, they rarely deal with dedicated proxies. While using these services, you can face technical bugs that are a common thing among free options. If you succeed to find a reliable free proxy server, take into account that one day it could become a paid one.
Regarding reliability, free proxy services can unexpectedly leave the market forcing you to search for alternatives. Besides, there are no strong guarantees that your data is absolutely secure when you use a free proxy server. Overall, it is much easier to lose a reliable free platform than to find one. As a rule of thumb, they do not consistently offer customer support, trials, or a huge pool of IPs. However, if this is not an issue for you, let's look into the best free proxy servers.
HideMyAss does not require you to install any extensions or software. You can benefit from a wide range of proxy servers for free, enhanced speeds, and a strong encryption system. While using this service, you can rely on fully anonymous surfing and the security of personal data.
HMA gives you an opportunity to choose a particular city or a preferred IP address. It is a nice touch while considering that by far, not every free proxy service can offer such an option. There are available servers in the US and European cities. Overall, this service is fairly reliable. However, HMA can collect some of your personal details (IP, URLs, files, etc.) and store them for 30 days.
This service hides users' browsing activities and allows bypassing geo-restrictions. While using Hidester there is no reason to worry about anonymity as nobody will be able to track your web activity. The service is very easy to use. You do not need to sign up or download any software. The only thing it requires you to do is to enter a web address of the site you want to browse on Hidester.
There are a pool of US and European IPs and some basic features to protect your privacy. For example, the service provides URL encryption, along with an opportunity to turn off cookies and remove scripts. Conclusively, there are no logs during sessions. The service assures you that it does not share your personal data with other resources or websites. According to customer reviews, the service seems to be reliable. Nevertheless, Hidester is a comparatively new platform, so nobody can guarantee how long it will be available for users.
The service also provides some additional tools to ensure your web security. For example, there is a DNS leak test and a password generator.
This service has extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, including a portable Firefox version with all of the necessary tools integrated. KProxy provides proxy servers coming from Munich and Montreal for free. Overall it is a quite reliable proxy service for personal use, improving anonymity and the security of personal data.
KProxy supports an HTTPS protocol and does not imply any limits on the speed. Still, there are some limitations on the bandwidth. In this regard, you can use a service for 3 hours at a stretch for free. Then, you have two available options - to pay for further use or to reconnect in 30 minutes. While taking into account this limitation, this service is still recommended due to the number of servers you can use. There are about ten available proxy servers that can guarantee at least 90% privacy and anonymity.
1. What is a Proxy?
A proxy is a gateway between your computer and the Internet. The proxy server provides an additional security layer that interacts with any website you visit. Proxies allow using different IP addresses that make it impossible to identify you. Thus, any website you are visiting cannot see your real IP address, but only the IP address provided by the proxy server. Herewith proxies IPs are regularly changed.
2. Why Should I use a Proxy?
There are numerous reasons why people use proxies. First, they provide anonymous online surfing, better speed, the security of your personal data, and so on. Second, proxies allow bypassing restrictions and getting access to any content at any time. Third, some people use proxy servers for business purposes. For example, it allows doing research on competitors, checking the correctness of ad placement, and improving brand protection.
3. How do Proxies Improve Web Security?
Every Internet user has an IP (Internet protocol) that makes it possible to identify you as a user and get some of your personal details such as location. Websites you visit can get access to this information as well. That makes any internet user vulnerable to hacker attacks, obtrusive advertising, or even identity theft. It happens because we leave a lot of personal information all around the web.
However, if you use a proxy server, you create a gateway between you and the Internet. When you visit any website it cannot see your real IP as the proxy server connects it instead of you and then redirect all necessary information. In this case, nobody can get your personal data and track your online activity. Thus, you can browse any website even if it is banned in your country.
4. What types of proxy servers exist?
There are four main types of proxies - residential and data center, shared proxies, semi-dedicated, and dedicated.
Residential proxies: they provide genuine IPs that allow imitating user's behavior;
Datacenter proxies: they provide private IPs coming from intermediary organizations. This type of proxy server usually guarantees better anonymity and accelerated data request responses.
Shared proxies: they provide IPs used by multiple users at the same time. They are cheaper than private proxies but still suitable for getting access to banned content and avoiding other particular restrictions.
Semi-dedicated proxies: they are similar to shared proxies but the number of IP users is limited. Only 3 users can benefit from one IP simultaneously. If you use this type of proxy surfing on social media websites, your account can be blocked because of other users' suspicious activities.
Dedicated proxies: these are private proxies implying you do not share your IP with anyone else. Proxies of this type can guarantee the highest level of security. They are usually used by businesses.
Overall, proxy servers can significantly improve your user experience due to numerous factors. Better privacy, anonymity, and security are essential for every individual user. Today, the web is the main source of information about us. Our private life spreads on the Internet. And it is not a secret that corporations thrive on selling and manipulating our personal data. And the consequences can be quite disappointing. Proxy servers help to prevent any security leak contributing to our positive user experience.
For businesses, proxies appear to be the basic and most effective way to remain competitive. With the wide range of tools provided by proxy services, it is much easier to manage brand reputation, gather marketing information, optimize SEO and overall web performance.
In the near future, proxy servers will become an integral part of any business success. So, I hope this rating will help you sort out the types of proxy servers and select the most appropriate option.
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