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Why you shouldn't use free proxies

Why you shouldn't use free proxies

Proxy servers serve as middlemen between your devices and the websites or online services you access, offering anonymity by concealing your real IP address. When connected to a proxy, your internet traffic is directed through a different IP addresses located outside your local network, making it challenging for malicious individuals to eavesdrop on your online actions and internet connection.

Numerous websites offer free web proxy, allowing you to select from various countries. They simply require the website address you wish to visit, and they will load it for you. It may sound too good to be true, and more often than not, it actually is!
Despite the seemingly generous nature of this service, the age-old saying holds true: "If you're not paying for it, you're the product." Consequently, free proxy servers may not be as fantastic as you initially imagined.

Here are five reasons to avoid free proxy list:

  • HTTPS is not used by most free proxy service

After a scan on several free proxy servers to assess their basic security measures, shockingly, it was discovered that 79% of them did not support HTTPS connections. This poses a significant security concern that should be taken seriously when utilizing a free proxy server.

​​The lack of HTTPS means that your connection to the server is not encrypted. Someone monitoring the network could easily intercept and view the data you transmit, acting as a man-in-the-middle. This makes public proxies highly inadequate for activities that require privacy, such as entering your login credentials on a website.

  • Possible monitoring of your connection

When you utilize a free web proxy, you are placing your trust in the server owners, assuming that they have created it solely out of goodwill and will not exploit it to gather sensitive information. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine what monitoring mechanisms the server owners have implemented, making it a gamble not worth taking.

  • Proxy servers can contain malicious malware

sFree proxy servers may not be the most secure option when it comes to viruses and malware. By relying on a proxy list for your connection, you are essentially hoping that it won't exploit the connection to infect your computer.

Even worse, a free proxy owner might inadvertently infect your IP address. Since their services are free, some owners depend on advertising revenue to sustain their operations. They inject advertisements into the content they display, hoping that users will click on them and contribute to server maintenance costs. Certain malware authors exploit advertisements as a delivery method for their programs and target websites without strict advertising checks. This malicious practice, known as "malvertising", is further elaborated upon in our comprehensive guide. If the proxy server owners haven't been diligent in vetting the ads they display, they may inadvertently present you with ads containing malware. They might not even be aware of this until your computer has already been infected!

  • Getting your cookies stolen

When you connect to a server, your computer download a small file known as a cookie. This file stores your login information, eliminating the need to log in repeatedly when visiting the website. While this is generally a convenient feature, the presence of a proxy server between you and the page opens up the possibility that the server owners can pilfer the cookies as they are being created. Once they get the login cookies from your browsing session, they can use them to impersonate you online by using your username and password. The extent of the damage depends on the websites you accessed through the proxy server.

  • Poor service

Free proxies found on the internet are typically plagued by slow performance due to limited resources and the heavy usage of IP from numerous other users.

When is it okay to use free proxy services?

It is strongly advised against using free proxies for the sake of your personal safety. Anything marketed as "free" often comes with hidden costs. In most cases, someone else benefits more than you do, and their gains may be financially lucrative.

Choosing the right proxy network

We have previously discussed this, but let's recap the main points.

When selecting a proxy provider, determining the appropriate type of proxy network is essential. There are several options available, each with distinct features and costs. Data center proxies offer affordability and speed but are more easily detected. Residential proxies are harder to block but come at a higher cost. ISP proxies strike a balance between speed and detectability. Mobile proxies provide high reputation and compatibility but are the most expensive. It is advisable to start with data center proxies and upgrade if necessary. Additionally, using a proxy-based web scraping API can simplify data collection from complex websites.

If you are unsure about your proxy service needs, you can always contact GoProxies team and we will help you choose the best solution or you will be able to request a free version of our service.

FAQ

What Are Rotating Residential Proxies?
Rotating Residential Proxies offer you the best solution for scaling your scraping without getting blocked.

Rotating proxies provide a different IP each time you make a request. With this automated rotation of IPs, you get unlimited scraping without any detection. It provides an extra layer of anonymity and security for higher-demand web scraping needs.

IP addresses change automatically, so after the initial set up you’re ready to scrape as long and much as you need. IPs may shift after a few hours, a few minutes or after each session depending on your configuration. We do this by pulling legitimate residential IPs from our pool.
Why Do You Need Rotating Residential Proxies?
There are a number of use cases for rotating residential proxies. One of the most common ones is bypassing access limitations.

Some websites have specific measures in place to block IP access after a certain number of requests over an extended period of time.

This limits your activity and hinders scalability. With rotating residential IP addresses, it's almost impossible for websites to detect that you are the same user, so you can continue scraping with ease.
When to Use Static Residential Proxies Instead?
There are particular cases where static residential proxies may be more useful for your needs, such as accessing services that require logins.

Rotating IPs might lead to sites not functioning well if they are more optimised for regular use from a single IP.

Learn if our static residential proxies are a better fit for your needs.
Can I choose the IP location by city?
Yes. GoProxies has IPs spread across almost every country and city worldwide.
Can I choose the IP location by country state?
Yes. GoProxies has IPs spread across X countries with localised IPs in every state.

Are free proxies safe to use?

Free proxies in general are risky. While some could be okay, many come with security and privacy risks, as they may log your data, have an unethically sourced IP address pool, or be operated by malicious actors. Using paid, reputable proxy services such as GoProxies is generally safer.

Are free SOCKS5 proxies safe?

Just as with free proxies in general, free SOCKS5 proxies are risky too. While some may be safe, many free options carry security and privacy risks. They might expose you to potential threats and cause other inconveniences. For better security, consider using paid and reputable SOCKS5 proxy services such as the ones provided by GoProxies.

What are the disadvantages of open proxies?

An open proxy is like a public gateway to the internet. It's a server that anyone can use to access websites anonymously. Due to this, the disadvantages of open proxies include security risks, performance issues, unreliable availability, lack of privacy, potential abuse, and no customer support.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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