Big tech is watching. Similarly, cybercriminals monitor your every move in search of a loophole in your system. Big tech wants to know you better, and cyber criminals want to compromise your security and do whatever they want.
Therefore you must set up an anonymity veil on your internet activities. This is where proxies come in. However, assuming you can make do with a free proxy is easy. Sadly, you can’t. Using free proxies against paid proxies like a SOCKS5 proxy will do more damage than good.
These reasons that make it vital to avoid free proxies are what this article will explore.
What Are Proxies?
A proxy is a server designed to act as an intermediary between a user’s computer and the internet to achieve anonymity and improved performance. Proxy servers also provide varying functionalities based on the type they’re.
When users have proxies on their network, every internet request from their browsers passes through the proxy server on its way to the internet.
The request travels with the user’s IP address whenever a user requests a particular target website. However, since the request first goes through the proxy server, the user’s IP address is hidden in a new IP address. Then, the request is forwarded to the destination website with a new IP address. The response from the website also goes back to the proxy before being eventually routed back to the user.
Proxies do more than replace IP addresses and forward internet requests and responses. They can act as a web filter or a firewall. They can also provide a shared network for multiple computers and cache data to speed up repeating requests.
The signature of a good proxy server is that it doesn’t expose the user’s information. Good servers also protect the internet network from cybercrimes. Ultimately, proxy services provide top-class privacy for any activity on the internet.
There are different types of proxies, all of which are classified based on several factors. Factors used in classifying proxies include the level of anonymity, price, number of users, direction, etc. Hence, it’s essential that you first identify why you need a proxy. Your needs will then inform what type of proxy you should get.
Some proxy servers can change the data you send, while some, like the SOCKS5 proxy, don’t change your data. However, all proxies work to encrypt data in one way or the other. But you would only get the best of these functionalities when using a paid proxy. Read more about SOCKS5 proxies from a trusted provider.
3 Reasons To Avoid Free Proxies
Free proxies are, well, free. This can be good or bad, depending on the compromises you’re willing to live with on the internet. Here are three core reasons not to use free proxies.
Potential Security Breach
The whole point of using a proxy is to access the internet securely. However, using a free proxy may compromise this simple principle. Free proxies are built by people you may not know, and since they aren’t making any money from the service, it’s not their primary job. But like everything else on the internet, proxies need maintenance. So, what assurance can you have about safety or support if no one is dedicated to maintaining a free proxy?
Also, hackers can easily develop free proxies to farm massive user data at once. When you use such a free proxy, your data is exposed to those you initially want to avoid. Every proxy has access to your IP address and some identifying information. A shady provider can access your browser through the proxy, where you probably store (save) passwords and pins for later.
The proxy can also monitor your activity. Most free proxies use HTTP instead of HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secured) to monitor their users. Furthermore, these servers can install malicious malware on your computer.
There’s no end to the potential compromises that can happen when using a free proxy. Hence, using a popular paid proxy with good user reviews is advisable.
Free proxies aren’t financed and are built with the most basic technological infrastructures. Hence, you should expect the service to be low-grade. Having a poor proxy service defeats the original purpose of having one. Essentially, free proxies aren’t worth it in most instances.
Since they’re free, numerous users must grapple with the limited IP addresses available in the service pool. Such deficit douses performance. Even if you try to use it at midnight when many people are asleep, remember that you aren’t the only one looking to do that.
The most common issue with using a free proxy is cookie stealing. Cookies store little bits of information like login details. When you set up a free proxy, the server gets access to your cookie, which automatically leaks sensitive data.
Dealing with the shortcomings of free proxies isn’t what you should expose yourself to. You can enjoy the support, performance, and security of paid proxies for a low price. So, ditch the free proxy idea, identify your needs, and find the right paid proxy to meet them without exposing yourself to risk.