Proxy Servers are intermediaries, or middle-men, that are used by people and companies when browsing or working on the internet. Simply speaking, a proxy behaves like a buffer in between the internet and your computer. Proxy Servers allow anonymous usage of the web and can hide the IP address of its user.
An anonymous proxy also helps protect and conceal your location while web-browsing shopping, playing games, and even working online. If blocked from playing specific games or using certain websites because of geographical location, a proxy server can help get around those limitations.
When considering using a proxy, users should know the main differences of proxies and choose from them depending on the intended use, level of anonymity desired, and allowed budget.
Public and private proxies differ in many ways – Here is what needs to be understood when deciding to use proxies:
Differences Between Public and Private Proxies
Summary of a Public Proxy
A public proxy is a proxy that can be connected to freely by multiple people and computers, instead of just a single user or client. Public proxies generally have no username and password authentication. However, there are public proxies that do have username and password authentication but the username and password is made to be easily obtainable to the public, therefore it is still a public proxy.
Sometimes public proxies are hosted by companies and people out of the goodness of their hearts. More often, public proxies are up and running because of a network misconfiguration or because of malware that users do not even know their machines have been infected with! Because of this, security cannot be guaranteed with public proxy servers; although public proxy servers can do a great job of hiding IP addresses, the proxy servers themselves may be logging online activity and information for their own use.
Summary of a Private Proxy
A Private Proxy is a proxy that can be connected to only by one user or client. Private Proxies usually have either username/password authentication or are authenticated using the IP Address of the user/client trying to access the proxy.
Private proxies hide IP addresses and deliver fully anonymous surfing on the internet. It is important to remember that web users leave a digital footprint in the form of IP addresses when using the web. This means that almost anyone with a bit of network-know-how can see what a user has been doing online, including hackers and spammers. Using a private proxy server almost guarantees a user’s IP address will be invisible. Plus, most private proxy providers do not log traffic or information and only keep short logs of client IP Addresses in the case of a crime.
Choosing Between Public and Private Proxies
Prоtесtіng privacy and реrѕоnаl іnfоrmаtіоn should always be of the highest priority. With the use of a рrоxу’s IP аddrеѕѕ instead of your actual IP аddrеѕѕ users are capable of connecting to other websites and servers without revealing any personal information. Public proxies are usually free of charge, but is anything really free in this world? Should personal information be trusted with publicly accessible and highly visible public proxies? Probably not.
If peace of mind is the goal, a private proxy should be used to safely and anonymously be on the World Wide Web.