Public Proxy Servers

Over the years, proxies have become more popular as the number of people going online grows exponentially. While some people are already quite familiar with its benefits and purpose, there is still a tendency to use free proxy servers without regard to differences in the quality of services. More people are drawn to public proxies, for example, regardless of the level of anonymity they actually need. Looking back to how the Internet grew to what it is now,  we may be able to appreciate the importance of proxies and the protection they provide.

A Brief History of the Internet

In the 1960s, the idea for connecting computers was conceived as a project funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Initially created as a defense network, the Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANET) is the precursor of the Internet. It started operating in 1969, connecting major computers in southwestern United States. After the TCP/IP was developed as the basis for transmitting and routing data packets between computers, the Internet grew even faster as more independently controlled networks of computers connected to it. There is no central control that decides where packets of data are routed.

Most people go online primarily to access the World Wide Web, a collection of documents and other resources.  Actually, it is just one of the services of the Internet. We sometimes take for granted that the Internet serves other purposes such as sending/receiving email (developed before the web)  and file transfer. When users go online, they only see the website they want to access, the files they upload or download, and the messages they receive or send. Unknowingly, they are sending and receiving data in the background. User data such as the IP address, system details, and personal information can be obtained through the Internet. Unfortunately, the same technology that connects users like you to the outside world can also be used to mine data from your end.

How Public Proxy Servers Work

Generally, a public proxy server connects to the Internet on your behalf. Whatever you type into the address bar as a request goes through most like like a free proxy server first which has its own IP address and connects to a website using the same IP address. Most people who have been using proxies use this for free, with a plethora of public proxy lists available online.

Why Public Proxies are Not Your Best Option

Problems with response time, service quality and bandwidth limitations are the least of users’ concerns in using this type of proxy connection. What’s more alarming is the fact that public proxy servers’ free-for-all model pose a serious threat to online security and privacy.

  • It is usually free of charge which makes it available to as many users as possible in or outside your network.
  • It can be vulnerable to hackers registered in the same servers in search of other users to victimize.
  • It can make users vulnerable to malwares targeted at them based on their connection details.

Paid Proxies: Private and Shared

“Personal information is the new oil” can be heard in some corners of the digital world. Organizations big and small as well as private citizens are beginning to get a good grasp of the need for secure online connectivity. Free services via public proxy servers may help cut the cost but the price of security breaches are higher. The good news is that highly reliable anonymous proxies are available at a reasonable price. Multiple users involved in large-scale projects may sign up for paid shared proxies. For high quality anonymous connections, the best choice is private proxies.