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What Are the Most Popular Proxy Types?

Data security has become a serious issue in the area of networking. Whether we like it or not, we’re constantly exposing sensitive information to third parties when we surf the internet or open our accounts over a dedicated network. Hence, the need for systems that can help to curb these issues. One of the ways we do this is by proxy servers. By using proxy servers, a level of immunity is conferred on a user or the server that the user connects to. In this article, we will discuss what a proxy is, the types of proxies, and their uses.

What Is a Proxy?

In everyday conversations, Proxy refers to someone who substitutes for a task, e.g., a substitute teacher. It’s also similar to the networking registry. Proxy in networking refers to a server that acts as an intermediary between two communicating servers. The server that connects users to various web pages is the proxy server.

How Does It Work?

A proxy server usually has a personal IP address assigned to it. What happens when a client-server (say the mobile phone) tries to access a receiving server (i.e., trying to connect to a webpage) is that the request is sent to the proxy server (i.e., the mobile proxy), which processes and completes the traffic. In this way, proxies can process complex requests and protect the user server’s identity from the dedicated server. There are hardware proxies that one can employ to be between the network and the internet. Software proxies are usually provided by a network provider or placed in the cloud. It can also be installed in some cases.

Types of Proxies

There are several proxies set up for various functions. Here are a few of the commonly used proxies we have;

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1. Residential Proxy

This type of proxy routes your internet traffic to an IP address allocated by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to a particular residential area. This gives the impression of surfing the internet from a location. This helps for tasks that require a genuine residential location. It is used for web scraping, ad verification, bypassing geo-restrictions, and accessing websites that may block data center IP addresses.

2. Data Center Proxy

Unlike residential proxies, data center proxies are created by data centers for high-speed connections. It is usually for large-scale web scraping, automated account creation, and server load balancing.

3. Mobile Proxy

Mobile proxies connect devices to IP addresses assigned to mobile devices. Mobile proxies mimic mobile devices and are helpful for tasks that require mobile devices. Mobile proxies are very difficult to detect in comparison to data center proxies. They can be used for testing apps, mobile ad verification, social media automation, and bypassing mobile-specific restrictions.

4. Forward Proxy

Also known as an outgoing proxy, it is used by client devices to access resources on the internet. They are commonly used in corporate institutions to control and monitor internet access, implement content filtering, and many others.

5. Reverse Proxy

It is also called inbound proxy and routes traffic from a server to a backend server. It is usually a buffer between a user and a dedicated server. This helps it to distribute the load coming from multiple servers.

6. Transparent Proxy

Transparent Proxy carries the client’s request and caches the target server’s response. The cached response reduces the load and response time on the server when similar requests come from multiple clients.

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Other Proxies that exist are;

● Public Proxy
● Anonymous Proxy
● High anonymity Proxy
● CGI Proxy
● Tor Onion Proxy
● Suffix Proxy
● Distorting Proxy

Here is a tabular summary of the differences between some of the popular proxies;

Residential Proxy Data Center Proxy Mobile Proxy
IP Source They are obtained
from Internet
Service Providers
They are created in
data centers
They are assigned
to mobile devices
Anonymity High anonymity Low anonymity Mobile proxies have a similar level
of anonymity to a
residential proxy
Performance and
Speed
Low-speed
performance
Very high-speed
performance
Good speed
performance
Detection and
Blocking
Uses genuine IP
addresses, making
it difficult to be
detected and
blocked
Easily blocked by
websites and
services
Mimics mobile
devices, making it
hard to be
detected and
blocked
Use cases Commonly used
for web scraping,
ad verification,
bypassing geo-
restrictions, and
accessing websites
that block data
center IPs.
Used for Web
scraping,
automated
account creation,
server load
balancing, and
tasks that don’t
require a specific
residential IP.
Used for mobile
app testing, mobile
ad verification,
social media
automation,
bypassing mobile-
specific
restrictions, and
tasks that require a
mobile IP address.

Conclusion

Proxy servers play a crucial role in enhancing data security and privacy in networking. Various types of proxies are used for different purposes. Residential proxies offer genuine residential IPs, data center proxies provide high-speed connections, and mobile proxies mimic mobile devices. Choosing the right proxy type depends on specific needs and requirements related to IP source, anonymity, performance, detection, and blocking.

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