The Internet can be a dangerous place with all the malware, viruses, and hackers lurking around. But there are ways to protect yourself online, such as using a proxy.
What Is a Proxy?
So, what is a proxy, and how does it work? Well, think of proxy as the guardian of your Internet.
Your incoming and outgoing traffic passes through a proxy server.
It helps to protect the information and services available on your company’s private network for various in-house purposes.
There are different types of proxies out there, such as free, dedicated, shared, residential, datacenter, and rotating proxies. Both residential and datacenter proxies are known to be ideal for many business cases.
Residential proxies are arguably the best and most secure type of proxy.
They are basically IP addresses assigned to computers by an ISP, so each time the user connects to the web, it does so as an actual device.
Since they appear as genuine connections, it’s difficult for a website to track these proxies and block them.
This makes residential proxies a great choice for web scraping.
Datacenter proxies, on the other hand, have nothing to do with your ISP or your internet connection.
They’re entirely independent, and as IPs, they aren’t provided to you by your ISP.
Instead, you’d buy datacenter proxies in bulk, which will give you a large number of IP addresses.
Why Should Your Business Use A Proxy?
Alright. Now you understand what is a proxy good for, and as you can tell, it’s essential to run proxies for all business owners who rely on web scraping in their day-to-day tasks.
Proxies are configured on designated internal networking computers so they can interact with popular network applications, such as web servers and browsers easily.
Due to the suitability, proxies are commonly used by most major companies, public services, educational institutions, and large ISPs.
Here’s why your business should use a proxy:
- Privacy: When you request a page, your request passes through the proxy. This way, the web server thinks it’s coming from your computer when it’s actually the proxy server that hides your IP address. This level of anonymity gives you and your business a lot of privacy.
- Caching: If your employees visit certain websites regularly, the proxy server can store copies on and will constantly monitor those pages for changes. This way, the cached page always stays up to date. So, if someone else requests the same content, the proxy will directly send it to the user without having to access the web. This both increases the speeds while reducing bandwidth usage.
- Monitoring: A proxy server will allow you to keep track of both incoming and outgoing communication inside the network—all from just one place. You can monitor employee web access (instant messaging, emails, site usage) for either legal compliance or customer service, and sales improvement.
- Content Blocking/Filtering: All employees will be accessing the web from the proxy server. Therefore, network admins can block specific pages and limit the number of accessible sites. This sort of filtering is typically done to limit sites either individually or via categories.
- Virus/Malware Protection: Proxies can also help a company from malware attacks. Proxy servers block and monitor your web traffic, so you or the admin can detect suspicious activity even when the user is unaware of the issue. Remember, malware can spread among machines. So, consider using a proxy for better online security.
Different Use Cases of a Proxy Server
#1: Market Research
Collecting and analyzing data, especially if the data is of your competitors, can be a daunting task as businesses are taking certain measures to protect their sites from other business IPs.
In this case, using a data center proxy service can come in handy.
You’re buying it from a company that offers a large proxy network and an advanced backup system to ensure data delivery whenever required.
#2: Brand Protection
Malware, phishing, counterfeiting, are just a few ways how hackers can harm your business.
With a proxy, you can keep your business from being an easy target. As mentioned earlier, proxy servers offer higher security and let you monitor all activities happening inside the network.
#3: Travel Fare Aggregation
As you know, travel fare aggregators tend to collect data from online travel agencies, airline and hotel websites, and other sources.
Usually, these websites have strict security checks that block IPs operated by bots.
With a residential proxy, your target website assumes you’re connecting from a genuine device.
This reduces your chances of getting blocked and allows you to scrape data with ease.
#4: Ad Verification
Fraudsters and hackers use various ways to fake ad traffic. As a result, many ads are unseen by real people.
Ads are essential for companies. If you’re running an ad campaign, you must check if the ads are displaying as planned.
More and more businesses are using proxies to detect fraud, enhance ad performance, and monitor advertisers’ landing pages anonymously.
If you made it this far, it’s safe to say that we’ve cleared up your confusion regarding what is a proxy.
However, if you feel like you need more info on proxies and how they come into play when web scraping, simply follow the link.
To make sure your proxies don’t get blocked, you must choose a suitable proxy service provider. Just consider these:
- Get proxies only from legit businesses
- Check the pricing
- Consider the IP pool’s size
- Remember the scope of your project
- Always choose paid proxies over free ones
It’s important to choose the right proxy provider and proxies so that your web scraping procedures go smoothly.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.