In some of our previous articles, we have defined a proxy server and explained its basic functions. If you want to find out what is a proxy server and how it works, read What Are Those “Residential Proxies?” and Main Purpose of a Proxy Server. This article is dedicated to advantages and disadvantages of proxy servers. It will explain in detail what are its advantages and disadvantages and thoroughly prepare you for the moment when you start carefully considering the option of getting one of these for your own network.
What are the advantages of using a proxy server?
Hiding your IP address
As we have thoroughly explained in our previous articles, a proxy server will hide your true IP address and make the server controlling your target website unable to detect your real address. However, there are cases when servers at some institutions prevent people from accessing certain websites. In this case, a proxy might come in handy and enable you to visit the website you want. On a larger scale, there are even some countries that block their residents’ access to some websites or even a good part of the content found online. A reliable proxy server will help you fool these filters and freely surf the web.
Just as you can use a proxy to obtain access to a website, you can use it to restrict certain websites to people using your network. If you are a company, you can get proxies which will stop your employees from accessing websites that can reduce their productivity or damage your network.
If you browse the Internet directly from your IP address (without a proxy as an intermediary), the level of security is rather low, which leaves you at risk of being attacked by hackers. The very fact that your IP remains unknown to external servers when using proxies means that you are significantly safer. Some proxy servers even use a firewall as an additional security measure, so you will have double protection from any potential intruders.
Some proxies use cached data but this probably says nothing to you and leaves you wondering what are the benefits of caching proxy server. The answer is very simple. If a person using the same network as you wants to visit the same page as you did, a proxy server will not have to go to the target website. Instead, it will retrieve the information from its own cached data and improve both the information transaction by making it faster and reduce the load from the target website’s server.
If, for any reason, you would like to remain anonymous while online, proxy is the way to go. You would be wrong if you thought that only hackers use proxies for such purposes. There are many users who prefer that their IP, thus their identity, remains unknown.
Location for businesses
If you own an international company and you want to show different content to visitors depending on their country, you will need a great proxy server. It will detect the location of your website visitors and load pages that are appropriate for their local market.
Disadvantages of proxy server
Identity or data theft
You know that cache memory of a proxy can remember your passwords and other sensitive information. Now, this might not seem dangerous to you because you also know that a proxy will block external servers from obtaining this data. Nonetheless, if someone associated with the proxy you are using (e.g. an employee at your ISP company) doesn’t do their job responsibly, things can go in the wrong direction. In this case, someone who has malicious intentions will be able to obtain your sensitive information easily. For this particular reason, it is of the utmost importance to buy your proxies from a legitimate Internet Service Provider.
It is true that there are many benefits to using a proxy server. However, a problem might arise if the proxy is incompatible with your local network. You need to be aware that both of these are separate systems with their respective configurations. In this case, there are two options – either configure them to match each other or get a proxy that completely fits your server. This is one more reason to find a great ISP that will provide you with the best user-friendly proxies. As with any product or service, there are both upsides and downsides of using a proxy server. However, from everything that you have read, it is easy to conclude that there are numerous benefits of using a proxy server on our network and that they largely outweigh the disadvantages. To be certain that you use only its advantages, make sure to purchase high-quality, reliable proxies. This will provide you with all the advantages and eliminate any disadvantages, thus making your Internet surfing secure and enjoyable.