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Proxy list

What is a proxy list?

A proxy list is just what it says; a list of details of proxy servers that can be used by small businesses, organizations or individuals to carry their internet data, rather than connecting directly to websites via a regular internet service provider (ISP). A proxy list would contain a list of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the port numbers of each proxy. The list might also include a definition of the type of proxy type – for example – HTTP, HTTPS or SOCKS).  The geographical location of each server should appear on a proxy list, together with its anonymity status, indicating whether it might be transparent, elite or anonymous.

How does a proxy list work?

The list owner uses it to decide which proxy to use and when, dependent on their purpose. For example, if the list user wishes to test their own search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in given geographical areas, by using a proxy server located in a certain location, the desired SEO strategy ca be checked simply by using a proxy from the list in that location.

For example, if a company selling outdoor clothing only wants their PPC (pay per click) advertising to show up in colder areas of a country or continent, they would simply choose a proxy server from their list in that area. You’re unlikely to sell many padded outdoor coats in Austin Texas, but you might do well retailing them in Anchorage, Alaska. Choosing a proxy from your list in the latter location means that you see your website marketing strategies as intended by Alaskan residents.

Are free proxy lists safe?

In general, yes, but you should always consider renting proxy servers from established companies with clearly defined legal and ethical policies.

Assuming that you’re intending to use a proxy for legitimate purposes, like beefing up security or testing SEO strategies, it’s better to use paid-for proxy services and /or in conjunction with virtual private networks (VPNs). Not least, a reputable proxy provider will offer customer support in case anything ever goes wrong.   

Are proxies legal?

Proxy servers are not illegal in themselves. For example, in the USA owning a gun is not illegal, but it is certainly illegal to shoot someone with that gun unless a level of force requiring use of the firearm for self-defence is warranted.

Likewise, whilst it’s not illegal to rent and use a proxy server, some of the things that can be done with them may well go against the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of any website being accessed. This could lead to civil litigation – as opposed to criminal prosecution. One of these situations could be using a ‘residential’ proxy server to scrape and download the contents of a competitor’s ecommerce website. The T&Cs of that site will almost certainly state that the use of scraping technology goes against the terms of use, and doing so would be cause for litigation by the website’s owners.

What is the difference between proxy list and proxy server?

Quite simply, the list is just that, a list. When you’re shopping at a supermarket, the list of things you need to buy that’s jotted on a notepad or on your phone is the list. The things from the list in your trolley that you bought are the items printed on that list. A proxy list just allows proxy server users to have an at-a-glance overview of how many proxies they have access to, and a subset of all the specifications of them.