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Best proxy 2022: free and paid online service

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It is easy to keep your online privacy private by using one of the most trusted proxy services available today.

The best proxy acts as a gateway between your computer and the internet. This means that the proxy server saves the details of websites visited and other history to your computer.

Proxy servers can be used to allow anonymous surfing. However, proxy servers may save some information. It is possible to identify yourself by examining the server records.

This is not likely to be an issue for most people. The best proxy servers provide a basic, but useful, way to avoid the vast advertiser tracking and other privacy intrusions that are common online.

Many of the top proxy server providers also offer paid-for VPN services. This is because VPN (Virtual Private Network), can provide better privacy and security than a proxy service. It may be worth looking into free VPN, or paying for premium services.

You can find out which proxy server is better in our guide Proxy servers or VPN: Why VPNs are better.

We’ll be featuring the top proxy services, both paid and free, that will overlap with VPN services.

These proxies were compared on many levels, including their pricing models and availability of servers in different locations. We also compared the speed and overall speed. We also compared their encryption levels and servers speeds.

We also covered the best privacy and anonymous browsers, and the best credit monitor services.

Editor’s Note: The US Department of Justice took Rsocks on June 16, 2022 after it was discovered to be a Russian cybercriminal instrument. It has been removed from our buying guides.

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The best proxy 2022 full

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

1. Smartproxy

The best proxy available that is affordable for most uses

Specifications

Coverage: More than 195 locations

IP addresses: More than 40 million

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$63.75 for the 1st mon…

SmartProxy

US$75/mth

$170 for the 1st Month

SmartProxy: Starter

US$200/mth

$340 for the 1st Month

SmartProxy is a regular service

US$400/mth

Visit the Site Proxy Network

There are many reasons to buy

+Unlimited threads+Browser extensions+Mobile Ips

Avoidable reasons

-Restricted geotargeting

Smartproxy allows you to get residential and data centre proxies (opens in a new tab). It has over 40 million residential IPs that are available from both desktop and mobile devices. This pool is shared by all users.

This can be a disadvantage as flagged IPs can be obtained. However, Smartproxy ensures that its proxy servers are not banned by its fast rotation policy. Smartproxy allows unlimited concurrent threads, but limits bandwidth.

From your dashboard, you can choose the proxy that you wish to use from the list of backconnect gateway server servers. Smartproxy automatically displays all available gateways for countries and cities it supports. However, you can filter the proxy list based on some useful parameters like the location and the type (rotating or static) of the session. The dashboard will display the proxy gateway you need to use in your tools and apps, depending on the parameters.

Smartproxy has extensions for Chrome and Firefox if you intend to use the proxy to browse web. The extension allows you to choose the authentication method and can be used again to narrow down your proxy location.

Full Review: Smartproxy

(Image credit to Bright Data)

2. Bright Data

Proxy with many features, but not as expensive as it looks

Specifications

Coverage: All Countries and Cities

IP addresses: More than 72 million

Today’s Top Deals

VISIT WEBSITE (opens new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Huge selection of options+Mobile IPs included+Detailed Targeting Options

Avoidable reasons

-Complex pricing system

The first thing that you notice about Bright Data, (opens in new window) (formerly Luminati), is its large proxy pool with over 72 million IPs. There are many types of proxy options available. The service offers a variety of proxies, including a range of residential IPs that can be used to rotate. It also offers static IPs, which are 6 to 100 residential addresses that you can use for your own exclusive use and have not been previously associated with your target domain. Bright Data also offers mobile IPs, which are more expensive than residential IPs, but more resilient and can be used on targets that are difficult to please.

Bright Data supports ASN (Autonomous System Number), which is a more specific option than the standard targeting options like country, state and city.

The Proxy Manager is an open-source tool that can be installed on top Windows, macOS, and Linux. It allows you to use proxy servers. Proxy Manager allows you to set rules for IP rotation, blacklist bad IPs, optimize bandwidth usage, route some requests through your regular, non-proxied connection and many other useful features.

Bright Data’s residential proxy supports all major protocols, including HTTPS, HTTPS, and SOCKS5. Bright Data also offers a wide range of support options, including webinars and video tutorials.

All the features and precision come at a cost. The service advertises a base price for all types of proxy. However, you can specify additional parameters like the targeting levels to affect the final cost. There are multiple payment options available to suit different users. Bright Data offers an option to pay as you go, in addition to monthly subscriptions. Although the plans are more expensive than most of its peers, they will still be affordable for large proxy users or those who have very specific needs.

Full Review: Bright Data

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

3. Oxylabs

Top proxy that has its own web scraper

Specifications

All Countries and Cities Coverage

IP addresses: More than 70 million

Today’s Top Deals

Check Amazon

VISIT WEBSITE

There are many reasons to buy

+Large proxy pool+SOCKS5 support, albeit limited

Avoidable reasons

-No separate mobile IPs

Oxylabs has a vast network of more than 70 million residential proxy servers that covers all countries and cities around the globe. You can target proxies using the ASN (autonomous systems number) in addition to the country or city. These residential IPs are backconnect gateway servers, so you will need to manually edit this address in order to add targeting information.

Oxylabs claims their residential proxy includes mobile IPs, but you are not able to select them for specific tasks. To ensure that the target is not blocked, these residential proxies change IPs on every request.

It also provides static, non-rotating residential proxy services that it purchases directly from ISPs. These proxies are claimed to offer the best of both residential and data center proxies in terms of resilience and speed. These static proxies support SOCKS5 protocol unlike standard rotating ones which don’t.

Its over 2,000,000 data center IPs are not shared, but only for your exclusive use. They also support SOCKS5 protocol. They also include a proxy rotation add-on that automatically rotates the data center IPs.

One unique product in the oxylabs portfolio? The next-generation residential proxy. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to mimic regular browsing behavior and avoid blocking and captchas.

Oxylabs has its own web scraping tool called Scraper APIs. This will fetch the data in HTML or JSON formats.

Tiered plans are available that make the service more affordable as you increase your commitment.

Full Review: OXYLABS

Storm Proxies image credit

4. Storm Proxies

This proxy is useful for individual scrapers and sneaker copping

Specifications

Coverage: US & EU

IP addresses: Around 70,000

Today’s Top Deals

Check Amazon

VISIT SITE

There are many reasons to buy

+Very cheap when compared to competitors+No bandwidth caps

Avoidable reasons

-Small proxy pool -Minimal geotargeting – No SOCKS5

Storm Proxy is for small-time proxy users who will trade many features with proxy heavyweights for more affordable pricing plans.

The service provider provides residential proxies that rotate, private dedicated proxy servers which offer data center IPs and backconnect rotating proxy servers which have a mixture of residential and data center IPs.

Storm Proxies’ best feature is its unlimited bandwidth. Instead of limiting accounts to the number IPs, private dedicated proxies limit plans to the number backconnect rotating proxyies, which base plans on the amount of simultaneous connections. The prices for the rotating residential proxyies are based on how many ports, while the backconnect rotating proxies have prices that are based on how many. Each port can handle up to 50 simultaneous connections.

Storm Proxies doesn’t hesitate to accept the limitations of its proxy types, as it clearly states each one.

Backconnect rotating proxy IPs are drawn from a pool that includes 70,000 IPs. They allow you to select between three regions: the US, EU, or worldwide. These backconnect proxies are serviced via different gateways with their own rotating times.

A smaller number of IPs are used to generate the 5-minute rotating residential proxy. These proxies only target the US and EU and do not allow you to select cities or countries to target.

Although there are many plans available for different types of proxy, they are generally cheaper than other proxy services.

Full Review: StormProxies

Proxy servers that are free and best

(Image credit: Hidester)

1. Hidester

Use a free proxy to disguise your browsing sessions

Today’s Top Deals

VISIT SITE (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Don’t keep logs+Useful Privacy Control

Avoidable reasons

Firefox does not support extensions

To browse anonymously on the internet, you can use Hidester’s proxy service (opens new tab).

Hidester does not require you to sign up or install any software. Simply go to the website from your desktop, or mobile device, and type the URL that you wish to visit into the provided space. It will route your request to US-based servers by default, but you can switch to European servers.

Hidester offers a variety of options to protect your privacy. It will automatically encrypt URLs and remove scripts. Although it allows cookies by default, you can choose to disable them. However, this will affect your browsing experience.

However, you can choose to delete your cookies after closing the proxy session by using the Hidester bar at top of the page. You can also change the browser’s referrer string by using the pull-down menu of preset values located in the top bar.

The service claims that it does not keep logs of your visits, and they assure you that they have full control over their servers without any third-party IP proxy involvement.

Full Review: Hidester

(Image credit: VPNBook)

2. VPNBook

Amazing free proxy service that is anonymous and fast

Today’s Top Deals

VISIT SITE (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Extremely fast performance+Blocks ads and other nuisances+Clear log policy

Avoidable reasons

-Keeps logs on a limited time

VPNBook offers a free SSL-encrypted proxy web service for anonymous browsing. You can choose from servers located in the USA, UK, France or Canada or let VPNBook pick one randomly.

VPNBook performed well in our tests. It also had a very fast speed and a minimal amount of intrusiveness. It blocked ads and scripted elements from websites, which can be helpful for privacy (though it would be a great idea to have the option), and supports HTTPS connections.

VPNBook, like other free web proxy services, keeps web logs. These web logs can be used to report illegal activity but are automatically deleted after one week. VPNBook is a great choice because of its speed, convenience and clear policy regarding logging.

Full Review: VPNBook

(Image credit: Hide.me)

3. Hide.me

High speed proxy server free of charge

Today’s Top Deals Hide.me 2 Year

US$2.49/mth

Hide.me 1 Year

US$6.65/mth

Hide.me for 1 Month

US$9.95/mth

Visit the Site Hide.me

There are many reasons to buy

+Fast proxy speeds+Browser extensions

Avoidable reasons

Pop up ads

Hide.Me is a free proxy server that claims to be the fastest. They don’t keep logs to speed up their service.

It doesn’t matter if that title is well-deserved, it’s still an acceptable free proxy service you should use. It can be used directly from the website or you can also use the Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. Only proxies are available in Europe, namely in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. It does offer privacy enhancement options such as the ability to encrypt URLs and pages. However, this is not available while you’re visiting websites.

Hide.me does not display annoying pop-up ads for its paid VPN service, unlike other free services. You should be able to live with this, and you should use Hide.Me.

Full Review: Hide.me

(Image credit: KProxy)

4. KProxy

A portable browser allows you to quickly and easily proxy for other countries.

Today’s Top Deals

Check Amazon

VISIT SITE

There are many reasons to buy

+Easy to set-up+Comes integrated into a portable Firefox version

Avoidable reasons

Some restrictions regarding usage

KProxy opens in new tab. This browser-based service offers an extension for Chrome and Firefox, as well as a portable Firefox version. This is a nice feature that allows you to use the proxy on your PCs at work, school, or university.

It’s easy to set up – after the extension has been installed, choose a remote server (the trial version allows you to pick from several servers in Montreal or Munich) and then click ‘Connect. Secure HTTPS connections can be used.

There are some restrictions to the service. You can’t browse for more than three hours at once or until your 300MB data limit is reached. After you reach this limit, you may see a tab asking you to upgrade to a premium account. However, this is optional. You can still reconnect after you take a 30 minute break.

KProxy’s privacy policies are explained by the firm: “You also realize that this service may not offer a 100% guarantee for privacy and anonymity. KProxy’s privacy policy allows it to give the IP addresses of anyone who abuses our system to the appropriate authorities or those against whom abuse was committed.

Full Review: KProxy

(Image credit to Hide My Ass).

5. Hide My Ass

This proxy is great if you need to choose specific cities to route your traffic.

Today’s Top Deals

VISIT SITE (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+City-specific servers+Can encrypt URLs

Avoidable reasons

-Confirms before loading website

Hide My Ass provides a free web proxy that allows you to browse anonymously, but doesn’t allow you to download any additional software or browser extensions. While there are some limitations, the premium software has faster speeds, stronger encryption and active protection against malware. However, this is a great option for browsing a short time.

Hide My Ass’s proxy free service masks your identity as well as your IP address. This is one of few services that lets you choose specific cities and not just countries to route your requests through. This service is free and supports servers in New York City (Seattle), Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Prague, and Frankfurt.

Hide My Ass’s web proxy collects log files. These files include your IP address and URLs visited, pages and files viewed and the times. This data is kept for 30 days, which was our preferred policy.

Full Review: Hide my Ass

This section was written by…

Julius Cerniauskas is the CEO of Oxylabs. (opens in a new tab).

What is a proxy?

Proxy is an intermediary that links the user to the web. It adds another layer of connectivity that allows the proxy to connect to any website. Proxy IP addresses are unique to them, so that the user’s website will only see the proxy IP address.

There are two types of proxy for origin: residential and data centre.

A data center proxy, which is a private proxy and is not associated with an ISP, is a proxy that comes from a secondary company and provides private IP authentication and high-level anonymity. It also responds quickly to data requests. Data center proxy are typically used to support infrastructure such as servers or web hosting.

A residential proxy acts as an intermediary by using an IP address that is attached to a physical address provided to the homeowner by an Internet Service Provider. It is an authentic IP address that can be used for imitation of organic users’ behaviour.

What do proxies serve?

Proxies are used by both individuals and businesses, as we have already mentioned. Let’s look at the reasons for it.

Personal use A proxy that is used in a personal matter will be attached to a specific location. This allows certain content to be accessed from geo-blocked locations. This allows consumers to search for and buy flights from the best locations at the lowest prices.

Proxies are able to optimize users’ web activity and increase security levels by encrypting their requests.

Businesses use Most businesses use proxy services to gain an advantage over their competitors by gathering valuable information. They can use the proxy to access and process large quantities of publicly available information on competitors’ prices, products, reviews, and market trends. This data can be used to accelerate business decision making regarding pricing, marketing, and sales strategies.

Without recurring blocks, such information would be difficult to extract. A large number of requests to a web server are made when data collection is ongoing.

This is where the problem arises. Websites identify suspicious activity and block the IP address to prevent it from happening again. This is why proxy servers prevent it. IP addresses can be changed by rotating proxies, or using a proxy rotator. Data gathering can be continued anonymously and efficiently this way.

Many businesses also use proxy servers to protect their email accounts from malware attachments, ransomware, and other suspicious URLs. Proxies scan every inbound email for malicious content and filter it out.

Brand protection is another common use case. Proxies are used to scan the internet looking for counterfeit goods or stolen content.

What’s the difference between paid and free proxy services?

A free proxy allows you to access virtually every proxy benefit. This is great until it goes wrong. Technical faults are not an issue with these services. This is a common problem.

It can be difficult to find a long-lasting, free proxy. They quickly become obsolete and providers often turn into paid ones. Free proxy services can be dangerous because you don’t know what your data looks like and may fall for identity theft.

Paid proxy services are responsible for providing their services. There are contracts and agreements in place that protect the user. Businesses have no choice but to use a dedicated proxy service in order to avoid security problems. You don’t have to worry about servers going down or disappearing without cause. Many proxy providers will provide dedicated account support.

Reliable proxy providers will have ethically sourced proxy sources. It is difficult to decide which proxy provider to use. There are so many factors to consider. We have however highlighted a few key points.

  • For a reliable proxy provider, reliability is a must. Account managers are available 24/7 and service trials as well as a money back guarantee. Also, pay attention to customer reviews
  • IP pool size, location: The IP pool size is critical for anyone who will be scraping large quantities of data from different countries.
  • Speed and success rates: A reliable proxy network success rate should not be lower than 90%. The best providers can guarantee 95% or more.
  • Support and integration: Proxy providers need to ensure that their documentation is clear, understandable and includes clear instructions and tutorials for integration.

Proxies: The Future

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Proxies are used by businesses to extract large amounts of data. However, this is not an easy task. This involves many complicated tasks, especially as anti-data gathering methods become more sophisticated. It is becoming harder to gather publicly available information without being blocked. Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), are slowly being used to address this issue.

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Proxies can be a valuable tool for individuals and businesses who need to make data-driven decisions. Proxies are useful for individuals as they can be used to gain access to geo-blocked content and improve security levels. They also help to optimize a website activity. Proxies are becoming an essential tool for businesses to collect publicly available information.

How to choose the best proxy?

When selecting the best proxy for yourself, choose tools that have features useful to you, like geo-restriction bypassing, browser extensions, unlimited bandwidth, and a large proxy pool.

If speed is a priority, check for the server speeds and locations, and if security is a priority, look at the service’s encryption level. Lastly, assess whether the proxy’s pricing models are suitable for your needs.

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The best proxy: What we test

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We evaluated the speed, security, encryption and server options of the top proxy services. We also measured the size and support for SOCKS5 protocols.

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We verified that the proxy was able to work around capstchas and blocks, as well as whether it had a web-scraping tool that could fetch data. We also looked at pricing and how affordable it would be for different users.

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We also checked to see if proxy servers had additional features such as their own browsers or automatic web log deletion.

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