When to Use and Avoid Shared Proxies
Proxies are a great tool to navigate the internet while keeping you safe. But with so many different types available, it can be hard to figure out what you need. Here is a great starting point for understanding what a shared proxy is, how it compares to other privacy protection options out there, and if you should use one.
Shared vs. Dedicated Proxies: Why IP Addresses Matter
Proxies are a middle man between your computer and an online resource. Instead of going directly to a website, service, or app, your requests first go to a proxy. The proxy protects your IP address by replacing it with its own before taking you where you want to go.
Residential proxies use legitimate IP addresses sourced from genuine desktop or mobile devices with ISP-issued internet connections. Two types of residential proxies are shared and dedicated. Each serves a purpose, having specific benefits for their use.
Shared proxies have multiple users at the same time. Excellent for beginners just learning the ropes, they’re the more affordable of the two. Since multiple clients use these IP addresses, proxy providers can split the costs versus concentrating them and offer the service at a more enticing and budget-friendly number.
Also known as private proxies, dedicated proxies are assigned to a single user. Since there are no other users to split the provider costs, these proxies usually have a significantly higher price tag. Contingent upon need and the particular service they’re looking for, experienced users often seek out this type of proxy because it tends to be the more reliable of the two.
Speed and Reliability
Sharing bandwidth with other users will definitely slow down a proxy. Depending on the task, speed can be the most important factor or not a big deal whatsoever. Clients who have a particular need for a high-bandwidth and low-latency connection, such as resellers and streamers, should opt for a dedicated proxy. However, a shared proxy for simple internet use that doesn’t hinge specifically on swiftness is okay, especially during off-peak hours.
There is an important thing to keep in mind, though. Not all proxy providers are the same. Free proxies are a danger zone and should never be trusted. You’ll save a few dollars, but compromising your private data by sharing it with an unreliable and unverified service can cost a lot more down the road. Remember – if the service is free, you’re the product.
Paying for a shared proxy from a trusted source results in a better and safer experience since the company is actually selling a product. If a business can’t provide a reliable service that people can know and trust, it won’t succeed, plain and simple. This is why purchasing shared proxies is the way to go.
Anonymity and Security
Keep banking and other sensitive data on private proxies. Don’t ever allow this information to go through a shared proxy, especially if it’s free. Premium shared proxies are a tremendous asset in scenarios like web scraping since they’re highly anonymous. If many clients use the same IP address at once, tracing a single user becomes next to impossible.
However, the benefits of this pool also come with risks. With so many people sharing a proxy, anonymity can also hurt you. The Bad Neighbor Effect happens when one of the multi-users gets into trouble. If they do something nefarious, break a website’s terms of service, or partake in other activities that raise eyebrows, you could get in trouble just as if you were the one who had done it. You can temporarily lose connectivity, be unknowingly blacklisted, or face other issues.
Each Proxy Has a Purpose
For general web surfing, shared proxies are a cost-effective and viable option. They’ll help you circumvent basic IP-based restrictions, filters, and geo-location bans. They’re not just good for personal use, though. Shared proxies are also a great choice for small businesses that simply desire an added layer of protection while keeping employee navigation in check.
If your internet use requires strict privacy without compromise, dedicated proxies are a must. They’re ideal for social media management, bots, data scraping, and even gaming. Plus, they help businesses protect their research and developer efforts, financial data, and other sensitive information.
As you can see, like any product, each type of proxy has benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your specific requirements, either shared or a dedicated proxy may work best for you.