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What Is a Proxy Server & How Does It Work?

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between you and the internet. When you’re using a proxy server, your web request runs through the proxy server (which conceals your real IP address) first and only then connects to the website. In other words, the proxy server forwards your request to web pages. This is the main thing to know about a proxy server definition.

How does a proxy operate?

When a proxy is involved, instead of communication taking place between your computer and the server, the computer’s request to obtain a file or web page occurs through the proxy server before being sent to the requesting computer. This process effectively boosts your online privacy, as the target server can only see the proxy server as the visitor instead of your device.

Proxy types

Make the most of these market-leading proxies to address your business needs and stay ahead of the competitors. Choose the best proxy type based on your specific use case.

Large-scale scraping with real IP addresses

From travel fare aggregation to price monitoring

Web Unblocker


AI-powered proxy solution to bypass advanced anti-bot systems.

Best for: real estate scraping, travel fare aggregation

Residential Proxies

Scraping on a large scale without IP blocks

Best for: review monitoring, ad verification, travel fare aggregation

Mobile Proxies

IP addresses from real mobile devices for seamless scraping 

Best for: ad verification, review monitoring

Rotating Internet Service Provider Proxies

Rotating Internet Service Provider Proxies for smooth data gathering

Best for: brand protection, pricing intelligence

Top-performing solutions at an affordable price

From market research to brand protection

Shared Datacenter Proxies

Cost-effective solution with a rich functionality

Best for: price monitoring, market research, website change monitoring

Dedicated Datacenter Proxies

Exceptional performance and high speed

Best for: brand protection, cybersecurity, market research

SOCKS5 Proxies

Perfect for traffic-intensive scraping via UDP connection

Best for: video streaming, live calls, traffic-intensive scraping

Static Residential Proxies

Combined power of Datacenter and Residential IPs

Best for:  managing social media, e-commerce shopping

More about proxies

For more information about different proxy types, check out our colleague Vytautas Kirjazovas explaining them in this video. You'll learn more about datacenter and residential proxies and how they vary based on the privacy level they provide.

Benefits of using proxy servers

Higher speeds

A good proxy enhances the overall network performance and speed.

Upgraded privacy

Proxy servers allow you to browse the internet more privately.

Boosted security

Proxy servers offer additional security by encrypting your requests.

No geo-restrictions

With proxies, you can access geo-specific content worldwide.

Do proxies really provide anonymity?

Proxies provide a handful of web privacy features, which make it difficult for any third parties to keep tabs on your online life. This includes the ability to hide or change your real IP address. But if you’d like to go a step further in achieving enhanced online anonymity, you’ll need to choose a proxy that utilizes end-to-end encryption while processing your web traffic.

Difference between a proxy and a VPN

Virtual private networks and web proxies both work in a similar manner as they both mask your IP address, enhancing privacy. However, proxies and VPNs fulfill different roles.


Proxies are generally better whenever large amounts of data need to be transferred or retrieved and analyzed. Proxy servers are significantly cheaper per GB of data than VPNs and, at the same time, provide better connection speeds.


Virtual private networks are generally better suited for all-around use and privacy purposes. Since all outgoing data (instead of the web traffic from just a single application) is encrypted, users can be more assured that they are not leaking any unnecessary data to the destination server.

Free proxy servers: risks

Encryption breaches

Free proxies tend to operate through unsecured connections. It means that any sensitive data, such as usernames and passwords, may be endangered.

Data logging

Proxies store users’ IP addresses and web request data. Depending on the proxy provider and terms and conditions, this data can even be sold.

Open ports

Most free proxies run on open ports, increasing the security risks. Before starting to use a proxy, make sure it doesn’t operate on open ports.

Compromised speed

Free proxies are prone to traffic overload. Servers rarely have the required capacity to be used by thousands of proxy users at the same time. It leads to slow speeds.

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All of our products are covered by Technology Errors & Omissions (Technology E&O) and Cyber Insurance.

What are proxies used for?

Ad verification

While ad fraud is on the rise, ad verification companies seek to detect it before it can cause harm. Proxies enable ad bots to test ads without IP blocks and bans.

Travel fare aggregation

Scraping travel fare data sets high standards: it has to be real-time, worldwide, and in large amounts. These demands can only be met with an extensive proxy network.

Price monitoring

Companies need to use price monitoring solutions to keep up with the ever-changing markets. To enhance their effect, they should be complemented with proxies.

Real estate scraping

To stay on top of the extremely competitive market, real estate agencies must collect and analyze tons of online data. Without proxy servers, it’s barely doable. 

Review monitoring

Tracking customer reviews and responding to them in a timely manner is important for a company’s performance. Proxies can significantly boost this process.


Whenever you need to identify threats, enhance security, test applications or perform website monitoring in different locations, proxies are a must to do so without IP blocks.

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