There are literally hundreds of public proxies online, so you may want to know why several people still opt to uses for private proxies. Also, public proxies are free of charge, so why would anyone go for a paid proxy service? There are plenty of reasons to use dedicated or private proxies.
The top 10 most common uses for private or dedicated proxies are:
- Protect their identity
- Play video games
- Access geo blocked content
- Speed up internet connection
- Secure sensitive information
- Manage multiple social media accounts effectively
- Do competitor research
- Conduct SEO activities
- Access restrictive websites like ticketing sites
- Buy limited edition sneakers, bags, and other luxury items
These use cases are not possible if you use public proxies. But before we go into them, let us examine two major differences between public and dedicated proxies.
When you use public proxies, other people are also using the same proxies. There could be ten or even hundreds of users connecting to the same proxy server all at once. What does this mean in terms of security and connection speed? Let’s break it down:
Security: Let’s face the fact that not everyone who use proxy servers have good intentions. Cyber criminals, in particular, may hide their identities behind public proxies because they know that they will be difficult to track. If you happen to use a public proxy that has also been used for something illegal, then there’s a chance that the actions will be traced back to you.
Speed: Since you are sharing the proxy server with an unknown number of people, the connection speed will be affected too. Imagine if you share a single proxy server with hundreds of people — you won’t be able to do anything decent while your connected. Videos will buffer endlessly, websites will take minutes to load, and video games will lag. The problem will worsen during peak hours, when thousands of people all over the world try to connect to these proxy servers.
For business owners, digital marketers, and other people serious about their usage of the internet, going for private or dedicated proxies is the safest and most practical course of action.You are either concerned about your online security or involved in online activities that are pertinent to your business.
To further clear this up, I’ll be tackling the top 10 common uses for private or dedicated proxies which are divided in terms of who use them:
1 . Private proxies for all users
2. Private proxies for businesses, particularly SEO and digital marketers
3. Private proxies for consumers
1. Private Proxies for All Users
Regular internet users browse the internet to watch videos, access websites, and do financial transactions (shop online, transfer money, and pay bills, to name a few). Proxies can help improve their experiences and even protect internet users when doing these things online. Here are how regular internet users use proxies:
#1 Protect User Identity
Protecting user identity is number one on the list since anonymity is one of the most common reasons why people use proxies. Proxies in general act as intermediaries between a user’s computer and the web server he or she is trying to access. More than just a middleman, proxies mask the user’s identity and sends its own credentials. So that the destination web server will have no way of knowing who is the user behind the proxy server’s request.
For this reason, private proxy users are always anonymous and their identities are well protected. As long as they connect to a proxy server before connecting to the internet.
Anonymity is an important feature of proxy servers, and this is sought after not only by regular internet users, but also by businesses that require utmost security within their network.
#2 Play Video Games
Professional online gamers resort to proxies as a way to spice up their games for several reasons. Proxies allow for a lag-free and smooth internet connection, and every gamer obviously needs this.
However, serious gamers are not only after a fast gaming experience, but they are also looking for a secure solution that enables them to reach out to other players regardless of location.
The all-in-one solution for gamers are proxy servers:
- Proxies give gamers security and protect them from brute force attacks like DDoS that had plagued the gaming community in recent years.
- Proxies allow gamers to team up with other gamers from another part of the world. This is generally not possible without a proxy, but since proxies enable them to spoof their location, gamers can play with other people regardless of location.
- Related to spoofing locations, those who use gaming proxies can get their hands on games that are released earlier in another country before their peers can.
The best gaming proxies are those that are optimized solely for gaming purposes to ensure blistering speed.
#3 Access Geo Blocked Content
In the previous use case, we talked about gamers spoofing their locations. This is an inherent feature of proxies where users can select the location of the proxy server they will use, effectively changing their location virtually. Not only gamers can benefit from this.
Everyone who want to access content that are blocked in their physical location can spoof their location by connecting to a proxy server that is located in a country where the content is not blocked. The best example are video entertainment platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. You will notice that the videos and movies you can watch while in Asia are not the same content available when you are in the United States or Europe.
You will encounter an error message that says, “The uploader has not made this video available in your country,” or something to that effect
These entertainment sites have implemented geo-restrictions, so that only people physically located in the US, for example, can watch the contents intended for the country. They do this by checking the user’s IP address when they connect to the site’s web server. So if you want to access the US library of these websites even when you are in Asia, all you have to do is connect to a US proxy server so you will obtain a US IP address.
#4 Speed Up Internet Connection
Another feature that sets proxies apart is its ability to cache data that have been loaded to the server before. For instance, when User A requests to access www.example.com, the proxy server sends the request to the web server and when the data is received, the proxy caches the data. When User A requests for the same website the next day, the proxy server will first look into its cached files and upon seeing that the site has been loaded beforehand, sends this exact file to the user.
This makes connection a lot faster since the proxy doesn’t need to request for the same exact file again and again. This also allows households and companies to save on bandwidth.
2. Private Proxies for Businesses
Private companies benefit a lot from using proxies. These are just some of the common uses of proxies for businesses:
#1 Secure Sensitive Information
Financial institutions and private companies that deal with sensitive information on a regular basis use proxies. As an added layer of security within their networks. This way, cybercriminals will have a hard time getting access to stored data that could include credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank account numbers.
Akin to what I mentioned regarding gamers being protected from DDoS attacks, institutions that use proxy servers will also be safe from hackers and cyber thieves.
#2 Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts
Ignoring social media in a business’ marketing efforts is like planning to fail. Social media has become a powerful marketing tool, and a number of companies have even shifted their customer service towards social media already.
Most of these companies outsource the management of their social accounts to social media managers or social media marketing agencies. The result is that one social media manager can be handling dozens of accounts in multiple social media platforms. If you have 50 clients, for example, and each client has an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, LinkedIn. that’s a total of 150 accounts to manage.
Several social media managers have encountered problems when they manage more than three Instagram accounts using one IP address. Issues range from problems logging in to business page getting banned, so the best thing to do is to use a proxy for each social media account.
#3 Do Competitor Research
Knowing the latest activities of your competitors is important to ensure success in any industry. You need to visit their website regularly and check their prices, latest product offerings, and promotions, but you have to make sure that they can’t identify you. Using a proxy will mask your identity, so you can observe your competition without them knowing it.
As you can see in the image below, 93% of businesses monitor competitors’ websites. according to Crayon’s 2018 State of Competitive Intelligence.
the above screenshot is taken from Impact on August 22, 2019.
This figure tells you that competitor research, particularly price monitoring is very important.
Automation tools that can help businesses monitor and analyze competitor prices abound, and most of these tools require the use of proxies to avoid getting blocked from accessing competitors’ websites.
#4 Conduct SEO Activities
An effective SEO strategy involves a lot of hard work including keyword research, web scraping, and other automated tasks. Manually doing these things can render the data gathered useless and untimely, so bots are usually used to save time and energy.
Dedicated proxies go hand in hand with bots. You simply can’t use bots without using private proxies as it will be useless. The bots will get blocked by search engines and websites in no time. With proxies, the bots will seem human and won’t be banned.
3. Private Proxies for Consumers
Aside from the first four use cases of proxies for regular internet users, consumers can enjoy additional benefits when they use proxies.
#1 Access Restrictive Websites
Ticketing sites are one of the most restrictive websites on the internet. They set a strict maximum number of tickets that can be sold to a single user (with the IP address as the identifying factor).
By using private proxies for ticketing, consumers can purchase tickets beyond the maximum number allowed by the site.
#2 Buy Limited Edition Products
Collectors of limited edition sneakers, bags, and other luxury products are able to buy the desired items easily with the use of dedicated proxies. Retailers normally limit the sale of these items to only one per IP address, so those who want to buy more will have a hard time unless they use proxies.
Sneaker shoppers are pretty serious when it comes to getting their hands on limited edition sneakers. There are already sneaker bots that can automate the shopping process, and of course, you would need proxies for these bots so you won’t get kicked out from the online shop.
The Bottom Line
Dedicated or private proxies are way better than public proxies in terms of security and speed. Public proxies may be free, but they come at the cost of your privacy since you can get blamed for something you didn’t do. Hundreds of users can be connected to the same public proxy server at the same time, so speed will really suffer as a consequence.
Dedicated proxies may come at a price of $10 a month for LimeProxies — but there are a lot of benefits and uses.
Evidently, private or dedicated proxies are very useful not only to regular internet users and consumers, but also for businesses. Without proxies, it will be very difficult to monitor and track the competition, manage dozens of social media accounts effectively, and come up with an effective SEO strategy.