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July 21, 2023
4 minutes read

What is an SSL or HTTPS Proxy

If you are new to proxies, you might be confused by how many proxy types there are: residential, rotating, datacenter, backconnect, SSL proxies… The list goes on!

The proxy ‘type’ usually refers to one of its two traits: the connection method or the type of the device acting as your proxy. SSL or HTTPS proxies denote the protocol you use to connect through the proxy server, namely, the HTTPS protocol.

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What is an SSL or HTTPS proxy?

An SSL proxy is a proxy server that uses the SSL protocol. The abbreviation SSL means Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the ‘S’ in HTTPS – the hypertext transfer protocol over SSL. This protocol has been the security standard of the World Wide Web for several years.

So, an HTTPS proxy is simply a proxy that uses the HTTP protocol over SSL.

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What are the benefits of an SSL / HTTPS proxy?

A proxy that uses the SSL layer for the HTTP protocol has two major advantages: it’s safer and more anonymous than simple HTTP proxies. See, the HTTPS protocol does not transfer your data in a plain-text format. The SSL layer encrypts your data, so it’s never visible to third parties.

  • An HTTPS proxy is safer – the SSL layer provides encryption between the requester and the target server. This layer protects your information from third parties, like internet service providers (ISPs), hackers, or government institutions. Even if bad actors manage to successfully intercept or monitor your connection over the proxy server, it will still be encrypted with the HTTPS protocol, as opposed to the HTTP protocol.
  • An SSL proxy is anonymous – a proxy will hide your IP, but the added safety of the SSL layer increases your anonymity, as it reduces the information available about your connection request.

If you connect through an SSL proxy server, you will not only stay safe due to the industry-grade SSL encryption, but you will also hide your IP address. HTTPS proxies are the perfect solution if you want both anonymity and security.

How do SSL / HTTPS proxies work?

HTTPS proxies use the SSL layer to encrypt all information between your endpoint and the website, service, or server you want to access. This process is identical to how you connect to any SSL–certified website. The SSL certificate that enables the HTTPS connection is the industry standard. Most major browsers will warn you about accessing a site that does not have an SSL certificate.

How SSL / HTTPS proxies work

Types of SSL proxies

SSL proxies come in two main types. The first (“forward” proxy) focuses on protecting the client-side. Think of it as a middleman standing between the external server and the internal client. Its job is to decrypt and inspect outbound traffic headed to the web. So, it acts like a filter, making sure everything is safe and sound before it leaves your device.

The other type (“reverse” proxy) is a bit different. It handles inbound traffic, working like a shield that intercepts data coming from the web and sends it to an internal or localized server. Its main goal is to weed out any potential threats or harmful data packets, keeping your internal systems safe and sound.

Where can you use an SSL / HTTPS proxy?

  • Unblocking websites. Many sites block content for users from other countries. This is why many people look for a proxy to listen to Spotify, watch YouTube, access information in other countries, etc.
  • Avoiding restrictions. Your ISP, company, or even the government could be blocking thousands of sites, so the freedom of the internet is up to proxies and VPNs that allow everyone to access various sites without any firewalls blocking them.
  • Secure connections. Revealing your data online is a grave concern nowadays. This is exactly the reason why you should hide your IP address, especially if you’re using HTTPS proxies. The added SSL layer makes your connection encrypted to prevent any other data from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Anonymity. An IP address is one of the main identifiers online. It can be used to track, spy on, and harass people. A proxy is a simple method of changing your IP to prevent this, and HTTPS proxies are the most secure type of proxy available.
  • Web data scraping. There are many obstacles to gathering public information from the web. One of the more common ones are IP blocks and CAPTCHAs that put a stop to market researchers, data analysts, and other people who are trying to get the data they need. Therefore, a shared proxy network like ours is very useful: analysts and researchers can use millions of unique HTTPS IP addresses as SSL proxies to get the data they need and start changing the world for the better.
  • Ad verification. SSL / HTTPS proxies provide a secure and anonymous environment for ad verification as they allow to effectively verify ad placements, detect ad fraud, and check that the ad campaigns are running correctly.
  • Brand protection. Proxies allow you to safely bypass geo-restrictions and establish a secure connection to monitor your brand’s online reputation, intellectual property, and brand image from such threats as cybersquatting, copyright infringement, counterfeiting, etc.
  • Managing social media accounts. Social media data leaks pose a serious risk. Among these are company data leaks, IP address logs, and other information you would never want to make public. Many companies and social media management firms use proxies as a more secure and anonymous way to manage social media accounts.
  • Getting limited products. Brands often release limited products in certain locations. You can access those products by changing your IP to one from that country. For example, many people use automated programs to buy limited edition sneakers. A proxy near Nike’s or Supreme’s servers makes your connection faster.

And more!

Final thoughts

SSL / HTTPS proxies offer users a valuable combination of security, privacy, and versatility. By encrypting data and hiding IP addresses, these proxies provide a layer of protection against surveillance and various potential threats. 

Whether you want to access restricted content, safeguard your online activities, scrape web data, or manage social media accounts, SSL / HTTPS proxies are powerful tools that ensure your connections remain safe and your information stays confidential.


Mariam Nakani

Say hello to Mariam! She is very tech savvy - and wants you to be too. She has a lot of intel on residential proxy providers, and uses this knowledge to help you have a clear view of what is really worth your attention.

Frequently asked questions

How to set a proxy for HTTPS?

If you buy residential or mobile proxies at Smartproxy, you get the option to choose the protocol in the Endpoint generator on the dashboard. There, select HTTPS, and you’re good to go!

What is the difference between SSL and VPN?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that provides secure communication over a network, whereas VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a remote server. SSL focuses on securing specific data transmissions, while a VPN encrypts data traffic between the user’s device and the VPN server.

What is the difference between an SSL proxy and a TCP proxy?

An SSL proxy specifically handles SSL/TLS encrypted traffic, providing an extra layer of security for data transmission. In contrast, a TCP proxy focuses on all types of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) traffic, including both encrypted and unencrypted connections. SSL proxies are designed for SSL/TLS-specific protocols, while TCP proxies are for a broader range of network traffic.

What is the default port for SSL proxy?

The default port for SSL proxies is typically 443. Port 443 is commonly used for secure HTTPS connections, and SSL proxies often operate on this port to provide encrypted communication between the client and the proxy server. However, it's important to note that the port configuration can vary depending on the proxy service provider and their specific setup.

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