The Basics: Types of Proxies
Proxies can mediate connections in multiple ways and affect only certain parts of the connection. There are also various types of hardware and software that configure these proxies, each creating a unique type of proxy.
Proxy type: residential proxy
What are residential proxies? Residential proxies are by-far the best proxies for most uses, because they are IP addresses of real, physical devices. They appear as average users to all servers, and are almost impossible to detect (unless the proxy user abuses it).
Proxy type: datacenter proxy
Datacenter proxies are non-physical IP addresses that are artificially created at datacenters. A single server can host hundreds of datacenter proxies, but they will all share the server’s IP subnetwork.
Proxy type: anonymous proxy
Anonymous proxies forward connection requests without any information about the client. This means that an anonymous proxy connects to the target server as if it was doing it on its own. As the name suggests, anonymous proxies provide much needed anonymity for your browsing. It is the proxy type that will most reliably hide your IP and location.
Proxy type: private proxy
Private proxies do not deal with privacy. In this case, the word ‘private’ is a product feature. It means that the proxy can only be used by a single client at the same time. Various proxy providers use this term quite loosely: some interchange it with ‘dedicated proxies’, while others separate the two to denote a dedicated proxy that is always used by the same client, as opposed to a dedicated proxy that several clients can use, just not at the same time.
Proxy type: dedicated proxy
Proxy type: shared proxy
Shared proxies are the types of proxies that several clients can use at any time. Shared proxies are usually the cheapest proxies, because many clients split the cost and get to use more proxies for the same price. Shared proxies need an extremely powerful network architecture because they have to mediate many connection requests at the same time.
Proxy type: public proxy
Public proxies are readily available in online proxy lists. Public proxies are the unsafest and the most unreliable proxies. Most of them are set up by hackers or government agencies to steal data.
As thousands of people scour the internet in search of public proxies, finding a good, secure and uncompromised public proxy is a quest in itself.
Proxy type: SSL proxy
Proxy type: HTTP proxy
Types of proxy servers
There are many types of proxy servers that are used every day by various clients and networks. We won’t go through every possible configuration here, and we’ll focus on several most popular types of proxy servers.
Proxy server type: rotating proxy server
Rotating proxy servers are the type of proxy server which changes IP addresses randomly. If the proxy server has a lot of proxies in its pool, its users can be sure that their connection requests are less noticeable.
Rotating proxy servers also make proxy lists obsolete, because they let users acquire a massive number of proxies without listing millions of numbers into a text file.
Proxy server type: forward proxy server
Proxy server type: transparent proxy server
Although these types of proxy servers have their shortcomings, transparent proxies are very widely used today. Transparent proxies do not provide any privacy or change your IP, as it forwards the whole connection request to servers you want to connect to.