Free proxy servers do not require users to pay a monthly fee or even sign up an account to use their services. However, just because a proxy is free, it does not mean it is better or safe to use. There are two types of free proxies: open proxy and web proxy. Let’s find out more about them.

What is an Open Proxy?

Open proxies are proxy servers that can be accessed by any Internet user. Since open proxies comprise hacked proxy lists, the user could risk allowing their computers to be silently hijacked; allowing it to run as an open proxy server without their knowledge. This can cause the proxy software to become misconfigured. If that problem is caused by a malware infection, the infected computer is now identified as a zombie computer.

What is a Web Proxy?

A web proxy is designed to act as a shield between you and your target website. You will be able to access that website while keeping your identity concealed. To hide any trace of your presence, web proxies connect to the target website on your behalf. Other than hiding one’s online identity, users are known to use web proxies to keep their searches private. Although web proxies are free, they are often filled with by annoying advertisements.

Disadvantages of Free Proxies

Free proxies often cause high bandwidth usage that can increase latency in a subnetwork. It also violates bandwidth limits, and that’s why users experience frequent downtime. It is possible that free proxies are badly configured, and that allows access to a DMZ or private subnetwork. Also known as perimeter networks, demilitarized zones are physical or logical subnetworks that can expose or contain an organization’s external-facing services to an untrusted network. This is a high security concern for any home network or business because computers that are current firewalled and out of risk, now become vulnerable and can be directly attacked.