A proxy server will allow you to surf the Internet or access websites with a degree of anonymity as the website (or the Internet at large) will not know your IP address. This is due to the fact that the proxy server acts as an intermediary between you and the Internet and the website will see only the IP address of your proxy. With that said, do proxies make you truly anonymous?
Public proxies are also known as free proxies and they can serve the same purpose as a paid proxy. So, why would you pay if you could get the same service free? There are a few reasons and the top one is that you have no idea who is running the free/public server and they do have access to your IP address. You are not anonymous to them, although you are to the rest of the Internet. In fact, there is a lot of information that confirms that some proxies are run by criminals. This means that if you use a public or free proxy server, the owner or person running the server can see any sensitive data you might transmit and use that for their own ends. Furthermore, they can also re-route your information and inject virus or malware into it.
If you pay for a proxy server, such as provided by Proxy Key, you can be sure your data is safe. The https:// ensures the site itself is secure, giving you peace of mind.
There are some proxy lists that have varying levels of anonymity. This may sound a little odd, but really what it means is different ratings. The highest rating is 1, which gives you the very best and highest level of privacy.
- Transparent Proxy
This is a level 3 proxy and should be avoided if you want all your information to remain anonymous. It allows some of your information to be forwarded to the websites you access, which means you really do not have very much privacy at all. These are also known as caching proxies. Your IP address is not visible to the website, but it can be very easy to find.
- Anonymous Proxy
This is a level 2 proxy and provides a higher degree of privacy compared to a level 3 proxy. Level 2 proxies hide your IP address but the fact that you are using a proxy server is still evident to anyone. If you have a website, you will be able to spot someone using a level 2 proxy server as the word “forwarded” will appear in the header.
- Elite Proxy
This is a level 1 proxy with the highest degree of privacy and anonymity. They hide your IP address and the website you access will not know you are using a proxy to access it. In addition, all your sensitive data will be safely hidden.
- Dedicated Proxy
A dedicated proxy means the proxy is for your use alone. Some companies have proxies that are shared by 2-3 people, but having a dedicated proxy gives you much more peace of mind. In addition, it means you have a static IP address. Dedicated proxies are also quicker than shared proxies.