How to choose the best proxy online?
In general, everyone can see what you are doing online. When connecting to an insecure site, advertisers, hackers, and government agencies can see where you are and which computer you are using. This information can be used to bomb you with targeted ads, and even to prevent you from accessing certain web content.
A proxy protects your confidentiality and helps you get around the restrictions. Such restrictions may be imposed by the government, by the administration of your work, by your school, or others. In any case, a web proxy helps to make the internet as free and anonymous as it should be.
How a proxy protects you
When using a proxy, your request on a website is filtered by a web form, or sometimes by a browser extension. The proxy server then acts as an intermediary. He receives your request, finds the right information on the internet, and sends it back to you.
Without this intermediary, the connection between your computer and a website is wide open. But when you use a proxy, inquisitive looks cannot access both parts of the exchange.
For the website, the request comes from the proxy server, not from your computer. Personal identifiable information, such as your IP address, is not disclosed.
When he doesn’t know who you are, a website doesn’t know if you have “authorization” to consult him. If your government blocks a website, it can only do so within the country. But if the site thinks you are consulting it from a foreign server, it usually lets you access it.
In this way, a proxy can help protect you when reading certain information online can have consequences. However, it is important to note that a single proxy offers a very simple level of protection. They tend to offer few IP addresses, which can be blocked once recognized as proxys.
What to look for in a free proxy
Free proxys have limitations. But it is a good option for people who need short-term anonymity or to access blocked content once.
Obviously, some proxys are better than others. It is important to do research before choosing one. You have to opt for a service with a good reputation. Unknown or untested proxys may not work as they claim, or may even increase the risk of malware infection.
The first feature to look for in a free proxy is the number of its servers and their variety. If it offers lots of options, you will be less likely to lose your connection. And if some of the available servers are close to you, you will probably get better internet speeds.
Not all proxys provide information about their servers. And they don’t allow you all to choose which server you’re going to connect to. When this information is not available, you have the right to be skeptical. But don’t completely eliminate the service. If other users have had a very good experience with it, you might be able to appreciate the server that has been chosen for you.
Something else to look for in a free proxy, its personalization. Any good proxy will act as an intermediary when you browse the web. But some offer additional services in addition to hiding your IP address
Among the web proxys that we recommend in this article, most add layers of security by encrypting URLs and page content. Or they give you the option to block scripts and objects, which can increase the risk of malware infection. Some deactivate cookies to minimize storage of your browsing history.
This kind of tool will help you get the best of a proxy without having to pay for decent protection. But these tools are usually more powerful if you use the paid version. And if you want impeccable protection, nothing rivals a quality VPN.
The disadvantages of proxys
No matter which free proxy you choose, its additional functionality has only one bonus. And in general, they have strict limits. You may find that only a certain amount of cookies can be encrypted each month. Blocking certain elements of a site can protect you, but also prevent the site from displaying properly.
And worse, it is quite common in proxys, especially free proxys, to impose traffic limits. If you want 24/7 protection against surveillance, hackers and malware, it is better to switch to a paid version. Or better, opt for a VPN .
Proxys are enough to bypass firewalls and unlock content. But they do not represent a guarantee against the possible surveillance of hackers or your internet service provider. It is also possible that a free proxy may monitor some of your activities. A premium VPN like ExpressVPN applies a strict policy of non-preservation of logs.
A VPN will also prevent you from having to route all your web traffic manually on the service. To use a proxy, you must go to the proxy site and enter the URL there. With a VPN, you can install an app on your device and let it run automatically.
The VPN option allows you to be protected when you connect to the net with third-party apps rather than with your browser. Nowadays, browsers are no longer the only app in need of protection. But it’s the only one that proxys can protect.
Elite VPN services like ExpressVPN offer a 30-day reimbursement guarantee, so that you can try them safely.
The best free proxy servers
Despite the inconvenience, a proxy may be enough for you. If so, there are lots of good options on the market.
We went through the reviews, and tested the free proxy services ourselves. And according to our information, here are ten of the best free proxy servers on the market:
This seems to be the most frequently recommended free proxy. This does not necessarily mean that it is the best. But that means it is good enough to satisfy most users.
With KProxy, you will have ten servers to choose from. You can choose them manually and change them whenever you want. So if you lose access to one of the servers, you stay protected. It does not impose a speed limit, unlike some proxys. And KProxy has a good track record when it comes to avoiding the detection and blocking of websites and ISPs
You can access KProxy servers directly on the site, or download a browser extension for Firefox or Chrome.
This free web proxy also gives you the opportunity to change the server manually. It also offers twice as many servers as Kproxy.
You can let ProxySite automatically choose a server in the USA and in the European Union. And if you encounter difficulties, you can try them one by one. Precise locations are not given, so it is difficult to determine the effect that the server will have on your connection speed.
ProxySite has been tested for compatibility with YouTube. He even offers buttons on his main page which takes you, by proxy, to popular sites like Reddit and Twitter. ProxySite is made to bring you anonymity during your daily online activities.
This option also appears on many lists of the best proxys, although its functionality is somewhat limited. Hide.me does not work on YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and relies on servers in only three locations to hide user IP addresses. But it compensates with more advanced security.
Hide.me allows you to deactivate cookies, scripts and objects on any site. In addition to masking your IP address, this service adds an encryption layer and guarantees the expiration of URLs after each navigation session.
The proxy does not record databases or addresses, so you can have the peace of mind to know that your information will not fall into the wrong hands. This makes it a good option for people who care more about security than entertainment. Hide. Also offers users a full VPN service in addition to its proxy servers.
This proxy gives you the option to connect to a random server or to choose between six servers. They are located on each side of the USA and in 4 European countries. The geographic coverage is as good as you might hope with so few servers.
The HMA proxy allows you to configure your connection with three options. You can encrypt URLs, deactivate cookies, and delete scripts. But that’s about all you’ll get, unless you go to HMA VPN, the site will try to sell you.
Recent user reviews give Hidester a good reputation for reliability. But it is difficult to say whether this reputation will last, since it is a relatively recent proxy.
But it seems to be as good an option as some of the well-established proxies on this list. Hidester has its own servers in the USA and Europe, and their access is protected by 128 encryption and a secure socket layer (SSL).
Its commitment to security also extends to free users, but paying customers have access to hundreds more servers.
Hidester also offers several free tools with his proxy. They include a secure password generator and a DNS leak test. This can be significant benefits for those who want to stay safe online.
If Hidester is a newcomer to the market, Anonymous is one of the ancestors of the proxy. It has existed since 1997 and remains one of the most reliable proxys.
The main page of Anonymous shows you the information that curious people can see when you connect to a site. And it allows you to compare these results to what they would see when you connect with their proxy. But they are the ones who choose the proxy for you, so you will have to trust them.
Tests show that it is quite simple to identify the proxy you are using with Anonymous. So its security is not one of the best. But this old service seems to be improving. Paying users will be entitled to SSL encryption, and Anonymous recently launched its own VPN
In addition to its proxy, you can use Anonymous to send e-mails and publish anonymously. So despite his years, he still has something unique to offer.
Compared to other free proxys, Megaproxy servers are more difficult to identify for inquisitive looks. And all this without the additional security of its paid version.
You can use Megaproxy by installing a toolbar that allows you to enter the web address and have it passed through a proxy server. It is very well thought out, and you can easily switch from conventional navigation to protected navigation.
Unfortunately, this can be important with the free version. Megaproxy limits its free users to 60 sites every five hours. And it can only encrypt 20 cookies at a time. But it still adds a layer of confidentiality that not all proxys offer.
This service recognizes its own limits from the start. He openly announces that free proxys may not be compatible with certain websites. This kind of honesty is a sign of reliability.
Speaking of honesty, NewIPNow shows you the estimated speed of each server to which you connect. There are about a dozen, mainly in the United States. But users receive a new IP address at each session.
You can use NewIPNow on its site or with a Firefox browser extension. It also offers affordable paid options, and promises 100% compatibility. And if you have a problem, customer service can be reached with one click.
Before connecting to 4everproxy, you can select the location of the server and the IP address. There are ten options for the first selection, and even more for the second option. By trying different options, you can find the perfect balance between safety and speed.
But speed shouldn’t be a problem anyway. Each 4everproxy server prides itself on having a connection of one gigabit per second. Each connection is accompanied by optional SSL encryption and the blocking of cookies and scripts.
With seven servers in North America and four in Europe, this proxy offers correct geographic scope and good security. Once you have chosen a server, you will switch to the fastest IP location. But you can change that by hand.
ProxFree is as customizable as most free proxies. SSL encryption is activated by default, and can be disabled. There are checkmarks to delete scripts, objects, cookies and page titles. You can also deactivate the “referer” and “user agent” headers. In this way, the site you are consulting will not know where you clicked to get there or what type of computer you are using.
ProxFree offers dedicated pages for Facebook, YouTube, and other streaming sites. You can trust your ability to consult your social networks anonymously and avoid geographic blockages on most videos.
None of these proxys would be our first recommendation for people wishing to protect their confidentiality and stay online. A trusted VPN will do a much better job than all these proxys. You can read our VPN beginner guide for further explanation. Our choice of VPN number 1 is ExpressVPN. But free proxys are a good option for temporary use.
As you can see, there are many options for choice. They all work pretty much the same, but each service has its unique advantages. Fortunately, they are all free and work directly on your browser. So you can test them one by one if necessary.
Free web proxys can be a good way to learn about the risks associated with navigation, and how to protect yourself from them. And since some of these suppliers also have their own VPN, a proxy can be a simple step towards total protection. We have also taken a look at several proxy protocols if you want to know the options available to you.
To go further
Your data is on display at the websites you are viewing !
The above information can be used to find you, to bomb you with ads and monitor what you are doing online.
A VPN can help you hide this information from websites to be permanently protected. We recommend ExpressVPN: VPN n ° 1 on the more than 350 suppliers that we have tested. It offers military grade encryption and confidentiality functionality to guarantee your digital security, and in addition, it currently offers 49% reduction.
About the author
François is a cybersecurity researcher with a particular interest in online confidentiality. He believes that people have the right to maintain their privacy, but that it becomes more difficult day by day.