HTTP(S) proxies, SOCKS4/5 proxies, dedicated proxies, shared proxies, open proxies, anonymous proxies, elite proxies, reverse proxies… Confusing? Read this article to find out about them all.
A proxy can be seen as an intermediary between you and the web server hosting the right site. The proxy receives the request and then forwards it to the server. The server processes the request and sends the requested information to the proxy, which finally sends the requested data back to you.
This is as if you asked a friend to ask another person a question and then give you an answer. There are many proxy servers, they serve different purposes, but they all use this simple concept. Their diversity can easily confuse you if you are new to it. Let us discuss these different types and how they are used.
Proxies can be divided into several types based on different criteria. In our article, we will talk about how proxies differ by protocol, anonymity, usage methods, request modification, sharing, server types, and so on.
Proxy types by protocols
Depending on the protocol used by the proxy server, it can be HTTP, HTTPS or SOCKS.
An HTTP proxy is any proxy server that uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to connect to a web server and client (browser). Because of the widespread use of HTTP on the Internet, most proxies are HTTP Proxies.
These proxies can access web pages, and although they can also access web sites, using secure HTTPS, this protection will be lost during the use.
Because an HTTP connection works easier than SOCKS, bots and parsers work better with the HTTP proxy.
HTTPS and SSL Proxy
SSL (HTTPS)-proxies work with SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) in an additional level of security, applied to HTTP to protect its data. It provides security certificates that are used for end-to-end traffic encryption and to prevent data interception during transmission.
A proxy server, that supports SSL, establishes a secure connection with the client and the web server to avoid any outside interference. The HTTPS proxy helps you stay safe, when making transactions or logging into websites using your username and password.
The SOCKS proxy creates a TCP connection on behalf of the client to route traffic. This is a method of tunneling through firewalls, and in this configuration, even the proxy itself cannot intercept data, so SOCKS-Proxy mainly works with applications. Thus, SOCKS is much more secure than the HTTP proxy is.
However, the SOCKS5 proxy has even more advanced features to ensure secure connections. The only drawback is that some bots do not support SOCKS, so you need to make sure that your bots can work with this protocol.
Proxy types by level of anonymity
Transparent proxies are also called intercepting proxies, embedded proxies or forced proxies. These proxies do not change requests or responses, so anonymity does not change and websites can get your IP address. Transparent proxies are usually found on public Wi-Fi networks and are used to give access only to those who have permission. Many servers also use transparent proxies to cache content for fast delivery.
Anonymous proxy servers change the HTTP header, replacing your IP address with their own, and add additional redirection commands to prevent the web server from recognizing your IP address. Websites may recognize that a proxy server is being used, but they cannot identify the original address. These types of proxies provide minimal anonymity and can work with any protocol.
Elite Anonymous Proxies
Elite anonymous proxies are similar to anonymous proxies, but they are much safer because they provide the highest level of protection possible. The proxy changes the HTTP header to completely remove any information about you and does not add any redirection commands. Thus, the site does not recognize the connection request from the proxy server and treats it as any standard user connection.
Elite anonymous proxies are very important, if you use bots to parse – with them, the web server will not know that you are using a proxy, and your IP will not be blocked.
Proxy types by placement
Proxy servers in data centers (DPC)
These proxies are hosted on the servers intended for their operation. These servers work with high-speed connections and specialized software to maximize performance. These results in proxies that are faster, less pinged and can provide elite anonymity. Proxy servers in data centers are suitable for most business purposes, especially bots.
However, they require the vendor to have a data center in each location, where they want to offer their IP addresses, and data center locations are quite limited. The total number of proxies owned by the vendor is also limited to a few thousand. Thus, proxies on servers in the data center are easier to block just by a subnet mask.
Resident proxies use real people’s computers and their connections in their own homes, which are provided by real ISPs. A vendor of resident proxy servers does not actually own these servers, but simply “leases” them in exchange for services such as VPNs.
This allows sellers to have a huge pool of residential proxies from almost all over the world. These proxies are relatively slower than data center proxies are, but they are suitable for many business tasks, because of their diversity.
Proxies by type of usage
Open proxies are public proxies that do not require any authentication method when connecting. But because they are free and public, in most cases, these proxies are poorly or not at all protected, so they can be configured by hackers to steal information.
Open proxies are also known as public proxies, but we do not recommend that you use them for your work.
Closed proxies (private proxies)
Closed proxy servers are proxies that are protected by various authentication methods, to prevent any unauthorized use by people without access. Closed proxies are sold by a mass of companies. The proxies can be of two types, depending on how many people they work with.
Dedicated (private) proxies
Dedicated proxies (also known as private proxies) work only for you, and access to them is confidential. Private proxies provide better performance and security, but cost slightly more than shared proxies. Proxies that specialize in ticketing, parsing, and buying exclusive sneakers are usually private proxies, because they require high performance, and using proxies together with others increases the likelihood of getting a ban.
Shared (shared) proxies
These proxies divide their resources between 2-5 users. Each user can work with all others at the same time, so the bandwidth is divided equally among all users. The disadvantage of using shared proxies is that they provide much lower speed due to shared access, and they can be blocked due to other users. However, shared proxies are usually sold at a much lower price than privately-owned dedicated proxies.
Web Proxy means creating a proxy server on a website. This proxy does not need to be configured in an application, such as a browser or bot, to get normal access to data. This type of proxy is a web site with a single line that allows you to access the desired site and disguise your IP address at the same time.
CGI Web Proxy
These proxies are managed through a web interface called the Common Gateway Interface. You can enter the desired URL to visit a page on the site. There are only a few CGI web proxies that are used by thousands of sites.
All the data you enter, when using these proxies, is passed through the owner’s website, and he can easily read all the data if he wants to. Thus, you do not need to use any confidential information in these proxies. These proxies are also not configurable for use in other software, which makes them unsuitable for most business tasks.
Proxy types by IP address
Most proxy providers in the data center allocate a certain number of servers to the user for a specified price and the price increases, as the number of servers increases. These proxies are assigned to a specific user only and can be used in turn.
If proxies are blocked, the vendor usually offers a replacement once a month. In addition, the user cannot change them.
Rotating proxies or proxies with reverse connection
Backconnect proxies, also known as spinning proxies, automatically change themselves after a certain time. This allows each request to be made with a new IP address, which means a much better anonymity, speed, and avoid blockages.
Backconnect proxies are ideal for parsing. They usually consist of resident servers (due to the large number of connections required), but some providers in the data center also experiment with spinning proxies.
Proxy types by data change
Forward (direct) proxies are ordinary proxies that you use for anonymous access to web content. This type of proxy is used by clients (browsers) for anonymity. They accept a request from a client, forward it to a web server for processing, and then send a response from the server to the client. In fact, all types of proxies that we discussed above are direct proxies.
The reverse proxy usually works on the web server side to manage traffic, authenticate or decrypt connection requests or simply cache content for faster delivery. Reverse proxies are not used by ordinary people to ensure anonymity. Instead, they help the web server remain protected from attack. Reverse proxies can also distribute traffic to different servers for load balancing.
Proxy types for IP reuse
Proxies that have not previously been used are called primary or unused. Most often, primary proxies are not directly created with a new IP address, but they have not yet been used for certain websites. This is why many proxy vendors block access to sites, other than what you specify.
Proxies that have been used or resold
Although it is not explicitly mentioned, most proxies have been used in one way or another. Since websites remove ban from addresses, after a certain period, the use of such proxies is quite possible after a while, when the site (presumably) lifts the ban.