The internet and computer technology have opened many doors for both individuals and companies. Because of digital technologies, our lives today look much different than a decade ago. We work, schedule appointments, communicate with people, socialize, and work differently because of these digital technologies.
The best thing about it is that new technologies are coming out every year, most of which are available to everyone. In other words, they are affordable and instantly accessible. One of these technologies that you might have seen in the news recently is a web proxy.
If you want to learn more about what a proxy server is, how it works, and what it can be used for, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the essentials you should know.
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The basics of proxies
A web proxy server is a web server that works as a gateway between internet users and online applications. These servers are located between a web browser and the internet user. In other words, they are basically another computer located between you and the online world.
But why should we introduce another “stop” to our connection to the internet? A proxy server handles all your requests and sends them to the real server on your behalf. Even though this kind of setup might look like it only slows down your connection, it brings many benefits.
The proxy server takes over your connection, handles all requests, checks the data you’re receiving, and protects your online identity. Simply put, having a third-party “entity” handle processes outside your computer can bring many advantages.
Main uses of proxies
Even though proxies have a similar basic design, they differ in how they operate and the functionalities they provide. That’s why there are so many uses for web proxies. Let’s look at some use cases that deliver the most value.
Web scraping is the process of extracting data from the web in an automated fashion. Scraping involves using automated tools that go through many pages quickly and extract specific data. However, many websites don’t want anyone extracting their content and set various blocks in place.
Web proxies can provide anonymity to scrapers and hide your IP. At the same time, they can rotate the IP address to make it look like a real person is visiting the site and not an automated tool. Furthermore, proxies allow you to scrap on geo-blocked sites by switching the IP to the desired location.
Companies that want to do well in their market must acquire valuable information about that market, their customers, and competitors. Proxies let you learn about your competitors without them knowing. You can enquire about their products or services without showing your intentions. Moreover, data from the target audience can be gathered by accessing communities and forums freely.
Companies need to protect their brands online. Ad verification is all about detecting ad fraud and stopping it while making your ads perform better. A proxy server can help you recognize shady marketing activities like ads that harm your reputation, fake traffic, and tampered statistics.
Some proxies even have tools that gather online data to help you allocate your ad budgets more effectively and get better results for each dollar you spend on advertising.
Many companies use web proxies for SEO optimization and monitoring. SEO monitoring is the process that helps you rank your website better in search engine results. SEO monitoring focuses on gathering keywords and extracting search engine ranking positions with different searches.
A proxy server allows you to search for location-based rankings, figure out what keywords companies are using, and anonymously track what other websites are doing as part of their SEO strategies.
Online security and control
Modern companies have many online operations as part of their everyday workflow. Employees share data online, communicate, contact customers, store data, etc. Proxies let employees do all these tasks anonymously if needed and secure them from any exterior threats.
At the same time, proxies can regulate which sites and services can be accessed or used. In other words, companies can enforce strict rules regarding internet browsing and how employees use their spare time.
Potential industries that could benefit from using proxies
Proxies are used in many industries, including e-commerce, IT, marketing, data management, etc. But we’re just scraping the surface here, and as proxies grow and improve, many industries could benefit from using them in the future.
One of the key industries that could benefit from using proxies is the security sector. Security companies must improve their services with the latest technologies to deliver robust security infrastructures their clients can rely on.
We hope this post has helped you understand web proxies’ essential advantages and use cases. If you haven’t tried one yet, many free options with basic functionalities can give you a glimpse into their capabilities.