Is Anonymous Surfing Possible Through Proxies?

 Mehmood Hanif
  Sep 28, 2018

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you’d want to surf the web anonymously. Perhaps you want to prevent third-party parties from building up a detailed profile of you. Or, maybe you just want to access sites and content blocked in your country.

Whatever the reason may be, privacy online is of utmost importance because governments and companies have a vested interest in your browsing habits. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people prefer using a proxy for anonymity.

You probably have heard the term more than a few times before, but what exactly is a proxy and how do they work? Read on to learn more about proxies and whether they’re a good option for anonymous surfing.

What is a Proxy?

To put it simply, a proxy or proxy server functions as an intermediary between your web browser and the sites or services you’re using. People commonly use them to get around geographical restrictions and access blocked or restricted sites.

Proxies are extremely popular in countries in like Iran and China with heavy Internet censorship. Since they replace your real IP address with a virtual one, they allow you to surf the Internet as if you were in another location.

They’re a great tool to unblock content, but not so useful when it comes to enhancing your online security and privacy.

The Reality about Anonymous Proxies

There are several types of proxies available each having their own specific purpose, but anonymous proxies are the most popular because they offer “anonymity”. As such, most people think they can surf privately when using such proxies.

However, that’s far from the truth as most lack encryption which makes it easy for your traffic to be intercepted by third-parties. Above all, free proxies have also been found to manipulate sites and forbid HTTPS traffic.

Potential Risks of Using a Proxy

It’s important to realize that not every proxy is secure or anonymous as claimed. As a matter of fact, some have been known to monitor and log usage activity, or even inject viruses, catch usernames and passwords, etc.

Moreover, when you connect to a proxy, all your information goes through an unknown party. Sure, you’ll be able to access the Internet freely and without any roadblocks, but the risks involved may not be worth taking.

If you really want to surf the web anonymously, you’re better off using virtual private networks (VPNs) as they add an additional layer of security and privacy to your online activities.

Proxy vs. VPN – Which is better for Anonymous Surfing?

Though proxies and VPNs both let you surf from another location, the latter is much more secure than the former. A proxy only secures your browser, whereas a VPN secures your entire Internet connection with military-grade encryption.

Where VPNs come preconfigured, proxies require configuration for each service or application you’re using. Hence, setting up a proxy means more manual effort, while most VPN apps are ready to use once they’ve been installed.

Anonymous VPN service will offer you more locations to choose from than proxies, as they have self-owned server networks spanning across continents. So, you don’t have to worry about your traffic being routed through some random IP address, which is the case with proxies.

Lastly, proxies offer slower speeds due to over-trafficked servers and this makes activities like streaming a pain. VPNs, on the other hand, host and update their own server locations for maximum uptime and fast load times.

What’s more is that VPNs, like PureVPN for example, come with a variety of premium features like Internet Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, Ozone, etc. all of which ensure your anonymity is never compromised.

Wrapping Things Up

To sum it up, VPNs are superior to proxies in each and every aspect. With better privacy protection, faster loading times, unbreakable security, and a lot more locations to choose from, choosing a VPN over proxy for anonymous surfing is the obvious choice!

Is Anonymous Surfing Possible Through Proxies?

Mehmood Hanif

Mehmood Hanif is an experienced digital marketing consultant who's been featured on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Harvard Business Review, CMI, and more. His expertise lies in content marketing as well as influencer marketing. He also loves to indulge in topics that discuss internet security, leadership, and growth strategies.

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