The Risks of Using Free Proxies

risks of using free proxies

There is no doubt that proxies are great tools to protect your privacy online. One thing to keep in mind, though, is the risks of using free proxies. 

If you aren’t already familiar, proxies function as the middleman between you and the rest of the internet. They’ll hide your IP address for you, which normally carries information about your device and location. By replacing your IP address, any data that third parties manage to collect about you is a few more steps removed from your real identity.

The importance of maintaining confidentiality in the modern age is fairly self-evident. However, the benefits of using proxies go beyond just that. On top of anonymity protecting your identity, select proxies will make it appear like you’re in a different part of the world entirely. Any bot you run online, such as for web scraping, will also likely require proxies so it isn’t immediately blocked.

Issues With Free Proxies

There are plenty of free web proxies out there, boasting wide selections of countries to choose from. The only thing they ask for is that you enter the website you’re looking for and they’ll take care of the rest. If you think that’s too good to be true… That’s because it is!

Let’s go over seven of the risks of using free proxies and explain how they contrast with what a reliable paid proxy server like KocerRoxy provides instead.

Lack of Customization

With free web proxies, you have no control over any settings

Meanwhile, well-designed proxy servers can provide fine-tuned options for many things. Some examples of features of select paid proxy servers are: adjusting rotating IP addresses, refresh rates, which ports to use, global position, and more.

Unreliable Availability

At any time the owner may shut off the service as they hold no obligations to you. Even while they’re still online, their stability is shaky at best.

A reliable proxy server, however, will maintain consistent service with no risk of freezing and little to no downtime. Quality proxy servers will commit to 99% uptime and mean it.

Poor Response Speeds

Anything high-speed would never be available for free. They will have middling quality at best. Then, they might get overwhelmed with requests from numerous people simultaneously. This could lead to even worse speeds, or the service completely freezing.

Conversely, high caliber paid proxy services will have dependably high speed at all times.

Low Security

The overwhelming majority of free web proxies don’t allow HTTPS connections. What that means is that the connection between the proxy and yourself is not encrypted. 

A likely reason for this is that they may wish to monitor your connection themselves. They could easily do this by using their service as a honeypot to coax you into letting them access your device.

At least when a SOCKS connection doesn’t encrypt your data, it is more flexible in what traffic it can handle while being significantly faster.

Of course, paid proxy servers will offer you multiple protocol options on their premium services so you can choose what is best for your needs.

Data Theft

As briefly mentioned above, they may be abusing the open connection with your device to glean valuable information from you. Using their service is an act of trust on your part that they aren’t going to exploit this possibility.

Similarly, they may snatch your cookies. The digital ones, at least. Your chocolate chip cookies are safe, for now. 

Digital cookies store your login info when you visit sites so you don’t have to enter those credentials in again every time you go there. By being in between you and the site you’re accessing, the free web proxy can sneak a copy for themselves while those cookies are being virtually baked.

Depending on what websites you visit during your session through the free web proxy, they could get some vital information. Examples would be login credentials for things like your job, social media accounts, or even banking info. Why would they need to ask for your credit card information, when they can just take it for themselves?

Needless to say, no reasonable paid proxy service would unrightfully take your sensitive data. They wouldn’t stay reputable for very long if they did, that’s for sure.

Presence of Malware

Free web proxies can easily infect your device while they have trusted access to it. There is no guarantee that their servers are clean. Just like they could directly steal some of your information while you use their service, they can plant malicious code to grab the rest. 

It might not even be intentional on their part, either.

In order to support being a ‘free’ service, they may rely on ad revenue to generate income. They’ll inject their ads right into the content you’re shown, trying to coax you into clicking them. However, malware authors sometimes use ads to carry their programs. Thus, they exploit websites with lax ad checks to spread them far and wide.

Obviously, no sensible paid proxy server would dare do such things.

Lack Of Customer Service

While free web proxies lack customization, that doesn’t mean you won’t have any questions. And even if they were to attempt to provide any customer service, they’d likely be bogged down with all of the complaints about the lackluster quality of their connections.

Conversely, quality paid proxy server providers will offer comprehensive FAQs, email support, and top-of-the-line ones will even have 24-7 chat support.

Conclusion

After seeing the comparisons between free web proxies and paid proxy servers, it should be clear what the real costs of so-called free services are. Despite not paying upfront money, the lower quality, risks of malware infection, or even sensitive information theft make them expensive in their own way.

The difference is even harsher when you take into account that premium services exist at affordable price ranges. For a flexible service that is competitively priced while offering speed, stability, security, and stellar support, look no further than KocerRoxy! Now that you’re armed with this information, there is no reason to subject yourself to the risks of using free proxies.

By Geminel

Geminel is a multi-format author, but is even moreso a giant nerd. With how many times they’ve fallen into several-hour-long research sprees just to accurately present a one-line joke, they realized they should probably use this power for good. To see their creative work, visit their personal site at: Team Gem

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