Top 10 Best Proxy Servers for 2024

Published on
19/04/2024 12:24 PM
Best proxy servers

Staying secure and maintaining your privacy online can seem almost impossible in the age of big data and sophisticated cyber attacks. 

With an estimated 2,220 data breaches taking place every day and a whopping 353 million Americans impacted by data compromises in 2023 alone, your personal and sensitive data is constantly stolen you even realising it. 

At the same time, websites constantly collect your data from every click – whether it be the IP addresses, browser history or demographic information – meaning that your data is never really private no matter how hard you try to protect it. 

For organisations and individuals looking to keep their data secure and out of the hands of malicious actors, proxy servers are crucial. 

What is a proxy server?

A proxy server is an intermediary server that sits between your device and the internet, acting as a middleman for all your online requests. This means that when you visit a website, your request doesn't go directly to the website's server. Instead, it goes to the proxy server first. The proxy server then fetches the information you requested from the website and sends it back to you.

Without a proxy, your device requests traffic from the web directly as it would on a standard connection. Instead of your computer directly contacting websites, it goes through the proxy server first, which fulfils your requests and acts as a gatekeeper of sorts.

This adds a layer of privacy. With a proxy server, websites can only see the proxy's address, making it harder to link your activity directly to you. This can be useful if you're concerned about online tracking or want to browse anonymously for certain purposes.

what is a proxy server

Some of the leading proxy servers can also filter out malicious content or websites, offering an extra layer of protection against malware and phishing attempts. Organizations can use them to restrict employee access to certain websites or manage internet usage within their network.

Adding a proxy server routes your request and the output of the website or service you're connecting to through an external server first, adding one degree of separation between you and the site or service you want to connect with.

There's also a performance aspect to consider. Proxy servers can cache frequently accessed data, meaning they store a local copy. If you revisit a website that's already been cached, the information can be retrieved from the proxy server much faster than fetching it again from the original source. This can be beneficial for speeding up browsing, especially if you have a slow internet connection.

How do proxy servers work?

Imagine a proxy server as a translator at a busy conference. You want to communicate with a speaker (the website) on the other side of the room, but you don't speak their language (the website's code).

The translator (the proxy server) acts as a middleman, receiving your message in your language and translating it into the speaker's language (the website's code) before sending it over.  The translator then receives the speaker's response and translates it back into your language before delivering it to you. In this sense, Proxy servers work by acting as as an intermediary between your device and the vast internet, controlling and filtering the flow of information. 

This process can be separated into four steps – the request, action, response and delivery:

1. Request

You, the user, initiate the action by entering a website address (URL) into your browser. This request includes the URL itself and any additional information needed to access the website, such as cookies or login credentials (depending on the website). Instead of sending this request directly to the website's server, your browser is configured to send it to the proxy server's address first.

2. Action by the Proxy

The proxy server receives your request. It acts as an intermediary, understanding the type of request (e.g., accessing a webpage, downloading a file) and the intended destination (website URL). Depending on the proxy's configuration, it might take some actions here, including:

  • Translation: If the proxy is configured to handle different protocols, it may translate your request into the format understood by the website's server.
  • Security Checks: Some proxy servers can scan the website address for potential security risks before proceeding.
  • Content Caching: The proxy might check its cache to see if it already has a copy of the requested website data.

3. Response

Once the proxy has processed your request, it forwards it to the actual website's server. The website server receives the request (potentially from the proxy's IP address) and processes it. The website then sends its response data back to the source of the request – which, in this case, is the proxy server.

4. Delivery to You

The proxy server receives the response data from the website and delivers the website's response data back to your browser so you can see the requested website content on your screen. It does this by translating the website's response data back into a format your browser understands.  And If the response contains website content (like webpages or images), the proxy might store a copy in its cache for faster retrieval on future visits.

What are the benefits of proxy servers?

Proxy servers offer several key benefits for users, ranging from enhanced privacy and security to improved performance in certain situations.

Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Enhanced Privacy

One of the main advantages is the ability to browse the web more anonymously. By acting as an intermediary, the proxy server shields your actual IP address from the websites you visit. Websites often track user behavior based on IP addresses. With a proxy server, your browsing habits become less traceable, making it harder for websites to build a profile on you.

2. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions

Some websites restrict access to content based on the user's location. Proxy servers located in different countries can be helpful for accessing geo-blocked content. If, for instance, a streaming service restricts certain shows to specific regions, a proxy server in a permitted region could potentially allow you to access that content.

3. Improved Security

Certain proxy servers can filter out malicious content or websites, offering an extra layer of protection against malware and phishing attempts. Organizations can leverage them to manage internet usage within their network, restricting access to inappropriate websites for employees.

4. Performance Boost (in some cases)

Proxy servers can improve browsing performance in specific situations. They can cache frequently accessed data locally. When you revisit a website that's already been cached, the information can be retrieved much faster from the proxy server than fetching it again from the original source. This can be a lifesaver for users with slow internet connections.

5. Reduced Load on Websites

By handling some of the initial request traffic, proxy servers can alleviate the burden on high-traffic websites, potentially leading to faster loading times for everyone.

Best Proxy Servers

There are a variety of different proxy servers on the market, each with its own set of features, benefits and limitations when it comes to keeping you secure online. 

In this list, we’re counting down ten of the best proxy servers available today, exploring the features and capabilities that make them so popular.

IPFoxy

Boasting over 150,000 servers in more than 110 countries, IPFoxy is a powerful proxy server provider with a variety of proxy server options, including residential proxies, datacenter proxies, and mobile proxies. The company offers dedicated solutions for businesses as well, supporting various protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS5, catering to different use cases and security requirements. It also provides both dedicated, static IP proxies and shared proxies, offering flexibility based on individual needs and budget.

IPFoxyoOffers user-friendly browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox (FoxyProxy) for seamless proxy switching and management. It comes with perks like built-in WebRTC leak protection, incognito mode support, and URL pattern matching for automatic proxy selection built-in too, making it a one-stop solution for all of your proxy needs. IPFox’s free plan only offers one proxy server and limited bandwidth, so you’ll probably need to pay for the premium proxy if you want full and unlimited protection. 

Whoer

Whoer offers a proxy server service aimed at both individuals and businesses. While not the only player in the market, it differentiates itself with some specific features, making it widely known as one of the most reliable proxy servers on the market. Whoer primarily focuses on residential proxies – which are IP addresses associated with real devices in homes and businesses – as well as datacenter proxies for specific use cases. It also offers several features alongside its proxies, including a VPN service, a web scraping tool, and a social media management tool, making it great for overall online security for businesses.

Whoer’s network of proxies boasts millions of residential IPs across over 120 countries, offering diverse location options. Their residential proxies provide high anonymity due to their association with real devices, making it difficult to track user activity while also prioritising fast speeds and high uptime for a smooth user experience. Whoer offers various pay-as-you-go and subscription plans to cater to different needs. Its plans start at $3.90 a month if paid annually, making it one of the more affordable options on this list.

Bright Data

Bright Data, formerly known as Luminati Networks, is a leading provider of proxy servers and web data collection solutions, catering to both individuals and businesses with a wide range of offerings and features. The company boasts one of the largest networks at over 72 million IP addresses, including residential proxies, mobile proxies, data centre proxies, and ISP proxies across the globe, allowing providing exceptional coverage and flexibility. . It also offers various additional services alongside its proxies, including a web data extraction platform, a proxy manager tool, and a compliance suite.

Bright Data’s platform and features are specifically designed for large-scale data collection and web scraping, catering to a specific user segment. Its Proxy Manager can help you define rules for IP rotation, blacklist IPs that give bad results, optimize bandwidth usage by routing some requests through your regular non-proxied connection, and more. Bright Data’s residential proxies also support all the main protocols including HTTP, HTTPS and even SOCKS5, and The service offers comprehensive support including video tutorials and webinars to help you get started. All of these features come at a price, however, with prices ranging from $500 per month to $2000 and more for enterprises. 

NodeMaven

NodeMaven is a proxy server provider specializing in residential proxies for individuals and businesses. Their primary service is offering high-quality residential proxies with IPs associated with real devices in homes and businesses, which offer superior anonymity compared to data centre proxies to keep users’ networks secure. NodeMaven also offer some additional features like a rotating proxy API and a sticky session feature for maintaining connections with specific IP addresses. It also stands out for its unique "Quality Filter" system, which analyzes and filters its vast network to ensure it only offers high-quality, reliable IPs with low block rates.

While not as widespread as some of the other proxy servers on this list NodeMaven’s network covers a wide range of locations in various countries. The company’s hybrid proxy technology also extends session durations, allowing users to stay connected to the same IP address for up to 24 hours, which is significantly longer than industry averages.

4everproxy

4everproxy is a free proxy server provider offering web proxy services primarily focused on individual users seeking basic anonymity and bypassing geo-restrictions. While not a "leading" provider compared to paid, premium services, it does hold a unique position in the market by offering a web proxy service that allows users to browse the internet anonymously through their servers without putting a hole in their wallets. It solely focuses on basic web browsing anonymity, offering no additional features like location targeting, API access, or advanced protocols. Users can choose from nine server locations across different continents, and it offers the option to select specific IP addresses within the chosen server location, allowing for some customization.

As a free service, 4everproxy relies on advertising to sustain its operations. Still, it is one of the few and by far the best free proxy servers available today, offering a stable and reliable service without hidden costs or limitations. If you simply want to browse the web anonymously without paying or dealing with complex configurations, 4everproxy is a great choice. 

SOAX

SOAX stands out as a major player in the proxy server market, offering both residential proxies and other options like datacenter proxies, mobile proxies, and static ISP proxies. The company cater to various needs, from individuals seeking basic anonymity to businesses requiring large-scale data collection, and has over 191 million IP addresses across 195 locations worldwide, offering vast coverage and choice. It also offers a range of features to help users stay safe online, including dynamic rotation, sticky sessions, custom headers, API access, and more – catering to advanced users and automation needs.

Unlike some of the other top proxy servers on this list, SOAX prioritizes uptime and performance to ensure a smooth and consistent connectivity experience. Its web dashboard and browser extensions are also designed for ease of use, making managing proxies simple for anyone – no matter your technical expertise. SOAX has a range of price options depending on what you’re looking for. Its residential proxies range from $299 per month to $999 per month for the pro version. It's mobile proxies and data centre proxy plans are even cheaper, starting at $49 per month and $15 per month respectively.

Oxylabs 

Oxylabs is a well-established player in the web data gathering and proxy server market, offering various solutions for individuals and businesses. The company caters to both individuals and businesses, offering a diverse selection of proxy types, including residential proxies, data centre proxies, and mobile proxies to enable users to choose the best option based on their specific needs, such as anonymity, location targeting, or data collection requirements. Their network boasts over 100 million ethically sourced residential proxies across 195 countries, and they have a significant pool of data centres and mobile proxies, providing extensive global coverage. This not only leads to high availability, but also diverse location options, and the ability to choose the most suitable proxy type for your needs.

What makes Oxylabs one of the best proxy servers on this list is the fact that it goes beyond simply offering proxies. The company provides integrated solutions like a web scraper, data parser, and scheduler, making it easier for users to collect and manage public web data at scale. They also offer a VPN service and customizable web scraping solutions for businesses with complex data collection needs. Oxylabs follows a pay-as-you-go payment plan that means you only pay for the data you use, starting at $10 per 1 GB of traffic for residential proxies. 

Infatica

Infatica is a great proxy server provider for anyone or any business looking for fast and affordable solutions for web scraping, price aggregation, or market research. They are known for their fast speeds, affordable pricing, and user-friendly platform, making them a popular choice for diverse web scraping and data collection needs. The company provides a variety of proxy types, including residential proxies, mobile proxies, and datacenter proxies, allowing users to choose the best fit based on their specific requirements, like anonymity, location targeting, or data collection volume. Their network also boasts over 15 million residential proxies across 100+ countries, alongside a substantial pool of mobile and datacentre proxies, providing extensive global coverage.

Infatica caters heavily to users involved in web scraping and data collection. They offer tools and resources to optimize proxy usage for this purpose, including a web scraping API and traffic dashboards for monitoring usage and performance, as well as features such as rotating IPs, user-agent rotation, and CAPTCHA solving. 

IPRoyal

IPRoyal is a simple but powerful proxy server provider offering various proxy solutions and services to help businesses and individuals stay secure online. The company’s network spans over 34 million IPs across 110+ countries, providing diverse location options for targeted internet access while promising fast connection speeds, 99.9% uptime and competitive pricing for all of your Projects! They also offer unlimited bandwidth on most plans, meaning users can easily get consistent performance without having to worry about usage limits. 

IProyal has proxies for every need. Its rotating residential proxies, for instance, control your IP changes with no restrictions, no contracts, and traffic that never expires, while its static residential IPs allow you to stay secure at blazing speeds. It also has datacenter proxies that give you access to unlimited bandwidth with maximum performance, along with mobile proxies that give you instant access to a network of over 1 million IPs, distributed across actual networks. On top of all this, IPRoyal provides a unique proxy tool that enables you to access real residential proxies in every corner of the world, as well as 24/7 support on chat email, and even Discord. It’s essentially the one-stop solution for proxy servers.

NetNut

With its incredible connection speeds, easy-to-use interface, and high success rates at providing responsible network growth, NetNut is our no 1 pick for the best proxy servers for 2024. The platform gives you access to 52M+ residential IPs worldwide, providing private and stable connectivity as well as industry-leading speeds so that you can browse the web faster than ever while staying secure. These proxies offer IP addresses that are connected to real residential addresses, making them impossible to ban. This allows businesses to effectively hide their real IP, work around geo-blocked content or scrape, and harvest data from across the web without running into issues. They also offer selections of data centre proxies, static residential proxies, and mobile proxies, giving you the choice of multiple different proxies to suit your specific needs.

As well as its large-scale ISP proxy network, NetNut also deploys a dynamic P2P network for web scraping, market research & SEO tracking, delivering an outstanding success rate for your next big project while offering competitive pricing plans. It also provides easy integration and tracking solutions for your proxies, such as API access, Chrome extension, and assigning its users with a dedicated account manager to assist in making the best of your premium residential proxies. Getting started and managing your proxies with NetNut is a breeze too. The platform comes with an intuitive dashboard built-in, providing insightful user statistics and easy-to-use configurations so they can tailor their proxy server to suit their needs.