Every time you go on the internet, someone could be spying on you. Online privacy continues to be a major issue, and most of us will never be quite sure that we’re safe from prying eyes. It could be the government, your boss, or even worse, hackers.
Hackers are the scariest because they can cause a lot of lasting damage. Once they access your data, they will steal it and use it for their nefarious purposes.
Fortunately, there is a way for both individuals and businesses to have anonymity while online. Installing either a proxy or VPN will make it safer for you to browse the internet. Both provide privacy and data encryption.
But between a proxy and a VPN, which is the better choice?
Our article will explore 10 reasons your business needs a proxy and not a VPN.
Let’s dive into it.
Proxies and VPNs: What Are They?
Before we get into their respective benefits, it helps to understand how proxies and VPNs function:
So, you know how sometimes you need to go through security to enter certain buildings or institutions? The security personnel scans you and your property to ensure that you’re carrying nothing illegal or potentially harmful into the building.
That is the simplest way we can define a proxy. It is a gateway or online computer that sits between your computer and the remote server. Anytime there is traffic coming into or out of your browser, it must go through the proxy.
Several things happen at the gateway. First, it will filter the content to remove anything harmful. Think of it as a sieve, separating what you want from the unwanted. With a proxy, only the good stuff gets through.
Next, depending on the type of proxy you have, a different IP will be in play. Some can distort or mask your address. Others will assign a new IP address to you.
Take the example of residential proxies. They will give you an IP address that connects to an actual ISP and a physical residential address. And you can opt for rotating residential proxies that allow you access to a pool of proxies. Every time you make a request, you get an automatic IP address switch. You gain total anonymity and access to content that may not be available within your geographical location.
The most significant difference between the two is how they work. A VPN or Virtual Private Network gives you a private connection in public networks. It is a client on your computer that gives a secure tunnel by replacing the local ISP route. You get data encryption, security, and privacy while online.
From the definitions above, you can see that proxies and VPN share a lot of similarities. So why do we feel a proxy is a better option for your business?
Reasons Why Businesses Prefer Proxies Over VPNs
1. Proxies Can Handle More Traffic
VPNs are more suitable for individual use. Think of a typical organization and the number of people who are using the internet. The level of risk exposure is very high.
It is important to keep track of the amount of web usage and those websites visited by users in your organization. Proxy servers offer more security when you have a large number of people on the internet.
2. You Get Access to Web Scraping Functionalities
One of the most significant selling points of proxies is web scraping functionalities. Running a business includes a lot of research work. It could be about the market, competitors, customers, product trends, etc.
While research is a standard industry practice, you will often prefer to conduct yours anonymously. This is especially true when gathering data from competitors. It also helps when taking public data and importing it to private storage.
To conduct thorough research, you will need to send countless requests. Some websites may view this barrage of requests as suspicious and block or ban your site. Some websites may even have anti-scraping measures in place to detect suspicious IP addresses and block them.
Now, think about the amount of data available online and imagine the fantastic insights to be gained. The right software and inexpensive computing allow for competitive differentiation through data-driven strategies.
Web scraping is the method of extracting information relevant to the business from the data available online. The process is efficient and generates accurate information in a short time. You will not achieve the same results if you work to gain these insights manually.
So how does a proxy help with the process? Well, you’ll have complete anonymity. And you’ll be free of the geographical limitations often set by sites.
You can send those countless requests for information without blocks or the possibility of the site banning you. With your identity obscured, you’re safe no matter which sites you visit.
If you are using rotating proxies, each request will arrive from a different IP address, making it very difficult for the target website to discover its owner. You need not worry about exposure or third-party eyes getting access to your information.
3. They Assist With Rate Limits
Rate-limiting is a common practice, yet you may not even be aware it exists. It has the advantage of keeping your site free from malicious activity.
What it means is your internet provider can limit your amount of network traffic. There might be a limit on the number of times you can repeat a specific action. And you might have to stick within a specific timeline.
However, when researching, it can become a hindrance. To collect the rich data needed, you’ll want to access as many websites as possible.
Proxies can easily bypass such limits through the use of many IP addresses.
4. Better UX with a Proxy
A business website receives a lot of traffic. There may be surges in traffic when you are, for example, running a promotion. Without suitable systems in place, your server can crash. You can imagine the annoyance and frustration for your customers in this scenario.
Proxy servers control the amount of traffic coming in and out of your network. Since everything goes through one access point, it easily balances requests. It ensures no overload, so your system is always up and running.
Proxy servers will also compress traffic, saving on bandwidth, resulting in higher speeds. All of this contributes to a better user experience (UX) for your website visitors.
5. Higher Productivity with the Right Proxy
Your business can achieve higher productivity and accuracy with the right proxy. Some of the functionalities include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) monitoring for better visibility with high-quality traffic.
- Ad verification proxies for ensuring the authenticity of the ads on the website. It helps with targeting, thus ensuring your messaging reaches the right audiences.
- Improved corporate security for your networks and source systems. The proxy adds an extra layer of security by creating a buffer between you and remote servers. Even if a hacker gets access to the proxy, they will find it challenging to reach your data storage centers.
6. Filtering and Content Blocking
It is important to find a way to manage every internet request going out from your business. The same applies to every request that comes in. You can assign authority levels to users as a way of managing online use.
You also have the option of proxies. By passing internet traffic through a proxy, the administrator can block off certain pages. They may also place restrictions on the amount of information from specific sites.
Companies can effectively deny access to sites that they consider a high risk of proxies, such as gambling, pornography, entertainment, and gaming.
7. Caching Functionalities
There are specific sites you may frequently visit. With caching, proxies can download such information for faster loading speeds. The process reduces waiting time when users want to log into the sites. It gets the information from the downloads instead of needing to connect to the internet.
Proxies will also monitor any changes, then update the downloaded information.
8. Multiple Account Management
Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a business to open accounts on different platforms. With social media proxies, it is possible to open several accounts on one channel.
But trying to manage them from one IP address may arouse suspicion. The platform may end up blocking the accounts. A proxy server hides your IP address, resulting in anonymity. With a proxy, you can manage as many accounts as you choose.
9. Malware and Virus Protection
Proxy servers are effective in the management of malware. Any time someone is online, they risk exposure to vulnerabilities. Hackers exploit your vulnerabilities to gain access, steal data, or monitor activities. And in a business setting, there is the interconnectivity of systems to consider.
Viruses can spread to other machines. Before you know it, your entire system could be down. By monitoring and blocking suspicious traffic, you can keep your system safe from such attacks.
10. Helps with Site Monitoring
You can never be sure which sites your employees are visiting. Some of them expose you to areas of vulnerability that hackers can exploit. A VPN and proxy will give security and privacy. But the latter will allow you to have more control over the sites your employees can visit.
The network administrator can block any content or sites you do not want them to access. You can catch any security breaches or record illegal activities.
Proxies are especially effective in educational institutions. They’ll also help monitor internet usage within the home. Those with young kids will understand the importance of these measures.
We have looked at ten advantages of proxies for your business. Other than online anonymity, you get to enjoy other functionalities. These many benefits include web scraping and the ability to bypass rate limits.
A business can access content that may be available on websites outside their geographical location. By assigning different IP addresses, the remote server will not know where the requests originate. This is essential for business practices like market research and competitor analysis.
Shop for the right proxy by arming yourself with the right knowledge about the different types available. Also, read customer reviews to determine the best proxy for your business.