Look, we get it. Everyone loves free things. Whether it’s a freebie that comes with a large purchase at the supermarket or if it’s a big discount, we all enjoy a good deal. However, like most things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
This advice holds true in the world of proxies as well. A quick search reveals hundreds of offerings from various companies, some appearing more legitimate than others. Many people use free proxies in an attempt to get over geographical restrictions or blocked sites like Reddit at the workplace. While you might not see any changes right away, we can tell you with absolute certainty that using a free proxy compromises your privacy in exchange for subpar service.
In this article, we go over the various reasons why you shouldn’t use a free proxy service, no matter how tempting they might appear to be.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch: why do you need a good proxy.
If you’re serious about being more private online, you’ll need to buy a proxy. Smartproxy is an excellent proxy to use for all of your web surfing needs.
You can access over 195 locations from the comfort of your home, so you can watch Netflix shows from different countries. Unlike free proxies, the IP addresses you’ll be supplied with will be from genuine mobile and desktop devices. This will trick servers into thinking you’re browsing from an authentic device and not a proxy. You also won’t experience any buffering or slowdowns since Smartproxy has an average response time of 3.1s.
The dangers of using free proxies: honeypotting and data leaks.
Using free proxies comes with a number of potential dangers, but the most devastating one is honeypotting and data leaks. When you connect to a free proxy service, you route your internet traffic through them. Most free proxy services don’t allow HTTPS connections, which means all of your browsing data is open for the world to see. That means the free proxy and anyone else who is monitoring your network can easily see your sensitive information, like your login details into a website.
That’s the best-case scenario. Unfortunately, not every developer has a heart of gold. Some developers create free proxies with viruses and malware built into them. Upon connecting to their network, it’s quite likely that your device could become infected as well. If the proxy you’re using is displaying ads, bear in mind that those ads could contain harmful programmes for your device.
Even your cookies could be compromised. If you don’t know what cookies are, here’s the breakdown: When you log into a website, your computer creates a file called a cookie that contains your login data. Cookies carry information about you, which is how sites are able to recognise you when you revisit their site. When you use a free proxy, there’s a chance that the proxy provider might use your cookies to impersonate you online. If you think that’s terrifying, consider all the sensitive sites you visit online…
Lastly, using a free proxy just isn’t a good experience. Even after you gamble with your privacy and online identity, you’ll often find free proxies are slow and not pleasant to use. This is likely due to two reasons: a lack of funding (the app is free, after all) and the large number of people who are using them at the same time as you.
Whether it’s your phone or your laptop, you spend hours surfing the web and working online. Investing in a high-quality proxy service can mean the difference between a smooth, lag-free day or a nightmarish malware-infected computer. If you’re worried about the costs that come with buying a proxy, remember: if it increases the amount of work you can get done, your investment will pay itself off over time.
Your privacy is one of the most precious commodities you have, so please consider the fact that once it’s gone, it’s very challenging to get it back. Think of that the next time you feel the urge to download a free proxy.