Are you missing your favourite free movie streaming website away from your home country just because it is blocked due to geolocation constraints? Web proxies facilitate surfing of blocked websites. A web proxy might rescue you and many others, who are in dire need of browsing privately and anonymously. But you might not be sure about all web proxies available on the internet.
What is a web proxy?
A web proxy exists as an intermediary between you and your target website. It acts as a barrier between you and your target website to hide your details such as IP address, geolocation, etc.
In simple words, the sites which you surf only come to know about web proxy IP address and have no clue about your system IP address. This is also one of the ways of maintaining anonymity on the internet while doing various internet activities such as browsing and searching.
Web proxies are like any ordinary website but have inbuilt functions of a proxy server. Also, look and feel of any web proxy matches with a search engine website. However, when you provide a web URL in the search bar then it will open the website.
You do not have to perform any changes on your system for accessing any web poxy. You just require any web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.
Web proxy features
Hide IP address
Your IP address and other details will not come out in the open.
Sometimes Ads could be irritating if it hinders the view of any website. A web proxy can quickly get rid of Ad providers like Google AdSense, Media net, etc. You will enjoy a neat and clean surfing.
Bring in SSL security
There are several web proxies, mostly paid ones, which have inbuilt SSL encryption technology. The web proxy will encrypt the communication between with your system and the destination URL, thereby making it safe and secure.
You can manage cookies
You can also control cookies by choosing various options on any web proxy. Some popular cookie options are “clean cookies before start”, “turn off cookies”, etc.
Save bandwidth by removing heavy content
Sometimes I want to play online games which sometimes load unnecessary massive files like Flash Shockwave, etc. Heavy files eat away most of the internet bandwidth. A proxy server can provide you with an option of blocking heavy objects before getting loaded on any website.
Web browser masking
Some websites server can only open in IE (internet explorer) or any other browser. A web proxy can easily hide your browser and help you gaining access to the server.
Paid or free web proxy
Till now we have learnt that a web proxy is a far-flung server which intercepts data communication while you browse any website. In a way, it takes your requests and passes it on to your target URL without disclosing your identity. In a way, you are hidden from the outside world.
What about your data which is getting logged in the web proxy server? Your data may include your IP address, geolocation, login ID, passwords, credit card details, etc. It will not be cool if you have no idea about the details such as how your data is getting cached or how long that cache is stored?
You have to be very cautious while selecting any free web proxy since not all are legitimate and may sell your data in the longer run. Also, it is a good idea to go for paid web proxy if you have regular requirement of a proxy server.
Speed and accessibility are other issues with free proxies while paid proxies use the latest technology to provide you top-notch speed and availability.
How to check if a web proxy is good or not?
There are a few websites on which you can verify if a web proxy is clean and OK to go or not. Proxy Checker from Haschek Solutions is one of them. Proxy Checker is a paid service, but it is worth a shot. You may have to spend $0.5 for checking one proxy, or you can pay one time $20 for infinite checks.
Best free web proxies in 2017
Hide my ass is a freemium proxy which has servers in USA, UK & Netherlands. The paid version offers faster connection speed, more encryption and malware protection. But the free Hide my ass service can suffice your most of the online browsing needs for watching movies or playing online games.
Hide my ass collects your data such as IP address, URLs which you visit, etc. Hide my ass server stores your data for 30 days.
VPNBOOK is one of my favourite website for my proxy needs. It is amazingly fast, and even its free service is SSL encrypted. Its server is also in multiple places such as USA, UK, Canada, etc.
It supports HTTPS connections and can prevent Ads from getting loaded on any website. VPNBOOK keeps a log of user data but not for more than one week.
The best feature of FilterBypass is that it supports YouTube and DailyMotion. So, if you want to watch your favourite videos on a network where YouTube or DailyMotion are blocked, then FilterBypass becomes an ideal choice.
FilterBypass free features include some paid features such as page and URL encryption. However, FilterBypass blocks any e-commerce and financial websites per their company policy. It also stores user data but not more than a week.
Anonymouse is another reliable web proxy, but its free version does not offer any encryption.
They also have a VIP (Version of Anonymouse) version which supports encryption of HTTPS, SSL, TLS connections.
Can you use a proxy on a secured network?
If you are on a secured network which has a reverse proxy server in place, then it is not recommended to use web proxy server. Secured network, such as big corporate house network, has robust proxy server configuration making impossible for proxies to sneak in.
Free web proxies are a great workaround for unblocking websites. But you should be aware of possible implications such as data theft, selling of personal data, hacking, virus infection, malware, etc. I would never recommend you to open any websites which have your login or financial credentials.