The Pros & Cons of Shared Proxies

Whether you want proxies for business or personal use, shared proxies can be effective depending on your objective. They provide a high level of online anonymity because they provide different IP addresses for browsing.

Shared proxies can help to mine data, bypass web filters and restricted content. They are also cost-friendly as compared to private proxies.

Unlike private proxies, shared proxies tend to give low speeds because shared connection means shared performance. They also expose you to several risks because you do not know who you are sharing a network with. If you want to dig deeper into what are dedicated IP vs shared IP differences, check out other articles.

In this article, we will focus on the pros and cons of shared proxies.

What is a Proxy?

A proxy is a substitute that allows you to use the internet under a different IP address. It handles your browsing requests on behalf of your IP address, ensuring your identity remains hidden. The proxy receives your requests, forwards them to the target website using a different IP address, then sends back the response to you.

What are Shared Proxies?

These are proxies used by many people at the same time. Shared proxies do not have exclusivity because many network users are using the same IP address.

Pros of Shared Proxies

Cost-Effectiveness

Shared proxies are perhaps the cheapest proxies out there. But this does not mean they are not as effective as other costly proxies. They can be very effective depending on the project.

They are ideal for a project that requires a large number of IP addresses. For example, ad verification needs many IPs to verify ads from different geolocations. Shared proxies will serve well and at a low cost. They are cheap because the service is spread among many people.

High Anonymity

There are countless activities taking place on the internet. Shared proxies have a high turnover of users at the same time. This makes it hard to track who used what IP address at what time.

If you would like to operate online without being identified, then invest in a shared proxy.

Web scraping

Also known as data mining, web scraping is the automated process of collecting large amounts of data from websites. When you need to access many websites to retrieve large amounts of data, chances are that the IP address you are using will raise suspicion and get flagged or blocked.

Websites become suspicious when too many browsing requests come from the same IP address.  This is where shared proxies come in handy. They allow you to switch IP addresses at a given interval to ensure you scrape smoothly without the worry of being blocked.

Advertising Geo-Testing

A lot of companies have shifted to online advertising. Marketers develop ads targeting people in any country or city. It is, however, important to know if the ads are working through advertising geo-testing.

Shared proxies can be used to test if the ad campaigns are working in a given region. They can also help to see how an ad looks like by accessing the web with an IP address from a target location.

Cons of Shared Proxies

Low Speed

Speed is crucial for any internet activity. Given that shared proxies are a shared network, they are likely to overload the bandwidth making the connection slow and frustrating.

The enormous number of people using the same IP address can cause a shutdown. This can be costly to a business.

Security Risk

Shared networks are a haven for spammers and hackers. This is because many people share a network at the same time, making it hard to trace malicious activities back to them.

Shared proxies can compromise sensitive information such as financial or private data. Unlike private proxies, you do not have control over a shared server which is a big security risk.

Bad Neighbour Effect

The hard truth is, when you decide to use shared proxies, you do not get the luxury of choosing who to share the network with. This means if one person misuses the proxy, you all suffer.

For example, if one hacker within your shared IP conducts illegal or suspicious activities, everyone is liable to the offense and suffer the consequences.

Advertising & Spams

When purchasing shared proxies, you need to work with a reputable provider. This is because some shared proxy providers can sell personal details like emails to marketers.

When this happens, you are likely to start receiving unprecedented advertisement banners and emails. Your devices also become vulnerable to malware when using shared proxies.

Conclusion

The use of shared proxies can be dominant and useful depending on your objective. You can use them to collect data in websites with minimal access restrictions. Avoid using shared proxies for comprehensive data work to avoid cyber-attacks.

Shared proxies are cost-friendly but it is important to mention that businesses should stay away from free shared proxies. Be sure to work with a provider who offers consistent consumer support. This will help to resolve some of the challenges discussed above.

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.