In the digital age, privacy and security have become top priorities for internet users.
With data breaches and cyber attacks on the rise, it's more important than ever to protect your online identity and personal information.
One way to do this is by using a web proxy service, which masks your IP address and routes your internet traffic through a server in a different location.
In this blog post, we will take a look at 5 of the top proxy services (free and paid) available in 2023. Whether you're looking for a proxies solution for personal or professional use, we've got you covered.
1. Bright Data
The static IPs are a group of 6 to 100 addresses that are exclusively assigned to you and haven't been used with your target domain before.
The mobile IPs are more resilient, but also more expensive than the residential IPs. But free trials are available for both.
For those with specific targeting needs, Bright Data supports ASN (Autonomous System Number) targeting, in addition to the traditional targeting options like country, state, and city.
To use the proxies, you can utilize the open-source Proxy Manager, which can be installed on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The Proxy Manager allows you to set IP rotation rules, blacklist IPs that don't perform well, optimize bandwidth usage, and more.
Bright Data's residential proxies support all major protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS5, and the company provides comprehensive support through video tutorials and webinars. It also comes with a free trial.
While the service advertises a base rate for all proxy types, the final cost can vary depending on the targeting level and other parameters.
Bright Data offers various payment plans, including monthly subscriptions and a pay-as-you-go option, that are reasonable for large-scale proxy users as well as those with specific requirements.
Bright Data leverages its strong infrastructure to offer a range of tools that enhance or make better use of it. This includes a comprehensive API, a browser extension, and the above-mentioned proxy manager.
If you're not interested in managing proxies, the Web Unlocker is an option that guarantees a 100% success rate. Additionally, you can spend as much as you want without committing to a monthly plan.
Bright Data Key Features
- Access to 72 million P2P and static residential IPs
- Support for HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS protocols
- Targeting options for every country, numerous cities, ASN, and carriers
- Dynamic IP rotation or persistent sessions options
- Unrestricted simultaneous requests
- Authentication options including whitelisted IPs and username/password
- Integration through API, browser extension, and proxy manager
- Extensive documentation
- 99% uptime
- Round-the-clock 24/7 customer assistance
Oxylabs has a network of 100 million residential proxies covering all countries and cities, which can be targeted based on country, city, and ASN (autonomous system number).
However, the residential IPs use backconnect gateway servers, which require manual modification to add targeting parameters. The provider also claims to offer mobile IPs in their residential proxies, but these cannot be specifically selected. Proxies rotate IPs at every request to avoid being blocked.
Oxylabs also provides static, non-rotating residential proxies sourced directly from ISPs, offering the benefits of both data center and residential proxies. These static proxies support the SOCKS5 protocol, while the standard rotating residential proxies do not. Oxylab's pool of over 2 million dedicated data center IPs also support the SOCKS5 protocol and offer a proxy rotator add-on.
The provider's [next-gen residential proxies use machine learning and AI to mimic regular user behavior and bypass blocks and captchas. Oxylabs also offers a web scraping tool called Scraper APIs, which provides data in HTML or JSON format.
Oxylabs prioritizes quality and performance, as demonstrated by their mostly landline and mobile IP addresses, which delivered over 62% unique IPs during testing, with a near-perfect success rate, stability, and quick response time. The provider offers a wide range of tools, including the Web Unblocker and dedicated account manager support.
However, the pricing of Oxylabs' services may not be suitable for individuals or those with limited budgets, as they require a substantial investment to maximize the benefits of their offerings.
You can learn more about their plans under the 'Pricing' dropdown on their homepage:
Oxylabs Key Features
- 100 million peer-to-peer and static residential IP addresses
- HTTP and HTTPS protocols supported
- Targeting options for every country, thousands of cities, and autonomous system numbers (ASN)
- No limit on concurrent requests
- IP rotation with every request, with option for sticky sessions up to 30 minutes
- Whitelisted IPs and user/password authentication available
- Public API provided
- Detailed documentation available
- 24/7 live support and a dedicated account manager for assistance
Smartproxy offers both residential and data center proxies. It has a pool of over 40 million rotating residential IPs obtained from desktop and mobile devices, which are shared among users. Although this may result in the use of flagged IPs, Smartproxy's quick rotation policy minimizes the risk of IP bans.
Plans are limited by bandwidth, but users can run an unlimited number of concurrent threads. The proxy selection process is facilitated through the use of a dashboard that lists available backconnect gateway servers and provides options for filtering proxies by location and type of session. Smartproxy also offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox to help users choose the most suitable proxy for web browsing.
In tests, Smartproxy's proxy pool returned the highest number of unique IPs among all providers tested, with over 63% of 2 million requests returning unique IPs.
The provider has a near-perfect connection success rate and response time of less than 1 second, indicating premium quality performance.
However, Smartproxy's proxy services are not as premium or robust as some of the other options on this list, having limited features compared to other providers and fewer targeting options. The company prioritizes providing great customer support and an excellent user experience.
Learn more about their plans under the 'Pricing' dropdown on their homepage.
Smartproxy Key Features
- 40 million rotating residential proxies
- 195 locations with country and city-level targeting
- Rotation every request with optional session lengths of 10 or 30 minutes
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Whitelisted IP and username/password authentication options
- Access to API and browser extensions
- Extensive documentation
- 24/7 support services offered
NetNut, renowned for its robust and reliable proxy service, provides an impressive proxy pool of over 52 million IPs. It's celebrated for its nearly perfect success rate, lightning-fast response time, and unrivalled stability, making it ideal for extensive data extraction without IP blocks or CAPTCHAs.
NetNut's extensive suite of proxy options includes rotating residential IPs, static residential IPs, mobile IPs, and datacenter proxies.
The static IPs consist of a pool of over 1 million addresses assigned exclusively to the user, ensuring they've not been previously used with your target domain.
The mobile IPs, which account for over 250K addresses from top carriers, are more resilient, and they offer full online anonymity and security while enabling users to bypass geo-restrictions.
NetNut also offers datacenter proxies, renowned for their blazing speed and high scalability, ensuring optimal performance and 99.99% uptime.
While the services have an advertised base rate, the final cost may vary depending on the parameters. NetNut provides a free trial for new users and various payment plans that accommodate both large-scale proxy users and those with specific requirements.
NetNut Key Features:
- Over 52 million rotating residential proxies for limitless data extraction
- Light-speed web data collection at scale with no IP blocks or CAPTCHAs
- An impressive pool of over 1 million undetectable static IPs available 24/7
- Over 250,000 mobile IPs from top carriers for full online anonymity and security
- Blazing-fast US datacenter proxies ensuring high scalability for optimal performance
- Unmatched global coverage with auto-rotating IPs
- Cost-effective premium proxies for high-volume data collection
- Seamless access with auto IP rotation and zero CAPTCHAs
- Round-the-clock availability with the option to keep sessions forever
- Unrestricted simultaneous requests ensuring infinite scaling
- Zero IP blocks or CAPTCHAs
- Dedicated support with an account manager
NetNut leverages its powerful infrastructure to provide a seamless online browsing experience. It offers a range of tools for managing proxies efficiently and effectively, providing users with an unparalleled level of control and customization. Whether you're a large-scale proxy user or have specific requirements, NetNut's comprehensive range of features and offerings make it a top-tier choice in the proxy market.
Geonode is a leading provider of high-quality proxy services, offering two standout plans: the Unlimited Residential Proxy and the Pay-As-You-Go Residential Proxy.
Designed to cater to a wide range of web scraping needs, these plans provide users with an efficient, cost-effective, and flexible solution for data mining and web browsing.
The Unlimited Residential Proxy plan, starting at just $49, offers limitless web scraping with no data caps or extra charges. It operates on a pay-per-concurrent-request basis, meaning users only pay for the number of requests made at any given time.
This feature is perfect for those who are scraping at scale and want to control their costs. The plan also includes real residential IP addresses that are exclusively yours for the duration of your connection, ensuring reliable and authentic scraping.
The Pay-As-You-Go Residential Proxy plan is ideal for those who prefer to pay only for successful requests. Providing access to a diverse pool of IP addresses, this plan includes residential and office IPs to ensure a high success rate in scraping.
Users can target specific geographical locations for scraping, allowing for data collection from a specific region or country.
Both plans support multiple protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS5, and allow for fast and easy authentication.
Geonode also offers a special trial where users can get 2 GB for free and try their Unlimited Residential Data for just $7. Additionally, they provide a free proxy list for interested users to try.
Geonode Key Features
- Unlimited Web Scraping
- Full control of exclusive residential IPs
- Access to Private Proxies
- Fast and Easy Authentication
- Multiple Supported Protocols - HTTP, HTTPS, & SOCKS5
- Custom Rotation Time
- Lowest Price Guarantee
- Specific Geographical Locations for Scraping (160+ countries)
- Rotating & Sticky IPs
Here are some other proxy services that didn't make it to the top 5 but are still worth checking out.
Hidester provides a proxy service that allows users to browse the web anonymously by bypassing geo-restrictions and avoiding online tracking. The service is free and doesn't require any signup or software installation. By default, Hidester routes web requests through US-based servers, but users can switch to European servers if desired.
For added privacy, Hidester provides options to encrypt URLs and remove scripts, and allows users to choose whether to accept cookies. The service also includes a bar at the top of the page to clear cookies when the proxy session ends, and allows for customization of the browser's referrer string. Hidester claims to maintain no logs of user visits and to fully control their servers with no involvement from third-party IP proxies.
Besides, the free proxies, users can also select a proxy from Hidester's list of premium public options, which are fully tested and evaluated prior to being listed. The proxy list can be filtered by anonymity level, location, type, speed, port, and Google proxy, giving users control over their online privacy.
Hidester Key Features
- Comes with a free option that doesn't require signup or software installation
- Default US-based server routing, with option to switch to European servers
- Encrypt URL and remove scripts options
- Option to accept or reject cookies, and clear session data
- Full control of servers with no third-party IP proxy involvement
- Available proxy options that are fully tested and evaluated
- Proxy list can be filtered by anonymity level, location, type, speed, port, and Google proxy.
IPRoyal has a residential proxy pool that consists of ethically sourced genuine users globally. This proxy service provider features a user-friendly and customizable dashboard to manage the service.
IPRoyal offers various proxy solutions, including residential, data center, 4G mobile, and sneaker proxies, and has been proven to be a reliable service provider. The residential proxy solutions offered by IPRoyal are particularly appealing and are priced competitively.
If you're working with a limited budget, IPRoyal also provides access to a list of free proxies, which are updated every 10 minutes and provide a variety of options. However, it is important to note that while free proxies can be used as a temporary solution, they may be slower and less secure, and can potentially be used by malicious third-parties to gather sensitive information.
Learn more about IPRoyal's pricing plans here:
IPRoyal Key Features
- IP rotation is automatic.
- Multiple types of proxy servers available.
- Residential IP proxies can be switched automatically.
- Offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Dedicated residential proxies available.
- IP change through dashboard with a simple click.
- Supports multiple locations.
- No contract obligation for proxy service.
To sum up, there are many options available when it comes to web proxy services. Whether you're looking for a free or paid solution, there are options to meet your needs.
However, when considering the balance of features, reliability, and security, Bright Data stands out as the best all-round option, especially for those who are looking for an enterprise-grade solution. Although it is a paid service, they offer a free trial, making it easy to test and see if it's the right choice for you.