Looking to protect your privacy online?
A proxy server can help.
With many providers around, it’s challenging to find the right one.
But you’re in luck!
On this page, you’ll find the ten best proxy server vendors.
We’ll also cover:
- A comparison between free and paid proxies
- Different types of proxy servers
- An actionable guide to picking the best proxy
Let’s start with the basics.
Best proxy server for 2023
Let’s begin by looking at the proxy providers in brief:
- Oxylabs – Best overall
- Smartproxy – Dedicated solutions for multiple operating systems and use cases
- Bright Data – Great option for developers and professional use
- Nimble – Top proxy for SEO professionals
- Hide.me – Best for casual users
- KProxy – Best free proxy
- HMA – Best for non-demanding tasks
- VPNBook – Best for web browsing
- ProxySite – Great for those who want US servers
- Whoer – Versatile and compatible with most browsers
What is a proxy?
A proxy server is a gateway that sits between you and the internet. It handles web requests on your behalf to maximize security and privacy.
Proxies additionally allow users to utilize multiple IPs simultaneously. That way, you get to conduct bulk web activities at scale.
Furthermore, businesses can use proxy servers to secure networking systems from cybercriminals. They’re good at filtering bad traffic to safeguard sensitive communications.
Such services also help speed up web platforms by caching data. This accelerates websites resulting in faster loading of web pages.
It’s time to dive into the details.
Best proxy service reviews
Find below detailed reviews of the top proxy service providers on the market.
If you’re looking for the best mobile proxy server services, get Oxylabs. Founded in 2015, it offers best-in-class web scraping solutions for different use cases.
This vendor’s network infrastructure is like no other. It consists of 100+ residential IP addresses in over 195 locations.
You can select regions from the country down to the state level. Such a function helps in geo-targeting to improve the accuracy of your data.
Better yet, mobile proxies can enhance the quality of your research. You can mine data by targeting users on specific cellular operators.
The supported networks include 3G, 4G, and 5G. Furthermore, you get to benefit from auto-IP rotation on the go.
Like Bright Data, it provides unlimited concurrent connections on all services. As such, scaling your activities will be as easy as pie.
Oxylabs also sticks out as the best anonymous proxy server vendor.
Oxylabs ethically sources its residential and mobile proxies from legitimate providers. It further offers third-party partners attractive rewards to maximize quality.
The vendor offers encrypted connections via HTTPS. This safeguards your traffic when scraping the web.
On top of that, SOCKS5 beefs up the security of your connections. Accordingly, intruders will waste time and effort trying to eavesdrop on your activities.
All the above goodies, however, come at a price. Subscriptions start from $15/GB on PAYG. Other regular month-by-month plans cost $49 or more.
The good news?
Oxylab’s proxy online dashboard is simple and user-friendly. It’s free of clutter and easy to find your way around.
The vendor provides excellent customer support as well. Agents are helpful and available day and night.
Overall, Oxylabs is the best choice for scraping using mobile proxies. But its premium pricing is only ideal for users with deep pockets.
Smartproxy is an industry-leading vendor, ideal for conducting demanding data mining tasks. Its list of services includes residential, mobile, and data center (DC) proxies.
The provider’s network features 50 million IPs in over 195+ locations. The top regions comprise the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Smartproxy’s private IP addresses are worth mentioning. They belong to real devices, which helps build trust on the web.
True to that, we were able to evade captchas and proxy-sensitive websites. Still, it ensures complete anonymity when accessing the web.
But there’s more.
The vendor provides some of the best free proxy tools around. There’s X Browser for using multiple online accounts without raising suspicion.
You’ll find dedicated browser plugins for Google Chrome and Firefox. Besides that, an address generator helps you create proxy lists on auto-pilot.
The scraper APIs are another thing developers will appreciate. They’re ideal for gathering bulk data and synchronizing information in real-time.
Smartproxy has also got your back if you’re a sneakerhead. It has fast sneaker proxies for grabbing limited-edition shoes in online stores.
Away from that, the vendor provides step-by-step guides for beginners. Its knowledge base includes articles, video tutorials, and technical documentation.
Support is available round the clock if things get thick. They’re knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive.
The best of all? Pricing.
This provider offers the best proxy plans starting from $8.5/month. Moreover, there’s a 30-day free trial to test the services without limits.
Overall, Smartproxy is great for both personal and business use. Its vast network and dedicated tools can help accelerate tasks at scale.
#3 Bright Data
Bright Data is the best-paid proxy server provider for advanced users. This award-winning vendor boasts over 70 million IPs and 20,000+ customers.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice the long list of developer-friendly tools. The first one consists of a SERP API for data mining on search engines.
Thanks to the dedicated scrapping browser, novice users are also not left out. It’s perfect for unblocking websites, bypassing captchas, and web research.
The web unlocker is another nifty tool that you’ll admire using. As the name suggests, it can unlock websites with 99.9% accuracy.
Our tests additionally show that the tool is smart at captcha-solving. Thanks to machine learning, you can run major tasks without bogging down.
Automated IP proxy rotation saves time when using simultaneous connections. Moreover, you can set intervals between requests to avoid creating suspicion online.
It gets better:
Bright Data provides readily available datasets to turbocharge your research. The information includes top businesses and industries worldwide.
The vendor also provides valuable insights for global brands. So you can speed up the process of gathering market intelligence.
Bright Data’s server proxies include residential, datacenter, and mobile. All are well-tailored to meet both lightweight and demanding needs..
Other extras include dedicated IPs, a novice-friendly dashboard, and a 99.9% uptime. What’s more, customer support is available 24/7 for your convenience.
However, Bright Data is more expensive than Smartproxy. Subscriptions start at $10.13/GB with PAYG costing from $15.00/GB.
Altogether, the vendor is an excellent choice for developers. Still, marketers can use it to gather market intelligence with confidence.
Nimble pride itself as the best proxy site for gathering data with ease. The service suits beginners, businesses, and SEO experts.
The platform is among the few that use machine learning to power services. With such integration, you’re sure to find up-to-date information.
Getting started with the service is pretty straightforward. It offers the Nimble browser that requires almost zero skills to operate.
Despite being simple, it has outstanding emulation capabilities for accessing the web safely. Moreover, proxies are natively available to effortlessly extract data on the internet.
The browser’s multilevel fingerprinting enables you to build trust online. That way, you get to enjoy unrestricted access to any web platform.
Under the hood includes a robust API for automating tasks with speed. The user interface is friendly and requires zero maintenance to operate.
You can export all the data to a cloud storage of your choice. The supported ones include Google Cloud and Amazon S3.
Further, Nimble’s proxy program offers intelligence structuring to organize information into datasets. This works seamlessly with any web platform that you scrape.
The vendor doesn’t slack on security. It employs AES-256-bit encryption on API requests to enhance privacy.
TLS fingerprinting helps establish secure connections when interacting with web resources. You won’t risk running into blocks during scrapping due to fishy activities.
Sadly, Nimble doesn’t offer dedicated proxy tools for third-party browsers. But it’s easy to configure on PCs and smartphone devices.
The starting price of $255/month is way out of reach. However, it’s worth every penny for a service powered by machine learning.
Customer support is available 24/7 to resolve both simple and complex issues. Furthermore, the knowledge base is well-detailed with tons of helpful articles.
All in all, Nimble is a simple yet effective service that delivers. It’s an excellent choice for users who require a fully-automated data data-gathering solution.
Hide.me stands out as the best free proxy vendor for casual users. The service works well in unlocking geo-restricted websites and bypassing online censorship.
Its features are as follows:
Users get an anonymous proxy browser for accessing any web portal. The tool is cloud-based and requires no installations on your device.
There are a handful of server locations like the Netherlands, France, and Finland. But you can access 70+ regions by upgrading from $3.45/month.
You have the option of encrypting traffic and web pages using SSL. Accordingly, intruders with prying eyes won’t be able to tell what you’re doing.
Hide.me supports SOCKS5 protocol for secure connections on the internet. The convenience it offers in evading annoying captchas is worth appreciating.
Another thing we liked is the ability to block unwanted scripts on websites. Eliminating them makes websites load faster and saves your bandwidth.
But there’s more:
Hide.me’s free proxy service doesn’t log user activities. Your privacy will be in good hands when using the platform.
Technical support is available throughout when things get out of hand. The agents are fast and straightforward in resolving problems.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to rotate your IP addresses. And the proxy browser breaks some websites.
Besides that, the vendor provides a VPN at no extra cost. All users get 10GB/month and five server locations.
Overall, Hide.me well suits lightweight proxy users. But don’t expect anything out of the ordinary.
KProxy is another free proxy server provider that screams bells and whistles. Its set of features can give paid services a run for their money.
To start with, you get an online-based browser for unlocking websites. Additionally, there’s a choice of ten server locations to choose from.
Like Hide.me, it protects data using 256-bit encryption to stop hackers. We tested the security and found it reliable on public WiFi.
KProxy fairly handles sensitive transactions on the web. You can use it for e-commerce and accessing your bank account without worries.
You’ll find browser extensions for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. They require no complex configurations after installation.
The best part?
The vendor has dedicated proxy browsers for Android and Windows devices. Moreover, it provides easy-to-follow instructions for using the service on other internet-enabled devices.
There’s a paid version if you want to get more from KProxy. Prices start from as low as $5 for ten days.
Dubbed KProxyPro, you get unrestricted network usage. You’ll also benefit from premium locations like the USA and Germany.
On the downside, customer support is basic. You can only request help via email. The average waiting time of around six hours also requires patience.
Other than that, KProxy shines as the best free private proxy server provider. The service is solid, reliable, and suitable for beginners.
We’re not done yet with the freebies.
HideMyAss (HMA) touts itself as the best free proxy server provider. But how true is this?
Let’s find out:
HMA provides an online-based proxy browser like its rivals. Despite being basic, it offers vital features for browsing.
First, it has an address bar for opening any websites you want. There are different locations to choose from including, the US, UK, and Germany.
Encrypting your traffic is a must-have for enhancing your privacy. Additionally, there’s room to block websites from storing unwanted cookie data.
The option to strip down scripts from websites is equally great. Using it stops online ads, tackers, and scripts that slow browsing.
Our tests show that HMA’s proxy server online service doesn’t leak your location. As such, you can unblock restricted websites with ease.
HideMyAss doesn’t guarantee the safety of its proxy service. The service is also unsuitable for demanding tasks like video streaming.
In fact, the vendor provides a dedicated free YouTube-only proxy. But it’s outdated and hardly works on the platform.
Websites also load partially with vital features missing on web pages. However, this doesn’t come as a surprise because of its below-average speeds.
Customer support is always offline despite the presence of a live chat widget. Besides that, browsing through the help articles doesn’t offer meaningful help.
Therefore, HMA doesn’t stand a chance on the best free proxy vendors list. It’s only suitable for casual use and non-demanding tasks.
VPNBook belongs to the bandwagon of free public proxy server services. The vendor provides a clutter-free web interface where all the action takes place.
You can use it to browse the web securely using 256-bit encryption. As you know, this jumbles your traffic, making hacking difficult.
There are multiple server locations in the United States and Canada. Auto-select is also available to pick the best-optimized region.
The service is accessible to anyone on the web. Additionally, the lack of registration requirements makes it convenient.
Browsing speeds are not that fast but are within acceptable limits. We were able to open many sites during tests comfortably.
However, we noted it strips down some website functions. And this can disable services on feature-rich platforms.
This free proxy browser also fails to open popular sites on the web. Examples include Facebook, YouTube, GSMArena, and others.
Our experience shows VPNBook’s IP addresses are on the blacklist. This can be as a result of random users abusing the platform.
VPNBook offers support through email and social media. You should expect a similar turnaround time similar to HMA.
All in all, the service is suitable for accessing simple websites. But other free online proxy sites offer better features than what it does.
If you’re looking for a United States web proxy browser, get ProxySite. Like other alternatives, it’s simple, clean, and easy to use.
20+ server locations in the US dominate this vendor’s network infrastructure. However, you get 18 more regions in the European Union (EU).
The service’s proxy browser has web shortcuts for popular online platforms. Still, an address bar is available to access your website of choice.
You can customize the settings by choosing a preferred user agent. It’s convenient for platforms that require specific browsers.
All traffic routes via ProxySite to safeguard your privacy. While at it, the SSL protocol encrypts connections to and from your device.
There’s an option to delete cookies for sites you visited. Accordingly, this frees up precious space on your device.
But a word of caution:
This is normal for providers that offer freebies with no option to upgrade. Collecting and selling information about users helps keep the service cost-free.
Moving on, customer support is reachable via phone and email. But you will have to be patient to get assistance.
Altogether, ProxySite is suitable for accessing geo-blocked content in the US and EU. But the lack of a no-logs policy might be a dealbreaker.
Whoer wraps up the list of browser-based server proxies available for free. However, its unique VPN-like approach will likely win your attention.
The vendor doesn’t provide online browsers like its peers. Instead, users get a feature-rich extension that’s easy to use.
The tool is available for all popular software for browsing the web. These include Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Yandex, Vivaldi, etc.
Once you install it, a quick guide walks you through how it works. You can also switch in between languages to localize usability.
The free version only offers server locations in the Netherlands. Upgrading unlocks 20+ regions, including the US, UK, Canada, and more.
A WebRTC leak protection comes built-in to shield your IP from accidental exposure. Moreover, AES-256-bit encryption protects your traffic from cybercriminals.
The vendor’s best-performing proxy servers ensure you download at maximum speeds. To add to that, you get unlimited bandwidth for endless browsing.
And it gets better:
Whoer keeps zero logs of your browsing habits. As such, there’s no worry of your data ending up in the wrong hands.
The beauty of this service is in the affordable pricing. Prices start from $3.90/month and support five devices per subscription.
Live chat is available to engage customer support any time you wish. The agents are fast and helpful on par with other paid services.
Overall, Whoer excels as the best proxy server vendor for freebie users. It’s user friendly, fast, and reliable.
So paid or free proxy – which one should you choose?
Paid proxies versus free proxies
Both paid and free proxies allow you to free your internet. They’re ideal for hiding location and unlocking platforms on the web.
Both services have upsides and downsides:
⇒ First, a paid proxy service offers a wide choice of server regions. Each guarantees fast and stable connectivity, even when engaging in heavy talks.
Security is great courtesy of using proven protocols like SSL and SOCKS5. Likewise, vendors don’t engage in collecting sensitive data without your consent.
Premium providers also offer exceptional support. A good example is Smartproxy which provides 24/7 customer service.
However, paid services may be beyond the reach of many. You need to regularly buy proxy subscriptions to use them.
⇒ You don’t have to pay to use free proxies. Most offer a handful of servers to freely swap locations.
But the services don’t really work as promised. For example, connections are hardly reliable.
You will experience connection drops from time to time. Such occurrences increase the risk of exposing your actual location.
Even worse, may not be able to access popular platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. You will also experience challenges when trying to stream videos.
Moreover, even the best free proxy vendors can’t guarantee your security. Cybercriminals are highly likely to hijack your internet sessions.
Some providers also collect your data without your permission. However, good services like ProxySite openly admit to selling the details to third parties.
At this point, it’s pretty clear that you should opt for paid proxies. Free versions might work but come with the risk of endangering your privacy and security.
Now to something that might interest you.
Types of Proxies
Searching for the best proxy servers isn’t much of a hassle. But knowing the type you need will pose a real challenge. Without further ado, let’s break them down:
- Shared – Shared proxies are available for use by multiple users. They get to utilize the same pool of IP addresses when accessing the internet. As such, use it to hide your location, bypass filters, and unlock websites.
- Semi-dedicated – This one works in the same way like a shared proxy. However, only about three users access the same IP address. Its best uses consist of marketing, web scraping, SEO research, and more.
- Dedicated/Private – The service provider assigns an IP address to a single user. You’re unlikely to get banned since you don’t share it with others. Accordingly, you can use it for market research, streaming, ecommerce, etc.
- HTTP – This is a proxy type that doesn’t encrypt your traffic. It leaves your data and privacy exposed to the internet. That said, it’s good for tasks like lightweight browsing.
- HTTPS – Unlike HTTP, HTTPS encrypt your connection using SSL protocol. Your traffic remains secure and safe from possible hijacking. You can use the proxy service to handle sensitive transactions on the web.
- SOCKS/SOCKS5 – Secure socket (SOCKS) is a protocol for authenticating users. It ensures legitimate persons are on a network when interacting with web applications. It’s best for downloading torrents, VoIP calls, and gaming.
Proxy vs VPN – What is better?
A virtual private network (VPN) also provides similar services to a proxy. Both can hide your location and protect your privacy when online.
However, there are significant differences between the two.
Allow us to explain:
VPNs offer better encryption than proxies. They use the newest technologies for hardening traffic, which strengthens your security.
These comprise WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec. Similarly, some vendors develop in-house solutions to offer users better alternatives.
To compare, public proxy server vendors use whichever technology that’s available. They also don’t invest in adding better security tools for users.
VPN providers also commit to zero monitoring of users. A majority pride themselves on having strict no-logs policies.
You don’t get such an assurance from proxy vendors. Actually, they acknowledge collecting user data for marketing purposes.
The cherry on top?
VPNs are compatible with almost every platform on the internet. You can use them for streaming, torrenting, gaming – you name it.
That’s because they offer fast and reliable speeds for smoother browsing. Moreover, the services allow vital web page scripts, which increases web compatibility.
You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing regions. If you’re in doubt, check out CyberGhost, with 9,000+ VPN locations.
The most we have counted for even the best proxy sites averages 38 servers. Moreover, most are overcrowded and have below-par browsing speeds.
To sum up, go with a VPN if you’re into browsing, streaming, gaming, and commerce. You’ll benefit from faster speeds, better security, and enhanced privacy.
However, use proxy scraping, market research, and data gathering. They provide thousands of IPs for use simultaneously, which VPNs typically don’t offer.
Now to the elephant in the room.
How to choose the best proxy server?
Finding the best proxy vendor can be a tedious task. Fortunately, the below tips will help you make the right pick:
Determine your needs
Begin your journey by identifying your needs. The reason behind this is that there are different types of proxies. Therefore, you’ll choose the right one by picking what suits you.
For example, if it’s normal browsing, go with VPNBook. The service is okayish and available for free. You can also use it to open many websites with ease.
Look for reliable vendors
Once your needs are ready, list the best vendors on the market. Start with doing a basic internet search for available providers.
Find notable mentions and look for user reviews. Compare the features and the user review as well.
Eliminate the ones that sound dodgy and keep those with good ratings. You can shorten your search by using our best proxy server list above.
Compare the prices for your shortlisted proxy server providers. While at it, analyze your budget to see where you belong.
Free vendors like KProxy, Whoer, and ProxySite work well for simple tasks. You can browse the web, bypass geo-blocks, and change locations.
For demanding activities like market intelligence gathering, get Bright Data. Its outstanding APIs and affordable PAYG rates make it an ideal choice.
SmartProxy is equally a good alternative too. You’ll get exceptional proxies for scraping at a relatively low price.
Security and privacy
Don’t forget about security when looking for the best proxy server. Oxylabs or Nimble should be your top choice.
They encrypt your traffic to shield you from online intruders. Other extras like TLS fingerprinting win you a good reputation online.
Both also have promising no-logs policies for enhanced user privacy. Simply put, they don’t collect your data when using their services.
Go with a provider that offers 24/7 customer service. Moreover, ensure the one you choose has chat or phone call support. You surely don’t want to get stuck when you’re in need.
It’s time to wind up!
A proxy server is a must-have for tightening your privacy online. You can additionally use it to unlock websites and bypass internet censorship.
But you’ll encounter challenges when it comes to choosing a service. You also risk compromising your security by falling for low-quality providers.
Fortunately, you now have the list of the best proxy server providers. Go ahead and pick the one that suits your needs.
No, they’re not. Most countries allow the use of proxy servers without any restrictions. However, their legality can vary based on usage and jurisdictions. You should double-check with your local laws just to be sure.
Yes, there are many free proxy server services online. Below are the ones that deserve your attention.
– HideMyAss (HMA)
Yes and no! Free proxy services offer basic safety features. They also don’t provide any guarantees for your security. Furthermore, they collect your data to sell to marketers, which comprises your privacy.
A VPN is better, but a proxy outshines it in some areas. The former offers solid security, fast speeds, and a wide choice of locations. However, it restricts usage to one IP at a time.
On the other hand, you can use thousands of IPs simultaneously on proxies. This makes tasks like web scraping, data mining, and SEO research easy and fast. They’re also more affordable than VPNs.
Yes, they can! Proxies hardly employ hardened security protocols like VPNs. In most cases, they leave your traffic unencrypted, exposing you to eavesdropping.
Some proxy vendors also log user data. Accordingly, an intruder that hacks the network can trace your activities back to you.
SmartProxy is the best proxy server to use. It has a wide range of products comprising residential, data center, and mobile proxies. Moreover, it’s among fewer providers that offer feature-rich APIs for scrapping. Others include web browser add-ons, 50+ million IPs, and an address generator.