Whenever you hear the term proxy server, the immediate picture that comes to mind is of a teenager who is trying to circumvent the firewalls at school or home to get access to the blocked websites. Or a person who is trying to get access to a secured Wi-Fi network. The truth, however, is much bigger than this. While proxies do allow such activities, they do a lot more, especially for businesses.
In this era where data is more valuable than anything else, businesses extract data to increase productivity and decrease expenditure. This amount of data extraction requires the use of proxies.
So first, let’s understand what proxies are.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy is like a facilitator between the end-user and the internet. It provides a wide range of benefits such as security and privacy, depending on the use and company policy. Proxies can also be used to cache data to boost up the speed or provide protection by acting as a firewall.
There are various kinds of proxies:
1. Residential Proxies
These are one of the most commonly used proxies. They use real IP addresses to avoid detection from servers. It also helps the businesses in surpassing various geographical restrictions and cloaking used by some websites to provide false data.
2. Datacenter Proxies
These types of proxies are created at the data centers and are non-physical IP addresses. Since the same source creates them, they all look very similar to an external server. Thus, prone to cloaking or ban. However, they offer unmatched speed times and stable performance.
3. Anonymous Proxies
These proxies are good at hiding details/information about the user. As the name indicates, these proxies are highly anonymous.
4. Private Proxies
These are available for use by one client at one time only. Thus, the term ‘private.’ Private or also known as Dedicated proxies, ensure that only one user uses all the offered performance.
5. Shared Proxies
As the name suggests, these proxies can be used by various users at any given point in time. They require a robust network structure as they process several requests simultaneously.
Why use a Proxy?
Using a proxy can provide an organization with several benefits. Let’s have a look at some of the key benefits:
1. Privacy & Security
Proxies provide security and privacy to an organization’s data. Organizations can provide a secure connection to their employees while protecting the company’s data. Proxies also ensure that you are not vulnerable to hackers by acting as a buffer.
2. Better Speed
A good proxy server helps improve the network performance of an organization. Since proxies cache the websites visited from an organization, they can serve the saved version almost immediately without having to go to the internet.
3. Regulate Internet Usage
You can’t always keep an eye on each one of your employees and stop them from using unwanted websites or portals. In such cases, a proxy can be used. The organization can program the proxy to block undesirable content and monitor their web use.
What are Proxies are Used For?
Besides these regular usa cases, organizations can use proxies to extract data to gather actionable insights and gain competitive advantage. The extracted external data can give an organization an edge over its rivals by effectively planning their marketing or improving their products. Here is how it can be done:
1. Market Research
Since everyone is getting digitally intelligent these days, gathering data is becoming increasingly difficult. This is all thanks to the protective measures employed by organizations.
The use of proxies will allow you to go around and extract the desired public data for later analysis stage. Using residential proxies, you can collect everything required without raising suspicion.
2. Pricing Game
Pricing strategy is a crucial aspect of any brand in the e-commerce game. Nowadays, companies need to adjust pricing continuously to win custom. Keeping track of millions of price variations occurring at any given time becomes easy by web scraping practice combined with proxies.
3. SEO Monitoring
A lot of consumers today use one or the other search engine to research the product they require or service they desire. Brands regularly optimize the search engines to get visibility on the main page. A lot of this relies heavily on the current data like best ranking keywords, consumer queries, or competition analysis. This is where the use of proxies can be beneficial for scraping data from various geo-locations. For more in-depth information on SEO monitoring practice using proxies, check out Oxylabs’ site.
That is just a few of the things an organization can do by using proxies. The world of proxies is ever-evolving and is being used for new things. Several organizations have already opened themselves to the idea of using proxies for their gains. So, if you or your organization is ignoring the possibilities and potential of proxies, it is time to change your view.
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