A proxy server can be an essential addition to your business’s computing and networking infrastructure. It holds many benefits that are bound to ease certain operations. For instance, you could use a proxy to balance traffic to your web server, thereby preventing any likelihood of downtime occurring.
In business, downtime means loss of revenue because of customers’ inability to access your products and services. Regular downtimes are bound to tarnish your company’s reputation and web ranking, the effects of which culminate in closure. Luckily, proxies prevent this, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of their full benefits. In this article, we’ll detail 5 advantages. But first, what is a proxy?
What is a Proxy?
A proxy is a computer found midway – figuratively – between your computer and the internet or web servers. All web requests emanating from your browser go through the proxy server, which assigns them a new IP address before sending them to the web server.
Various types of proxy servers assign IP addresses differently. Some assign each web request a unique IP address, while others give all web requests the same IP address. Nonetheless, whichever the case, the basic principle for all proxy servers is that they hide the user’s real IP address, thus promoting security, anonymity, and privacy. Proxy servers’ advantages stem from these three elements and their operating principle.
5 Advantages of Proxy Servers for Business
Businesses that use proxy servers benefit in the following ways:
• Improved security
• Balanced traffic
• Accessing geo-restricted content
• Enhanced anonymity, which facilitates web scraping
• Increased connection speeds for customers accessing the company’s website.
1. Improved Security
Proxy servers hide your computer’s real IP address and assign you a new IP address. In principle, IP addresses function like standard street addresses. A person with your street address can find your home, but they would have trouble locating you if that were changed. Similarly, the new IP addresses make it difficult for other people, some of whom have malicious intentions, to trace your network.
Secondly, proxy servers act as a firewall that prevents malware from reaching your webserver. HTTP proxies accomplish this perfectly. On the other hand, residential proxies prevent email phishing attacks.
2. Balanced Traffic
Reputable proxy service providers distribute your website’s content among various servers around the world. This ensures that your web server doesn’t have to handle all web traffic. By balancing traffic, proxy servers prevent server crashes.
3. Accessing Geo-restricted Content
In business, geo-blocking prevents ad monitoring. Left unchecked, some ad publishers may soil your business’s reputation by publishing ads on websites that do not align with your company’s ethical practices. Some even engage in ad fraud. Using proxy servers, you can track their operations through a process called ad verification. You can also use proxies to bypass other geo-restrictions, as we’ll detail later.
4. Enhanced Anonymity
Businesses stay ahead of the competition by monitoring competitors’ moves and pricing strategies. Web scraping makes this possible, but it is often rendered ineffective thanks to anti-scraping tools. This is where proxy servers come in.
Rotating proxies are the best type of proxy servers for web scraping. They work by either assigning each new request for information a unique IP address (rotating IP address session) or changing the assigned IP address after a short time (sticky IP address session).
5. Enhanced Connection Speeds
Proxy servers cache regularly accessed content and files. As such, whenever new visitors type your website’s URL on their browsers, the proxy server avails the cached data, thus creating the illusion that the website loads fast. The presence of a proxy frees up the web server for other operations.
Geo-restriction, also known as geo-blocking, is the process of restricting access to content based on a user’s geographical location. Websites block access by analyzing various parameters that ultimately pinpoint the user’s location. These include:
• IP address
• Ping/delay in connecting to the network
• Analysis of the user’s profile
With proxy servers, you can bypass content from websites that use the first two methods. For one, proxies assign a new IP address. Secondly, reputable service providers have a vast network of IPs. So, you can select the country whose content you want to access. For instance, if your business intends to conduct market research on Germany, you can use a Germany proxy.
The Germany proxy assigns you IP addresses from the German territory, enabling you to carry out any operation. With such an intermediary, you can scrape public data from German websites or monitor your reputation among German customers. The same applies to other regions as well, provided you use a proxy server that assigns you an IP address from the region, you are good to go.
A proxy is a surefire way of improving service delivery through enhanced connection speeds for customers accessing your website. It is also a channel you can use to gain insight from other markets and countries by bypassing geo-restrictions. The Germany proxy example provides a clear picture.