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Are Shared Proxies Worth It?

Whether you are an organization or a private businessperson, shared proxies can serve you well, depending on the task you are undertaking. They can help you carry out online activities anonymously, filter content, and access restricted content. 

As you probably already know, every time you browse the internet, your IP address reveals your personal information. An IP address is like an online public identification number. This is why you need proxies.

What is a Proxy?

It is a gateway between you and the internet. When using a proxy, your requests first go through the proxy server before going to the address you are trying to get information from. The response then comes back to you through the same proxy, masking the IP address you are sending requests from.

There are several types of proxies:

  • Data center proxies
  • Residential proxies
  • Shared proxies
  • Dedicated proxies

…among others.

In this article, we will be talking about shared proxies and if they are worth investing in.  But first, what are they?

Shared Proxies Definition

Shared proxies are used by more than one person at the same time. The main difference between shared and dedicated proxies is that shared proxy uses shared IP addresses, meaning a group of people is using them simultaneously. Dedicated proxies are used only by one user at the same time. If you want to learn more about dedicated IP vs shared IP, check out other articles.  

Furthermore, there is a category of shared proxies called semi-dedicated proxies. Semi-dedicated proxies restrict the number of people using one IP address. The provider limits the number of people using one proxy, giving better performance than those without restrictions.

As mentioned above, there are many proxies to choose from.

So, What Are the Advantages of Shared Proxies? 

Highly Anonymous

Imagine the number of people that use shared proxies within an hour? How easy is it to single out one person? Pretty hard. 

Many people using a single IP address creates high internet anonymity, unlike private proxies that have direct identification. Shared proxies are an excellent choice if you are looking for high-level anonymity. 

Good for Web Scraping

Market research is an integral part of the business. Web scraping is a way of collecting useful data from websites.

Web scraping tools require a good proxy. Shared proxies allow you to send multiple requests with different IP addresses located around the world. The requests will, therefore, not raise suspicion to the website, allowing you to scrape without being blocked.

Efficient

Shared proxies can be efficient, but their efficiency depends on the needs of the user and the proxy provider. 

Shared proxies can help you mind data, stay anonymous, access geo-blocked content, among other things. If they suit your needs, ensure to buy from a reputable provider who will enhance their use to give you a better experience.

Cost-Effective

One significant advantage of shared proxies is that they are cheap. This is because the cost of maintaining them is shared among many users. This does not mean they are less effective; many people are using shared proxies for vast online activities.

Business users should, however, stay away from free shared proxies. They are a risk and can expose you to online malicious activities like fraudsters or hackers, who are unlikely to use private proxies.

Disadvantages of Shared Proxies

Slower Speed

As you can imagine, sharing a network connection is likely to slow down speeds due to possible overload. This is the case with shared proxies.

Sharing bandwidth means multiple users are sharing speed and performance at the same time. This is bound to slow the connection considerably.

The Bad Neighbour Effect

When using a shared proxy, you do not get to choose who you are sharing it with. You might play to all the rules and still get blocked or blacklisted. 

For example, if someone you are sharing the proxy with conducts suspicious or illegal activities, you are also liable to the offense. You might be cleared yes and get a new proxy, but how much time and money will that cost you?

Captcha Alerts

A captcha is a user identification procedure used to tell whether you are human. Use of shared proxies can lead to too many captchas

For example, when too many people send requests on google using the same IP address, google sends captcha alerts to verify whether the activities are human. Having to fill the captchas every other time is frustrating and can slow down your work.

Conclusion

Shared proxies are worth depending on your needs. If you plan on using proxies to access websites with minimal security restrictions, then shared proxies are a fantastic choice. They are cost-friendly and get the job done just as well.

Even though shared proxies do not provide the highest level of online privacy, they allow you to scrape with fewer blocks by switching IP addresses.  They are also useful in market research. You can buy shared proxies for your daily internet use then buy private proxies for specific projects that require a sole user.

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