A proxy server is an intermediary server that brings a separation between a user and the website they are browsing. They are just servers will their own IP address add a layer of protection to your computer. This is particularly useful for businesses.
However, there are many proxies on the market and businesses can find it hard to select the most suitable for their needs. For instance, most people find it difficult to choose between HTTP and SOCKS proxies. This article focuses on the advantages of proxies for businesses and helps you choose between HTTP and SOCKS proxies.
What are proxies and why businesses should consider using them?
A proxy server is a server, either an application or computer that serves as a gateway between the local network and the internet. Basically, it is an intermediary between the client and the server from which they are requesting the service.
It undertakes the functions of a firewall to examine the data being transferred in and out of the computer and protect it from hackers. Rather than showing your IP address, it will show the proxy IP so you can search the internet anonymously. This makes proxies vital for business functions.
Some of the benefits that businesses can accrue from using proxies include:
1. Improves security
Proxies serve as a firewall between your computer or network and the internet. There is no denying that online hackers are becoming prevalent in online businesses in the current data-driven world.
When the security of your system is breached, you will suffer monetary loss and your public image will be destroyed. Proxy servers offer an additional layer of security to protect you from hackers that try to gain access to your IP address.
In particular, companies that deal with sensitive information like insurance and financial institutions need to use proxies to enhance their security. Other than enhancing security, proxy servers can also protect against viruses and malware.
2. Anonymize web traffic
A major benefit of proxies is the ability to anonymize the web traffic of websites. It provides added protection for your company and employees, making it hard for scammers or spies to get any sensitive information.
This means that you can anonymously undertake any sensitive tasks over the internet without worrying that it will get to the wrong hands or eyes. Besides, a proxy server can hide your browsing history and prevent site advertisers from sending you ads.
3. Increases network speed
Businesses that want to boost the speed of their network should consider proxies. Proxy servers can optimize web activity by caching the web pages and files that you hide previously requested. Therefore, you will access the website a lot faster the next time you visit it. However, you should keep in mind that private proxies guarantee greater speed because of the limited number of people that can access them.
4. Limits employee data usage
When employees browse inappropriate sites during their working hours, your business or company will suffer unproductivity. Fortunately, proxies help you control how your employees use the internet.
When internal networks operate on a proxy server, the network administrator will control which devices will have access to the network and the type of websites that can be accessed.
5. Access to location-based content
Proxies can be of great help when you want to get content from another country. You can use an address that is associated with that country so that you can gain full access.
6. Perform competitor research
Keeping track of your competitors is necessary to make you stand out from the competition. Proxies can hide your identity, allowing you to research your competitor’s latest product offering, price, and promotions. By keeping track of their offerings and prices, you will know how to adjust your strategy accordingly to ensure your success.
HTTP vs. SOCKS proxies
Businesses that are looking to shield their IP address when browsing the internet may have a difficult time choosing between the HTTP and SOCKS proxies. Let us explore the differences between these two proxies.
An HTTP proxy is an intermediary that serves HTTP client proxy and HTTP server proxy. These proxies are common and can filter online content and interpret web traffic to prevent online hackers and any suspicious activity. HTTP proxies can process requests from applications that utilize the HTTP protocol.
On the other hand, SOCKS proxies use a proxy server to manage and exchange information online. Secure Sockets, or SOCKS, creates a Transmission Control Protocol connection with another server to exchange data. It is mostly used for general purposes.
Now that you understand what HTTP and SOCKS proxies, let us now look at their differences.
When it comes to security, HTTP proxies will mask your IP address to protect your network from malicious activity. They provide great encryption to protect your data as it is exchanged through the server. Besides, you can establish a tunnel connection when using an HTTP proxy to remain safe and difficult to trace when accessing information online.
SOCKS also offers great protection against possible data breaching. Nonetheless, it is more superior to HTTP proxy since it can’t read data. This lowers the chances of your data being viewed and rewritten during the process of accessing information online.
- Interpret data and web activity
In order to do web scraping, an HTTP proxy can read and interpret data and web activity. It will save you a lot of time interpreting the data yourself. In this regard, they do better than SOCKS proxy, which is mostly designed for general purposes.
- Compatibility with tools
HTTPS proxy servers are compatible with most tools, allowing you to connect with most devices. However, this is not the case with the SOCKS proxy as it connects to limited tools.
After this comprehensive guide, you are probably wondering which between HTTP and SOCKS is superior. Well, the superiority will be based on your preference and your proxy needs. Ultimately, both proxies are great when it comes to security and anonymity.
Nonetheless, HTTP proxy is a great deal if you want to have 100% data protection and remain anonymous during your online activities. Plus, this proxy can understand and interpret any HTTP traffic from a TCP connection to improve performance.