Proxy servers allow users to connect indirectly to other networks. The IP address of the user is kept anonymous while exposing the one created by the proxy server.
There’s more to proxy servers than providing access to geographically restricted content and security on open Wi-Fi networks. They are commonly used by individuals for these purposes but are particularly crucial for businesses for various other reasons.
Reasons to Use Proxies for Business
Protect Company Data
With hacking and data breaching on the rise, businesses with an online presence operate at considerable risk.
There are billions of online data breaches every year. Using the internet while exposing the company IP address will make the business vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A spiteful competitor, selfish hacker, or angry customer can effortlessly steal your data or perform other breaches.
These acts can cause the flagging and freezing of your social media and financial accounts. Not only does this affect the reputation of the business, but it is also costly.
A proxy for business provides an additional layer of security between the company servers and external web traffic. Hackers will find it difficult to access your actual server. Instead, they will reach your proxy server.
There are a huge number of emails that reach every company’s email system containing malicious URLs attachments every day. Employee accounts can be compromised, and users can be tricked, so it is essential to ensure the protection of the company’s email accounts.
When businesses use proxy services, each email is checked by proxies for malicious links or attachments.
Perform Sensitive Tasks Anonymously
Most businesses are focused on protecting their data that they don’t realize the usefulness of proxies in providing anonymity online. A masked identity allows firms to perform essential activities without being identified for security reasons.
For example, proxies help security officers in the company to protect partners’ and clients’ information. Also, news reporters and company whistleblowers can protect their confidential sources and themselves, respectively.
If your team is carrying out any research and development projects, online spies will not be able to tell what you’re working on.
Control Employee Access to the Internet
Monitoring the employees’ usage of the internet can protect the company from breaches and attacks. Employees may knowingly or unknowingly access websites that can jeopardize the security of your company’s online network, causing severe problems.
Also, some employees may access inappropriate websites and undesirable content.
It’s no wonder that several businesses use a proxy server to operate their internal networks. When employees are using the internet, they gain access to the network through the proxy server.
At this point, the network administrators can control and monitor the traffic flowing through it, blocking any sites that employees should not access.
Load Balancing and Speeding Up Performance
Massive web traffic can cause crashing of your company website. When users make a request from your site, they will get the 404 page results.
This will ultimately affect company sales, brand reputation, and search results ranking. Proxy servers solve this problem by rerouting traffic to other web servers. This gives users a lag-free browsing experience.
The longer website users experience a delay, the fewer searches they are likely to perform. Proxies for business can cache (store offline) frequently used web pages.
When a user makes similar subsequent requests, the pages load much faster using less bandwidth. The proxy server can also eliminate website ads and can compress traffic to make the pages load faster.
Web scraping for business
The concept of web scraping becomes more and more known to many. Web scraping is a process when you take publicly available data from websites and import the required information into any data storage.
Companies use web scraping for market research, competitor analysis, lead generation, SEO monitoring, etc. To take a bigger slice of the market or even become a leader, one of the essential components for businesses is information.
Businesses use proxy services to ensure a smooth web scraping process. Web servers receive a lot of requests, and this is unavoidable when web scraping. Websites can recognize your web scraping activity as suspicious, and your IP address gets blocked.
Proxy is an intermediary between your device and the target website. They reduce IP address blocks, ensure anonymity, and even allow you to access websites that might be unavailable in your region.
Types of Proxies
There are two types of proxies – residential and datacenter proxies. Before making a decision what proxy type is preferable for you, you should think of the most important part – for what tasks you are going to use them.
Datacenter proxies are not in any way linked to your ISP or internet connection. They are connected to the datacenter, masking your IP address and hiding your identity.
They are basically IP addresses provided by a separate company. The web server will detect these IP addresses instead of yours, allowing you to perform tasks anonymously online.
These proxies are fast and cheap, but not ideal for web scraping as they can be blocked easily. They are perfect for brand protection and market research. The two main types of data center proxies are HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) proxies and Secure Socket proxies (SOCKS).
Residential proxies, on the other hand, are connected to actual residential addresses. They will hide your IP address and allow you to access geographically restricted content. They are also useful for web scraping /web harvesting.
Residential proxies have dedicated ISPs. The IP address will remain specific to you. Although they are more costly and challenging to acquire than datacenter proxies, they are not easily blocked. They also allow you to make several requests per minute. You can use several IPs simultaneously.
Businesses should start using proxy services as a requirement, not an option. It may be true that proxies may not deter the highly experienced hacker.
However, they go a long way in protecting your business from breaches, speeding up the website performance, blocking inappropriate sites, providing anonymity online, and helping to ensure a smooth web scraping process.
This will protect your company’s reputation, save you a lot of money, and help improve your bottom line.