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Enhancing Proxy Performance: Tips and Tricks

Milena Popova

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You might have noticed your internet speed slightly going down once connected to a proxy server. Several factors affect your proxy quality, and some are well within your hands to improve performance. Although users cannot inspect proxy hardware and software, a simple switch to a different server or a different protocol can do the trick.

You will get the best results if you choose the correct proxy type, server distance, IP address reputation, and a trustworthy provider. But before going into specifics, let’s briefly overview what a proxy server is and what it is used for.

What Are Proxies and What Do They Do?

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Proxies are an essential part of the World Wide Web, and the Internet would not function without them. There are a dozen different proxy types, like the reverse and forward proxies, used to optimize online data load, among other things. In this article, we elaborate on consumer proxies that every user can utilize, irrespective of technical know-how.

A proxy server acts as a middleman between your device and other online servers. When you browse the web without a proxy server, your device communicates directly with other websites or devices, like in peer-to-peer sessions. However, you can opt to connect to a proxy server, which will manage your online traffic, providing an additional layer of security and privacy. Let’s explore the key benefits of using a proxy server.

IP Address Obfuscation

Each device connected to the Internet has an IP address, which is like your online home address. However, cybercriminals and data mining agencies use IP tracking to harvest user data, often without consent. Whenever you browse online through a proxy, it will mask your original IP and substitute it with an alternative, preventing numerous third parties from using it to get your information.

Geo-Block Evasion

Avoiding geographical restrictions is one of the most popular proxy use cases. The Internet is divided into separate regions with different information access. For example, many US websites are unavailable to Europeans due to the General Data Protection Regulation. You may have also noticed streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+ offer more content in some countries than others. You can connect to a proxy server in a location with the desired content to avoid such restrictions and enjoy genuinely unrestricted Internet access.

Gather Business Intelligence

Proxies are irreplaceable whenever you require gathering and processing large amounts of online data. Suppose you are introducing a new service and want to set the prices accordingly. Instead of checking your competition manually, you can use proxies to scrape pricing details automatically, which will save you a lot of time and get rid of human errors in the results. Because many websites aim to block web scrapers, check out our blog post on how to avoid detection while scraping the web to learn more.

Other noteworthy proxy benefits include social media marketing, SEO optimization, and ad verification. Ultimately, your proxy capabilities depend on a chosen type and a few other factors, so let’s see how to pick the correct one.

How to Choose a Proxy Server?

After using proxies for some time, you will notice that connection speed is one of the most essential proxy performance criteria. That’s because the proxy server controls the network traffic, so if it’s slow, you will experience significant lag interrupting your web scraping, streaming, or just casual browsing. Here are the main reasons why you may experience a slow connection using proxies.

Server Proximity

Your network traffic takes a reroute and makes an additional stop at the proxy server. But that also means that it travels a slightly longer distance before reaching its target. You can experience a significant slowdown if you connect to a faraway proxy, for example, while connected to an Indian proxy server from the United States. It’s best to connect to a proxy near your real location unless you specifically require a foreign IP address.

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Internet Connection Quality

Proxy services are not Internet service providers, so we all rely on ISPs to provide the best connection speed possible. Even if you connect to the most optimized proxy server, it will produce good results only if it uses a fast Internet connection plan. More so, some shady ISPs can limit the connection speed if they notice data-intensive activities, called bandwidth throttling. If you choose a fast and reputable proxy service provider, it will bypass ISP restrictions for a better overall online experience.

Proxy Sharing

Proxies often share servers between multiple clients to add an additional layer of online privacy or save resources for maintenance. However, this can negatively affect the connection speed if they start streaming or downloading at the same time. If you require the best connection speed, it’s best to use dedicated proxies, which reserve the whole server for you. This way, you don’t have to share the server’s resources with anybody else to maximize performance.

Proxy Type

You will get the best performance results if you know precisely what proxy type you require. For example, residential proxies are best at hiding your original IP address and bypassing geo-blocks, but they are more expensive and generally slower than datacenter proxies. The latter are more affordable, usually faster, and have the best uptime, but are easily detectable. Mobile proxies are particularly hard to track, but you may encounter a rare disconnect because mobile devices move a lot.

How to Get the Best Proxy Performance?

Choosing the correct proxy type ensures it is optimized for the task at hand. On our website, you will find residential, datacenter, ISP, and mobile proxies with different features. Residential and mobile can bypass even the strictest geographical restrictions and take your web scraping to a new level.

Meanwhile, ISP and datacenter servers focus on availability and connection speed, which are perfect for streaming or large file transfers. We always recommend identifying your needs first and contacting customer support if you need help choosing a specific proxy type.

A distant server is the usual suspect regarding bumping connection speed. After all, your network traffic takes an alternate route, and if it’s a long one, you will experience latency and connectivity issues. Unless you require a specific faraway server, connecting to a proxy nearby often solves any speed issues.

Simultaneously, more advanced users can switch between proxy protocols, like HTTPS and SOCKS5. If your proxy runs on a protocol that applies additional encryption, it will require more resources to maintain the best performance. Whenever online privacy is secondary, we recommend using a standard protocol without additional encryption, like HTTP.

Suppose you picked the correct proxy type and nearby server, but you are still experiencing slowdowns or IP bans. That’s where free proxy testers come in handy. Input your proxy details, and it will display the type, protocol, status, and speed. You can also target a specific website to verify the requests speed and get a better idea of how fast the chosen proxy can scrape target URL or access its previously blocked content.

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Because a proxy is essentially a third-party device, sometimes the poor performance is out of your control. For example, if you stumbled upon a careless proxy service provider that doesn’t refresh the IP address pool regularly, its IPs can be flagged as dubious by search engines.

If you notice continuous CAPTCHAs and IP bans, visit websites like IPQualityScore to verify your IP reputation. It will outline whether it was used for spam or other bot activity. In this case, it’s best to discard such a proxy and connect to another one or pick a more reputable proxy service provider.

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Lastly, remember to check your IP address regularly for leaks. You should see a proxy IP instead of your own whenever a successful connection is made. Your proxy is leaking data if it exposes your IP address, posing a significant risk to online safety.

Simultaneously, keep in mind that proxies often work on a browser level, and the network traffic outside of the browser flows through the ISP servers, which is paramount for peer-to-peer traffic safety.

Final Thoughts

These simple tricks should help you pick the correct proxy type and make the most of it. Because proxies are a very versatile technology, some are better at private browsing; others excel at web scraping, etc. A datacenter proxy can be a superb tool for publicly available data gathering and analysis, but it fails to bypass even the most straightforward geographical restrictions.

Luckily, you don’t have to go in blindly. There’s ample documentation on various proxies and their use cases. In this guide, we covered the most common proxy performance issues, but the simplest answer is often the most correct one. Reconnecting to a closer server to improve performance should be your first step, followed by a proxy tester and IP reputation checker if the issues persist.

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Author

Milena Popova

Content Writer

With nine years of writing experience, Milena delivers exceptional content that informs and entertains readers. She is known for her reliability, efficiency, and cooperative nature, making her a valuable team player. Milena’s passion for IT and proxy networks fuels her content creation, ensuring accessibility for all. Outside of work, you’ll find her reading a good book or keeping up with the ever-evolving world of IT.

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