Benefits of Using Proxies : Restricting access to online content based on location is a common practice used by websites and online businesses worldwide. We implement it to prevent users from making purchases from areas that have different laws and regulations. However, it also affects sites and companies that don’t break any rules.
That’s why many companies and private users today use proxies to bypass geo-restrictions and access otherwise censored information. Proxies are a must for many businesses, and this article will explain how they work and why they are becoming the go-to solution for bypassing geo-restrictions.
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The concept of web proxies
Proxies have proven to be a potent tool for accessing censored information on the internet. This is because they work as a gateway between the user and the internet. In practice, proxies act like an intermediary between every user request and the online server which delivers the requested data.
Every time you connect to the internet, the server you connect to identifies your device based on the IP address. The IP address is entirely virtual, and it works like a digital home address. IP addresses are the backbone of the internet, as they tell the server where to send the requested information. Proxies practically allow users to change their IP addresses to access information that would be inaccessible to their original IP address.
How proxies actually work
Every proxy server has an IP address that acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet.
When you want to access any website or server, your computer sends a request identified by your unique IP address. For example, suppose you wish to access a site with geo-restrictions covering your Geo-location. In that case, the server will identify you based on the IP address and prevent you from accessing the data you need.
Proxies mask your original IP address by switching it with another one from their IP address pool. Using an IP address from a specific area where Geo-restriction doesn’t bother you is how we solve this issue through proxies. That way, you can bypass Geo-restrictions in any part of the world without actually going there. So, for example, if you want to access a server in Japan from the US, just get a Japanese proxy, and all content will become available.
Main business use cases of proxies
Businesses all over the world use proxies to find and extract valuable information through web scraping. However, proxies are helpful for many other things which can get you an edge over your competition. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular uses for proxies:
1. Brand protection
Proxies are an excellent security feature. They act as a buffer between the company and the internet – in case of a hacker attack, proxies act as a protective shield, adding another layer of protection before they reach your sensitive data. That way, your data and brand reputation will stay safe and sound as losing sensitive data is considered to be scandalous in the digital age.
2. Market research
Proxies present an excellent method of finding and extracting market information from various sources. For example, you can use proxies to gather customer information, research competitor prices, and scrape data from online marketplaces, get examples of their content, product descriptions, and more to help you make better business decisions.
3. Accessing Geo-Restricted content
Sometimes finding important information becomes impossible due to geo-restrictions. Proxy servers allow users to bypass these restrictions and access information from any part of the world without worrying about censorship.
4. Ad verification
Making sure that your brand’s ads perform correctly is critical for every business. But, unfortunately, hackers often intercept online ads you pay for and send the traffic they generate to other websites. Proxies allow you to view ads as a random user to check if they take you to where they were supposed to, making sure that you get what you paid for.
5. Pricing information
Proxies are also widely used to find and gather pricing data. Doing that helps businesses track their competitors and tune in their prices according to the latest market trends.
How to pick a proxy for your needs
There are many different types of proxies out there, so you must pick one according to your needs. Most of them offer the same benefits and work the same way, but some are better for business applications.
When you finally decide what type of proxy you need, make sure that you get it from a reliable provider that offers services for a fair price. See what other users say about their services and if everything checks out, make sure that the dashboard is easy to navigate. You may start your research with some market-leading providers, like Oxylabs, and learn more about their proxy pool here.
Proxies are defining the future of many businesses all over the globe. They allow users to find otherwise restricted information (just like the example with a Japanese Proxy), conduct web scraping activities anonymously and improve their overall security measures. When running an online business, all of these benefits are important, and the changing laws and regulations around the world will make proxies even more popular.
Are you looking for proxy for scraping? Blazing SEO is one of the best proxy service providers for web scraping.
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