Best proxy server of 2024

Dedicated servers seen from behind.
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The best proxy services make it simple and easy for you or your business to scrape public data for research or profit.

In the dynamic world of the internet, prioritizing privacy and security is essential. Reliable proxy servers implement robust security protocols to safeguard data against unauthorized access. However, navigating the crowded market of proxy service providers to find a trustworthy one can be challenging.

To assist you, we have curated a list of the leading proxy service providers that offer exceptional security and privacy protection. This list includes free proxy servers, mobile proxies, and other premium services, ensuring you find a proxy provider that meets your specific needs.

We've also featured the best free VPN.


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Reader Offer: 30% off IPRoyal.com
With a selection of different subscription options, some of the most affordable prices we've seen, and a responsive support team, IPRoyal is a leading proxy service provider. Use coupon TECHRADAR30 and get Royal Residential Proxies for your needs with a stunning 30% discount.

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The best proxies of 2024 in full:

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Best overall

Website screenshot for IPRoyal

(Image credit: IPRoyal)
Versatile proxy solutions at bargain prices

Specifications

Coverage: All countries
IP addresses: 8 million

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Versatile proxy network
+
A selection of subscription options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited self-help resources
-
Proxy speeds are on the slow side

IPRoyal is an attractive low-cost proxy provider that offers a versatile selection of different proxies. These include over 1 million residential proxies - which the company describes as "ethically sourced" - from 195 countries. Additionally, IPRoyal also provides another 6 million IPs from datacenter proxies, and niche-specific sneaker proxies. 

Its user interface is beginner-friendly and easy to get the hang of, and support services are exceptional. On the downside, limited self-help documentation means you may have to reach out to the IPRoyal team if you have significant issues. Overall, IPRoyal is an excellent option worth considering for an array of different uses. 

Overall, with a selection of different subscription options, some of the most affordable prices we’ve seen, and a responsive support team, IPRoyal stands out as a leading proxy service provider.

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
ResidentialDatacenterSneakersMobileStatic Residential
$1.75 per GB$1.39 per IP$1 per proxy$117 per month$1.8 per proxy

Read our full IPRoyal review.

Best for deep pockets

(Image credit: BrightData)
Expensive but feature rich proxy

Specifications

Coverage: All countries and cities
IP addresses: Over 72 million

Reasons to buy

+
Huge pool of options
+
Mobile IPs included
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Detailed targeting options

Reasons to avoid

-
Complex pricing mechanism

The first that strikes you about Bright Data (formerly Luminati) is its huge proxy pool of over 72 millions IPs. The service offers all kinds of proxies. In addition to rotating residential IPs, the service also offers static ones, which are a group of 6 to 100 residential addresses for your exclusive use that haven't been previously used with your target domain. Bright Data also sells mobile IPs that cost more than the usual residential IPs but are more resilient and will work on particularly difficult to please targets.

If you have very specific targeting requirements, you’ll appreciate Bright Data's support for ASN (Autonomous System Number) in addition to the usual targeting options such as country, state, and city.

To use its proxies, you can use the Proxy Manager, which is an open source tool that can be installed on top of Windows, macOS and Linux for free. The Proxy Manager can help you define rules for IP rotation, blacklist IPs that give bad results, optimize bandwidth usage by routing some requests through your regular non-proxied connection, and more.

Bright Data’s residential proxies support all the main protocols including HTTP, HTTPS and even SOCKS5. The service also has a comprehensive support infrastructure with multiple avenues of help including video tutorials and webinars.

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
ResidentialDatacenterISPMobile
$5.04 per GB$0.066 per GB$9 per GB$5.04 per GB

Read our full Bright Data review.

Best residential proxy

(Image credit: OxyLabs)
A top proxy with its own web scraper

Specifications

Coverage: All countries and cities
IP addresses: Over 100 million

Reasons to buy

+
Large proxy pool
+
SOCKS5 support, albeit limited

Oxylabs has an extensive network of over 100 million residential proxies that cover all the countries and cities in the world. In addition to the country and city you can also target proxies based on the ASN (autonomous system number). However these residential IPs use backconnect gateway servers and you’ll have to manually modify this address to add parameters for targeting information. 

The proxy provider also offers static non-rotating residential proxies that it procures straight from ISPs. Oxylabs claims these give you the best of both data center and residential proxies, in terms of speed and resilience. Also these static ones support the SOCKS5 protocol, unlike the standard rotating ones that don’t.

Its pool of over 2 million data center IPs that aren’t shared but dedicated for your exclusive use, also support the SOCKS5 protocol. These also offer a proxy rotator add-on to automatically rotate the data center IPs. 

The one unique offering in oxylabs portfolio is the next-gen residential proxy that employs machine learning and AI to more successfully mimic a regular user’s browsing behavior and work around blocks and captchas. 

Oxylabs also has a web scraping tool of its own called Scraper APIs that’ll fetch the data for you in either HTML or JSON format.

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
ResidentialShared DatacenterRotating ISPMobile
$7.75 per GB$50 per month $700 per month$20 per GB

Read our full Oxylabs review.

Best affordable proxy

(Image credit: Smartproxy)
The best proxy that's affordable for most use cases

Specifications

Coverage: Over 195 locations
IP addresses: over 65 million

Reasons to buy

+
Unlimited threads
+
Browser extensions
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Mobile IPs included

Reasons to avoid

-
Restricted geotargeting

You can get both residential and data center proxies from Smartproxy. Its pool of over 55 million rotating residential IPs comes from desktop and mobile devices and is shared between all of its users. 

While this can be a disadvantage as you can get a flagged IPs, the provider assures us that its quick rotation policy ensures its proxies don’t get banned. Smartproxy offers its tiers of plans by bandwidth, but allows you to run an unlimited number of concurrent threads. 

You can select the proxy you want to use from a list of backconnect gateway servers in your dashboard. By default, Smartproxy displays all the different gateways for the countries and cities that it supports. You can however filter down the proxies based on a couple of useful parameters such as the location, and the type of session-  (rotating or sticky). Depending on these choices, the dashboard will show the appropriate proxy gateway that you can then use in your apps and tools. 

If you plan to use the proxy to browse the web, Smartproxy also has extensions for the popular browsers of Chrome and Firefox. This can use the extension is useful to again narrow down the location and type of proxy you want, with the option to even choose the authentication mechanism.

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
ResidentialStatic Residential MobileSneakerDatacenter
$2.2 per GB$2 per IP$6 per GB$7 per GB (pay-as-you-go)$0.09 per IP

Read our full Smartproxy review.

Best privacy-oriented proxy

Website screenshot for Webshare

(Image credit: Webshare)
The privacy and security first proxy

Reasons to buy

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Free trial available
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Available free tier
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Robust speed monitoring
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Emphasis on anonymity
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Multiple available tiers

Reasons to avoid

-
No free trial of higher tiers
-
Less proxy locations
-
Limited direct support option

With Webshare, the emphasis is on cyber security, along with speed. In fact, these folks make the bold claim that it has the ‘Fastest proxies’- which we can’t quite verify nor refute. Webshare has a global proxy network that gets fully ‘Encrypted and protected,’ continuously. They are certainly a high volume provider that processes in excess of 250 billion data points each month (yes, that is billion with a ‘B’), and used by over 12,000 businesses.

Webshare offers plenty of features to attract and satisfy its user base. This starts with support for both HTTP and SOCKS5 proxy, with availability for authentication or password authentication.

Not sure if this fits your needs? A standout of Webshare is the available free proxy plan. Sure, as would be expected, it is limited to just 10 free IPs, so it is hardly useful for a larger project. Still, it does not require a credit card, and it is a permanent plan, so not a time limited trial.

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
Proxy ServerResidential Static Residential
$2.99 a month (100 proxies)$6 a month (100 proxies)$7 a month (1GB)

Read our full Webshare Proxy Servers review.

Best proxy at wholesale cost

Website screenshot for Rampage Proxies

(Image credit: Rampage Proxies)
An industry-leading experience by cutting the middleman out

Reasons to buy

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Lower cost
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Simplified tier structure
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Global proxy coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of support options
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No free trial or tier

Rampage Proxies is a smaller company that has only been around since summer of 2020, based out of Miami, Florida. Its goal is to be fully transparent on its providers, and also the pricing, with proxies(opens in new tab) available at wholesale cost, in whatever quantity is needed. 

Rampage Proxies essentially buys the proxies from a number of leading proxy services, and then resells them. They can acquire the proxies at a lower rate, as they are able to buy a higher end plan for the lower rate, and then pass the savings along to its customers. It resells for leading services, such as Oxylabs, Geosurf and Smartproxy.

Rampage Proxies offers a intriguing approach to accessing a proxy service. Users will like the extremely large database of proxies, the very cost effective approach, and the latest anti-bot measures. Alternatively, our concerns include the total lack of self help content, the limited direct support contact methods, and the lack of a free trial. Still, for users that want a cost effective solution to their proxy needs, while accessing the largest pool of proxies, Rampage Proxies offers a service more than worth considering. 

Overall, Rampage Proxies, and especially the Rampage Retail "plan", offers an affordable option in the proxy space for a budget conscious business. 

Pricing options:

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Rampage ResidentialRampage MobileRampage CoreO ProxyS ProxyNetnutBrightDataKoch SecretsPacketstream
$4.40$7.60$1.00$8.70$8.70$7.40$4.40$10.10$1.00

Best proxy for small-time proxy users

(Image credit: StormProxies)
Useful proxy for sneaker copping and individual scrapers

Specifications

Coverage: US & EU
IP addresses: About 700,000

Reasons to buy

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Quite cheap compared to rivals
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No bandwidth caps

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller proxy pool
-
Minimal geotargeting
-
No SOCKS5

Storm Proxies is designed for individual and small time proxy users that will happily trade many of the features you get with some of the proxy heavyweight for affordable pricing plans. 

The service provider offers rotating residential proxies, private dedicated proxies which offer data center IPs, and backconnect rotating proxies which have a mix of data center and residential IPs. 

The best thing about Storm Proxies is that all its proxies come with unlimited bandwidth. Instead its private dedicated proxies limit accounts on the number of IPs, the backconnect rotating proxies bases plans on the number of simultaneous connections, while the rotating residential proxies with prices based on the number of ports. Each port is capable of running up to 50 simultaneous connections.

Storm Proxies also doesn’t shy away from accepting the limitations of its proxies, which it clearly states for each of its supported proxy types.

The backconnect rotating proxies come from a pool of 700,000 IPs and only allow you to choose between three broad regions namely US, EU, and worldwide. These are backconnect proxies that are served via different gateways, each with its separate rotating time. 

The 5-minute rotating residential proxies only cover the US and EU locations and don’t allow you to choose which countries or cities you want to target. 

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
DedicatedRotating ResidentialPrivate Dedicated
$1.8 per proxy$10 per port$2 per proxy

Read our full Storm Proxies review.

Best user-based proxies

Website screenshot for PacketStream

(Image credit: PacketStream)
The residential proxy network

Reasons to buy

+
Potential profit
+
Simplified and disruptive pricing structure

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited direct support options
-
Minimal self help support
-
No city or state targeting at present
-
No discount for higher bandwidth use

PacketStream offers a proxy service based solely on residential proxies, which means that there are no mobile proxies, nor are there stable ISP based residential proxies. Rather, it is entirely user based proxies, millions strong that are selling the unused bandwidth on their network connection to PacketStream, who is in turn leasing it back to its user base. Folks that supply a proxy node get their bandwidth measured, and credited back for what the PacketStream users consume. They also claim zero restrictions, and a 99% uptime, realizing that competing services have even higher claimed uptimes.  

By using all of these residential connections, the browsing becomes quite anonymous, which is the advantage of this method. There are many potential uses for such a powerful technology. 

Main features:

Pricing options:

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Pricing options
Earn (Become a packeter)Buy Bandwidth
$0.10 per GB$1.00 per GB

Read our full PacketStream review.

We've also featured the best URL filtering software.


Best proxy FAQs

The following section was authored by...

Julius Cerniauskas, CEO of Oxylabs

What is a proxy?

A proxy is an intermediary between the user and the web that adds an additional layer that connects to any website. Proxies have their own IP addresses, so the website the user is visiting will only see this proxy IP address.

In terms of origin, there are two types of proxies, data centre and residential:

A data center proxy is a private proxy that is not affiliated with an ISP because it comes from a secondary corporation and provides a private IP authentication, high-level anonymity and rapid data request response times. Usually, data center proxies are used for infrastructure, such as servers and web hosting.  

A residential proxy is an intermediary using an IP address attached to a physical location provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to a homeowner. It is a genuine IP address that can be used to imitate organic users behaviour.

What are proxies used for?

As mentioned before, individuals and businesses widely use proxies. Let's explore the reasons behind it.

Personal use A proxy used for a personal case will be attached to a particular location. This can enable certain access to geo-blocked content. For example, consumers can browse and purchase flights from locations that offer the most advantageous prices. 

Secondly, proxies can optimize user's web activity and improve security levels by encrypting requests. 

Business use In most cases, businesses use proxies to gain advantage over competitors by gathering insightful information. The proxy gives them the ability to extract and process large amounts of publicly available data on competitor prices, products, services, reviews or even market trends that can accelerate businesses in their decision-making process regarding adapting marketing, sales and pricing strategies. 

Such information would be impossible to extract without proxies in place due to recurring blocks. When data gathering is in progress, a large number of requests are made to a web server.

The difficulty arises when these requests come from the same IP address because websites identify this activity as suspicious and block the IP address for security reasons. Proxies prevent this as IP addresses can be constantly changed if rotating proxies or a proxy rotator is used. This way data gathering can continue to take place anonymously and efficiently.

In addition to data gathering, many businesses use proxies for email security as there are huge amounts of emails that contain malware attachments, ransomware or suspicious URLs. Proxies help to scan each inbound email and filter out malicious content.

Another common use case is brand protection, as proxies are employed to scan the web searching for stolen content or counterfeit goods.

What is the difference between paid proxies and free proxies?

With a free proxy you can access almost every proxy benefit, which is great until something goes wrong. Utilizing such services means that no one is responsible for technical faults, which happen to be a common occurrence in this case.

It is not easy to find a free, long-life proxy as they quickly become outdated and the providers usually turn into paid ones or disappear over time. Furthermore, using free proxies can pose a serious threat because you never know if your data is secure and you may run the risk of falling victim identity theft.

Paid proxies are responsible for their services, with contracts and agreements in place to protect the user. For businesses, there is no other option but to pay for a dedicated proxy service and avoid any potential security issues. If you choose a reliable proxy provider, you should not need to worry about servers crashing or disappearing for no reason as many will offer dedicated account support. 

A reliable proxy provider will also have ethically sourced proxies. Deciding what proxy provider to choose is not an easy task as there are many criteria to consider, but we have singled out a few key points:

  • Reliability: 24/7 customer support and account managers, service trials and a money-back guarantee are must-haves for a reliable proxy provider. Pay attention to client reviews as well
  • IP pool size and location: IP pool size and location variety are critical for those who will be scraping large amounts of data from various countries
  • Success rates and speed: a reliable proxy network success rate should be at least 90%, with the best providers guaranteeing 95% or higher
  • Integration and support: proxy providers must ensure their documentation is clear and understandable, including integration tutorials and clear instructions

Is using proxies legal?

Utilizing a proxy server is not inherently illegal, but its legality can vary based on the usage and the jurisdiction. In certain regions, employing a proxy to circumvent internet censorship or to visit sites with access restrictions might be against the law.

What’s the difference between a VPN and a proxy?

A VPN and a proxy both mask your IP address by routing your internet through a remote server. However, a proxy is limited to specific apps or services, while a VPN covers all internet traffic and encrypts it for enhanced security and privacy. Unlike proxies, VPNs also secure your online activities with an encrypted tunnel. For basic browsing, a proxy may suffice, but for full security, a VPN is preferable.

Does proxy hide your IP address?

While proxies don't provide complete anonymity, they do typically hide your IP address. When you connect to the internet through a proxy, it displays the proxy server's IP address instead of your own. This prevents websites from seeing your real location, enhancing your privacy.

The future of proxies

Businesses mostly use proxies for large-scale data gathering and extraction, but this is not an easy process. It consists of many complex tasks, especially when anti-data gathering measures are becoming more sophisticated and making it harder to collect publicly available information without being blocked. To address this, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) innovations are gradually being applied.

Ultimately, proxies are extremely valuable solutions for both individuals and businesses that need to make accurate data-driven decisions. For individuals, proxies can help to access geo-blocked content, improve security levels, and optimize a web activity. For businesses, not only will they provide an extra layer of security, but they are quickly becoming an indispensable tool to gather publicly available information.

Things to consider when choosing a proxy provider

Geo-Targeting: Geo-targeting enables users to access content or bypass restrictions based on geographic location. Choosing a proxy provider with a wide range of IP addresses is crucial for accessing location-specific data.

Speed: Speed and latency are critical in proxies. High-speed proxies ensure quick data transfers, essential for extensive web scraping, while low latency is crucial for tasks requiring timely data, such as live streaming. Opt for a provider that offers both.

Number of IPs: The number of IP addresses a proxy provider offers is vital when frequently changing IPs for anonymity and to avoid anti-scraping measures. Ensure the provider's IP pool is large and diverse, including residential and datacenter options.

Cost: Cost is a significant consideration when selecting a proxy service. Assess the type of proxies, pricing plans, and any extra features to determine the best value for your needs. Consider pay-as-you-go plans for flexibility or fixed plans for consistent high-volume use.

How to choose the best proxy?

When selecting the best proxy for yourself, choose tools that have features useful to you, like geo-restriction bypassing, browser extensions, unlimited bandwidth, and a large proxy pool. 

If speed is a priority, check for the server speeds and locations, and if security is a priority, look at the service's encryption level. Lastly, assess whether the proxy's pricing models are suitable for your needs.

The best proxy: How we test

In our testing, we always dabble with various settings and options. We check the speed, security, encryption, server options, the number of proxy IPs, and if there's support for the SOCKS5 protocol.

We also check if a proxy can successfully pass through the blocks and captchas, and if it has a web scraping tool to fetch data for its users. Pricing is another part we take a close look at as not everyone can afford the more pricey solutions. Plus, if it’s expensive, it doesn’t necessarily automatically mean it’s a great service.

Lastly, we look for any extra settings or features. This can be anything from their own browsers to a simple ad-blocking solution.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.

Get in touch

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.

With contributions from