Cheap and easy-to-use private and shared proxies with excellent support on hand. Not many features, but otherwise a must-see for proxy beginners and old hands on a budget.
Easy to set up
Responsive support via tickets
7-day money-back guarantee
Private/ shared data center proxies only
No dedicated Craigslist, Nike or Ticketmaster proxies
No live support
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The company's product range is small, but easy to understand. There are no residential, mobile or ISP proxies here, and no need to worry about whether rotating proxies might work for you. There are just private data center proxies which are yours alone, or shared proxies that you share with others - and that's it.
Squid Proxies doesn't have dedicated proxies for Craigslist, Nike or Ticketmaster (it warns that it doesn't give guarantees for Craigslist 'due to its dynamic environment.') But the company does say it 'works great with social media websites' such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, with the advice that 'it is best to use 1 proxy per account you maintain.'
The network is small, too, with proxies in just ten countries: USA, UK, Australia, China, Estonia, India, Romania, Israel, Sweden and Switzerland (Oxylabs has datacenter proxies in 88 countries.)
Only the USA gives you a choice of cities, although this offers a decent 12 options: Anaheim, CA; Atlanta, GA; Cheyenne, WY; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Henderson, NV; Kirkland, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, ME; Phoenix, AZ; San Jose, CA and Tampa, FL.
Squid Proxies is also simpler to set up and use than many of the competition, though. And even if you run into trouble, speedy 24/7 support is on hand to point you in the right direction.
Squid Proxies star product is its Private Proxies plan, which gets you proxies that won't be used by anyone else.
This gets you non-sequential IPs, reducing the chance of target platforms recognizing them as proxies, with (in the US) IPs from various subnets and locations. You can't choose these during signup, unfortunately: you must buy the proxies, then raise a ticket and explain what you need to Support.
Once you're up and running, though, Squid Proxies offers a 'guarantee that our proxies will work for your purpose or you get a full refund.' The knowledgebase says you must request a refund within seven days, but this isn't unconditional. The company asks that you send it details of your issue, and will only return your money if this can't be fixed.
If you just want to refresh your pool, reducing the chance of bans in future, life is a little simpler: you can ask for all-new proxies every month.
Pricing is based on the number of proxies you're buying, with no bandwidth limits. Plans range from $24 a month for 10 proxies, up to $1,500 for 2,000 (that's $0.75 each.)
The only complication is the plans also limit access to the number of cities and subnets you can use. Paying $24 a month allows you to use 2 cities and 4 subnets, for instance; $48 gets you 3 cities and 6 subnets; $87 provides 4 cities and 8 subnets, and so on.
Payment is accepted via card, PayPal and Bitcoin, a better choice than we usually see. Paying via Bitcoin requires sending a message to support, though, so it may take a little longer to set up.
Squid Proxies says it offers 'amongst the best prices in the industry', and they look good to us. Starting prices are lower than most, and the per-proxy cost is a fraction of some of the big name providers (even Oxylabs $1,500/month Data Center Corporate plan is an effective $1.50 per IP in the US, twice the price of Squid Proxies, and $2.60 per IP in the rest of the world.)
Choosing a Shared Proxies plan gets you more proxies for less, but as they're used by others (the site doesn't say by how many), speeds will drop, and they may be less likely to work for your purposes.
Squid Proxies' shared proxies don't have the same protection as their private cousins, either. The company warns that it does 'not guarantee that shared proxies will work with any specific purpose (e.g. access to Google / Facebook)' and there's no support for replacing or refreshing shared proxies.
They are also cheaper, though, with prices ranging from $100 a month for 100 proxies to $650 for 1,000 ($0.65 per proxy.)
As with the Private products, you don't get access to the full set of cities and subnets with the cheaper plans. Paying $100 a month gives you four cities and eight subnets, for instance, and as you upgrade to a new plan, Squid Proxies adds one city and two further subnets.
Squid Proxies isn't the most comprehensive of proxy services, as we've discussed. There's no-depth API, no lengthy list of options and features. But while that could be bad news if you've a complicated or demanding project, it translates into very easy setup and use for everybody else.
Your proxies are automatically allocated within five minutes of payment, for instance - no waiting around for lengthy 'fraud checks.'
There's no username/ password authentication, so no copy and pasting of credentials into your SEO or web scraping tool. Instead, Squid Proxies authenticates your identity based on your authorized IP address. You simply enter an IP address and port in your software, and when you make a request, Squid Proxy checks your IP address against the Authorized list to confirm it's really you.
Although this simplifies setup, it can lead to other complications. What if your router resets, giving you a new IP, or you need to access the service from other devices or networks?
Squid Proxies helps out by supporting up to ten authorized IPs, allowing you to run tests from home, work and plenty of other networks without difficulty.
There's also a Windows Proxy Manager which can authorize your current IP with a click. The tutorial suggests you might have to wait 1-5 minutes, annoying if you just want to get started, but otherwise it's easy to use and will get the job done.
Squid Proxies may be easy to set up, but even the best proxy services can run into issues sometimes, and that's when quality support makes a real difference.
The support site is, well, a little basic. Tutorials are very short, with minimal detail and very little context. The Pre-Sales FAQ has brief articles including 'How to set my authorized IP?' and 'How many IPs can I authorize?', for instance, but there's no general overview explaining why you need an authorized IP, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and how to manage it.
There's no live chat for instant help, but you can open a ticket on the website, ask questions, describe issues and add screenshots or other attachments which might help describe the problem.
Most of the user reviews we've seen report positive experiences with Squid Proxies support, talking about people who know what they're doing and make a real effort to resolve any issues you have.
Testing that is difficult - there's no way to tell for sure how a company might handle every possible technical challenge - but in our experience, Squid Proxies responds right away, with helpful and accurate advice which should quickly point you in the right direction.
Squid Proxies doesn't have the product range or features of the top competition, but if you're after simple private or shared proxies then its multiple US cities, great prices, helpful support and money-back guarantee make it well worth a try.
Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.