Free proxies: where do they come from?

18 July 2022

Both professionals and common users need trusted proxy websites. Pro uses geo targeted proxies to collect web market data, to manage traffic, to conduct advertising campaigns, and to promote the brand in social networks. In everyday’s life proxies are useful for shopping in foreign stores, saving on air tickets and bypassing bans. Professionals value reliability in their work. Therefore they prefer to buy residential and mobile proxies, and pay for the best datacenter proxies. Common Internet users try to avoid wasting money, so they are looking for cheap proxies, or even try to get them for free, if possible. But free proxies is not the best option. 

Disadvantages of free proxies

There is only one good thing about free proxies, and it is  a lack of payment. There are more cons, that can be listed for a long time. So let's briefly name the main flaws of free proxies. Free proxies are:

    • slow

    • short-lived

    • potentially dangerous.

Talking about danger we mean proxies that threaten the security of the user's personal data, device and hardware. Comparison of free proxies with the best datacenter, residential and mobile proxies you need to buy is in favor of the latter.

Origin of free proxies

The existence of free proxies makes you wonder. After all, trusted proxy websites need to look for IP addresses, make agreements with Internet service providers to get IPs. Proxies require hardware placement, power supply and maintenance. And there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Therefore, free proxies are either part of a profit-making strategy, or the consequences of errors or failures. Let's name the common ways of proxies to appear.

1. Advertising

A proxy website can use ads for a living. So the free proxy list is paid by income made with ads. The money made this way is limited, so the IP pool is limited too. It usually has 5-20 thousand IPs.

Another case is when a new proxy site opens access to its servers for free to promote itself. As soon as the proxy provider becomes well-known, proxies become paid. Or only a small part of IP addresses stays available for free. Or the connection to proxies becomes closed after the failure of the advertising campaign. Our service is confident in the quality of our own, so we provide proxies for a free test at any time.

2. System administrator errors

Some individual proxies become free by accident. Hackers are constantly scanning the Web looking for vulnerable subnets, or devices. Some administrators may forget to block access to the most popular ports of a corporate network or domestic Internet service provider. And if hackers detect an unsecured port, the device or subnet could be exploited as a proxy. When and if the system administrator corrects a mistake, external access to IP closes, and such proxies disappear.

Probability of any data leaks is minimal, if you prefer trusted proxy websites and buy a residential IP there. We offer rotating proxies for all proxy types. An external IP address changes at the user's command, at intervals, or upon a new connection. Proxies have a high uptime, and are online 99.9% of the time. External ports are closed by default from unauthorized connections.

3. Testing

In this case the proxy provider launches free servers to check their performance. E.g. one of trusted proxy websites serving best datacenter proxies, decides to offer mobile or residential IPs. And offers temporary free access to proxies to test them and avoid bugs in future. Once issues are identified and fixed, proxies are no longer available for free. Astro offers to buy residential and mobile proxies that are already tested and verified. We use trusted ISPs for best datacenter proxies. IPs are geo-located in 100+ countries around the world.

4. Illegal activity

Online crooks run a website with free proxies. It gets requests from users in an unencrypted form via HTTP protocol. So a fake server gets:

  • a browser history
  • cookies and cache
  • personal files
  • logins and passwords to accounts, credit cards, e-wallets.

At best, the users of such proxies suffer from intrusive ads and spam. At worst, personal data leaks into the Web, and malicious software ends up on the users’ devices. Soft launches cryptocurrency miners, sends spam, launches DDoS attacks, etc. The problem is solved by reinstalling the OS or running an antivirus program. To avoid danger only high trusted proxies should be used.

Astro doesn’t keep user logs, nor browser history or personal data. We serve residential and mobile proxies you can buy for a reasonable price starting from $1 per 100 Mb of traffic. And it guarantees a protection against dangerous software.

Advantages of paid proxies

Trusted proxy websites allow you to get a free proxy trial, without a fear of personal data leakage. All traffic is encrypted, offering a choice of connection protocol (HTTPS or SOCKS5). Third party access to the user’s connection is excluded. Trusted proxies are geo targeted, with the ability to change external IP addresses for an increased security and stability of work. Dynamic proxies are resistant to anti-botting measures of web pages. Customizable API for a successful web data scraping is desirable, as well as compatibility with different software.

To be called the best, datacenter, residential and mobile proxies should have a particular geolocation. And users should have a choice of city and ISP to work with. Astro serves all these features to users who have bought our residential and mobile proxies, or got our best datacenter proxies with dynamic IP rotation.

So you can rely on Astro in the most difficult and responsible assignments.


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