A proxy or proxy server is an intermediary that adds security, anonymity, and privacy when integrated into a given network. These three elements form part of the reason why your company should use proxies.
Before delving into how proxies make enhanced privacy, security, and anonymity a possibility, we’ll first define the term ‘proxy server.’
What is a proxy?
A proxy acts as a gateway for all web requests your computer sends or content being received from a web server.
This gateway stops web requests originating from your computer or company’s network and assigns them a new online identity (IP address) before directing them to the target website.
In short, whenever you use a proxy server, you essentially assume a new identity, which makes tracking extremely hard.
The fact that tracking is no longer possible promotes anonymity, privacy, and security. The anonymity ensures that you can access geo-blocked content.
For example, using a Brazil proxy helps to access content restricted to the Brazilian territory.
Notably, this is one of the many benefits of integrating proxy servers into your company’s network.
This article will discuss a total of 5 reasons. Let’s get into it.
Uses of proxies for companies
You can use proxy servers in the following instances:
- To balance traffic and increase connection speeds
- To bypass geo-restrictions
- To protect your network and computing infrastructure from cyber attacks
- To restrict access to specific websites
- Web scraping
Balance traffic and increased connection speeds
System downtime’s can cause distress and concern, especially if your company’s operations greatly rely on its website, for example, an e-commerce company or a news website/blog.
Every minute the website is offline translates to a loss of ad revenue.
Alternatively, it prevents customers from viewing products and paying for goods or services.
When left unattended, the consequences are dire.
The downtime’s could result from your webserver’s inability to handle traffic or unreliable power/internet.
Fortunately, with proxy servers, you can provide the much-needed redundancy to prevent frequent downtime’s.
Proxies achieve this by distributing your webserver’s content among multiple computers around the world.
Thus, consumers accessing your website will essentially access content stored in the proxy provider’s server nearest to their location.
Proxy servers also increase connection speeds by caching frequently accessed files and web pages, compressing data, and doing away with ads.
These three actions free up the bandwidth, thus making access to the website fast sans bottlenecks.
Geo-restriction/geo-blocking is the phenomenon whereby content is only displayed to people within a specific geographical area.
This implies that if you are outside the authorized region, you will not access the content, however important it may be to you.
For companies, geo-restriction prevents market research and ad verification. It also complicates the process of monitoring customer feedback and reviews.
Nonetheless, using proxy servers is a surefire way of accessing restricted content.
For instance, if you intend to gather information on the Brazilian market, you could use a Brazil proxy. The same applies to any other country.
An HTTP proxy filters content before it gets stored on your company’s web server or computers it does not allow unauthorized files to be stored therein.
Furthermore, some proxies, e.g., residential and data center proxies, prevent phishing attacks by monitoring emails to identify files containing harmful links or content.
Restrict access to specific sites
A company thrives when all of its employees are productive. However, social media sites can affect productivity. And that’s not all.
Some websites are unsecure, and a single person could compromise your entire computing infrastructure by merely accessing it. These reasons point to the importance of using proxy servers.
With proxies, all web requests and traffic go through a single controlling entity.
This fact reduces access to undesirable sites, thereby augmenting the existing security measures and promoting productivity.
A company can benefit significantly from web scraping, which involves using automated tools to extract data from websites.
This is because the internet is a hub of useful information. For instance, harvesting data on job postings can give you an idea of the benefits and compensations your competitors offer new employees.
If you are part of the management, you could realign your internal practices to attract qualified workers, given that the data will provide insight into hiring practices within your firm’s sector/industry.
Furthermore, web scraping facilitates price monitoring – a useful way of knowing competitors’ pricing strategies – ad verification, market research, review and reputation monitoring, etc.
Usually, though, websites have measures to prevent any form of data harvesting.
The anti-scraping tools deployed include IP blocking, use of CAPTCHAs and User-Agents (UA), and sign-in and log-in requirements. But you can use a proxy server alongside a web scraping tool to prevent IP blocking.
Your company will benefit if you integrate proxy servers into your network. From accessing Brazilian content using Brazil proxies to preventing downtime, proxy servers have immense benefits.