Like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), free proxy sites are a popular means of evading censorship and hiding a user’s true IP address. Millions of people across the world see access to the Internet as their fundamental right and use free proxy sites to protect their personal information, bypass geographic restrictions of streaming portals like Netflix and access websites that aren’t available in their country. The use of free web proxies has been growing over the years along with the rise of content streaming services and growing fears of surveillance of internet activity. But according to research by Christian Haschek those free proxy services might come at an unexpected cost: your privacy and security.
Is it safe to use a proxy?
That is a difficult question to answer. A proxy is not unsafe in itself. A secure proxy server is no risk to your personal data. For example, most companies and educational establishments use a proxy to allow internet access. The problem is that you are trusting your data with anyone who has access to the proxy server. They could intercept anything that is transmitted over that server. Free proxy sites on the internet could be set up in order to steal data like account names and passwords. These proxies are as safe as the person who is running it and what traffic you send across. This doesn’t mean all free proxy sites are set up by hackers. The premium proxy sites listed on this website are reliable and secure. If you just use a proxy to hide your true IP address, stream a video, open blocked sites and then disconnect, you’ll be fine. Do not pass any private information through a proxy. You should use a VPN for this.
VPN for better security
Compared to proxy sites, a VPN offers much better security and privacy online. But don’t go for just any VPN service or company. Free VPN services have been tied to deceptive practices as well. Hola, an Israeli VPN service, was widely criticized because millions of free users were unknowingly turned into a botnet that was utilized for criminal activities, including repeated DOS (denial-of-service) attacks.
Benefits of a paid VPN
VPN technology enables you to send encrypted data over previously unencrypted networks. It is an absolutely essential tool to use when logging on to Wi-Fi hotspots offered at airports, hotels, shops and other public places. Besides providing you with private and secure Web browsing, paid VPN services provide many other important benefits over free offerings that go beyond security, including providing customer support, not placing bandwidth restrictions on users, and allowing users to route data through a server located in another country.
Choosing a VPN service
There is no shortage of VPN providers to choose from which makes signing up for a VPN a daunting task. However, not all paid VPN service providers prioritize their users’ security. When shopping for a VPN service, it is recommended to read this article first.