Buoyed by the interconnectivity that has come with increased internet penetration, the current digital age has created what can be termed a global village. As a result, it is easier now to find out what is happening in far-flung parts of the globe.
However, regardless of the potential that the internet gives companies, through their websites, to reach a global audience, some choose to limit the number of people who can access their content via what is referred to as geo-blocking.
But with the emergence of technology, there are several ways through which users can go around such geo-restrictions. One prominent solution is the use of proxy servers.
What Is A Proxy Server?
When the proxy intercepts outgoing requests from a browser, it mostly hides their real IP address and instead assigns a new online identifier.
Through this replacement, the proxy server effectively anonymizes a user’s browsing experience, making it harder for their online activity to be tracked.
Additionally, this anonymization makes it possible for you to bypass geo-restrictions. For instance, if you want to view what video streaming platforms show their audiences in the United States, you can simply use a US proxy.
This proxy will hide your real IP address, which a video streaming site would ordinarily use to determine your location. If you are located outside the US, the site’s server will use this parameter as the basis to block your access.
But with a US proxy, which assigns your requests a US-based IP address, thus tricking the target web server into thinking you are in the US, you can easily bypass such a restriction.
The benefits of using a US proxy server stretch beyond bypassing geo-blocking. This is because the US proxy can take many forms, i.e., there are numerous types of proxies. These include:
- Residential proxies
- Datacenter proxies
- Forward proxies
- Reverse proxies
- Anonymous proxies
- High anonymous proxies
- Private/dedicated proxies
- Shared proxies
- Rotating proxies
- Static proxies
- HTTP/HTTPS proxies
- SOCKS proxies
Benefits Of Using A US Proxy
A quality US proxy offers numerous benefits. These include:
1. Online Anonymity
By hiding a user’s real IP address and, in its place, assigning a new IP address, the US proxy effectively anonymizes the browsing.
The anonymity that a proxy server provides prevents advertisers, hackers, and, sometimes, government agencies from mapping a user’s digital footprint, including the websites they visited. By extension, this also enhances security.
Quality reverse proxies provide security. They are found on the server side of an internet connection, sitting in front of the server. Any requests are first channeled through the reverse proxy before being directed to the server.
As an extra layer, this proxy type filters all incoming requests, ensuring that only the vetted and safe requests reach the server.
Additionally, reverse proxies balance the load among numerous servers. Known as load balancing, it improves a website’s loading speed.
3. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions
Proxies such as residential, datacenter, anonymous, and high anonymity proxies can be deployed whenever there is a need to access geo-blocked content.
For instance, using a US proxy, which assigns a US-affiliated IP address, enables users who are not located in North America to view content that would otherwise only be accessible to American residents.
4. Web Scraping
Companies and individuals can rely on residential proxies when undertaking large-scale web scraping.
On the other hand, they can utilize datacenter proxies whenever they intend to scrape data from small websites that have not integrated sophisticated anti-scraping mechanisms.
In order to improve your chances of success, it is recommended that you use rotating residential proxies and rotating datacenter proxies.
Rotating proxies often change the assigned IP address, whether it be a residential or datacenter IP address, in effect reducing the number of requests that can originate from the same IP address.
Web scraping, which is the automated format of extracting public data from websites, is used for the following:
- Search engine optimization: collecting data on the appropriate keywords to use
- Review monitoring
- Price monitoring
- Competitor monitoring/market research
- Academic research
5. Increasing Productivity
Transparent proxies are deployed to limit access to specific websites. This has been linked to increased productivity in the workplace as workers get to dedicate most of their time to work rather than watching videos on YouTube or endlessly scrolling down their social media feeds, for example.
6. Social Media Management
Some social media platforms, such as Instagram, limit the number of accounts that a user can open with the same IP address. A social media manager can bypass this restriction by using rotating residential proxies, however, which are reliable.
A US proxy is a valuable tool that offers numerous advantages, depending on the proxy type. Typically, proxies are used to facilitate web scraping and social media management, block access to certain websites, increase security, and more.
Here’s a great blog article that delves deeper into what exactly benefits you gain from using a location-specific proxy.