Your One-Stop Guide to Web Proxy [With Steps to Use it]

Sharing your original location with every site you visit is not smart. It exposes you to a large set of cyber threats and online troubles. A web proxy online can save you from all of it.

Not sure what can an HTTP proxy web can do for you and when should you use it? Not an issue. Read this article, and you will be well-acquainted with:

  • What is a Web Proxy?
  • What does it do? What are its pros and cons?
  • How is it different from other types of proxies or VPNs, and when to use it?
  • Is it legal to use a web proxy? Which sites or proxy servers are the best for you?
  • How to configure it for Various Devices?

If it’s something that interests you, let’s begin without further ado.

VPNWelt collected proxy-related content for you here:

What is a Web Proxy?

A web proxy is among the top methods for hiding your IP address. This type of address masking can be helpful when browsing safe and unsafe websites online.

When you access a website through a proxy, the proxy server acts as a middleman or shield between your device and the site being visited. In this case, all web traffic between the visited site and your device will pass through the proxy server. So, the site won’t see your real location and will consider you a visitor from the proxy server’s location instead.

The process is:

  • You request the proxy server to access a web URL.
  • The web proxy server requests the page on your behalf.
  • It receives the page back and sends it to you.

Using a web proxy is easy (we have explained it later in the article), and the above process is repeated every time you access a URL through the proxy in your browser/device.

What Sets it Apart from other types of Proxies?

Web proxies or HTTP proxies are the most widely used by all types of users. Their main purpose is to enable safe browsing or uninterrupted access to the sites throughout the internet. Web proxies use the HTTP protocol to process your one-way requests (to access an URL).

It is different from the other 3 common proxy types:

  • SOCKS Proxies or proxy servers help people connect to a particular server or intranet. It uses the SOCKS protocol and accepts multi-layered TCP or UDP data.
  • FTP Proxies are specifically used for file transfer. They use the FTP protocol and relay big chunks of data.
  • SSL Proxies are similar to HTTP proxies but are more secure. They encrypt and decrypt the communication happening via them. The traffic passes through SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

Functions

To sum the above details up, HTTP or web proxies:

  • Read your request header to understand the request (of accessing a URL);
  • Request the URL from the client on your behalf;
  • Connect to the web server and accepts the response;
  • Render/Deliver the received response at your end.

By doing so, they:

The Purpose: Why would one use such a service?

Different people use web proxies for different reasons.

For example, there are various media sites that ask for a subscription when you access them from the same IP for 3rd or 4th time. But if the site sees a different fake IP every time, you can read its contents without interruption. A Twitter user suggested the same in an interesting discussion.

Other reasons why one would want to use a web proxy are:

  • To browse the web anonymously so that the infected sites, wrong hands, or intruders cannot trace you back.
  • To hide your web habits from your ISPs so that irritating advertisements and pop-ups can be avoided.
  • To avoid getting tracked by the sites you are visiting.
  • To visit a site that has blocked you for multiple visits, your location, or other reasons.

Benefits of using Web Proxy

Hiding your actual identity or the public IP is a life savior for many reasons, including the ones enlisted:

  • It shields you from hackers and malicious actors upon visiting an unsafe website.
  • It skips binding your web behavior to your IP for the ISPs.
  • It lets you access sites that have blocked you or your location.
  • It saves your data by preventing unnecessary ads or pop-ups.
  • It will help you skip cookies from troubling you further.
  • It prevents scripts from saving in your browser.

Web Proxy Sites

You may try the sites like Bright Data, Web Share proxy, or ProxySite in case you want a free web proxy. These online tools are good for hiding your IP address. Besides this, you may also have a look at our list of 10 best Proxy servers (Free and Paid) or check out these proxies ranked highest in TrustPilot:

TrustPilot Proxy List

Limitations of using Web Proxy

  • No encryption of traffic
  • No hiding your web searches or visits from your browser
  • It won’t secure your bank details or social media credentials against threats if you enter them on unsecured sites.
  • Web Proxy services are bound to expose your real IP address when authorities ask for the same.
  • A few free and unreliable web proxies may steal your data and cookies.

Web Proxy Vs. VPNs

VPNs are much more advanced than web proxies. They can not only hide your IP from the site you are visiting but can encrypt the traffic, prevent your browser from keeping your browsing log and do much more. Know about the best VPNs for different purposes here.

Guide to setting up a Web Proxy

For Windows

Windows Proxy setup

In Windows Settings, search for ‘Proxy Settings’ and go to ‘Manual Proxy Setup’ > ‘Use a Proxy Server.’ Here, enter the IP address of the proxy port of your preferred server. You can also go to extra options and configure your proxy-related settings further.

For macOS

Proxy Settings Mac

A Twitter user, with his handle name Taggart, has suggested a simple way to set up a Proxy for your Mac. You can follow these simple steps:

Conclusion

Web Proxies and other types of proxies are easy to use. However, their usage is limited and is more for the businesses needing to access several URLs beyond the allowed limit or geo-locations. It is wiser to go with VPNs for added privacy and security.

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Let VPNWelt warn you: to be completely secure on the internet, you will need the help of the best VPN service.

You probably don’t have time to learn all the details about VPN services but want to know which one is the best for you. Here are six trustworthy VPNs I can recommend to you, depending on the scope of use of each of them.

For more information, see our picks for the best VPNs here.

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FAQs

What is a Web Proxy Address?

The main purpose of using a web proxy is to hide/mask your original IP address and secure yourselves from all online threats. A web proxy address is the IP address that hides your original address and helps you access various sites online. The visited websites, if tracing your IP, will see this address only.

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