Which Type of Proxy is Right for Me

Defining open or closed proxies can be difficult to understand, but the following is put into the most simple terms. So far, we’ve given you an early primer on what a proxy is. We've also explained why you might want to use one over a VPN and which kind of connection would be best suited to your style of surfing on the web.

Now, we’re going to delve in a little deeper to the world of proxies. It's important to explain the difference between the two types of proxy servers.  Then, you can make a final decision on which would fit your browsing style best: open or closed proxies.

Open Proxies

An open proxy is a proxy server that is freely available to anyone - anyone, that is, who wants to use it for their connection.  This boosts speed and makes for a larger cache of IP addresses to dole out. However, the included risk can be enough to ward off all but the most basic of proxy connoisseurs.

With open proxies, the servers are configured in a certain way which enables them to treat every incoming connection with equal fairness.  This applies regardless of whether or not the connection is malicious. Unfortunately, this can mean that unless the server operator is on top of things 24/7, hackers can easily take advantage of the situation and hunt down users individually.  They may also use automated programs that send out viruses and infected kernels.  This goes to anyone who essentially "walks in the front door," unprepared for their assault.

This means that open proxies are attractive options for underground criminal networks looking for servers to exploit.  Proxies used by these organizations in a litany of ways. For example, it works as a tool to link up botnets and control hubs.  Also, it works as a way to trace the traffic of hundreds of users at once and distribute malware onto their machines from a single source.

Open proxies aren’t as well policed or maintained as closed, invite-only alternatives.  This means anyone can get in without having to prove their need for admission. This leaves you open to attack.  Worse, it also increases your chances of being traced due to to the “one-size fits all” nature of the IP addresses available for use.

Closed Proxies

Closed proxies, on the other hand, avoid these issues entirely by setting themselves up as exclusive clubs.  Available only to members who know the address and password to get into a specific, pre-defined network.

Generally, close-knit communities online run these closed proxies. Owners of closed proxies will take a number of days, sometimes even weeks, vetting potential candidates for their network before granting a pass for entry. This personalized approach avoids the problem of tricking computers and automatic systems into trusting unknown actors.  It solidifies the link between anyone who might be on the server at a given moment to a known, verified identity.  It offers the ability to track the source of a problem if one arises while signed on.

When comparing open or closed proxies, the benefits of this arrangement are obvious.  The potential chaos of the open web stays at bay.  With only a carefully assembled list of participants allowed to use a specific server or host at once, security need not be as much of a concern. This can increase the speed for all the users hooked up to the server. It also anonymizes their activities with a greater degree of accuracy in the long run.

In Conclusion

Open proxies are great because they’re generally free to use, open to anyone, and don’t require you to participate in any kind of traffic trading program in order to maintain your membership. This makes them solid options for average users who don’t plan on being proxied 100% of the time. It's great for those who only need it if they’re trying to unlock a region block for video content in another country.

Closed proxies are there to offer the premium experience. They can give you the peace of mind you need whenever you’re trying to be absolutely certain no one else could peek in on your movements without your explicit permission first.  No matter which way you go, the decision is one that tailored to your personal needs.  Our guide is all you need to make the choice just a little bit easier to manage.

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