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.  Why you might want to use one over a VPN.  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.  Explain the difference between the two types of proxy server that you should know about.  This is before you 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.  That is to say, who wants to use it for their connection.  To clarify, no regulations or connection rules included. While this boosts speed and makes for a larger cache of IP addresses to dole out.  The included risk can be enough to ward off all but the most basic of proxy connoisseur.

With open proxies, the servers are configured in a certain way.  Furthermore, this enables them to treat every incoming connection with equal fairness.  To clarify, whether they are malicious or otherwise. 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.  Or with automated programs that send out viruses and infected kernels.  This is to anyone who 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.  Including as a tool to link up botnets and control hubs.  Also as a way to trace the traffic of hundreds of users at once and distribute malware onto their machines from a single source.

Because 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 not only leaves you open to attack.  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 run by close-knit communities online, 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 encountered.  To clarify, 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.  The ability to track the source of a problem.  That is to say, if one arises while signed on.

The benefits of this arrangement are obvious.  Primarily the open web riff raff kept outside the gates.  With only a carefully assembled list of participants allowed to use a specific server or host at once. This can increase the speed for all the users hooked up to the server, as well as anonymizing their activities with a greater degree of accuracy in the long run.

Wrap Up

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, and 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, and 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.