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Anonymous Proxies: Top Providers & Definition in 2024

Gulbahar Karatas
Updated on Apr 5
4 min read

Anonymous proxy servers, often referred to as anonymizers, serve to conceal a user’s identity, location, and other personal details. While they enhance anonymity, they might still disclose certain data to the destination web server, such as headers specific to proxies. Choosing a reliable anonymous proxy server provider is essential for safeguarding online security.

This article delves into how anonymous proxies work, the level of privacy they provide, and highlights top proxy service providers known for their anonymous proxy services.

What is an anonymous proxy?

An anonymous proxy server, also known as an anonymizer proxy, is a type of proxy server that allows users to hide their IP addresses and other identifying information from websites.

When you use anonymous proxies, your internet traffic traffic is routed through the proxy servers. All proxy servers have the potential to function as an anonymous proxy, yet the level of proxy anonymity provided varies based on the specific proxy type utilized.

Top 8 anonymous proxy service providers

Both free and subscription-based anonymous proxies exist. While free proxies might offer fewer functionalities and potentially lack the reliability or security of their paid counterparts, paid anonymous proxy services. However, the vast majority of anonymous proxy servers are not suitable for business activities, making it crucial to choose a dependable proxy service provider. For example, free anonymous proxies often lack support for protocols such as SOCKS and HTTPS.

ProviderStarts from*Cost/GBPAYGFree trial
Bright Data$10$6.30$8.407-day
Smartproxy$12$6$8.50100MB free
IPRoyal$12$6For companies
Infatica$96N/AN/A 3-day trial for $1.99
SOAX$99$6.603-day trial for $1.99

Starts from*: Residential proxies are a type of anonymous proxy server well-suited for both business and personal use that require high levels of anonymity and performance. The following table compares various proxy providers focusing specifically on their residential proxy offerings.

How does an anonymous proxy work?

Anonymous proxy servers act as an intermediary between your device and the target website. Here’s the step-by-step breakdown of how anonymous proxies work:

  1. Forward request: When the client makes a web request, it first goes to the anonymous proxy instead of directly reaching the target site.
  2. Mask IP address: The original IP address is masked by the proxy server.
  3. Sends the request: Once the request is intercepted, the proxy server forwards your request to the intended site.
  4. Receives the required data: The destination server sends the requested resource back to the proxy.
  5. Forwards to the client: The anonymous proxy sends the provided information back to the client, their real IP address remains hidden.

3 levels of proxy anonymity

The level of anonymity provided by proxy servers varies, and it is determined by how the proxy interacts with the client and the destination website.

Transparent proxies

Transparent proxies offer the lowest level of anonymity, do not hide or alter your IP address. They can be used for administrative control over the internet usage within an organization rather than for online privacy. Unlike anonymous or high-anonymity proxies, transparent proxies do not protect the anonymity of individual users.

Anonymous proxies

Anonymous proxies offer a high level of anonymity by concealing the user’s IP address, similar to elite proxies, but they may disclose certain details to the target server. Specifically, they might insert proxy-specific headers into the data they send, which can alert destination servers to the fact that the incoming requests are being routed through a proxy. This could potentially lead to those requests being singled out or blocked based on the server’s policy towards proxy traffic.

Elite proxies (high anonymity proxies)

Elite proxies offer the highest level of privacy and anonymity. They conceal your actual IP address and ensure that the target website you visit cannot detect that a proxy is being used. Such proxies do not send any headers that could include personally identifiable information. These proxies are suitable for use cases that require maximum security and privacy such as large-scale web scraping activities when simultaneous action is needed from multiple IP addresses.

Why should you consider using anonymous proxies?

Hiding your actual IP address using anonymous proxies makes it more difficult for websites to track your online activities. The advantages of using anonymous proxies include:

  • Bypass geo-blocking: Hide your real IP address and assign a new one from a different location, making it appear as if you’re accessing online content from within the region where it’s available.
  • Avoid targeted advertising & ad frauds: Anonymous proxies add an extra layer of protection against ad frauds by masking the origin of web requests. This makes it more challenging for advertisers to deliver targeted marketing ads based on your browsing activities.
  • Avoid identity theft: Make it difficult for third parties to track your online activities and limit how much personal data is exposed to the target website.

Common use cases of anonymous proxies

  • Data scraping: It is important to choose a proxy provider that is known for reliable proxies to ensure the proxies have good speed. For instance, private proxy servers enable users to maintain the efficiency of scraping activities by providing exclusive server access to either an individual user or a select group of users.
  • Marketing and SEO: SEO professionals leverage anonymous proxies to monitor and analyze search engine rankings across various geographic locations.
  • E-commerce and price comparison: You can integrate anonymous proxies with your web scraping tool to access online stores and platforms from different geographic locations. This enables businesses to understand how dynamic pricing strategies are applied by e-commerce websites based on location.

How to solve “anonymous proxy detected” error

The “Anonymous Proxy Detected, Click Here” message means that the website you’re trying to reach out to has identified your use of a proxy connection. Different reasons can cause this such as exposure of your actual IP address, excessive requests from the same proxy, or using a free proxy.

To solve this issue, first close the proxy-dependent applications and clear your browser’s cache and cookies to remove stored data that may cause proxy detection. You can also implement proxy rotation to ensure that each of your connection requests appears to come from a different IP address.

Further reading

For guidance to choose the right tool, check out data-driven list of proxy services, and reach out to us:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Gulbahar Karatas
Gülbahar is an AIMultiple industry analyst focused on web data collections and applications of web data.

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