Finding the best proxy server technology can unlock many doors for you. That can be anything from accessing content that’s not available in your country to using public hotspots without worrying about security threats. We’ve done our research on the market’s most prominent proxy services, and we’re here to help you find the best one. From must-have features to a buying guide — this review has it all. So, scroll down to discover our top picks.
Our in-depth evaluation process consists of two parts. During the first phase, we look at different types of proxies. The second phase is reserved for exploring the core features of proxy servers.
The most common types of proxies are HTTP, SSL, SOCKS, and web proxy servers.
HTTP proxy servers use a remote server to retrieve data that matches clients’ requests, as they can interpret network traffic. Meanwhile, this type of proxy server doesn’t go through an encrypted connection. This allows the server owner to modify received data, which is why finding the best proxy service is essential.
While some modifications to users’ requests are nothing more than annoying, featuring pop-up ads, others can include malware content.
SSL proxies work in the same way as HTTP proxy servers but come with SSL protection, thus being a more secure option.
SOCKS proxy servers have a broader scope of uses compared to HTTP proxies. Additionally, they are more secure, but unlike HTTP proxies, SOCKS proxies don’t interpret network traffic.
Our list of the best proxies features mainly web proxies and for several reasons. These types of proxies are easy to use and don’t require any software downloads. Security-wise, they use either HTTP or HTTPS connections, with the latter scoring additional points in our rankings.
One of the primary purposes of proxy servers is to ensure online anonymity. Based on their selection, users’ internet visibility varies. Here we have transparent, anonymous, and elite proxies.
These are usually used for their caching capabilities. They will use a different IP address to hide your real one, but unlike with the top proxy servers, your IP address will be visible in your request's header tag.
Anonymous proxies offer a decent level of anonymity. They will not reveal your real IP address when attaching headers to a specific request.
The highest level of anonymity comes with elite proxies. Not only do these proxies hide your IP address, but the servers you want to access don’t know you’re using a proxy either.
Both proxies and VPNs help users hide their IP address. The best proxy server providers can help you browse the internet anonymously, but their encryption capabilities stretch out to a single web page or app. Meanwhile, VPNs encrypt all your network traffic.
On the other hand, a good proxy server is often faster than VPN services. Still, due to the data encryption of VPNs, they are considered a more reliable and secure option. No wonder many proxy providers often offer VPN services in addition to free and paid proxies.
Here are the key features we look for in proxy services.
In the proxy world, reputation is everything. That is even more true for free proxy servers, since why would anyone offer something for free? Reputable proxy providers want to ensure internet freedom and user privacy. They usually rely on ads and donations to financially support the services they offer.
In our search for the best proxy, we looked at the companies’ social media profiles, and feedback on user-review sites. We also tested their services to see if they work.
One of our criteria for finding good proxies is their ease of use, as no matter how good the service is, if it's too complicated, users won’t be able to explore all of its potential.
Another essential feature we look for in proxy services is a server location. The best proxies typically give users a vast selection of server locations to choose from. One of the reasons why variety is so important is that the closer a server is to the user’s location, the faster the connection will be.
How long does a proxy service provider keep your data logs? The shorter this period is, the better. The best option is if the proxy has a no-log policy.
Proxy server sites manage to offer a no-log policy by registering their companies in countries with lax or no data retention laws.
The best proxy service supports the option of encrypting a requested website URL or even an entire page. The encrypted URL is not shown in plain text, helping protect your privacy. When it comes to pages, proxies encrypt a page before sending it to bypass various web filters. Once the page returns, they decrypt it.
Another standard option is to disable scripts and objects. Scripts often decrease page load times and can work outside of your proxy’s environment. Disabling them increases both speed and privacy, but may cause some site elements to function improperly.
The best proxy should further allow you to disable objects, which causes the same problems as scripts — slow page loading times and potential loss of anonymity.
Managing cookies is another desirable proxy feature. The option to disable cookies can prevent anyone from tracking your browsing activity. If you need to log in to a specific website you accessed through a proxy, you’ll need to enable cookies.
A good proxy will offer some extra tools in addition to its primary offering. If you look at the best proxy server alternatives, you’ll see that most of them have password generators, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests. Plus, they are highly likely to provide VPN services too.
While the price can play a significant role in choosing a proxy service, it’s not the determining factor for us. We look at both the newest proxies and the ones that have been around for a long time to find an effective proxy solution. Many proxies on our list are free, but we’ve also included the paid ones - all while considering industry standards and the features we’ve discussed above.
One of the biggest names in the proxy arena is Hide.me, widely known for its no-log policy. Apart from being one of the top free proxy service providers, the company also offers SOCKS proxy and is one of the best VPN service providers around.
Hide.me’s proxy service is easy to use, and Internet access is all you need to visit blocked sites or surf anonymously. Once you open the website, simply type in the web address you want to visit.
Hide.me is one of the best proxy service options with servers in three locations. You can select a server in Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland.
Customization-wise, the company supports the option to encrypt URLs and pages, remove scripts and objects, and manage cookies. If you plan on logging in to the website you visit, make sure to allow cookies.
To help users browse the internet freely without being limited to a single tab, Hide.me offers Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. The company also holds the title of one of the best VPNs for Chrome.
Hide.me offers its web proxy free of charge. As typical of the best proxy server options, the company also offers a free, albeit limited, VPN service. To unlock its full potential and gain access to over 1,800 servers, you can explore Hide.me’s VPN pricing plans.
HMA offers one of the easiest ways to keep your IP address from prying eyes and enjoy internet privacy. Apart from the proxy service, the company has various other tools on offer, including DNS and WebRTC leak tests, IP identifier, and top-class VPN service.
If you’re looking for the best proxy servers, you’ll like what HMA has to offer. You can choose from six servers in five countries. These include New York City and Seattle (US), London (UK), Prague (Czech Republic), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Frankfurt (Germany).
To make sure you browse the internet without privacy concerns, the provider also offers excellent customization options. You can encrypt URLs, enable or disable cookies, and remove scripts. Additionally, you can change your settings after launching the proxy service.
While HMA’s proxy service is on par with the best proxy services, the company’s VPN service might be even better. It offers a wide range of features, including IP shuffle, smart kill switch, and fast servers in 190 countries. HMA’s VPN service has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can take it for a test drive.
HMA doesn’t charge any fees for its web proxy service, while the VPN’s lowest pricing is only $3.99/month (with a three-year subscription).
NetNut has earned a stellar reputation among users for quickly routing requests through residential IP addresses that are attached to physical devices. What separates one of the fastest proxy servers from other top proxies is that connecting to a target site with NetNut is just a hop away.
One of NetNut's unique selling points is that it offers residential IP addresses which come from Internet Service Providers. If you’ve been looking for a simple way to unlock the internet, NetNut just might be the tool you need. Being one of the best paid proxy servers, NetNut offers unique IP addresses, with users reporting a minimum fail rate at below 1%. The NetNut Chrome extension makes accessing any country simple with the option to choose between static and rotating proxies. The proxy service has a proprietary encryption algorithm, while the number of concurrent connections is unlimited.
The tool integrates with web scraping tools, automation software for social media, and multi-account management tools. The product’s interface is clean, providing insights about bandwidth usage. All these features make NetNut the perfect tool for social media scraping, price comparisons, and market research.
Unlike some of the best free proxies we’ve covered so far, NetNut isn’t free. On the plus side, it allows users to test its services on the house. The product’s pricing depends on bandwidth usage and the number of requests per month.
The bandwidth-based plans include:
The request-based pricing offers three plans:
The days of handling headless browsers, CAPTCHAs, and proxies are gone. One of the best web proxy solutions, Scraper API, handles all of this for you. The proxy server provider boasts processing an enormous number of monthly requests, which currently sits at 5 billion, while the number of businesses that rely on Scraper API to get HTML from websites is 1,500.
Geotargeting is another Scraper API functionality. Depending on the plan, users can select the country of origin for their requests. The proxy’s country list includes the US, Canada, France, Mexico, India, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Germany. We also like that the solution allows users to use the same proxy for multiple requests.
Scraper API further offers an internal pool of mobile and residential IPs, which are used for websites that are difficult to scrape.
The proxy API has four premium plans, which allows one of the best proxies to target different audiences. The Hobby plan ($29/month) doesn’t support geotargeting and JS rendering. It offers 250,000 API calls per month and 10 concurrent requests. The Startup plan costs $99/month, raising the number of concurrent requests to 25 and monthly API calls to a million. This package also supports US geotargeting.
The Business plan ($249/month) unlocks all geotargeting options and priority email support. It further supports residential proxies, while the monthly API call count stands at 3,000,000 and concurrent sessions are 50.
Arguably the best proxy server provider also offers the Enterprise plan, which allows for an unlimited number of API calls and concurrent requests, and has custom pricing.
Developers and data scientists can easily collect data from job boards, real estate listings, and ecommerce platforms with ScrapeOwl’s scraping API. Parsing HTML pages is equally intuitive, thanks to the platform’s various API parameters. ScrapeOwl is growing in popularity due to the ease of use that’s at the core of the web scraping API.
While we’ve covered some of the best proxy service providers, our list wouldn’t be complete without ScrapeOwl’s scraping API tool. The solution automatically generates an API key upon registration. To see ScrapeOwl in action, all you have to do is add a target URL to your API key. The number of concurring requests ranges from 10 to 25, while API calls go from 250,000 to 1,000,000.
ScrapeOwl further excels in the parsing arena, allowing users to quickly obtain custom elements. They can also set the time ScrapeOwl should wait before extracting the HTML of an element or page.
ScrapeOwl offers three pricing plans, including Startups ($29/month), Businesses ($99/month), and a custom plan. Failed requests don’t count towards the monthly pricing.
There are quite a few features that make Smartproxy one of the top contenders in the best proxy server service space. The tool offers datacenter and residential proxies, with a pricing plan suitable for businesses of all sizes. Those looking to start their own business can do so with the company’s reseller package and earn a side income.
Smartproxy gives users the option to choose from datacenter and residential proxies. With residential proxies, users get access to over 40 million IP addresses from 195 countries. For city and country-specific geotargeting, Smartproxy, which is for many users the best paid proxy server provider, supports eight locations on a city level, and 1.2 million IPs in the US, 9 million in India, and nearly 105,000 in Japan, among other countries.
The number of datacenter proxies stands at 40,000, and they are located in the US. With these, users can launch sticky sessions of up to 30 minutes. The company uses HTTP and HTTPS protocols, while the guaranteed uptime is 99.99%.
Another benefit of using Smartproxy is that it allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous requests. Authentication methods include IP whitelisting and a username and password.
To get the title of the best proxy server, the solution has to offer top-notch customer service, and Smartproxy brings excellent live chat and email support to the table available 24/7.
Smartproxy offers different plans for its datacenter and residential proxies. The datacenter proxy plans include Clever ($50/month), Smart ($100/month), Wise ($200/month), and Genius ($500/month). They offer different traffic limits, ranging from 100GB to 1,000GB. The number of users is also different, starting from one with the entry-tier plan and going up to 10 with the Genius package.
Compared to other top proxy servers, Smartproxy’s pricing is competitive. Residential proxies have four plans: Micro ($75/month), Starter ($200/month), Regular ($400/month), and a custom plan.
Reseller plans include Hustler ($1,000/month), Dealer ($2,250/month), Boss ($4,000/month), and Kingpin ($7,000/month). The number of users is unlimited, while the traffic limits depend on the selected plan.
Oxylabs entered the proxy server market in 2015, and today, it’s recognized as one of the top proxies in the industry. The company’s product offer includes a real-time crawler, datacenter, and residential proxies. One of the provider’s many strengths is the wide array of uses it covers. The Oxylabs proxy service can be used for anything from brand protection and market research to sales intelligence and ad verification.
No list featuring the best paid proxy servers would be complete without Oxylabs. The company offers a free trial, and although accessing its high-performing proxies isn’t free, it’s undoubtedly worth the investment.
Oxylabs has over two million dedicated proxies, all of which are extremely fast since they are not at the disposal of multiple users. These private IPs span over 82 locations. The company guarantees an uptime rate of 99.9% while offering 24/7 support should you come across any issues.
Oxylabs datacenter proxies don’t have a limit on bandwidth and the number of concurrent connections. Another notable feature is the Rotating tool, which can increase success rates. It also minimizes IP bans, ensuring frictionless data collection processes.
One of the things that help Oxylabs rank among the best proxy providers is its residential proxy offer. The number of Oxylabs residential proxies sits at 102 million, which is admirable. The quality is also at a high level, allowing users to bypass CAPTCHAs and avoid IP bans.
We must also mention the Sticky Session feature, which can be customized to change an IP address every ten to 30 minutes. An unlimited number of simultaneous connections, IP whitelisting, and detailed usage statistics are also part of the Oxylabs residential proxy offering.
If you need a data collection tool that fetches information in real-time, Oxylabs has three scraper APIs, including one of the best SERP APIs currently available on the market.
As one of the best proxies, Oxylabs offers a simple pricing structure for the supported types of proxies. Datacenter proxies are priced based on the number of IPs, while the price tag goes from $180/month to $6,000 with the Enterprise plan.
The residential proxy pricing is based on the amount of traffic, and the price per GB decreases with the higher-tier plans. Available plans include Stater ($300/month), Business ($600/month), Corporate ($900/month), and Enterprise ($5,000/month).
The SERP Scraper API also comes with four plans, with the prices varying from $99/month to $10,000/month.
We’ve reviewed the top proxy services, but we won’t stop here. We also want to help you find the solution that best suits your preferences.
The first step is to identify the features you expect from a proxy service. Think about the qualities that define the top proxy choice for you. Is it speed? How important is it for you to have customization options? Once you’re done with this part, you should have a list of favorites.
The next and final step in finding the best proxy server is to try the ones with most of the features you’re looking for. While the vast majority of these solutions are free, if the one you need happens to be paid, you will have to make a choice between spending money and going with fewer features.