How do you find out if a proxy service is worth using? Of course, the obvious way is to search around and try and find a private proxies trial package somewhere. After all every proxy provider makes promises about bandwidth, speed and all sorts of components but without trying for yourself you’re not going to be certain.
However there is a problem with this, and it’s one that most proxy providers have experienced to some extent. So take for an example a proxy provider who is utterly convinced about the quality of his proxy service everything from hardware to bandwidth is top notch. He’s spent months on configuring his proxies and testing them, they run flawlessly and securely. You could imagine that offering some sort of free trial would be a great way of attracting customers. After all genuine inquiries would see how good the service is and therefore invest in a paid proxy package. Unfortunately this is rarely the case, and the reason is why you’ll not find any extensive free trials in this market (at least not among the best providers).
So what is this issue, why is it so difficult to find decent proxy trials? Well the simple matter is because free trials offer lots of problems to businesses in general, but they’re even worse in the world of proxy provision. At the core of these issues is the fact that people don’t generally value something they’ve got for free. If you give them something for nothing, they’ll usually value it on a monetary basis. Or to put it a slightly different way, people tend to value things that they pay for.
The internet is full of examples of products that do very badly when given free trials. One of the most striking is informational guides and reports, even originally hugely expensive products distributed for free tend to get skimmed through or not read properly.
Yet you start charging a decent price and people will invest the time to justify the costs they’ve paid. Computer software is another example, especially products with a high learning curve. Experience shows that again people who receive the programs for nothing are much less likely to learn how to use it properly.
Why a Private Proxy Trial can Damage the Product
The main issue is that people don’t value anything that’s given to them for nothing and so they also won’t look after it. The real value behind most proxies is not the hardware or technical configuration but the IP addresses. After all it’s pretty simple to replace the hardware or reinstall the proxy software, but those addresses are much more important. You can advertise cheap private proxies or even discount them heavily but you can’t vet who uses them.
Most proxy companies have found that if they offer free trials one of two things will happen regarding the IP addresses. Either the user will not take care of these addresses, typically by doing something like using them in an aggressive manner in bots or other software. The other situation is where the user has no intention of upgrading or paying for a proper proxy service but just wants to use the trial to spam or blast web properties. Many people jump across these free trials, abusing the IP addresses as they have no intention of using them again. For the proxy service provider suddenly that free trial become extremely expensive as IP addresses are blocked, banned and filtered.
It’s important to manage the use of these IP addresses if they are to maintain their values, and free trial people rarely do that. For example one provider I know had a large range of IP addresses they’d reserved for using with Instagram both managing and promoting profiles. Unfortunately a series of free trial providers completely abused these addresses by spamming their Instagram accounts. The result was they were all blacklisted and blocked by Instagram and completely unusable for their primary purpose. The free trial actually damaged the proxy providers business.
It’s unfortunately a common occurrence, most personal VPN and proxy security companies have stopped offering free trials for similar reasons. The accounts will normally end up being abused to download torrents or upload copyrighted materials – the result lots of grief for the VPN companies when it’s traced back to the IP address.
In all these cases a private proxy free trial usually end up affecting the company badly and also often fee paying customers too.
A Cautionary Tail of a Free Trial Proxy Server
You may think that the risk all falls on the proxy provider, however that’s not entirely true. The risk to some extent extends both ways, although of course the potential customer has more control over what he does when he uses a trial proxy. Anyone using a proxy alongside an account though, is sharing heavily in the risk. If you sign up to one of the terrible cheap proxy services which unfortunately are all too common, your accounts are at risk too.
A friend of mine had painfully developed a selection of excellent Instagram accounts over a couple of years. He spent ages creating and growing these accounts using meticulous research and using a variety of techniques all of which he applied manually. Every day he would identify people to follow, individuals related to his niche who were popular (but not in the superstar status). These would generally be likers and followers of the popular accounts but only those who genuinely interacted, i.e not Instagram bots. Then he would follow the account and later in that day like one of their latest posts then an earlier one from a few weeks ago.
This actually works extremely well, I urge you to try it if you have any Instagram accounts. It makes you look like you’re genuinely interested in the account and the chances of getting a Follow back are hugely increased. Anyway the problem is that it’s incredibly time consuming especially in smaller niches. Slowly the tedium of growing accounts like this and he started to look for short cuts. It was found in the popular Jarvee software, which many of us use to manage social media accounts.
Jarvee is great, it’s hugely powerful and if used correctly and be used to grow dozens of accounts quite easily. However with it’s power comes risk, if you abuse the software and use it too aggressively then it will destroy your accounts! My friend was clever he set up the software on an ultra conservative level and basically got it to mirror his own methods. It worked well and allowed him to develop new accounts and too free up some free time.
Unfortunately this is where it started to go wrong, slowly he became slightly annoyed at the cost of his premium elite proxy servers. This was a year or so ago when using residential proxies was starting to become essential for many tasks but they were still expensive. He found a provider who looked great and offered a completely free trial of UK private proxies for over a week. Keen to take advantage of this generosity and still with ultra conservative settings in Jarvee, he started to promote loads of accounts. The problem was the IP addresses assigned to these so called elite private proxies, had all been blacklisted by Instagram and using them was fatal.
Loads of accounts were deleted, blacklisted or shadow banned – an Instagram empire brought to it’s knees in a few days.
Look for a Short Trial of a Proxy Server or Money Back Guarantee
In reality if you’re looking for reliable proxies with usable IP addresses then companies will need to protect them and carefully manage their use. The development of automated and rotating proxies like these has certainly helped this management. They can at least directly control the concurrent use of their IP addresses and rotate them so there’s a fresh IP with every HTTP or connection request. This is especially useful for protecting valuable resources like residential addresses or those reserved for specific platforms.
So if you’re looking to test out a companies proxy service you need to be realistic. The better companies now strongly avoid using free trials of any sort in order to protect their networks. Most though appreciate that people do want to at least confirm that they are suitable for intended use.
For example my favored proxy providers are Storm Proxies who do offer a variety of very short trials on their different products. None are free although they all offer money back guarantees with a time depending on which proxies you are using. The dedicated private proxies for instance have a short two hour trial, the residential ones have twenty four hours money back window and most of the others you can get a refund for up to 48 hours. It’s not a long time but sufficient to ensure that the proxies are suitable for your needs and more importantly the guarantee is honored.