Over the last twenty years, the language and use of proxies has changed somewhat. There’s still much confusion over the subject though, yet there’s no doubt they are becoming more and more important to our lives.
The primary reason for this is of course, the extent to which the internet has become important to all of us. Pretty much everyone now looks online for all sorts of aspects of real life. Can you even imagine trying to arrange house insurance or booking a holiday without using the internet? I’m sure my teenage children wouldn’t even know where to start and it’s not something I would enjoy either. If you don’t remember arranging car insurance involved lots of frustrating and confusing phone calls, until you got bored and gave up.
However this convenience comes at a price, technology is in place that monitors, tracks and molds our digital experiences. How often have you clicked on something vaguely interesting then been bombarded with advertisements for weeks to come with a related product. For the general public this could be seen as intrusive, however for online businesses and marketers the technology can be a real hindrance.
So the reason for this post and the slightly confusing title was a message from a friend of mine who’s starting an online marketing business. His question – he wanted to buy an elite proxy list from somewhere. Now he’s not the most technical person, but he’s intelligent and had done some research and figured it was to support a tool that he’d found. To run the myriad of social media accounts, he’d decided to buy a program called Jarvee which automates and promotes multiple account from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar.
It’s a cool choice, Jarvee is an awesome program if used correctly (it can also cause havoc!). It’s certainly capable of growing and managing loads of different social media accounts, I use it for Instagram for example. However you cannot manage multiple social media accounts from a single connection, simply because it violates most of the terms and conditions of most of these sites. You do, as my friend surmised, need to create multiple digital identities to manage these and using a proxy is the easiest way to do this.
So What’s an Elite Proxy ?
First of all let’s clarify the expression ‘elite proxy server’ – a commonly misrepresented and confusing expression. Calling something elite doesn’t really make it brilliant and the best, although old people like me will possibly remember that one of the greatest games ever written was actually called Elite.
Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2417004
Wow, those graphics are awesome, you’ll probably have to be 40+ to remember this though! Similarly you’ll find elite pizzas, colleges, solicitors and of course proxies all over the place. The implication is of course it’s better than everything else, which of course is rarely true.
The phrase elite proxy has become something of a definition, although as mentioned people often misuse the term. So let’s define it’s common usage as regards proxies goes, here’s a fairly standard one –
“An elite proxy is the most advanced degree of security as it provides the best protection and privacy on the internet.”
Now if you’re talking about free, crappy unsecured proxies that you find online then the definition does hold. However virtually any commercial proxy service would use this as an absolute baseline. It basically means that if you use an elite proxy then the web site you visit has no idea that you’re using a proxy.
- Your computer’s IP Address is completely hidden
- The following headers are not forwarded – HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR, HTTP_PROXY_CONNECTION and HTTP_VIA.
So basically it hides your IP address and the fact that you’re using a proxy server at all.
So Where to Buy an Elite Proxy List ?
There are of course, thousands of proxy lists scattered all over the internet. Some of them are even updated daily and broken down into sections like transparent, anonymous and elite. Most of these are actually incredibly insecure – usually consisting of servers which have accidentally been left open, misconfigured or even hacked and a proxy installed onto them. Needless to say using these sort of proxies can be very risky irrespective of whether they pass on headers to receive an ‘elite’ rating. The hacked servers are particularly dangerous, as they are used to apparently allow anonymous surfing but actually data is being stolen and malware installed on the client while you use them.
For a secure, safe and anonymous elite proxy unfortunately you have to pay someone to use a properly run service. Fortunately there are loads of options and a handful of really decent providers who can give you access to fast, networks of elite proxies all over the world for a relatively small price. All the main providers ensure there proxies meet the ‘elite’ definition but in essence there’s another concept that’s even more important when considering proxies – what type of IP addresses they use.
Here’s a quick summary of the things to consider –
- Datacenter IP Addresses – any proxy or VPN service which doesn’t mention IP addresses or where they’re registered from is probably using commercially classified IP address ranges assigned to the datacentres that the servers sit in. There’s nothing wrong with this and it doesn’t directly affect security except for certain specific tasks you need specific types of IP addresses.
- VPN Service – pretty much like a proxy but adds a layer of encryption to the connection. This is essential to stop blocking and filtering via things like content filters and anyone eavesdropping on your connection. It doesn’t add any extra security directly to the website your visiting though.
- Residential IP Addresses – for anyone marketing or involved in various e-commerce roles using a proxy involves trying to look like a ‘home user’. You can only really do this by ensuring that the IP addresses used by your proxy or VPN come from a residential classified IP address range. Particularly important for internet marketers or people managing and promoting through social platforms. Many of which will block or flag your account if it is accessed from a commercial IP address.
- Mobile IP Addresses – the latest and arguably most discrete option you can get as far as IP addresses are concerned.
- Specific Private Roles – if you want a proxy server to manage your bank of Instagram accounts for example then it’s important that your not sharing the same addresses with hundreds of people doing the same thing. This is a sure fire way to get your accounts flagged and possibly deleted. The best proxy providers will allocate ranges both privately and ensure they work on specific platforms – so you can rent ‘Facebook proxies’, ‘Twitter proxies‘, Instagram proxies and so on.
- Geographical Proxies – often people need their IP address to originate in a specific country. For example to post on Craigslist directories in the US you’ll need a US IP address (ideally it should be residential as well). Ensure that you can access the right countries for your needs is an important factor in choosing a proxy provider.
The prices will vary depending on different factors but generally the cheapest way to simply securing your connection is to use a VPN which allows you to switch IP addresses like Identity Cloaker. This is will not work for specific marketing and promotional tasks though as the IP addresses for most VPNs are commercial. Residential IP addresses make you look like a genuine home user so they’re perfect for any promotional type work but they can be expensive as the addresses are difficult to obtain. Personally my favorite suppliers of both residential and private, dedicated proxies are a company called Storm Proxies who are among the oldest companies in this field.
Mobile proxies are also difficult to obtain, but the ability to create these is growing and the anonymity and protection they give you is second to none. Mobile IP addresses are especially dynamic so are very difficult to block and track, many marketers use these to manage their social accounts. For example, if you want to look like a standard Instagram user then using an IP that suggests your on a smart phone roaming around is perfect.
So here’s a couple of suppliers, they’re technically competent and honest (ask them questions and they’ll tell you if they can help)