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Want to improve your online privacy but don’t want to use a VPN? The alternative is a web proxy, but with so many available, the experience can differ wildly.
If you’re looking for a free web proxy that actually works, keep reading. We’ve listed the top 15 services available today.
Proxies vs. VPNs: What Are the Differences?
Proxies serve one primary purpose; they hide your IP address to make it look like your internet traffic is coming from somewhere else. As such, they are ideal for tasks such as accessing geo-blocked content and bypassing IP address restrictions in offices and schools.
However, unlike most high-quality paid VPNs, they typically do not encrypt your traffic. Nor do they remove other identifiable information or offer other security-orientated features. Therefore, proxies are not a suitable alternative to VPNs if you want to hide your traffic from ISPs, governments, hackers, and other snoopers.
Furthermore, proxies only work with traffic originating from the app on which they are running. For example, if you’re running a proxy on your browser, it will not change the IP address on traffic coming from Steam, Spotify, or any other app.
Free Proxies vs. Paid Proxies
Just like the world of VPNs, they quality of proxies varies enormously between free services and paid services.
Free services are ideal for quick tasks and one-time situations like watching a blocked YouTube video. If you need something more long-term, you should not use a free proxy, just like you should not use a free VPN.
So, all that said, which are some of the most reliable free proxies that are available today?
1. Hide Me
Hide Me is a well-known VPN provider, but the company also offers a free proxy service.
Three server locations are available—the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany. Other options include the ability to block cookies, encrypt URLs, encrypt pages, remove scripts, and remove objects.
11proxy has one server in the US. The service is suitable for people who want to access geo-blocked content that’s only available to people in North America. Other options include page encryption, cookie blocking, and a way to block scripts and objects.
Note: 11proxy comes in many different guises. Other names for the same service include Dacd.win, ProxyEuro, and 789proxy.
With nine servers, Whoer offers a solid diversity of locations. You can connect to Paris, Amsterdam (x2), Moscow (x2), Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, London, and Dallas. There’s also an option to use a random server.
Whoer also offers a free speed test and ping test, along with a paid VPN service.
NewIPNow is another States-focused service. It has 13 servers, of which nine are in America, two are in Canada, one is in Poland, and one is in Lithuania.
There are no additional options.
There aren’t many worthwhile free VPN services, but VPNBook is definitely one of the recommendable ones.
It’s logical, therefore, that its free proxy service is also robust. There’s a server in the United States, Canada, the UK, and France.
6. Hide My Ass
Another well-known VPN provider, Hide My Ass offers a free proxy for anyone to use. It has two servers in the US (New York and Seattle), along with a single server in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Czech Republic.
Three additional options are available: encrypt URL, disable cookies, and block scripts.
7. Boom Proxy
Boom Proxy’s homepage has a bare-bones design, but the underlying service is reliable. Only one server is available, but there are a range of additional options. You can encrypt the URL, encrypt the page, disallow cookies, and remove scripts and objects.
Privoxy is the only downloadable proxy app on this list. It is a non-caching proxy with options that let you control cookies, alter page data and HTTP headers, and strip away bandwidth-eating junk code.
Dontfilter is a no-frills service. There’s only one server and no additional options. Of course, the no-frills approach also means the proxy is straightforward to use; just enter the URL and hit Go.
Xroxy provides you with a massive list of servers. There are more than 100 to choose from, all of which are based in the United States.
The site also makes it easy to see which will be the fastest and most reliable for your needs. You can sort by latency, uptime, port number, type, and whether SSL is available.
FilterBypass offers the usual selection of options. You can encrypt your URL and page, block cookies and scripts, and prevent cookies.
The proxy uses a 128-bit SSL connection.
BlewPass offers four web servers to users. They are in the United States (Phoenix), Canada (Quebec), France (Roubaix), and Poland (Warsaw).
You can separately set your IP location. There are more than 15 locations available, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Finland.
The wide range of IP locations means BlewPass is one of the best services on this list for accessing geo-blocked content.
KProxy is one of the most well-established proxy providers on the list. It’s been online since way back in 2005.
Interestingly, KProxy offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Add the extension to your browser, and all your browser traffic with be routed through one of the company’s 10 servers.
There’s a pro version of KProxy ($10 per month) that provides more bandwidth and removes ads.
ProxySite is hosted on a gigabit network, so you’re guaranteed fast speeds.
It offers 11 servers in the United States and 10 in the European Union. All its servers use SSL connections.
The company also offers a premium VPN service in case you need a little more protection.
Tor isn’t a true proxy, but it always makes sense to mention it in articles like this one. The service uses an onion network to route your traffic through a network of relays around the world.
Be aware that some sites block traffic that’s originated from Tor.
Other Ways to Stay Anonymous Online
Using proxies and VPNs is just one of the ways you can keep yourself secure while surfing the web. For more information, check out our article on other ways to mask your activity online.