You know that there are lots of benefits that come with using proxies. You can scrape Google, administer an unlimited number of social media accounts, cop sneakers, and more, all while hiding behind the proxy. But you have a question. Which type of proxy should you use? Should you go with virgin proxies or free proxies?
Learn the differences between the two, so you can make a wise decision. Then, you can enjoy all the benefits that come with proxies, such as anonymity and the ability to manage multiple social media accounts.
What Are Virgin Proxies?
First, you need to understand what virgin proxies are. These proxies have very little to no usage history, meaning the IP is clean. Proxy companies typically purchase these proxies in small blocks, and each block is analyzed to ensure it truly is clean.
Some companies let you rent an entire clean C-block when renting virgin proxies. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting clean proxies.
Let’s take a closer look at the C-block, so you understand why this is so important.
What Is a C-Block?
IP addresses have four different subnet ranges. Each IP address contains the A-subnet, B-subnet, C-subnet, and D-subnet.
Let’s say you have an IP address of 192.168.255.10.
192 is the A-subnet, 168 is the B-subnet, 255 is the C-subnet, and 10 is the D-subnet. The C-block contains 256 IP addresses, and these addresses basically make up a neighborhood on the internet. That means whenever you share a C-block with others, you have as many as 255 neighbors, and if one of them behaves badly, you could take the fall.
Site owners often ban entire C-blocks based on the action of one IP address. That means you could end up with an IP ban due to a bad C-block, even if you haven’t done anything.
This can even happen if you buy virgin proxies without purchasing the entire block. That’s why companies sell an entire clean C-block. That way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with the ban. When you rent the entire clean C-block, you don’t have any neighbors. Instead, you own the entire neighborhood, so you only have to worry about yourself.
Now that you understand what virgin proxies are, it’s time to see how they compare to free proxies.
Comparison Between Virgin Proxies and Free Proxies
When you hear the phrase “free proxies,” you do a little jump for joy. You love the idea of getting free stuff.
There’s another phrase you need to consider, though.
Everything that’s free comes with a price.
That’s especially true when it comes to free proxies.
Clean vs. Not Clean
Unlike virgin proxies, free proxies are not clean. These proxies have been used in the past by others, and many times, they’ve been flagged. That means you could end up with an IP ban right out the gate. On the other hand, because virgin proxies have limited or no use, you don’t have to worry about running into a flag when you use them.
Since free proxies aren’t clean, they are incredibly unstable. It’s common for these proxies to stop working when you’re in the middle of a task, even when you haven’t done anything wrong. If someone has broken some sort of rule in the past or one of your C-block neighbors plays it fast and loose online, you could end up with a ban.
There are some other issues with free proxies, as well.
Speed is a big complaint people have when it comes to free proxies. In many cases, you end up sharing the same proxies with other people, and everyone is fighting for bandwidth. That can make free proxies extremely sluggish.
Do you remember surfing the web on dial-up? It’s a little bit like that. That really becomes an issue when you’re trying to run software or do tasks that take a lot of bandwidth. It can take days to do a simple task because the proxies are so slow.
It’s not just the bandwidth, either. Free proxies often run ads, so the owners can make some money. Instead of charging people, the administrators pocket the money from the ads. That sounds OK, but ads slow down the connection even more. It can slow all the way to a crawl when you are trying to work online. In fact, some of the proxies are so slow when displaying ads that you can lose the connection entirely.
Then there’s the fact that it’s hard to find free proxies that work. You will find a site that lists a bunch of free proxies, and it’ll be up to you to find out which ones work and which ones don’t. After you find ones that work, then you’ll have to see if the IP addresses are banned on the sites you want to use. It’s a real hassle.
Sometimes it’s more than a hassle, though. Hackers have been known to offer free proxies as a way to steal data. Once you connect to a free proxy, the administrator can actually take over your computer. It doesn’t take hackers long to get the information they need. That means someone can steal your bank account while you’re simply trying to manage your social media accounts.
In addition, some hackers use proxies as a front to engage in DDoS attacks. The hackers take over computers and perform these attacks on websites. You don’t want to be an unwitting accomplice, so you need to be very careful when using these proxies.
Now that you know the difference between clean virgin proxies and free proxies, it’s time to look at when you absolutely need to use virgin proxies.
When to Use Virgin Proxies
While you don’t have to use a virgin proxy for all online tasks, there are certain activities that pretty much require a clean proxy. Be sure to use a clean proxy if you engage in any of these tasks.
Accessing Social Media Platforms
If you want to use social media with a proxy, virgin proxies are a must. Social media providers associate IP addresses with accounts. This is important for a couple of reasons.
First, let’s say you’re using a free proxy to manage your Twitter account. The only problem is, 100 others are using that same proxy. Twitter is going to wonder why 100 different accounts are sharing an IP address. You can expect to end up with a ban. Even the slightest bit of suspicious activity can get you banned on social media, and sharing IP addresses throws up a huge red flag.
Copping Sneakers on Sneaker Websites
Sneaker websites are among the most restrictive sites out there. Site administrators work hard to prevent people from using the bots necessary to cop large amounts of sneakers. Because of that, using a free proxy is practically out of the question. Lots of free proxies are already banned from using the biggest sneaker sites. Simply having an IP address that’s associated with bot behavior is enough for the site to kick you off and keep you off.
Since a clean C-block proxy doesn’t have past use, it’ll give you a leg up against people who use free proxies. Again, you’ll only be responsible for your own behavior, not the behavior of others.
Using a Site That Requires a Login
You can take it a step further and say that you should use a virgin proxy with any site that requires a login. Most sites that require logins also track IP addresses. Just like social media accounts, they associate the IP addresses with the accounts. If you choose a proxy that’s already been used, you could end up with a big problem on your hands.
If you intend to mine a lot of data from Google, it’s a good idea to use virgin proxies. This goes beyond the fact that these proxies are faster than free proxies are, although that’s an important point to consider. Just like social media sites, Google monitors IP usage and bans IP addresses. Plus, you could end up halfway through your project when someone on the same C-block violates the terms. Then you’ll get shut down. Scraping Google is too big a job to take that kind of chance. You don’t want to start over after getting started, so don’t make that mistake.
Accessing a Site Without Restrictions
You absolutely want to use virgin proxies for social media, sneaker sites, websites that require a login, and scraping Google, but the list doesn’t end there. It comes down to this. If you want to access a site without the restrictions that come with free proxies, it’s a good idea to go with a clean virgin proxy. These proxies are the only way to truly own your IP address. Otherwise, you’ll have to contend with past user history.
Getting Virgin Proxies
Now that you know the basics, you can take the next step and get virgin proxies. Remember to rent the entire C-block, so your proxies will truly be clean. Then, you can scrape Google, cop sneakers, manage social media accounts, and more without worrying about someone else’s behavior bringing you down.