Best Free Proxy in the World | Anonymous Browsing | HMA VPN
The simple way to hide your IP and browse anonymously
A free proxy service is good, but a VPN is even better…
A VPN not only gives you internet freedom but it also helps keep you secure and private online. So, proxy and VPN. What’s the difference? Check out our handy table for all you need to know.
Browse privately in 1 tab
Surf the web with the freedom that what you’re browsing and viewing online can’t be tracked.
1 tab only
Hide your IP in 1 tab
Once you connect you’ll be given a new IP. Your own IP address? Hidden. Meaning you can hide both your identity and your location.
Access any restricted websites
Access specific government and geo-blocked sites by choosing to appear virtually anywhere in the world.
Stop all ISP tracking
Protect your entire browsing history from being tracked and stored by your ISP.
Stream US TV
Connect to specifically located streaming servers so you can access US TV shows using your paid subscription services.
Safe online banking on any network
With an encrypted connection you can surf safely even on unsecured public Wi-Fi
Works on any device
Works across all your devices; smartphones, tablets and laptops. You can also protect 5 devices at once!
Works on Games and Apps
Works on any device, which means online games and apps are more secure too!
Pay $0 at checkout
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an anonymous web proxy?
An anonymous web proxy enables you to access blocked websites and appear anonymous at the same time. It does this by hiding your IP address (which is essentially your online identity) and providing you with a different one by routing your web activity through different servers and IP addresses.
When should I use a free web proxy service
Using a web Proxy server allows you to access content that may be blocked or restricted by local governments. You can use one to gain access to these websites and content. It also allows you to surf the web more privately meaning what your browsing (in that tab only) cannot be tracked. However, your connection is not encrypted unless you use a VPN.
What does ‘hide my IP address’ mean?
Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies your computer online. Think of it as a home address for your computer. Using a free web proxy or a VPN service allows you to hide your IP address by giving you one of theirs. This means your IP cannot be identified and tracked.
How do I use the HMA! online proxy?
Simply enter the URL of the website you want to visit and in the connection setup menu choose whether you would like to allow cookies, remove scripts and encrypt the URL. However, please remember that encrypting the URL will only hide the address itself. If you want an encrypted connection you’ll need a VPN.
What sites can I access with a free web proxy?
Web proxies can be used to access sites that may be blocked due to your geographical location or censorship blocks at work. Many internet surfers use a web proxy to access sites such as Facebook or YouTube if they are unable to access them in their home country. However, there are no guarantees that any particular website will work with a proxy.
Can I use a web proxy to stream my favorite TV shows?
Nope, you’ll need a VPN for that. While a proxy can allow you to appear as if you’re located elsewhere, it only allows you to choose from a small number of servers. In order to stream global content from your paid subscription services you’ll need to be connected to specific VPN streaming servers. Have a read of our streaming guide to find out more about how you can do this.
Check out the other free tools you can play with
DNS leak test
A DNS leak happens when you’re using a bad VPN. So see if yours is up to snuff.
CHECK MY VPN
Check your WebRTC isn’t revealing your actual IP address.
CHECK MY BROWSER
Get more online privacy tips on our blog
Find out how HMA! makes you anonymous online so you can browse with true online freedom and privacy.
Learn more >
Secure public Wi‑Fi
Safely complete tasks such as online banking even if you’re connected to Public Wi‑Fi.
Encrypt your internet connection
With military‑grade encryption levels we ensure all your data and communications are kept secure giving you peace in your online security.
Stream your favourite TV shows
Stream your favourite TV shows from wherever you are in the world using one of our dedicated streaming servers.
Discover all you need to know about unblocking websites and experiencing true internet freedom
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How to Get a US IP Address for Free in 2021 – 5 Easy Steps – Comparitech
We’ll show you how to get a US IP address from outside America so you can access your favorite shows, content and apps (including Netflix) from anywhere. Better still, we’ll show you a clever trick to get a top-rated VPN free for a month.
@osman_husain UPDATED: September 18, 2021
The easiest and most efficient way to get a US IP address is by signing up for a suitable VPN provider. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get an American IP address to access content and services only available in the US as you travel abroad. This method works for most popular devices including Mac and Windows desktop PCs, Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone and iPads, the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, plus many more.
How to get a US IP address
Getting a US IP address is easy, just follow these steps:
Sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). We recommend NordVPN.
Register for the service and download the VPN software or app
Clear your cookies and restart your device to remove old location identifiers
Log in to your VPN provider and connect to a server in the US
Access your US site like you normally would
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for getting a US IP address with no restrictions for a month—perfect for accessing US services during a short trip outside of the country.
There are no hidden terms—just contact customer support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Why get an American IP address?
People might want to obtain a US IP address for several reasons. American residents traveling abroad can use it to regain access to geo-restricted media streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Netflix restricts its catalog depending on where you’ve logged in from, so it’s a good choice if you would like to obtain the full range of movies and TV shows. That’s similar to how HBO GO and Vudu operate, so a VPN is a good tool for those as well.
Others might want to keep in touch with live sports such as Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), or the National Football League (NFL) by streaming ESPN.
With a US IP address, you can also access online banking and other services that block non-US users.
What’s the best VPN to get a US IP address?
In this section, we’ll take you through our list of what we think are the best VPNs that’ll give you a speedy and stable connection to a US server.
We’ll cover the best VPNs for getting a US IP address in detail. If you don’t want to read the whole article here is our summary list of the 7 best VPNs to get a US IP:
NordVPN Our #1 Choice! Dozens of superfast servers in multiple locations throughout the US. Lets you stream a huge range of content abroad. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark Steady speeds, no connection limit, and plenty of American servers to choose from. Impressive security and privacy features.
ExpressVPN A reliable, reputable VPN boasting real versatility, high-speed American servers, and top-notch security features.
CyberGhost Good choice for beginners. Hundreds of servers in the US. Apps are easy to install and use.
IPVanish Preferred by Kodi users for their interface which works well with remote controls. Fast servers.
VyprVPN Reliable provider with secure and private servers operating in the US. Cheaper options higher on this list.
Hotspot Shield High-speed connections and servers in 27 US cities. Easy-to-use apps and streaming-optimized servers.
Criteria for selecting the best VPNs to get an IP address for the US
We go into more detail on the exact criteria used for selecting a VPN to get a US IP address later, but here is a quick rundown of a few key areas we look at:
Large range of server locations in the US
Speed and stability of connection
Rigid encryption protocols so your location remains hidden
Ease of use
Apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS
Without further ado here’s our run down of the top VPNs for US IP addresses:
NordVPN is an excellent option for advanced users who want customized options coupled with tier-1 service. In fact, out of all the VPN’s we’ve tested, this is by far the fastest.
NordVPN allows you to select servers based on your specific requirements – such as anti-DDoS, video streaming, double VPN, Tor over VPN, or P2P. NordVPN operates more than 5, 000 servers in total, and a large portion of those are in the US.
It works well with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, among others.
NordVPN uses the 256-bit AES protocol encryption standard by default coupled with 2, 048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled. It holds zero user data – this includes browsing habits, timestamps, and server information.
There’s apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN speed test data
NordVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)111. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)122. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)112. 0 Mbps
Beats all of its rivals when it comes to speed
Excels at securely accessing region-locked services
No logs policy
Strong security and privacy features
Tons of servers
Desktop app is a little sluggish
BEST VPN FOR A US IP ADDRESS:NordVPN is our first choice for getting a US IP address. It’s extremely fast, has a major security focus, and allows up to 6 simultaneous connections. Best of all, it keeps no logs and has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
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Surfshark operates VPN servers in 11 US cities. It’s also one of the only providers on this list to allow users an unlimited number of connections on a single plan. This VPN works with plenty of platforms including US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, among others. Kill switches come built into both the mobile and desktop apps, so you never have to worry about leaking your real IP address.
Live chat support is staffed around the clock. Surfshark uses strong encryption and keeps no logs. Torrenting is allowed.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
Surfshark speed test data
SurfsharkAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)170 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)230 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)220 Mbps
Great for American Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video
Generally strong speeds
Impressive security offering
Keeps no logs
Relatively small server network
Occasional slow server
BEST BUDGET PICK:Get a US IP for as many devices as you want with Surfshark. This VPN is fast, affordable, and security-conscious, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
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ExpressVPN is an impeccable VPN service that’s easy to set up and comes with a simple design. The service packs a punch when rated on both speed and encryption standards. The US occupies the bulk of ExpressVPN’s server locations with options in 13 cities. Overall there are over 3, 000 servers in 94 countries and 160 locations spread across the world.
The company has a stated policy of not storing any user or traffic logs, so it scores high marks from a privacy angle too. The only minimal data it does extract is the “date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used”. This is used to improve service quality standards. It’s important to note that your individual IP address won’t be recorded.
If you’re still feeling skittish, we recommend you sign up for the service via a burner email account and pay through Bitcoin. It’ll become extremely difficult for your digital footprint to be traced back to you.
Encryption standards are military grade. The service leverages 256-bit AES-CBC protocols as well as HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included, which ExpressVPN refers to as a ‘network lock’. This feature means all web traffic will be temporarily halted if the connection drops.
The service is able to securely access Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.
There are apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop clients for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
ExpressVPN speed test data
ExpressVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)135. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)134 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)136 Mbps
Strong connection security
Fast, stable speeds
Plenty of servers
Great for streaming content from anywhere
30-day money-back guarantee
Slightly more expensive
GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable choice Great for streaming. Strong privacy features and a no-logs policy, not to mention a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
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CyberGhost will appeal to beginner users who want a relatively inexpensive VPN. It delivers on both speed and security, as well as the ability to securely access streaming sites like American Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The company is headquartered in Romania, which means it’s not required to store any user information, so it keeps zero logs.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Encryption standards are among the best in the business. An internet kill switch is included.
CyberGhost speed test data
CyberGhostAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)78. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)54. 7 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)39. 3 Mbps
Works with lots of streaming sites
Not suitable for users in China
Few customizable features
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost has a simple set up and is easy to use. Streams HD video reliably. Limited in use with some popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
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Fast speeds and strong encryption are the pillars of IPVanish. It is completely logless, meaning it won’t ever store usage data of any nature.
Encryption protocols are tough. The company leverages 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2, 048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. The latter feature means that even if an intrusive entity breaks into your account, it’ll be impossible for it to decrypt past session data. IPVanish includes an internet kill switch and leak protection.
Servers deliver great speeds and are stable and secure. US server locations number in the hundreds, which make up the bulk over 1, 000 servers across the globe.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV.
IPVanish is popular with Kodi users because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
IPVanish speed test data
IPVanishAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)72 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)31. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)52. 3 Mbps
Very fast connections
Sometimes struggles with streaming services
No anonymous payment options
LARGE NETWORK:IPVanish can connect any number of devices and is great for families. Recommend for their high standard of privacy, but keep shopping if you want to stream American Netflix. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
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VyprVPN is a mature VPN provider that’s been around for over seven years. Privacy advocates love it because it’s one of the few that’s able to circumvent China’s Great Firewall. The company operates servers in eight US cities.
Having said that, some users might be troubled by the fact that the company chooses to retain user data. Specifically, the data that’s stored is “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and total number of bytes used. ” But VyprVPN insists that it’s only kept for a period of 30 days and is used for troubleshooting.
Traffic is secured by the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2, 048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. VyprVPN also owns entire data centers and doesn’t rely on third-party operators at all. This helps it secure traffic.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS.
VyprVPN works with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
VyprVPN speed test data
VyprVPNAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)41 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)44. 3 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)47. 3 Mbps
Works in China
Good for American Netflix
Logs users current IP address
A little pricey
UNLIMITED DATA USAGE:VyprVPN is user friendly. Good speeds and uptime as all servers are owned by VyprVPN. Not the cheapest option. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
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7. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield has around 3, 200 servers in 70+ countries worldwide, including the US. What’s more, this VPN works with most major region-locked services like Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV, so there are very few limits on what you can watch. Up to five devices can be connected at once, allowing you to stream both at home and on-the-go.
This VPN keeps your traffic secure using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. You can also choose to only encrypt traffic on specific websites, for instance, if you wanted to watch Netflix US during a trip abroad but still use services that are only available in your current location. 24/7 support is available over live chat in case of any problems.
Hotspot Shield offers apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS devices.
Hotspot Shield speed test data
Hotspot ShieldAverage Connection Speed – North America (USA)48 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Europe (UK)49 MbpsAverage Connection Speed – Asia (Hong Kong)48 Mbps
Fast, reliable server connections
Works with a wide range of geo-blocked platforms
Strong on connection security
Has had privacy issues in the past
Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
LAG-FREE STREAMING:Hotspot Shield is fast enough for flawless live media streaming, able to use major streaming services, and very security-conscious. Better still, it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
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Should I use a free VPN?
Free VPNs are heavily advertised on the internet and some users may be tempted to sign up. However, many such services have a poor track record of impinging on users’ rights by stealing their data and selling it to third-party advertisers.
After all, even free VPNs are registered businesses. Hence they need to make money to pay for staff salaries, server maintenance, and general office overheads. That’s why the route for monetization becomes users themselves.
Even if your data isn’t stolen, expect bandwidth throttling, weak encryption standards, and data caps. So it’s likely that you’ll be booted out if you stream Netflix for an hour or so. Tons of invasive advertisements are also common, with the real risk of contracting a malware infection. We recommend you avoid the random free VPNs on the web.
Best VPNs for USA
Best VPNs for US TV
Some VPNs to avoid
If you’re trying to obtain a US IP address, it’s pivotal that your privacy and anonymity is secured at all times. The VPNs mentioned in this list don’t have a history of handing over user data but there are several other unscrupulous ones. We think you should turn your back on them.
Here are two such cases:
There’s evidence to suggest that VPN provider PureVPN collaborated with law enforcement agencies to help identify one of its users.
PureVPN and the FBI joined forces after an unnamed 24-year-old woman filed a complaint about falling prey to an online blackmailing plot. She suspected her roommate, Ryan Lin, to be culpable.
The FBI traced the internet activity back to PureVPN, who then used its logs to identify the culprit. Ryan was arrested. PureVPN insists that it didn’t record the content of communications, but it did have a ‘no-logs’ policy in place. There’s a real question mark on how ethical they might have behaved.
Israel-based Hola, a popular VPN extension for Chrome, used its sizable user base of almost 50 million for illegal purposes. The company turned this critical mass into a massive botnet in 2015, leveraging individual user bandwidth to engage in Distributed Denial of Service Attacks and distributing copyrighted material. Users were completely in the dark.
I’ve downloaded a VPN. What do I do next?
After registering and signing up for one of the VPN services we’ve recommended in this article, it’s a simple matter of downloading the client software and installing it on your device (Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS).
Once that’s done, scroll through the list of available server locations until you come across options for the US. As mentioned before, each VPN in this list has a sizable number of said locations so this shouldn’t be a particularly cumbersome task.
The ones higher up in the list should be the speedier ones so go for those if you can. Once the connection is successfully established, a green icon should show up in the taskbar. That means you’re now ready to browse the web anonymously and with a US IP address.
Use an American DNS server
Nearly as important as your public IP address is the server your device uses to look up the IP addresses of different web pages and other online content. DNS, or Domain Name System, works sort of like a phone book in which names (domains) are matched with phone numbers (IP addresses). When attempting to access geo-locked content, many websites not only check where you’re calling from, but where the phone book is located.
Even when you have an American IP address, if a DNS request is sent to a server outside of the US to look up a public IP address, the website or app can see this and still block you. Therefore, it’s important that the DNS server you use is in the same country as your IP address. In this case, you need a DNS server inside the US.
All of the VPNs in the above list have apps that take care of this for you. When you connect to the VPN server, your DNS requests are also sent through the encrypted tunnel. Good VPNs, like the ones we recommend, operate their own private DNS servers, so your DNS requests cannot be used to track which websites you visit by your Internet Service Provider or another DNS server provider. You might need to toggle this option on in your VPN app’s settings.
Some mediocre VPNs will send your DNS requests through the tunnel, but then use a public DNS service like Google DNS on the other side. This will let you use DNS servers in the US, but Google would be able to record which websites you visit and when, which is not ideal for privacy. Other VPNs fail to tunnel DNS requests altogether.
If your VPN provider doesn’t tunnel DNS traffic for you, you can manually configure DNS servers on most devices. We recommend a service like OpenNIC, which offers free DNS servers in specific countries including the US. The exact process for changing DNS servers varies between devices, but you can usually add primary and secondary DNS servers somewhere in your network configuration settings.
Windows 10 users in particular should be aware that their operating system often sends such requests in tandem, one over the IPv4 protocol and one over IPv6. Windows uses whichever one comes back faster, however, IPv6 requests are often sent outside the VPN tunnel. If your VPN doesn’t offer IPv6 leak protection, you may need to disable IPv6 altogether in your wifi settings.
What are the other ways to get a US IP address?
There’s the option of using the Tor browser. This is a free service available to everyone on the web and designed to provide encryption and anonymity. Many people including journalists, human rights activists, and whistleblowers use Tor to keep their identity hidden on the web.
It is possible to acquire a US IP address with Tor, but the process is a bit complicated and requires multiple steps. This guide breaks it down in more detail. Having said that, speeds on the Tor browser are buggy at best so if you’re looking to download or stream HD video, this isn’t a suitable option. Best to go with a VPN instead.
The last possible option is to use a free proxy server. But these work in a similar vein to free VPN services. There are download caps and unclear privacy policies. Be prepared to be booted out just halfway into your episode of House of Cards. HTTP and SOCKS proxies often aren’t encrypted, and they only route internet traffic from certain apps, such as your web browser.
Finding the best VPNs to get a US IP address: our methodology
Traveling abroad may have some impact on your usual online activity, particularly when it comes to streaming. There are a number of hurdles to overcome including geographic restrictions, slow speeds, and poor security on public wifi. To make your life easier, we evaluated each VPN to ensure it meets the criteria as listed below:
Servers in the US: Of course, in order to get a US IP address, you’ll need to use a VPN that offers servers in the US. It also helps if these servers are spread across multiple cities. That way, you can select a server closer to your location for faster speeds. That’s why we’ve covered only the fastest VPNs.
Speed: The faster the speeds offered by a VPN, the easier it will be to stream and torrent. All of the VPNs recommended in this post provide not only fast server speeds but unlimited bandwidth. This becomes most obvious when streaming as you’re less likely to encounter lag and buffering.
Network size: Traveling outside the US may mean you occasionally need more than just a US IP address. Indeed, there may be websites or services from other countries that you wish to access. A VPN should therefore provide servers in dozens of countries around the world.
Security: If you’re going on vacation, you may find yourself using public wifi. Unfortunately, this comes with some security risks. However, using a VPN protects your data from hackers and snoopers alike. This is done with encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and more.
Privacy: There are a number of things a VPN can do to protect your privacy. One of the biggest is to have a no-logs policy. That’s why we’ve assessed 140 VPN logging policies to find the very best. It also helps if a VPN allows you to pay anonymously in cryptocurrency.
Ease of use: It doesn’t hurt if a VPN provides apps that are easy to use for beginners! Indeed, the very best VPNs allow you to connect to a server with a single click. There should also be a live chat and email support as well as resources including setup guides.
Value for money: Some VPNs offer very few features yet charge a similar price to the VPNs covered in this post. We believe we’ve found VPNs that are fairly priced for what they offer. Better still, our discount coupons can help you save even more on the price of a subscription.
The above is just part of our full VPN testing methodology. By testing each and every aspect of a VPN for ourselves, we can develop an in-depth understanding of it. This is how we provide you with information that is not only accurate, but up-to-date.
How to get an American IP Address FAQ
Can I get an IP address from a specific US city? Many VPNs allow you to choose not just the country that your chosen city is in, but also the city. This makes sense: the US is a huge country, so there could be a significant difference in speeds between servers on the East and West coasts. Most providers offer servers in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, at the very least. Is getting an IP address from US legal? Of course — there’s no legal requirement to use the IP address that your Internet Service Provider gives you. That said, you could run into problems if you use a VPN with the intent of committing crimes online. As long as you’re not planning on downloading copyrighted content, harassing anyone, or accessing illegal material, you should be fine. How do I set up a VPN on my home network? Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all guide. This is because there are several competing manufacturers, each with its own firmware, which all have slightly different processes for installing a VPN. If your VPN supports routers (and not all do) you should be able to find manual installation instructions on its website. Alternatively, you can ask customer support for help; they deal with questions like this every day and will have you up and running in no time. Can an American proxy hide my IP address? An American proxy server will hide your IP address, but they don’t really hold up to VPNs when it comes to security or privacy. For instance, even if your proxy server is encrypted, it’ll still only secure traffic from your browser. In contrast, a VPN will protect data from any app on your device.
Additionally, when you use a reputable VPN provider, you know exactly what personal information is recorded and who has access to it. However, proxy servers, particularly free ones, come with no such I access online banking in American with a VPN? Although VPNs are primarily used to enhance your digital privacy, many banks still don’t allow you to access their online banking services while connected. The main reason for this is to help prevent fraud (for instance, by recording foreign login attempts). Unfortunately, if you’re traveling, this means that you may be forced to access your online banking service over a public wifi connection, which are notoriously insecure.
Here’s the thing: it’s just not possible to detect every VPN. The Chinese government has been trying for years, and still hasn’t succeeded, so banks just don’t stand a chance. Even if a service is blocked, most major providers will find a workaround in days (or sometimes hours), making it a constant game of cat and mouse. In other words, if your current VPN doesn’t work with your bank, you can just try a different do I determine the physical location of an IP address in the US? You can’t determine the exact physical location of an IP address. Tracking an IP address will only show the approximate server location. Regardless, by using a VPN to get an IP address in the US, you can hide your IP address and have improved privacy protection. Internet traffic is encrypted while you also share the same US IP address as other users on the same server. All user activity is mixed up as a result, allowing you to browse an IP address from the US hide my internet activity from my ISP? ISPs in the US can see what you’re doing online. This includes the websites you visit and how long you spend on them. You can hide your internet activity from your ISP by using a VPN. This encrypts your internet traffic so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. Furthermore, any reputable VPN should have a strict no-logs policy. This means that even if data were requested, there shouldn’t be anything to share.
What is a Proxy Server? How It Works & How to Use It | Fortinet
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server provides a gateway between users and the internet. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online.
When a computer connects to the internet, it uses an IP address. This is similar to your home’s street address, telling incoming data where to go and marking outgoing data with a return address for other devices to authenticate. A proxy server is essentially a computer on the internet that has an IP address of its own.
Proxy Servers and Network Security
Proxies provide a valuable layer of security for your computer. They can be set up as web filters or firewalls, protecting your computer from internet threats like malware.
This extra security is also valuable when coupled with a secure web gateway or other email security products. This way, you can filter traffic according to its level of safety or how much traffic your network—or individual computers—can handle.
How to use a proxy? Some people use proxies for personal purposes, such as hiding their location while watching movies online, for example. For a company, however, they can be used to accomplish several key tasks such as:
Secure employees’ internet activity from people trying to snoop on them
Balance internet traffic to prevent crashes
Control the websites employees and staff access in the office
Save bandwidth by caching files or compressing incoming traffic
How a Proxy Works
Because a proxy server has its own IP address, it acts as a go-between for a computer and the internet. Your computer knows this address, and when you send a request on the internet, it is routed to the proxy, which then gets the response from the web server and forwards the data from the page to your computer’s browser, like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge
How to Get a Proxy
There are hardware and software versions. Hardware connections sit between your network and the internet, where they get, send, and forward data from the web. Software proxies are typically hosted by a provider or reside in the cloud. You download and install an application on your computer that facilitates interaction with the proxy.
Often, a software proxy can be obtained for a monthly fee. Sometimes, they are free. The free versions tend to offer users fewer addresses and may only cover a few devices, while the paid proxies can meet the demands of a business with many devices.
How Is the Server Set Up?
To get started with a proxy server, you have to configure it in your computer, device, or network. Each operating system has its own setup procedures, so check the steps required for your computer or network.
In most cases, however, setup means using an automatic configuration script. If you want to do it manually, there will be options to enter the IP address and the appropriate port.
How Does the Proxy Protect Computer Privacy and Data?
A proxy server performs the function of a firewall and filter. The end-user or a network administrator can choose a proxy designed to protect data and privacy. This examines the data going in and out of your computer or network. It then applies rules to prevent you from having to expose your digital address to the world. Only the proxy’s IP address is seen by hackers or other bad actors. Without your personal IP address, people on the internet do not have direct access to your personal data, schedules, apps, or files.
With it in place, web requests go to the proxy, which then reaches out and gets what you want from the internet. If the server has encryption capabilities, passwords and other personal data get an extra tier of protection.
Benefits of a Proxy Server
Proxies come with several benefits that can give your business an advantage:
Enhanced security: Can act like a firewall between your systems and the internet. Without them, hackers have easy access to your IP address, which they can use to infiltrate your computer or network.
Private browsing, watching, listening, and shopping: Use different proxies to help you avoid getting inundated with unwanted ads or the collection of IP-specific data.
Access to location-specific content: You can designate a proxy server with an address associated with another country. You can, in effect, make it look like you are in that country and gain full access to all the content computers in that country are allowed to interact with.
Prevent employees from browsing inappropriate or distracting sites: You can use it to block access to websites that run contrary to your organization’s principles. Also, you can block sites that typically end up distracting employees from important tasks. Some organizations block social media sites like Facebook and others to remove time-wasting temptations.
Types of Proxy Servers
While all proxy servers give users an alternate address with which to use the internet, there are several different kinds—each with its own features.
A forward proxy sits in front of clients and is used to get data to groups of users within an internal network. When a request is sent, the proxy server examines it to decide whether it should proceed with making a connection.
A forward proxy is best suited for internal networks that need a single point of entry. It provides IP address security for those in the network and allows for straightforward administrative control. However, a forward proxy may limit an organization’s ability to cater to the needs of individual end-users.
A transparent proxy can give users an experience identical to what they would have if they were using their home computer. In that way, it is “transparent. ” They can also be “forced” on users, meaning they are connected without knowing it.
Transparent proxies are well-suited for companies that want to make use of a proxy without making employees aware they are using one. It carries the advantage of providing a seamless user experience. On the other hand, transparent proxies are more susceptible to certain security threats, such as SYN-flood denial-of-service attacks.
An anonymous proxy focuses on making internet activity untraceable. It works by accessing the internet on behalf of the user while hiding their identity and computer information.
A transparent proxy is best suited for users who want to have full anonymity while accessing the internet. While transparent proxies provide some of the best identity protection possible, they are not without drawbacks. Many view the use of transparent proxies as underhanded, and users sometimes face pushback or discrimination as a result.
High Anonymity Proxy
A high anonymity proxy is an anonymous proxy that takes anonymity one step further. It works by erasing your information before the proxy attempts to connect to the target site.
The server is best suited for users for whom anonymity is an absolute necessity, such as employees who do not want their activity traced back to the organization. On the downside, some of them, particularly the free ones, are decoys set up to trap users in order to access their personal information or data.
A distorting proxy identifies itself as a proxy to a website but hides its own identity. It does this by changing its IP address to an incorrect one.
Distorting proxies are a good choice for people who want to hide their location while accessing the internet. This type of proxy can make it look like you are browsing from a specific country and give you the advantage of hiding not just your identity but that of the proxy, too. This means even if you are associated with the proxy, your identity is still secure. However, some websites automatically block distorting proxies, which could keep an end-user from accessing sites they need.
Data Center Proxy
Data center proxies are not affiliated with an internet service provider (ISP) but are provided by another corporation through a data center. The proxy server exists in a physical data center, and the user’s requests are routed through that server.
Data center proxies are a good choice for people who need quick response times and an inexpensive solution. They are therefore a good choice for people who need to gather intelligence on a person or organization very quickly. They carry the benefit of giving users the power to swiftly and inexpensively harvest data. On the other hand, they do not offer the highest level of anonymity, which may put users’ information or identity at risk.
A residential proxy gives you an IP address that belongs to a specific, physical device. All requests are then channeled through that device.
Residential proxies are well-suited for users who need to verify the ads that go on their website, so you can block cookies, suspicious or unwanted ads from competitors or bad actors. Residential proxies are more trustworthy than other proxy options. However, they often cost more money to use, so users should carefully analyze whether the benefits are worth the extra investment.
A public proxy is accessible by anyone free of charge. It works by giving users access to its IP address, hiding their identity as they visit sites.
Public proxies are best suited for users for whom cost is a major concern and security and speed are not. Although they are free and easily accessible, they are often slow because they get bogged down with free users. When you use a public proxy, you also run an increased risk of having your information accessed by others on the internet.
Shared proxies are used by more than one user at once. They give you access to an IP address that may be shared by other people, and then you can surf the internet while appearing to browse from a location of your choice.
Shared proxies are a solid option for people who do not have a lot of money to spend and do not necessarily need a fast connection. The main advantage of a shared proxy is its low cost. Because they are shared by others, you may get blamed for someone else’s bad decisions, which could get you banned from a site.
A secure sockets layer (SSL) proxy provides decryption between the client and the server. As the data is encrypted in both directions, the proxy hides its existence from both the client and the server.
These proxies are best suited for organizations that need enhanced protection against threats that the SSL protocol reveals and stops. Because Google prefers servers that use SSL, an SSL proxy, when used in connection with a website, may help its search engine ranking. On the downside, content encrypted on an SSL proxy cannot be cached, so when visiting websites multiple times, you may experience slower performance than you would otherwise.
A rotating proxy assigns a different IP address to each user that connects to it. As users connect, they are given an address that is unique from the device that connected before it.
Rotating proxies are ideal for users who need to do a lot of high-volume, continuous web scraping. They allow you to return to the same website again and again anonymously. However, you have to be careful when choosing rotating proxy services. Some of them contain public or shared proxies that could expose your data.
Unlike a forward proxy, which sits in front of clients, a reverse proxy is positioned in front of web servers and forwards requests from a browser to the web servers. It works by intercepting requests from the user at the network edge of the web server. It then sends the requests to and receives replies from the origin server.
Reverse proxies are a strong option for popular websites that need to balance the load of many incoming requests. They can help an organization reduce bandwidth load because they act like another web server managing incoming requests. The downside is reverse proxies can potentially expose the HTTP server architecture if an attacker is able to penetrate it. This means network administrators may have to beef up or reposition their firewall if they are using a reverse proxy.
Proxy Server vs. VPN
On the surface, proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) may seem interchangeable because they both route requests and responses through an external server. Both also allow you to access websites that would otherwise block the country you’re physically located in. However, VPNs provide better protection against hackers because they encrypt all traffic.
Choosing VPN or Proxy
If you need to constantly access the internet to send and receive data that should be encrypted or if your company has to reveal data you must hide from hackers and corporate spies, a VPN would be a better choice.
If an organization merely needs to allow its users to browse the internet anonymously, a proxy server may do the trick. This is the better solution if you simply want to know which websites team members are using or you want to make sure they have access to sites that block users from your country.
A VPN is better suited for business use because users usually need secure data transmission in both directions. Company information and personnel data can be very valuable in the wrong hands, and a VPN provides the encryption you need to keep it protected. For personal use where a breach would only affect you, a single user, a proxy server may be an adequate choice. You can also use both technologies simultaneously, particularly if you want to limit the websites that users within your network visit while also encrypting their communications.
How Fortinet Can Help
FortiGate has the capability of both proxies and VPNs. It shields users from data breaches that often happen with high-speed traffic and uses IPsec and SSL to enhance security. FortiGate also harnesses the power of the FortiASIC hardware accelerator to enhance performance without compromising privacy. Secure your network with FortiGate VPN and proxy capabilities. Contact us to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions about america proxy
How do I get a US proxy?
Getting a US IP address is easy, just follow these steps:Sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). … Register for the service and download the VPN software or app.Clear your cookies and restart your device to remove old location identifiers.Log in to your VPN provider and connect to a server in the US.More items…•Sep 18, 2021
What is a US proxy?
A proxy server provides a gateway between users and the internet. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online. … A proxy server is essentially a computer on the internet that has an IP address of its own.
Are proxies legal in the US?
Yes, it is legal to use a proxy server. Proxies have many different uses, including enabling remote work; setting up a support system for users who are located outside a particular network; protecting networks and Internet users from malicious content; streaming online content from outside a country and more.