How is Tor different from other proxies?
How is Tor different from other proxies?
A typical proxy provider sets up a server somewhere on the Internet and allows you to use it to relay your traffic.
This creates a simple, easy to maintain architecture.
The users all enter and leave through the same server.
The provider may charge for use of the proxy, or fund their costs through advertisements on the server.
In the simplest configuration, you don’t have to install anything.
You just have to point your browser at their proxy server.
Simple proxy providers are fine solutions if you do not want protections for your privacy and anonymity online and you trust the provider to not do bad things.
Some simple proxy providers use SSL to secure your connection to them, which protects you against local eavesdroppers, such as those at a cafe with free wifi Internet.
Simple proxy providers also create a single point of failure.
The provider knows both who you are and what you browse on the Internet.
They can see your traffic as it passes through their server.
In some cases, they can even see inside your encrypted traffic as they relay it to your banking site or to ecommerce stores.
You have to trust the provider isn’t watching your traffic, injecting their own advertisements into your traffic stream, or recording your personal details.
Tor passes your traffic through at least 3 different servers before sending it on to the destination.
Because there’s a separate layer of encryption for each of the three relays, somebody watching your Internet connection can’t modify, or read, what you are sending into the Tor network.
Your traffic is encrypted between the Tor client (on your computer) and where it pops out somewhere else in the world.
Doesn’t the first server see who I am? Possibly.
A bad first of three servers can see encrypted Tor traffic coming from your computer.
It still doesn’t know who you are and what you are doing over Tor.
It merely sees “This IP address is using Tor”.
You are still protected from this node figuring out both who you are and where you are going on the Internet.
Can’t the third server see my traffic? Possibly.
A bad third of three servers can see the traffic you sent into Tor.
It won’t know who sent this traffic.
If you’re using encryption (like HTTPS), it will only know the destination.
See this visualization of Tor and HTTPS to understand how Tor and HTTPS interact.
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VPN, Proxy or Tor: Which is Best? – Avast
Internet surfers should practice safe browsing and mask their internet protocol (IP) address, and not just because you don’t want businesses, governments, and/or aliens to know how much Transformers fanfic you read. If you’re directly connected to the internet, your IP address identifies your traffic as coming from you, just as your postal mail address can lead someone directly to your doorstep.
When it comes to your internet presence, ask yourself how important these concerns are to you:
You don’t want someone else to be able to connect to you directly.
You don’t want the content you send or receive to be readable by anyone else.
You don’t want the websites you connect with to be identifiable to observers.
You don’t want anyone (even the sites you connect to) to know where you physically are.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, solutions like VPNs, proxies, and anonymizing networks like Tor can improve your digital security.
Let’s start with some reassurance: None of these are new. They are tried-and-tested techniques that help you block cyberspies from cyberspying on you.
A VPN provides access to a remote server. You log in, and voilá: While you may be physically located in the United States, your traffic might now be coming from an IP address in London, which means your IP address is cooler than you are.
From your computer’s perspective, a VPN looks like just another network interface. But a VPN, such as our own Avast Secureline VPN, gives you a distinct remote IP address that only your VPN uses.
You simply log in and choose the location from which you want to be seen as originating. With your company’s VPN, that remote address is inside their network. You can’t be seen on the internet, and no one can read your most recent status report.
With a VPN, you can protect yourself and your data from cybersnoopers, access geo-restricted sites like a boss, and bypass firewalls as if you had a ladder and a bucket of water.
If an outsider can see your network traffic, all they can determine is that you have a network connection to the VPN server. They can’t actually tell what you’re doing.
A proxy is a device that communicates with a server on your behalf. You connect to the proxy, which then forwards the connection onto the server — like that friend in high school passing your notes to a cutie in class, if your friend were IEEE-compliant.
When you use a local proxy, you connect to a local router, which makes the onward connection to the internet for you. The server sees the router’s IP address, not yours. Internet proxies are exactly the same, except that you connect to them across the internet. Like VPNs, they can shift your apparent location, though your connection to the proxy isn’t protected.
A local proxy hides your device from direct exposure to the internet, and an internet proxy can change where you appear to be. That makes it harder for anyone to pick out your traffic, especially if you’re using a heavily-trafficked proxy such as airport Wi-Fi. But that’s only on the other side. On the inside, lacking the protection of a VPN, you’re still exposed to other users.
There’s a moment during many a techno-spy movie where the hacker character says something like, “I’m bouncing the signal off of eight satellites to obscure the origin! ” This is usually accompanied by a wireframe globe with a chain of lines animated around it to demonstrate the “bouncing. ”
Tor is bit like this movie premise, in that it does bounce your traffic around to obscure its origin.
Tor (The Onion Router) is the software side of anonymity. When you download Tor to your device, you gain access to Tor’s nodes. You use Tor when you don’t want anyone to know where you are, including the services you’re using. It’s as close to one-click privacy as you can conveniently get.
The “Onion” in Tor’s name represents its design. When you use Tor, your data is stripped of identifying info, encrypted with layers, then relayed to another node. There, one of the layers on your data is decrypted, then it’s relayed again. When your data reaches its destination, it’s impossible to identify its origin (in internet terms) or your physical location.
Tor’s an essential tool for whistleblowers and activists, but it can also be used for evil. It’s often associated with the so-called Darknet, which can only be accessed from a Tor node. It can’t be reached except by a system that obscures its true location, hence “dark. ”
Tor is possibly the most effective method to keep your data secure on the internet. But what it has in security, it lacks in speed: Tor is comparatively slow.
Tor vs VPN vs Proxy
No method can guarantee a cloak of invisibility to any internet user; it can, however, work as a minor spell of protection. And while you’re thinking of privacy concerns, don’t forget encryption. None shall pass — not without a team of dedicated hackers intent on finding you.
So which of these three methods — proxy, VPN, or Tor — is best at helping you protect your privacy?
That’s not the right question. The real question is: How much trouble do you want to go to?
Using a proxy is a simple solution for private web searches. But a proxy isn’t a good option if you need to securely communicate government or proprietary secrets (such as corporate intellectual property).
Tor is an effective solution, but it’s not zippy. And speaking of speed…
Some of these options come at the price of speed. None of us have the patience to wait for internet connections, but adding technology takes extra time.
If you’re casually browsing or sending an email message, a proxy should be fine for your needs. If you’re streaming video, not so much. It’s likely to be slow and unreliable.
Tor relays your internet activities through a series of volunteer networks, which means a longer route from your cell phone/computer and your destination. It’s typically the slowest of all three options.
VPN speeds can vary, depending on the server load. But some VPN services clock in at download speeds of 23 Mbps and upload speeds of 4. 93 Mbps. If speed is an issue for you, use a VPN service that’s geographically close to you. And remember, you get what you pay for. If you want reliable service, be prepared to budget for it.
Proxies may be good at hiding your IP address, but they aren’t get-out-of-Big-Brother-free cards. They don’t encrypt your data or browsing habits, which means you’re not protected from anyone else on the same local network. Anyone can see you and your activities. That is why you might think twice about connecting to public Wi-Fi or hotspots offered by an airport, restaurant, or hotel. They’re also prone to dropping your connection.
A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for all your traffic and makes your real IP address invisible. VPNs are more stable than proxies and faster than Tor. But this comes at a cost: If you’re Philip K. Dick-level paranoid, you might not like the idea of anyone at a VPN company having access to your network habits. After all, the internet doesn’t know who you are, but the VPN service itself does. (Make sure you use a trusted VPN provider like Avast, a world leader in online security with over 400 million users. )
Tor networks are both secure and anonymous. But the NSA may take unwanted interest in you just because you are using a Tor node.
Ease of use
Proxies are simple to use, but they are basically only good for simple browsing where security isn’t particularly important. Whichever web browser you use, its settings offer proxy configuration options to specify a proxy. Once set, all requests from that browser — and only that browser — are routed through the proxy.
Tor is transparent, but of the three options, it’s the hardest to set up. Because you won’t have a user account, all you need to do is download Tor from the Tor Project and install it. Then, remember to use the Tor browser to start up the router software, and you’re good to go.
To use a VPN, you install the software — such as Avast Secureline VPN — on your local computer. Then, log in with a user ID and password. If it’s a corporate VPN, chances are you already have credentials. Lastly, remember to start the VPN before you start making connections.
VPNs are the best all-around option. Although a VPN is slightly more complex than a proxy, it offers better protection. And while it doesn’t offer the security of a Tor network, it saves you time.
Don’t be concerned that you’re locked into 24/7 VPN use every time you turn on your computer. For casual browsing — sports scores, movie theater times — a VPN isn’t necessary. But when you fill out your company’s expense reports while working remotely, you’ll want the extra security that a VPN provides. Your company may insist on it, too.
Which service is best for me?
No. You can’t use both a VPN and a proxy at the same time.
One security method is good. It stands to reason that two methods of security are better. But in this case of using proxy and VPN together, this is sadly incorrect.
A VPN client overrides whatever proxy settings you might set; its whole job is handling your traffic, after all.
You might legitimately connect to a VPN through a proxy on an intranet, if that is how the local network is configured. But even though some networks can be set up this way, it’s rare.
Also, across the internet, it makes little sense: Using a proxy in front of a VPN means that the connection doesn’t benefit from the VPN’s added security benefits.
You could connect to a proxy from a VPN if the VPN is being blocked, or if it doesn’t have an endpoint in the geographic location you need. You’re only as good as your own encryption beyond the end of the VPN, as the VPN doesn’t protect that part of the connection.
Can you use Tor and a proxy together?
Tor is a method of relays designed to encrypt and pass your traffic across the internet. A proxy provides your IP server’s address rather than your own, a sleight of hand that obfuscates your online activities. They can be used together, but does it make you more secure? It depends.
Using Tor to connect to a proxy might be useful if you don’t want the other end of the connection to know you’re using Tor (or if the other end is blocking Tor). But while you could use a proxy to connect to Tor, you’re actually less secure than you’d be with Tor directly, as your connection between you and the internet proxy is not protected. And, as with using Tor as a standalone security method, your connection will be slower.
If you want to use Tor, and your local ISP is blocking connections to Tor, well, this is where a VPN comes in handy.
Helpful hint: If you want to pair a proxy with Tor, use the “Configure” menu in your Tor browser to authenticate your proxy server.
Can you use Tor and VPN together?
With the VPN’s ease of use and Tor’s nigh-invulnerability, you can use both together for double encryption. This one-two punch should leave bad actors in the dust of your internet trail, but it doesn’t mean we recommend it.
While Tor provides your data with multiple layers of encryption and route-obfuscated protection, the catch comes at the exit node — where your data leaves Tor and makes its way to the final destination. By Tor’s design, you don’t know who or where the exit node is any more than it knows who you are. Perhaps it’s perhaps it’s operated by a bad actor attempting to inspect your connection. By also using a VPN, you can protect your data: the data entering Tor is encrypted, and it’s still encrypted when it leaves.
The VPN allows you to connect to Tor without it being obvious you’re using Tor, while also concealing your original IP address.
Just don’t expect your internet connection to be fast.
Helpful hint: If you want to use both together, download Tor first, then install a VPN. But start your VPN first, then launch your Tor browser second.
Try our VPN for the best combination of ease, security, and speed
Now that you’ve read about the three most common methods to secure your internet activities, you may have come to the conclusion that the VPN is superior when it comes to ease of use, security, and speed.
Protecting over 400 million people worldwide, Avast has the experience and expertise to help you maintain a low profile in a public digital space. Let Avast’s SecureLine VPN give you a much-needed cloak to disguise you from the internet’s prying eyes.
The 10 Best Free Proxies for Web Scraping – Scraper API
Free proxies are often seen as a dream come true but can quickly turn into a nightmare, and finding a free proxy list can feel like striking gold, only to find that the motherload has been claimed by too many other prospectors.
In other words, free proxies for web scraping are often too good to be true. New proxies might work for a while, only to be blocked by more and more sites as their usage increases. Paid proxies can also be banned, but have a lower risk because the proxy addresses are not plastered on a public proxy list like most free proxies are. And with free proxies, the provider has little control over the use of their proxy addresses, so IPs can be blacklisted for a variety of reasons.
When you use IPs from a free proxy server list, you are sharing addresses with other web scrapers and anonymous web surfers who often care little about maintaining a proxy’s viability, foregoing IP rotation, or other means of avoiding proxy bans. With free proxies, it’s not what you did to get an address blocked, it’s what someone else did to get it blocked. Even so, there is one major benefit to free proxies: the obvious one. They’re free. But what is the best free proxy to use? But not all free proxy lists are equal, which is why we have created this list of the top 10 free proxies and the best free proxy lists for web scraping.
Open Proxy Space
Free Proxy Lists
1. Scraper API
Website: Scraper API Review:
Scraper API is a paid premier proxy provider that also offers 1, 000 API requests for free. One reason this proxy scraper tool tops this list is because, unlike the other providers on our list, these free proxies are offered after a quick signup process. Why is this good? Well, free proxy lists just leave proxy addresses out in the open for anyone and everyone to grab, leading to IP misuse and bans rather quickly. With Scraper API, free users have access to quality IPs just like the paid users, but without the free-for-all mentality of most free proxy lists. The free plan offers 5 concurrent requests and IP locations across the globe. And unlike most of the other free providers, they offer 24/7 support to answer questions related to using their proxies for web scraping or any other needs.
is a proxy list database with IPs from 171 countries around the world, though many countries have only a handful of addresses originating from their locations. There are more than 800 proxies available from each of the top three countries on the list: Brazil, Germany, and the United States, and thousands more from any country you can imagine. The HTTP proxy list is broken down into subcategories, with sorting options like anonymous free proxies, HTTPS/SSL proxy, SOCKS proxy, HTTP, and transparent, so users can narrow down the type of free proxies they are searching for. Each address is rated for latency, speed, and uptime. As expected, most proxies have high latency and low speed, with uptime percentages averaging around 70%. Free proxies are also listed with a “check date, ” indicating when a proxy was last checked to be live. About a quarter of all proxies have been checked within the last 24 hours, another quarter checked within the last week, with the remaining half of all proxies on the list having been checked over a week ago. Some of the more obscure countries haven’t been checked in over a month, and are most likely dead.
3. Open Proxy Space
Website: Open Proxy Space Review:
Open Proxy Space presents free proxy lists in three types of batches: SOCKS4, SOCKS5, and HTTP/S. Each batch is labeled based on when it was created, with each list containing only active proxies at the time of creation. The lists are tagged with when they were created: 3 hours ago, 1 day ago, 2 days ago, etc. Users can explore lists that were created months ago, but the older the list, the more dead proxies it will contain, and newer batches are going to contain the active proxies from those past lists anyway. Once a list is selected, users can choose which country or countries to include or exclude from the list, then export the IPs in a text document. The sorting options are limited for freeloaders, with paid premium members having access to custom API scripts, ports, and more.
4. Free Proxy
Website: Free Proxy Review:
Free Proxy looks like something fresh out of Bel-Air, and the list of over 17 thousand free proxies is easy to sort and browse. Users can select from different protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS4, SOCKS5, and anonymity levels like elite and transparent. This provider has some interesting options that most of the others on this list don’t have. Selecting the “Proxies by category” option at the bottom opens a page with some unique lists: proxies by port, proxies by region, and proxies by city. Essentially, a user can select a free proxy from a proxy list by country and even specific cities around the world. Ideally, this would be to emulate a certain location or to test access to content based on a world region. These sub-lists are alphabetized, but unfortunately cannot be sorted in other ways.
Website: ProxyScrape Review:
ProxyScrape has your standard-fare list of free proxies with straightforward sorting options like country, anonymity, and SSL. Sorting by country can be a little confusing, as it uses two-character country codes rather than the full country name or even a vastly more understandable three-character country code. One stand-out feature is a “timeout” slider which permits a user to limit proxy results to those which meet or exceed a certain timeout threshold, measured in milliseconds. Like several others on this list, they offer a premium service with rotating proxies and other advanced features. However, ProxyScrape doesn’t have a free trial, so users will need to pay for those benefits, which defeats the purpose of getting free proxies to begin with. Those who are more charitably-minded might be interested to know ProxyScrape donates to several charities including Teamtrees and the Animal Welfare Institute, although how one might help to contribute by using their free proxies is uncertain.
6. Free Proxy Lists
Website: Free Proxy Lists Review:
Free Proxy Lists has one of the simplest and easiest to use layouts of all the free proxy server providers reviewed. It has HTML and HTMLS proxies exclusively, so those looking for SOCKS will need to search in another drawer. You can specify search criteria like ports, anonymity options, and country. Beyond that, the free proxy list can be sorted by region or city, but to find a specific location one must sort the list then click through up to 38 pages of proxies in order find the city or region desired. This is the only major blemish to an otherwise easy-to-use list. Each address has two color-coded bar graphs next to it depicting the response and transfer levels, but there is no numerical data indicating what each level means, so it’s only useful as a vague comparison to other proxies listed side-by-side. Luckily, uptime is measured with a percentage.
7. SSL Proxy
Website: SSL Proxy Review:
SSL Proxy has a tagline: “SSL (HTTPS) proxies that are just checked and updated every 10 minutes. ” This is not actually true, although all the proxies on the list have been checked within the last hour. The free proxies are from various countries worldwide, but with a meager 100 proxies on the list, the availability is limited. As expected, users can sort by country – this time with both the two-character country code and the whole name spelled out – and anonymous options, with nearly every proxy on the list being labeled as either anonymous or elite. There is also a field labeled “Google, ” presumably having something to do with Google’s acceptance of the proxy or possibly a proxy originating from a Google source. When we reviewed SSL Proxy, all of the addresses listed “Google” as “no, ” so we were unable to test its usage. As one might expect from the name, this list contains only HTTPS proxies, with HTTP and SOCKS proxies being offered for a price.
Website: GatherProxy Review:
GatherProxy offers a table of free proxy IP addresses not unlike almost every other proxy source reviewed here. The means of sorting these proxies is a little different and somewhat refreshing. The homepage features a list of the 50 proxies most recently checked, complete with the time each proxy was updated, country of origin, anonymity level, uptime, and response times. There is a field for “city” data but the entries are blank. The page auto-refreshes every 30 seconds or so, although the proxies are not actually updated this frequently. Often the addresses at the top of the list will show an update time from over 5 minutes ago, though it’s unlikely most of the free proxies will cease working in such a short period of time. Instead of using an uptime percentage or bar graph, GatherProxy displays uptime date in the form of a ratio, with “L” for live and “D” for down on the left and right respectively. Yet the most powerful feature is the assortment of tabs at the top of the page, featuring: proxy by country, proxy by port, anonymous proxy, web proxy, and socks list. Selecting one of these options takes the user to a sub-page with links to filter the proxies based on criteria. There is even a count listed for each country and port, making it ideal to choose from a pool of particular proxies. Of the total 11, 000 proxies in their database, half of them have been confirmed active within the past 24 hours. They also offer free web scraping and proxy checker software, complete with videos on how to use them.
Website: Proxy-List Review:
Proxy-List contains over 5, 000 free proxies and the list is checked every 2 hours. Standard sorting functions provided by the other free proxy providers apply to Proxy-List as well, with the main lists sorted into four options: HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5. One nice feature is the ability to export the proxy lists as a text file, or the data can be copied into one’s clipboard with the press of a button. They offer API access to the proxy list, and provide a Chrome extension for web scraping, which most serious web scrapers probably already have, but still might be worth trying out.
10. Proxy Nova
Website: Proxy Nova Review:
Proxy Nova also provides a list of free proxies that sorts the freshly-checked addresses to the top. But unlike GatherProxy, visitors to this website must manually refresh the page, which we kind of like. There is nothing more frustrating than finding a great free proxy IP address, only to have it disappear because the page auto-refreshed and you have no easy way of finding it again. The proxies do stay pretty up-to-date; in our experience, proxies at the top of the list were never more than a minute old. Their speeds, uptime, and locations are all listed as well. One peculiar field on the table of proxies says simply “YouTube, ” but it was blank for all the proxies listed. Sorting options are limited to country and anonymity only, and despite the frequent updates there is no way of knowing how large the pool of free proxy IP addresses is. ”
“You get what you pay for” is a phrase most of us have heard our entire lives, but in the case of free proxies this is only mostly true. Paying nothing for proxies should result in a list of 100% dead addresses, but as you can see, there are some quality providers offering active proxies in exchange for nothing in return or at the most a little ad revenue from visiting their websites. And while top-tier proxy providers do have paid packages for access to their exclusive proxy lists, a couple of them offer either free trials or free API calls outright. The biggest caveat with any proxy gleaned from a free list is longevity. It is inevitable that free proxies will come and go, requiring web scrapers to refresh their lists of proxies on a daily basis. What’s more, even free proxies confirmed to be active could be blocked by ISPs and websites, leaving users who paid nothing for those proxies feeling ripped off.
Frequently Asked Questions about tor proxies list
How many proxies does Tor use?
Tor passes your traffic through at least 3 different servers before sending it on to the destination. Because there’s a separate layer of encryption for each of the three relays, somebody watching your Internet connection can’t modify, or read, what you are sending into the Tor network.
Does Tor use proxies?
Tor is a method of relays designed to encrypt and pass your traffic across the internet. … But while you could use a proxy to connect to Tor, you’re actually less secure than you’d be with Tor directly, as your connection between you and the internet proxy is not protected.Sep 26, 2019
How do I find proxy list?
Scraper API. Website: https://www.scraperapi.com. … Spys. one. … Open Proxy Space. Website: https://openproxy.space/list. … Free Proxy. Website: http://free-proxy.cz/en. … ProxyScrape. Website: https://proxyscrape.com/free-proxy-list. … Free Proxy Lists. Website: http://www.freeproxylists.net. … SSL Proxy. … GatherProxy.More items…•Jan 6, 2020