The reason they need proxies, is that using a proxy server can bypass some of this filtering - you see not only does the proxy obscure your IP address from the web server you visit - it also serves up the content you asked for. It is an internet middle man, both protecting and delivering your content to your machine, if your company blocks access to facebook then if you use the proxy it may bypass that restriction. Many thousands of people all across the globe are using proxies as we speak to browse the internet.
If you read this blog you will learn about why proxies can be either a great tool for privacy and anonymity online and equally one of the biggest security risks. The contrast and the risks couldn't be greater - simply because all is not as it seems when you're on the internet.
Things are not always as they seem on the Net
If you start searching you will probably find one of the thousands of proxy pages listing 'fast', 'elite', 'super secure' proxies all available completely free of charge. Surprisingly many people believe this.
So Why Proxies Daily then ?
Well the single reason why they search daily is that people are looking for free proxies and that ain't easy. The problem is that although we all like free stuff, it usually involves someone somewhere paying for it. Proxies aren't free they are extremely expensive to run, the faster, more secure the proxy the more it will cost to run.
But you can find free proxies, and that's really part of the problem. The free proxies you see have to be paid for somehow, lots of the simple web proxies which pay for themselves by adding banners, or ads to your browsing are not suitable for most purposes and are extremely slow. If you want to surf directly via a proxy and not some redirected web page then these won't do. So then you have to search the free proxy lists and pickup the fastest ones there.
Except nobody every thinks about how these are funded, just that they're free. Well they are free but only in a sense, many of them have been hacked or left open accidentally. The scenario is usually based on a server which has been connected to the internet without being locked down, either by accident, incompetence or even sometimes maliciously. This server will then be open to everyone to use as a nice fast, free proxy server - these then appear on the open proxy lists and soon get completely overwhelmed.
Now you might not care about using such a server, but there are implications - for instance many states in the US have criminal laws that prohibit accessing a computer or network without the owners permission. Which if you connect to such a mis-configured proxy you will be potentially in breach of. But of course this is the internet so nothing is clear cut in law - but have a look for instance at the Texas Statute, Penal Code 33.02 - Breach of Computer Security.
“A person commits an offense if the person knowingly accesses a computer, computer network or computer system without the effective consent of the owner.”
A bit heavy, and I have to say you'd be rather unlucky to get caught by accidentally using a Texas Server as a proxy to just play poker online during your lunch break at work though. It is however potentially a criminal act depending on your location and that of the server. But many of the US states have similar laws, if you happen upon an open proxy in the US take care.
But people don't tend to worry about the legalities, well actually they are usually completely unaware of them the reason the search for proxies daily goes on is because they fall over. The free ones get completely overwhelmed very quickly, and that super fast efficient proxy you found on Monday has probably disappeared on Tuesday.
Some people have no option due to economics or location but to get stuck in this ongoing search for free proxies, for them I suggest they investigate TOR. Ok it will still be very slow aand won't be practical for wathing video sites such as accessing BBC Iplayer abroad for instance, but it's an effective way of bypassing most countries restrictions, if you want to surf through proxies with speed or anonymity - start dating a system administrator at your local college or trust in a paid proxy service like Identity Cloaker