Businesses are as competitive as ever these days. This is greatly due to the advancement in technology and tools aimed at facilitating various business processes. One of these tools is a proxy server. Proxy servers can serve many different purposes within a business. Perhaps the best-known one is web scraping. In case you’re unfamiliar with what proxies and web scraping are, we’ll briefly explain these terms within the article. You’ll also learn the various other ways in which proxies can help your business.
What are proxy servers?
A proxy server is a server that acts as a middleman between your device and other devices or servers that you interact with online. It makes all traffic coming from your device look like it’s coming from the proxy server and shows a different IP address. Sometimes, proxy providers offer rotating IP adresses, meaning that you can use hundreds or even thousands of different IPs at the same time.
Why should your business use proxy servers?
If you’re new to proxies, it may be difficult to think of why your business might need them. Well, they’re not a necessity, but they can certainly be helpful in certain business processes. Below are some of the most common benefits of proxies that you may not have known.
1. Web Scraping
Web scraping is when you collect a lot of data from many different web pages. If you try to visit hundreds of web pages by hand using a single device, you’ll probably get blocked and labeled as a bot. Even if you didn’t get blocked, you’d have to spend hours doing research. Then there’s the almost certain human error.
Well, rotating proxies can come in handy here. You can instruct thousands of proxies to go get the information you need. You won’t get blocked because the IPs will be different for each request, and you’ll get the data much more quickly. Plus, the data will be very accurate, which will allow for more effective data analysis and data interpretation processes.
2. Increased Security
When you use a proxy, all traffic coming to your device first goes through the proxy, meaning that your device isn’t directly exposed to the internet and potential malware coming from it. Also, since proxy servers give you an alternative IP address, they allow you to browse the web anonymously. This is useful if you don’t want anyone to pinpoint your business IP address. For example, if a hacker tries to access your business device based on the IP address, they’ll only get as far as the proxy’s IP address.
3. Social Media Account Management
Sometimes, you need to create several social media accounts for business. However, social media platforms have become quite strict on the number of accounts that you can create from a single IP, so you may run into problems. You might only be able to create one or two accounts from your IP, which is usually not enough for a business. By using rotating proxy servers, you can create as many social media accounts as you’d like without worrying about getting blocked.
4. Managing Employee Activity
A proxy server can help monitor which websites your employees visit and ensure that everything is in check. For example, you can block employees from visiting social media websites when on work devices to ensure they don’t get distracted. You can also ensure that employees are unable to access business data that is not relevant to them, which will help protect your business from a data breach.
You can also set proxies to block any traffic coming from unsecure websites. This will help protect work devices from various types of malware and prevent very damaging cyber attacks, which is especially important because of the growth in cyber attacks recently.
5. Avoiding Bandwidth Throttling
Bandwidth throttling is when your internet provider begins to slow down your loading speeds because the network becomes overwhelmed with too much activity. For instance, if you try to conduct research by sending out an overwhelming amount of requests, you may experience bandwidth throttling. However, if you use a proxy server, thousands of requests are redirected to thousands of different proxies, and they don’t affect the bandwidth of your own connection.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how proxies work and how they can benefit your business. If your business still doesn’t use them, then it’s missing out on lots of potential competitive advantage. They can help in anything from collecting data to increasing security to managing social media accounts. Sure, proxies can sound confusing and scary at first, but that shouldn’t keep you from using them. There are plenty of proxy server providers that provide in-depth guides on how to use them, and some providers can even perform the work for you.