You will find many types of proxy servers, mainly because there are many ways you can use a proxy. Proxy servers have a wide range of uses, including both uses that violate national regulations, but also legitimate uses.
An example would be large corporations or institutions that use proxy servers to protect their confidential data. On the other hand, an ordinary person can use proxy servers to bypass censorship.
There are 2 main categories of proxies: forward proxies and reverse proxies.
Reverse Proxy Servers
Reverse proxies are a type of proxy server that mediates the connection between you and a specific website or a part of it. It displays the appearance of a regular, completely normal server. It will forward a user’s web data to and from the server through one or more proxy servers that allow the user to receive the request as if it were from the original server, without actually having any specific information about the source server.
An example of a reverse proxy is a Web Application Firewall. It is a form of firewall that monitors, filters, and blocks traffic to and from a website, helping to protect the web application.
Forward Proxy Servers
Forward proxies mediate the connection between you and the internet. There are a wide variety of forward proxy servers because they have many use cases. These are accessible to any internet user. Anonymous proxies can allow users to hide their IP address while using the Internet, by default while browsing online.
Also, we can sort the types of forward proxies by technology, anonymity, IP address sources, persistence, and access.
Types of Proxy Severs by Technology
- HTTP/HTTPS proxies.
- SOCKS proxies.
To read more regarding these types of proxies, check out this article: SOCKS proxy versus HTTP proxy.
Types of Proxy Servers by Anonymity
- Transparent proxy. Websites know you are using a proxy and they can see your real IP address.
- Anonymous proxy. Websites know you are using a proxy, but they can’t see your real IP address.
- Elite proxy. Websites don’t know you are using a proxy. From the website’s point of view, the proxy IP address is your real IP address.
All proxy services found on our list are providing elite proxies.
Types of Proxy Servers by IP Source
- Residential proxies. Using residential proxies, you can hide your IP behind another IP address that can be traced to a real home user.
- Datacenter proxies. Using a datacenter proxy, you will hide your IP in the same way, but if traced, it will lead to a corporation or the datacenter. Therefore, it can be more easily flagged as a proxy.
All proxy services found on our list are providing residential proxies. Some providers may also have datacenter proxies.
Types of Proxy Servers by Persistence
- Sticky proxies. Using a sticky proxy, you will have the same IP address, providing faster speed.
- Rotating proxies. Using a rotating proxy, you will get a new IP address at every request or after a fixed time. It will prevent your IP from getting banned.
Hiding your IP address might be beneficial in many situations, from getting access to blocked content to avoiding anti-bot systems. All proxy servers have their advantages and disadvantages, but companies are often sticking to residential proxies.
As you can see, there are many types of proxy servers and many use cases. But only elite residential proxies can make requests indistinguishable from those generated by normal users.