In days gone by, the search for proxies was a legitimate one – there were lots around although once found most soon became overloaded. It’s a similar situation today, you can still search for new proxy sites 2016 but in reality if they’re free they’ll be fairly useless and utterly slow.
So why do people still search for new proxies online? Well to some extent it’s misinformation – thinking that proxies can bypass firewalls, content filters and the ubiquitous region locks that most internet media sites enforce. You think you can access the US version of Netflix using a proxy or download BBC shows to your hard drive – think again, those days are long gone.
Proxies are now fairly useless in all these instances, virtually every media site can detect and block them automatically and even the most antiquated content filter will detect and restrict them and they offer more security risks than benefits too. On the client side, there’s very little point in using a proxy in 2016 although they still have value on the server side. To take control of your surfing you really need something a little more advanced such as a SSH tunnel or VPN.
The problem is that although proxies were freely available, mostly left open by accident, VPNs take time and effort to configure and support. They also cost a significant amount of money – so there are no free VPNs available (beware some pretend they are, but reuse your connection to fee paying customers like Hola). Unfortunately those days of grabbing a bunch of free proxies to access Facebook at work or streaming the BBC Olympics to your PC while lazing next to a Spanish swimming pool.
In fact you even need to take care on choosing which VPN you use, because even when paying many won’t even work for bypassing even the most simplistic region locks. If correctly configured they are still difficult to detect however many of the basic VPN providers don’t do this correctly – failing in the basic configuration steps required to maintain the anonymity of a VPN.
So it’s probably not worth anyone’s time searching for proxies any more, if you need to bypass a block or access a site – start checking out VPNs and SSH tunnels as these are what’s required. Remember they cost a lot of money to run and must be configured properly, so there are no free ones available. Any that look free are either subsidized by advertising which is fine, or some re-use your connection while you are connected which is a very, very bad idea.