Posted by Sponsored Post Posted on 10 April 2024

Proxies For Your Home Network: Three Real-World Use Cases

Most people use proxies for commercial purposes, such as collecting data, verifying ads, or managing social media accounts. It’s no surprise that providers double down on it and market proxies for business purposes first. Products like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are then presented as a more user-friendly alternative. 

 

While it does take only a push of a button to start using a VPN, some tinkering can get you more value with proxies. They perform the same use cases as VPNs but can also bring additional value to your home network. This article will present three use cases for proxies at home.

The adaptability of proxies

Proxy servers, or simply proxies, are devices that act as intermediaries routing your network requests. You instruct a proxy device of your actions. It performs the required actions and sends the result back to you. With a good proxy, such a process happens in a split second, and the target web server does not know your original IP address or that you are using a proxy server.

 

Unlike VPNs, proxy servers do not come with pre-built software. Instead, you receive proxy credentials – IP address, port, and, in some cases, password. This provides you with much-needed flexibility to route your connection. You can integrate proxies into your browser, operating system, network router, Raspberry Pi, Linux server, and many other useful tools. 

 

The adaptability of proxies doesn’t end here. There are many types and subtypes of proxy servers, which allow to maximize performance for specific tasks. The most important distinction for home networking use cases is between forward and reverse proxies.

 

Forward ones act as intermediaries when you connect to the internet, while reverse proxies can work on the server’s side. Each type of these proxies can also be set to work in so-called proxy chains, where the same requests are filtered thrghou multiple proxy servers. A pool of proxies can also work in tandem by rotating different IP addresses to conceal your identity better.

 

So, the main benefit of using proxy servers is the possibility of finding unique solutions for concealing your identity and safeguarding the network. If you are thinking of setting up a proxy at your home, there is one specific type I would recommend.

Best proxy proxy type for home networks

Most VPNs or even ToR nodes are based on data center servers. Some proxy servers are also hosted there, and they are called datacenter proxies. Powerful servers create multiple virtual machines, each with a slightly different IP address. Such servers also use commercial internet connection, which makes the speed and affordability even greater.

Unfortunately, data center IPs, albeit cheap, are better for commercial use cases where you need to transmit lots of data quickly. A home connection is more interested in convenience, so there’s little incentive to deal with CAPTCHAs or IP blocks.

 

This is not to say that datacenter proxies won’t work, but they might cause more problems down the line. That’s why I recommend using an unlimited residential proxy server for your home network. Such a proxy is based in another residential area, where you are running a physical device to host your intermediary.

 

Residential proxies are quite expensive if you only purchase IP addresses and pay for bandwidth. When you don’t need to transfer lots of data, it’s better to buy unlimited proxies. Buying IPs may be beneficial in some cases, but certainly not for home networking purposes, which I will discuss below.

Home networking use cases of proxies

Video streaming

Watching videos on Netflix, YouTube, or other streaming services is one of the most common things we do at home. A proxy server set up at your home can enhance this experience by helping you to bypass geo-restrictions.

 

Due to licensing issues and other specifics, streaming platforms limit the information that is accessible to you based on your location. You are still paying the same as everyone else, but the content you can watch is different. Choosing a proxy server from a different location can give you access to more content.

Gaming

While video streaming can be achieved via VPN services, the gaming community uses proxies much more. One reason is that it’s close to impossible to set up a proxy server on a gaming console, so a network-wide proxy server must be used. It’s the only way to protect your privacy and bypass geo-restrictions.

 

Even more importantly, reverse proxies can function as filters on devices that host gaming servers. It helps to protect the server from DDoS attacks, blocking unwanted traffic and hiding the original IP address. It also boosts speed if the owner is smart about choosing the proxy location.

Internet of Things (IoT)

 

Most smart devices can be connected to one network, which is called the Internet of Things (IoT). Home appliances, from lightbulbs to smart TVs and fridges, can also be connected. It enables the possibility of automating everything in your home and making it a smart one.

 

However, IoT solutions are a security and privacy hazard. There are solutions like Pihole, which can increase security by blocking ads and other unwanted sources. Proxies come in here as an extra security filter protecting your home network from intrusions. If the devices are shielded by a proxy, it’s much more difficult to infiltrate them.

 

Proxy servers can also help to solve various compatibility issues when you are trying to save on smart devices. Here’s an example: some countries have cheaper smart devices, but manufacturers may impose geo-restrictions. I had some luck purchasing cheaper devices from multiple locations and then connecting them with an unlimited residential proxy server.

Conclusion

The many ways to use proxies with different software and hardware ensure that they can be used at home as successfully at home as in the office. Integrating proxies into your home network will take some time to master. But if you are into this kind of hobby, proxies will be a new, powerful tool at your disposal.




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