Get proxies: 10 free or low-cost proxy services

A list of free or cheap proxies for your web scraping projects

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How to get proxies

“A digital middleman,” “a gateway between you and the internet,” “a secret passageway.” These are just a few of the ways proxies have been described, and they're all more or less true.

A proxy is what allows you to browse the web under an alternative IP address, masking your true location and identity. That's quite handy for everyday internet users seeking privacy or trying to access geo-restricted content. But proxies are also essential tools for data-driven tasks like web scraping.

Proxies allow scrapers to gather data without getting blocked or banned by websites, which often have mechanisms to detect and restrict scraping activities. By rotating through different proxies, scrapers can mimic the behavior of multiple users to reduce the risk of detection and enable a smoother data collection process.

But how do you get your hands on such proxies? It’s simpler than you might think. The market is flooded with free and paid proxy services with varying levels of anonymity, speed, and reliability.

Free proxies are a tempting start, but they often come with limitations in speed and security, and many of them simply don't work at all. So you could try scraping the web for public proxy lists to find free proxies that actually do work. That's what Proxy Scraper was built for.

Alternatively, you could check out the list below and give these proxies a try.

10 free or low-cost proxies for web scraping

When looking for free proxies for web scraping, it's important to understand the variety and features of different proxy services. Here's a summary of some of the top free and low-cost proxy providers:

1. Free Proxy

Free Proxy

Free Proxy offers over 17 thousand proxies with a variety of protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS. Users can sort proxies by region, city, and category. Useful for location emulation and content testing.

Pros and cons

This service offers a large number of proxies but suffers from common free proxy issues like slow speed and frequent downtime. Free proxies generally have a heavy server load due to many users, which can create performance issues.

2. ProxyScrape

ProxyScrape free proxy list

ProxyScrape features a list of free proxies with options like country sorting and a "timeout" slider for selecting proxies based on response time. It provides a mix of HTTP, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5 proxies.

Pros and cons

While providing a variety of free proxies, including HTTP, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5, the free service might have limitations in speed and reliability. Like other free proxies, there could be concerns regarding security and performance, particularly for tasks requiring high bandwidth or data privacy​.

3. Free Proxy List

Free Proxy List

Free Proxy List provides a simple layout with options to filter by country, ports, protocol, anonymity, and uptime. It offers HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS proxies.

Pros and cons

Offers a user-friendly layout with filtering options. However, as with most free proxies, issues such as potential security risks and inconsistent performance are common drawbacks​.

4. Free Proxy World

Free Proxy World

Free Proxy World offers HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5 proxies. You can filter proxies by anonymity, country, speed, and type.

Pros and cons

This service offers a range of proxy types, but users might face similar challenges as with other free proxy servers, like slow speeds and potential security vulnerabilities.

5. Open Proxy Space

Open Proxy Space

Open Proxy Space provides access to public proxy lists with HTTP and SOCKS proxies, including country selection.

Pros and cons

Provides a range of proxy types by country. It shares the general drawbacks of free proxies, such as potential security risks and variable performance​.

6. Scrape-it

Scrape.it

Scrape-it is a web scraping API that offers 1,000 free credits with no limitations during the trial period. It includes features like automatic proxy rotation and data transmission over secure channels.

Pros and cons

As a web scraping API, it offers a trial period with free credits. While it includes features like automatic proxy rotation and secure data transmission, the performance and reliability beyond the trial period might vary.

7. Geonode

Geonode free proxy list

Geonode's free proxy list is a collection of publicly available proxies that users can access at no cost. This service is different from their paid proxy services, which offer more features, greater reliability, and better performance.

Pros and cons

The free proxy list is useful for basic needs such as casual browsing, but it's important to note that, like most free proxy services, it may have limitations in terms of speed, reliability, and security.

8. Webshare

Webshare - fast and affordable proxy servers

Webshare is an up-and-coming proxy provider with a competitively priced datacenter proxy infrastructure and has recently expanded into ISP and residential proxies.

Pros and cons

Webshare isn't free, but it offers freemium datacenter proxies, absolute self-service to its customers, and customizable subscription management. On the other hand, customer support is limited (email only for now).

9. Rayobyte

Rayobyte

Rayobyte isn't free, but with its Enterprise Residential Plan providing 1,000 GB for $3,000, it offers the cheapest paid residential proxy if you need a large amount of proxy traffic.

Pros and cons

This is a paid service, with its Enterprise Residential Plan offering a large amount of proxy traffic at a competitive price. It's more reliable and secure compared to free proxies, but the cost is significantly higher​.

10. Apify Proxy

Proxies offered by Apify

Apify Proxy is not entirely free. While Apify offers a free plan that includes some usage of Apify Proxy, this is limited to use within the platform and does not extend to external clients. As for paid proxies: with the lowest starting price ($62.50 for 5 GB) and no time limit on its free plan, Apify is the cheapest paid residential proxy provider if you need only a small amount of proxy traffic.

Pros and cons

Apify offers a limited free plan within its platform. If you want free proxies, you'll be limited by the platform's constraints. However, when it comes to paid residential proxies, they're the most affordable for small-scale use.


Related: Datacenter proxies: when to use them and how to make the most of them


Web scraping proxies

Apify is unique in that it provides a comprehensive platform for web scraping, including proxies, rather than just a proxy service. This makes it a versatile choice, particularly for users who are looking for an integrated solution that combines scraping tools with proxy services. However, for those who are only looking for proxy services, the free options might be limited compared to specialized proxy providers.

The Apify free plan

The free plan lets you use proxies within Apify Console. To use Apify Proxy externally, you need to subscribe to a paid plan. The free plan allows you to use most of the features of the Apify platform but with certain limits. There are charges associated with their use for more extensive usage or for different types of proxies like residential or Google SERP proxies.

Proxy server types

Apify Proxy offers several types of proxy servers, including datacenter, residential, and Google SERP proxies, each with different advantages and pricing structures. The pricing for these proxies varies based on the plan you choose and the specific proxy type you use. For instance, shared datacenter IPs are priced at $1 per IP, and residential IPs are $12.5 per GB.

Super-proxy

Some features are available only to Apify Proxy users, mainly because Apify Proxy is what one would call a super-proxy. It's not a single proxy server but an API endpoint that allows connection through millions of different IP addresses.

How to use Apify Proxy

To use Apify Proxy, you need to configure your HTTP client to connect to the Apify Proxy server using your Apify Proxy password and other parameters. This setup involves specifying the proxy type, hostname, port, username, and password. The username field in the proxy connection allows you to pass various parameters like proxy groups, session ID, and country. You can also use your own proxies within Apify Console.

A parting thought: the problem with free proxies

Free proxies, in general, can be slow, unstable, and may have security risks. Paid proxy services are recommended for more reliable and secure web scraping needs. Always consider the purpose and scale of your scraping project and its specific requirements when choosing a proxy provider.

Theo Vasilis
Theo Vasilis
Author, copywriter, and general all-round wordsmith. Loves to inform, inspire, and illuminate. Interested in human and machine learning alike. Passionate about free information and an open web.

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