You may have heard that free open proxies are unreliable and not to be trusted. And that finding useful open proxies is its own challenge. Or you may have already experienced the downsides on your own. Well it’s true, but there are ways to use open proxies in a more reliable and secure manner.
New open proxies can come online at any time. To get the latest lists of open proxy IPs & ports, you need to regularly download or scrape public lists of open proxies.
But which lists are reliable?
How much work is it to get those public lists into a simple IP:Port file for your software?
And of course you can’t assume that everything published is still working, since you often don’t know the last time those lists were updated. So you have to test everything you get.
Testing your open proxies list frequently is a must, because open proxies can die at any time. When proxies die, your requests will start failing. And you don’t just want to check that they are up, you also need confirm that:
- your requests succeed in a reasonable amount of time
- your requests have not been modified in transit
- no malicious code has been inserted into the response
The best way to do this is to have a piece of content you control on a remote server, then check that requests through each proxy return that content unmodified, without timing out or taking too long.
So let’s review what’s required to use free open proxies in a reliable manner:
- Finding reliable sources for open proxy lists
- A mechanism for downloading or scraping from those sources on a frequent basis
- Checking each proxy if it is up
- Setting up a file on a remote server for testing
- Regularly testing that each proxy can fetch that file in a reasonable amount of time, and does not modify the content
That’s a lot of work! What if someone could do all this for you?
ProxyMesh Open Proxies API
The ProxyMesh Open Proxies API does all of the above, so all you have to do is download 1 list of open proxies from a single reliable API. Here’s what ProxyMesh does:
- Downloads & scrapes over 1,000 open proxy IPs from 11 free open proxy lists
- Tests all proxies every 15 minutes for speed and reliability
- Confirms that no malicious code is inserted into responses
- Checks that all proxies respond with 8 seconds
After doing all that, the result is that about 200-400 IPs meet acceptance criteria. These IPs are then published to the Open Proxies API for you to consume, in a simple proxy list format that can be used by nearly all scraping software tools.
Paid plans start at $10/month, and there is a free plan so you can confirm for yourself how it easy it is to use before you signup. There are many code samples for 15 different programming languages and tools. So if you want to simplify your life, signup for the Open Proxies API today!