Free Proxy Servers are used for anonymous browsing. Most common usage of free proxy server is to bypass the college/office or any other place's security restrictions and access unrestricted sites. But proxy servers should be used with caution. If used without safety measures, it can result in big loss as compared to advantage of browsing the web anonymously. There are two ways through which you can hide your identity (your IP address) when surfing the internet. First and the most inexpensive way is to use free proxy server. There are many windows and linux proxy websites available on the internet which lets you use their services free of charge. The other option for hiding your identity is to use paid software. The IP hiding software, changes your IP address continuously to let you browse internet anonymously.
There are few important things you need to keep in mind when using free proxy servers.
1.) Watch out for your security
Do not give out any sensitive information such as your login details or credit card information when using different proxy servers because when you use free proxy server, all the information you provide on any website is first sent to free proxy server and then to the site server. So all the information go through the free proxy server and most of the time it is unencrypted, exposing your sensitive information for potential misuse.
Paid software are much better in terms of security. There systems are designed to conceal your IP and then discard all your information without any human involvement.
2.) Stability and Availability
There are many free proxy server sites but most of them are not stable and are not available every time you visit them. This problem is not very significant with paid software.
3.) Speed of Browsing
When you use any proxy server for hiding your IP, you can feel the slow speed of browsing instantaneously. Though there are good sites available for anonymous browsing but they are very difficult to find. Also, speed is not consistent; it depends largely on load on their servers. At times you do get good browsing speed but it's not consistent. Again, paid software for hiding IP are much better at browsing speed. As they charge for their services, they ensure that the user experience is better and you do not get slow speed while browsing the internet through their software.
They are also great when you find a quality one that masks your country of origin. When looking for a Online Proxy make sure it has Java installed so you can watch movies. As you can sometimes have your country of origin cloaked but if java does not work it is not much use.