Proxy Lists: What Are They And What Are They Used For?

Interested in acquiring a list of proxies? Learn the different types and what you will need here
7 min read
Proxy list header graphic - 9-digit ip addresses for rotation

What is a proxy list?

A proxy list is a list of alternate IP addresses derived from proxy servers and can vary in type such as HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, SOCKS5 and more. This article will discuss the different versions of proxy lists and the main uses for them.

What do you need a proxy list for?

Proxy lists are desired in the proxy world when you need to assign one proxy to each user or account or when you want to rotate proxies. They provide anonymity to bots, crawlers, and different software types that assist in managing online operations. Many bots and tools have a specific field for uploading your proxy list as they are required in many cases to ensure uninterrupted operations online. Needing multiple IP addresses is common for a variety of tasks online, including travel aggregation, brand protection, price comparison and more, all of which require a proxy list.

Let’s dive into the different types of proxy lists and what they are used for.

Free proxy list:

A free proxy list is a list of IP addresses that can be obtained and used for free. They are fairly easy to attain and can be country-specific, offer different speeds and come in a variety of proxy types. With any free product or service, it is important to carefully look into the provider and determine how they benefit through their free offerings. In some cases, the provider of free proxies is following your actions or spying on your online activities to collect information. This can be counterintuitive as the majority of users acquire proxies for their anonymity.

Proxy server list:

These lists offer IP addresses all derived from the same proxy server. The type of server a proxy provider is using will determine the speed and success of proxies. Are they appearing from the right country? How long does it take a request? All of these aspects depend on the proxy server, its size, upkeep and whether or not it is consistently maintained.

Public / Open proxy list:

Normally servers are only available to a specific group of people such as a company’s employees or those who are provided the credentials. A Public or Open proxy list allows anyone to access the server itself and utilize the proxies offered. They are usually provided in lists that specify the country they come from, the ports they have access to, their average request times and the type of proxy they are. Readily available, these IPs are suitable for simple online actions, however, if the number of users accessing them is an issue for you, or you are concerned that you’re being spied on, then stay clear of open proxy lists.

Fresh / Virgin proxy list:

A fresh or virgin proxy list is a pool of IP addresses that have not been used before. These IPs are stronger and more desirable as they have not been used before. This will allow you to perform the majority of online actions without hitting any bumps in the road due to the actions of previous users, which is the case for used, shared and the majority of free proxies.

Country or city-specific proxy list:

For example, a US proxy list refers to IP addresses that are from the United States, these proxies provide access to geo-blocked sites and services available in the United States. Many other lists are available for specific countries or cities and are needed when trying to access sites and products online that are only available in certain regions.

Elite proxy list:

Elite proxies are, as the name suggests, are a more anonymous type of proxy as they leave no trace of the proxy server they derive from. A higher level of proxy understanding is suggested when utilizing elite proxies because even though the server itself remains anonymous the header saves the proxy’s IP address under REMOTE_ADDR. With the knowledge of how to handle cookies and headers for your proxy needs, this is a small hiccup, however, if this seems slightly complex to you, you may want to consider a service that offers the ability to configure these aspects to ensure the anonymity of your proxy IP.

Buy proxy list:

A buy proxy list is one that is available for purchase. They are normally sold in groups based on the country they derive from, the ports they can access or the protocol type they use. Purchasing your proxies ensures the desired anonymity as the providers have a clear incentive for offering them. They are normally of better quality, have fewer users accessing them and are constantly refreshed to ensure a good product.

Proxies with Different Internet Protocol Types


A SOCKS proxy list offers more secure proxies as the proxy server routes traffic through a firewall while facilitating the exchange of information packets between a client and an external server. SOCKS will route any traffic from any program or other protocols. A SOCKS5 list is a more secure list that functions the same as its SOCKS counterpart but adds a level of authentication by only allowing those with the right credentials the authorization to access the server. Proxies sold within these lists all work with this protocol but the differences between SOCKS protocols is their ability to support applications. If you are required to work with TCP or UDP applications, this is the type of proxies you need.

SSL proxy list

SSL is how HTTPS is encrypted, it is a Secure Socket Layer and an SSL proxy list provides a level of encryption between the client and server. This protocol is commonly used when personal information is required from the webserver such as billing information when making a purchase online or accessing banking details. If you require the ability to fill out forms with sensitive information an SSL proxy list is required, make sure when purchasing an SSL proxy list that you are given the SSL certificate needed.

HTTP proxy list:

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, this is the most common protocol used on the internet to format and send messages. An HTTP proxy list refers to a list of IP addresses that can be used with HTTP as opposed to the other types of protocols available.

Where you acquire your proxy lists and if you have purchased them will ultimately decide the strength and usefulness of your proxy solution.

A free list comes with many unknowns including the number of users accessing those proxies, the proxy history such as the sites that they have been used for and whether or not those proxies have been previously banned or flagged. Proxy lists that come from a datacenter server are usually offered in subnets. Subnets are groups of IPs that normally differ by one or two digits so when one IP from a subnet is flagged all the IPs in that subnet are flagged as well.

Purchasing an IP from a reputable source allows for peace of mind and the ability to leave no questions unanswered. Paid proxy services provide a cooling period – the time the IP has not been used prior to you for your specific sites. They have connections with IP providers worldwide ensuring the country-specific IPs purchased are indeed derived from the location you require. IPs can be purchased in shared or exclusive pools with a clear indication of the number of users who have access to certain IPs.

For more information about the types of IP Lists or IP Pools available for purchase and what you can do to ensure that your online operations run smoothly, contact a proxy expert today.