Are Proxies Legal? Things to Keep in Mind

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Proxy 101

Proxies are a tool. Like most tools, their legality or illegality is dependent on how users utilize them. A proxy allows users to reroute their web requests through servers in new locations. As such, they appear to web admins as though connecting from the server’s location.

There are obvious legal uses that such a tool might have. However, criminal entities can also leverage them for malicious intents. In this article, we explore legal and illegal use cases of proxies, countries where they are illegal, and the topic of ethically sourcing for IP addresses.

Legal Use Cases of Proxies

Here are some legal use cases of proxies:

  • Protecting Privacy. There are trackers online devoted to monitoring browsing activity and helping create accurate user profiles. Proxies can help against such intrusions by scrambling your IP addresses and anonymizing your activity.
  • Accessing Geo-restricted Content. By rerouting activity through proxy servers in different locations, a proxy can alter the apparent origin of web traffic. The process makes it seem as though you are connecting from another location and can help you access otherwise restricted content.
  • Load Balancing During Web Scraping. Web scraping is the automated, large-scale collection of data from online sources. Websites frown on the process because the many requests sent by the scraper can overwhelm their servers and affect the browsing experience for other users. Proxies grant access to multiple IP addresses, helping distribute requests between them and reduce the risk of IP bans.
  • Business Operations. Proxies can help companies perform online business operations anonymously. Such operations may include competitor analysis of websites and product listings, market research, price monitoring, etc.
  • Facilitating Remote Access to Resources. Businesses today might employ a workforce consisting of remote and hybrid workers. In such cases, they would need these employees to still have secure access to company resources. Dedicated proxies can help provide access to internal networks securely. As such, you can integrate the best possible workforce while protecting your brand with proxy networks.
  • Ad Verification. Advertisers and Marketers can use proxies to view digital ad placements from multiple locations. As a result, they can ensure that their as placements comply with agreements. They can also assess the success of ads to inform future strategies.
  • Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts. Social media managers need to manage as many accounts as they have clients. Yet, shuffling between accounts can trigger the platform and lead to suspensions. So, they use proxies to change IP addresses and use their accounts freely and with less likelihood of repercussions.
  • Anonymous Browsing. Any web user can use proxies to anonymize their online activity. It can be for any activity, including online purchases, web surfing, streaming, gaming, etc.

Illegal Use Cases of Proxies

It’s important to reiterate that proxies, on their own, are legal in most countries. However, illegal use and misuse of this tool are punishable by law. Here are some such illegal uses:

  • Cybercrime. Cybercriminals use proxies to anonymize their locations while conducting illegal activities. Some of these activities are hacking, phishing, identity theft, online fraud, financial deception, etc.
  • Content Piracy. Proxies allow content pirates to acquire and distribute copyrighted content without access, and without exposing their physical locations.
  • Stalking and Online Harassment. Proxies help criminals hide their identities and locations as they stall other web users. The act of stalking or harassment might be perpetuated over social media, forums, etc., and may inform other forms of online abuse.
  • Distribution of Malware. Malware is one of the ways that Cybercriminals spread their harm, and proxies allow them to distribute them without betraying their identities or locations.

Countries Where Proxies are Illegal

For one reason or another, some countries block proxies and the rerouting of web traffic through other IPs. These countries also enforce their block through different strategies and mechanisms, to varying successes. Below are some of the countries that try to block proxies, and why they do so:

  • China (and their Great Firewall) seeks to control internet access, rerouting through international IPs, and the type of proxies their people can use.
  • Iran, where the country implements certain forms of internet censorship, and blocks proxies to facilitate the censorship.
  • North Korea. The country tightly controls the information available to people and, as such,  internet access.
  • Russia
  • Oman
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Turkey
  • India

Ethical Vs Unethical Proxy Acquisition

The question of ethical and unethical proxy acquisition is multidimensional. You can consider it from the perspective of vendors and users. 

From a user’s perspective, ethically acquired proxies are the ones you obtained for the right reasons and in line with your country’s laws. That brings us to the gray area of “What if users obtain proxies to avoid censorship?”. That’s why proxy use is a contested topic in many places.

A vendor, however, considers ethical or unethical proxy acquisition of consent, transparency, and data use. Ethically acquired proxies are obtained with the consent of users and/or Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Sometimes, they might even involve financial compensation. This is especially important for residential proxies. These proxies also handle user data in accordance with regulatory standards.

An unethical proxy is the opposite. They might sometimes even be active without the knowledge of residential users of the IP addresses.

Is Proxy Cheap Legal

Proxy Cheap is legal. We use ethically sourced residential proxy IP addresses of high reputation. All of our proxies are thus active, and legally obtained. In the spirit of transparency, we also categorize our proxies as standard or premium. 

Proxy Cheap standard proxies are those that have been used before by the last users. Our premium proxies are unused. As such, our users can rest assured that they don’t come with any baggage, history, or reputation.

In summary, we provide quality IP addresses and are transparent about their histories. We also comply with the industry regulations for countries where we obtain IP addresses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are proxies legal in the USA?

Yes, proxies are legal in the USA. However, the activities conducted via web proxies also matter. Using one for illegal tasks is punishable.

Can proxies be traced?

Technically, proxies can be traced. While they improve anonymity by rerouting user traffic, the IP address of the proxy is visible, and persistent skilled entities can still retrace the origin of connections.

Do proxies hide your IP?

Proxies can hide your IP address. In other words, they can make you digitally anonymous. However, all proxies do not provide this anonymity to the same degree. Elite proxies provide the best anonymity, transparent proxies provide the least, and anonymous proxies are in between.

What are the potential problems of using a proxy server?

Potential problems of using a proxy server can stem from the reputation of the proxy provider and the historical use of the proxy server. Such problems include association with illegal activities perpetrated with an IP address, spying by the proxy provider, reduced browsing speed, etc. 


Donovan McAllister


Donovan McAllister is a skilled Copywriter at Proxy-Cheap specializing in technology-related content, particularly in proxies. His passion for writing and tech seamlessly converge as he crafts engaging content, unraveling the mysteries of proxy.
Beyond the keyboard, Donovan enjoys cyberpunk novels.