Regardless of how you acquired your proxies, you must test them. Whether you bought the IPs from a proxy server provider or found an online proxy list, you should ensure they work properly. Most proxy providers offer a money-back guarantee if you're unhappy with the product, but it is only available for a limited term, usually a few days. To avoid spending money and receiving proxies that do not meet your needs, you should check them as soon as you purchase them.
There is a range of free or paid proxy testing tools, IP checkers, or online IP databases. Different tools offer different features that help you ensure your proxies are working correctly.
This guide will help you to learn how to test proxies effectively and know if you are getting what you have paid for your proxy lists.
Reasons Why You Should Test Proxies Before Using Them
Users can choose from dozens of proxy server providers. Some offer residential proxies at meager prices, others viable solutions of datacenter proxies. And with a plethora of options available, users might get lost and choose the offering that is unsuitable for their use case.
Testing will help ensure the proxies are compatible with your software and allow targeting locations you need. Identifying the uptime with the help of tests will also help you avoid disappointment when you start working on data-gathering projects, whether it's social media scraping or other tasks.
What Should You Take Into Account When Testing Proxies?
Here are a few points you cannot miss when running a proxy tester:
- Correct functioning is the most important thing you want to learn with your tests. If the proxies are not working correctly, you won't be able to access the internet or perform any of your tasks.
- Compatibility allows you to see whether the purchased proxies work with the bots and software you wish to use.
- Connection speed is crucial for tasks like sneaker copping that require adding the sneakers before they are all sold out, and testing the proxies' speed will let you know if you can rely on them.
- Proxy location testing lets you see if the proxies work for hopping geo-restricted content.
What Are Online IP Checker Tools?
The main function of a proxy is shielding your original IP address and routing your internet traffic through a proxy server. Your IP address should change when you connect to a proxy server. You can use an online IP checker to determine whether that's the case.
Most online IP checkers are free, and they can identify whether you're using a proxy or connecting through an actual IP address. But first — you need to know your original IP address to ensure this works properly. Once you visit an online IP checker's site, it will demonstrate your IP address, and you should be able to recognize whether it's a proxy IP address or your actual IP.
Online IP checkers can also reveal essential information about your intermediate connection, such as proxy locations, IP status, HTTP headers, and software that you're using.
While most checkers can identify whether you're using a proxy or an original IP address, online IP checkers are pretty limited. If you want more robust proxy testing, there are more advanced tools that can provide you with a complete list of valuable information about your proxies, including:
- Different degrees of anonymity, determining whether advanced proxy-detection plugins won't uncover your identity.
- Testing SOCKS5 and HTTP proxy simultaneously.
- Testing proxies on less known networks like Amiga, NetBSD, SunOS.
What Are IP databases and Are They Better than Proxy Tester?
IP databases contain lists of IP addresses and information related to them. You can use this data to learn about the proxy's IP address, whether it's connected to a domain and a type of proxy.
Databases help to identify multiple proxies:
- HTTP proxies
- Residential proxies
- Rotating proxies
- Datacenter proxy and others.
Some proxies can be blacklisted from specific targets. They can be blocked by the proxy provider or by the target website. If you acquire free proxies, they are the most likely to be blacklisted on the most popular target sites.
Testing proxies on an IP database will help you determine if your proxies have been blocked on any target websites. Various IP database providers allow checking proxies to see if their IP addresses have been blacklisted. You can test a small number of IPs for free or purchase a paid plan if you need more checks.
In general, an IP database can help you learn about your proxy location, a domain name, if your IP is associated with one, and usage type, which identifies whether your IP comes from a data center or if it's a residential proxy.
How Do I Test My Proxy Server Connection on Windows or Mac?
To test proxies on your Windows computer, head to Settings and continue as follows:
- In the menu, click on Network & Internet
- On the left sidebar, select Proxy and you will see all of the available proxy server settings in one place.
To manage your proxy settings on Mac:
- Open System Preferences and click on Network
- Click on an active network connection
- Click Advanced button on the bottom right
- Head to Proxies tab and manage the available settings.
If you want to test your proxy servers, you can choose an online proxy tester or run the commands directly on your computer.
How To Manually Test Proxies & Check If They Work
Although there are more than a few proxy testers that automatically check the stability and speed of your connection, you can also try testing proxies manually. To ensure that the proxies are configured correctly and hide your IP address, you can use your computer's terminal with a command-line tool called cURL.
To start running the proxy tester, enter the details into domain:port field:
> curl -U user:pass -x domain:port https://ipinfo.io
If you need to test a proxy with another location and a fast-rotating session:
In case you want to test other proxy parameters, your provider should have ready-to-use cURL code snippets.
Users test proxies to learn about proxy speed, find out what locations they come from, and make sure they have a high enough uptime. Some proxy server providers encourage proxy testing and offer a money-back guarantee if their proxies don't meet your standards. That's one of the reasons you should test proxies. But a more important reason is that testing proxies will help you run your web scraping projects more successfully.
You can test proxies with a free or paid proxy checker. You'll find various online tools to help you determine your proxy speed and anonymity. More advanced tools will let you test multiple proxies simultaneously, while other tools can even indicate the degree of anonymity your proxies provide.
Hence, testing proxies is easy when you find a good proxy tester. And it's absolutely worth it, as IP performance can define how smoothly your web scraping projects will run.