Does a Proxy Server Slow Down Your Internet Speed?

Proxy server

You’ve tried VPN, content blockers, and antivirus while protecting your online security. But have you tried a proxy server?

A proxy server is an essential tool for those looking for the highest level of internet security. It provides features that you won’t find in other tools. And yet none of that matters if a proxy server speed is slow.

If you’ve used VPN, you know that WireGuard can get you blistering speeds without sacrificing protection. You might not be so excited to make the switch to a proxy server after that experience.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll discuss how much a proxy server could slow down your internet.

What Is a Proxy Server?

Before we can discuss how a proxy server affects internet speed, it’s important to understand how this type of server works.

If you know what “proxy” means, then you can begin to guess what a proxy server does. A proxy server goes in your place, so to speak, as you browse the internet. It serves as an intermediary to protect you from the worst the internet has to offer.

A proxy server works in much the same way as a VPN. When you make a network request (i.e. you visit a website), the request goes through the proxy first. It then reaches the end destination. 

But where a proxy server comes into play is on the return voyage. As a website or service sends back the requested content, the proxy filters it.

It searches for viruses, spam, and other unwanted content. Your device then receives this filtered content.

A proxy server provides a wide range of benefits for its users. It works very fast, similar to a VPN. However, those milliseconds can add up and lead to a noticeable lag in internet speed.

Does a Proxy Server Slow Your Internet Speed Down?

The short answer is yes. But so does a VPN. In both cases, your internet traffic has to route through the server on the way to its destination and back. 

You should expect at least a few milliseconds of delay when using a proxy server. Information travels via light, which means that the farther light has to travel, the slower your connection. It’s impossible to avoid the laws of physics, which means adding more legs to information’s journey will slow it down.

However, there are some things that can slow down your proxy server speeds more than usual. Many of these are within your control. If you want to avoid slow proxy server speeds, keep the following in mind.

1. Proxy Server Caching Abilities

A useful feature of proxy servers that you won’t find in VPNs is caching. Caching is when you store a website’s assets offline, allowing you to load the website much faster the next time you visit. Your browser will do this for frequently used websites to speed up loading times.

A proxy server also does it. It caches copies of popular websites, resulting in faster loading times. That means a proxy server only needs to ping the destination server for any additional assets that it’s missing.

However, not all caching is equal. A proxy server might not have speedy caching abilities, or it may not cache the websites you use. Some proxy servers will cache websites according to users, but this may mean you need a costlier service.

If you want to improve proxy server speed, then look for one with website caching.

2. Distance to a Proxy Server

The distance between your device and a proxy server plays a huge role. If you’re connected to a proxy server on the other side of the world, that will add significant delay to your internet speeds. But if you connect to one in the same city, the delay won’t be noticeable.

If you’re traveling abroad, this may prove to be more complicated. You may be in a country that does not have any proxy servers, which forces you to connect to a neighboring country. In that case, you should choose the nearest country with the lowest latency.

Try to connect to proxy servers in the same region or country wherever possible. Your proxy service may provide the option to choose the fastest, nearest server available.

3. Load on a Proxy Server

Like a VPN, sometimes there is simply too much traffic. Multiple periods throughout the day see increased internet usage. The end result is slow internet speed across the board for everyone.

To combat this, most proxy services will have multiple servers. They’ll use load-balancing technology to spread users across the servers to reduce the burden.

But when it’s busy, it’s busy. Servers may have to scale back their services to ensure that everyone who connects is able to get through. You may have no choice but to deal with slower speeds.

If you notice that your proxy provider is consistently slow, it may be time to switch to a competitor. The best proxy providers upgrade their servers or buy more on a regular basis. Try to choose a proxy provider with a lot of servers so you never have to worry about slow speeds.

Find the Right Proxy Server for You

A proxy server is one of the best ways to improve your online security while surfing the internet. However, a proxy server can slow down your internet. How much it slows down depends on a lot of factors, and many of these are in your control.

There are hundreds of proxy providers, and all of them claim to be the best. My Software Bee is here to help decide which ones really are the best. Check out their proxy server comparisons.