Open Proxy

The ProxyMesh Open Proxy server maintains a list of known open proxy IPs, which are used by the proxy server to forward your requests. This works just like the commercial rotating proxies, except that your requests are forwarded through less reliable and higher-latency open proxies.

The ProxyMesh Open Proxy provides Level 2 anonymity. Access to the Open Proxy is included free with every ProxyMesh account. You can use the Open Proxy with the same environment variable you normally set. If you're running a list of IP addresses with your requests, you can include the Open Proxy on the list.

While the Open Proxy server itself is located in the US, the IPs are in many different countries around the world. These open proxy IPs typically do not stay online very long, and are not operated on reliable infrastructure. The tradeoff for this lack of reliability is a huge increase in quantity and variability of IP addresses. The ProxyMesh open proxies list typically contains at least 200 IPs at a time, with approximately 100 IPs changing every hour. If you would like direct access to this list of IPs, check out the ProxyMesh Open Proxies API.

Note: Although the Open Proxy is included free with all ProxyMesh plans, your use of the Open Proxy counts toward the bandwidth usage limit on your plan.

IPs for Specific Countries

Although the open proxy has IPs for multiple countries, ProxyMesh has a custom header to restrict IP choices to a single country. For steps to use this header, click here.

API Method for Geo IPs

The Open and World proxies have IPs around the world. You can use the X-ProxyMesh-Country header if you only want to use IPs from a certain country. The ProxyMesh API methods give you a way to programmatically get the currently supported ISO country codes and IP counts for either the Open or the World proxy servers. Both API methods return a JSON object that looks like:

{"CODE": count}

GET /api/geoips/open/

Returns a JSON object with  ISO country codes and IP counts for the Open Proxy.

GET /api/geoips/world/

Returns a JSON object with  ISO country codes and IP counts for the World Proxy.

Real-Time Reliability

Because open proxies are not reliable, real-time error checking is required to provide a consistent service. If any request through an open proxy fails due to a proxy error, that error is recorded, and the request is re-tried up to 3 more times, using a different proxy for each retry. Any proxy that gets 3 or more errors will be immediately removed from the list.

Reliability issues typically show up as 408 error messages, most of them coming from the open proxy. Please see our Proxy Server Error Response Messages article for suggested remedies. Also, if you use the open proxy server, we highly recommend implementing a good retry strategy.

Periodic Updates

To keep the list of open proxies fresh, the IPs are checked every 15 minutes, and any proxies that fail these checks are removed. The checks test the following conditions:

  1. A valid request can be sent through the open proxy
  2. A valid response is received within 3 seconds
  3. The response has not been corrupted and does not contain malicious code
  4. The IP is not on a list of known abusive IP addresses

Over 95% of open proxies fail these tests. Therefore, the ProxyMesh open proxy server only keeps the 5% of open proxies that are actually usable. However, this still may not be good enough for many use cases. If you really need high speed and reliable proxy servers, we recommend using the ProxyMesh rotating proxies.

Possible Errors & Prompts

Issues can arise on the Open Proxy between checking times. One possible error is a Sign In prompt asking for your username and password even though your IP address is whitelisted. As this might be a password collection attempt, we do not recommend entering your username and password. Instead, we suggest you cancel the request and then retry it.

Read more about open proxies

If you'd like to read more about open proxies in general, please visit our companion website, proxyserver.com, and check out these articles:

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