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Proxy Servers and VPN Services

For an online marketer, an essential part of running an effective geo-targeted advertising ‎campaign is the ability to check, monitor, and test the appearance of ads in all relevant ‎geographical locations. Proxy and VPN (Virtual Private Network) services both provide the ‎opportunity to view content as it would appear in various global locations, but what are the ‎key differences and benefits of the two technologies?‎

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between the user’s web browser and the internet so ‎that the browser’s IP address appears to originate from the location of the proxy server. A ‎VPN connection is data-encrypted, and changes the user’s entire computer IP address in line ‎with the location of the server. Online marketers use both technologies in tandem to ‎perform QA on geo-targeted campaigns across a number of different platforms and devices.‎

Proxy

A reliable, secure proxy service will use a network of servers worldwide, and allow users to ‎quickly switch between servers to view online ads and content as they would appear in each ‎geographical location. This enables advertisers to maintain a successful campaign by ‎ensuring the right content appears in the right locations, and by highlighting issues which ‎can be dealt with quickly and effectively.‎

A user’s request to open a website is first received by the proxy, where it is treated with ‎filters before being sent on to the site’s host server. The response from the host server ‎follows the same route, sending information back to the proxy server where it is again ‎treated with filters then passed back to the user.‎

VPN

By rerouting the entire computer through a secure connection, a VPN service allows users to ‎monitor advertising campaigns as they appear in each geographical location on a variety of ‎desktop and non-browser applications, such as casino apps and IM clients. This service is ‎essential for marketers running geo-targeted campaigns which go beyond online ‎advertising; such as those placing ads inside applications.‎

Mobile proxy

Mobile proxy services are quickly becoming another vital tool for online marketers, with ‎services available for iOS and Android platforms. Mobile proxy services allow advertisers to ‎view webpages and check on geo-targeted ads within mobile apps, as they would appear to ‎a smartphone user in each geographical location. Mobile proxy also gives marketers the ‎opportunity to check on app rankings as if they were using their smartphone in any given ‎location.