Anonymity: This is not surprising at all, is it? People primarily use proxies to browse anonymously. There are many reasons to keep anonymity while browsing, personal safety being the main one. People are often fall prey to online bullying and stalking. The easiest way to avoid that is by keeping all browsing hidden from prying eyes.
Avoid Restriction: There are many sites that have restricted access based on geographic or demographic categories. These restrictions are usually because of censorship and protection of business interests and people often use proxies to overcome them. For example, live streaming sites always have geography based access restrictions. People bypass these restrictions by using proxies.
Public Chat Rooms: More than half of the users in public chat rooms, at any given point of time are logged in through proxies. Highly popular chat rooms are social hub spots but they also attract the bad guys. Proxies lend the first level of security for chat participants and can also protect them from potential phishing attempts.
Gaming: Like live stream sites, the gaming sites also have age based and geo based access restrictions. Even otherwise, most of the gamers prefer to use proxies because some games have IP based time limitations. Infact, many gamers have dedicated proxies on auto rotation so that they can have unrestricted, continuous gaming experience.
Youtube: Believe it or not, youtube is restricted (or sometimes completely blocked) in many countries. The primary reasons for that are political or religious ideologies and have got nothing to do with the actual content on display. People from these countries rely on proxies to get their daily fix of youtube. The surprising fact is, more than 35% of youtube traffic comes from access restricted locations and many proxy services are making hay only by catering to these people.
Mailing: Bulk emailing is one of the most popular method of online marketing. Most of the email clients are too sensitive and can sometimes be over protective of their user inboxes. If many mails are sent out of a single IP, some mail servers automatically mark all the mails as spam, no matter even if the mails are genuine in nature. So, to overcome this difficulty, many mailers use proxies on a rotational basis to send out mails….and of course, even mail spammers use proxies to send mails.
Internet Marketing: There are many uses for proxies in the internet marketing realm. Many of the IM tools have in built proxy usage features. Some of the tools require proxies, while others allow proxies too speed up the functional aspects. Whatever the reasons may be, proxies are commonly used by internet marketers, especially those who use tools for automating processes.
Location based testing: Many internet applications and mobile apps use proxies for testing purposes. Applications are used by people across the world. Theoretically, all applications should work at all places. But there are many practical bottlenecks that the developers can identify only by testing. The convenient way to do that is by using proxies from different locations across the world and fix bugs in the apps before they are launched.