Did you know that Shaw has proxy servers that it makes available to its customers to use? That surprised me.
I refuse to use proxy servers. For one, they break the Internet. To use a proxy server, you configure your web browser to direct all traffic to the proxy. So when you go to a website, that request is sent to the proxy server. The proxy server connects to the desired site and pretends to be you. It then sends the information back to your computer and your browser displays the results. This extra step in the middle is not a normal activity, and can cause many internet services to not function as they should. For those sites to work, the proxy is configured to go into bypass mode when one of those sites is visited, effectively bypassing any value the proxy might add. Instead of impersonating the connection for you, it just logs it.
Proxy servers are a legitimate implementation of a man-in-the-middle attack. Since all communications are handled by the proxy, it is a very effective means for the proxy administrator to log all your data, and if they are malicious enough, to impersonate you online. Because you already authorized the proxy server to impersonate you online.
Another reason to use a proxy server that people cite, is that it anonymises you behind a common IP address. I'll illustrate why that is a bad idea:
You are a hard working Canadian.
However in that crowd can be this guy
Now perhaps you, the hardworking Canadian, downloaded the HBO series Game of Thrones. Which is actually illegal. So the record of that download is now included in the logs on that proxy server you are using to hide yourself on the Internet.
Which means that when the bank robber
Proxy servers are not for me. I'll take my chances on the internet by myself thanks.