10 Best Residential Proxies Services and Providers of 2021
Protecting yourself, your computer, and your personal data online is a concern for many people in present-day society. Lies amidst the hackers on one hand and tight policing on the other, common people are at the receiving end of everything.
As such, the next logical step for anyone is to start investing in an internet security system – and a residential proxy is one of the safest and the most dependable options available.
But why a residential proxy? Well, a proxy network helps to mask IP addresses and ensures you are safe online. Simply put, a residential proxy routes your connection via a different IP address thereby hiding your original IP address as well as your true identity.
What this means is that whenever you are not using a proxy, you show your real IP address and all the information with it. As such, cybercriminals can easily leverage your IP address to establish a connection with your system.
So, if you are looking for the best residential proxy provider, then look no further. We have compiled a list of top residential proxy providers that will meet your needs and surpass your expectations.
Top 10 Residential Proxy Providers
- Bright Data (formerly Luminati) – Best residential proxy provider with limitless features
- Shifter (formerly Microleaves) – Best residential proxy provider with no bandwidth restriction
- Smartproxy – Best budget residential proxy provider
- Oxylabs – Most Advanced Residential Proxy Network for business use
- Geonode – Best residential proxies for personal use
- PrivateProxy(.me) – A safe and secure proxy network with a vast proxies pool
- SOAX – Best proxies service with detailed geo-targeting options
- Infatica – Best provider for peer-to-peer residential proxies for businesses
- NetNut – Best for residential & ISP proxies
- Storm Proxies – Cheapest residential proxy provider
Remember – We took a number of key factors into consideration when compiling this list, including price, performance, reliability, customer service, and more. Even though this is a ranked list, any of these 10 companies is an excellent choice so don’t hesitate to check out our picks because all of them offer good value for your money.
1. Bright Data
Bright Data is a leading, premium residential proxy service provider that was founded in 2014 with the intention of providing organizations and businesses with technological solutions that allow them to see the internet with complete transparency.
Up until recently, the Israeli-based company went by the name Luminati Networks. However, due to the controversy, and negative connotations surrounding the name, the company decided to rebrand to Bright Data.
Largest Real-Peer IP Network
Bright Data offers many different kinds of proxy networks. You can choose from rotating and static residential proxies to dedicated and shared datacenter IPs to mobile proxy networks. The provider also offers two highly effective proxy-based tools. They include the Search Engine Crawler and the Data Unblocker.
However, residential proxies are this provider’s forte. As such, the company boasts a huge proxy pool of more than 72 million rotating residential IPs across the globe, making Bright Data one of the largest proxy networks in the world after Oxylabs. This list of different places in the world gives customers a better chance to choose where they want their proxies.
Fast and Stable Residential Proxies
What’s more, the company has a network of servers that not only provide you with fast loading speeds but deliver the best possible browsing experience. They also have one of the most solid customer support teams that you can reach via live chat and ticketing. You can also get an account manager.
While Bright Data offers most of the features that you’ll ever need from a proxy provider including the ability to customize proxy usage, it’s frustrating to know that the prices of the proxies it offers are high and not within reach for every individual. These proxy IPs may be better suited to corporate use, especially residential ones which can only be purchased by companies.
- 72,000,000+ IPs Around the world
- Proxy types: residential (rotating and static), datacenter (shared, dedicated), and mobile
- HTTP(S), SOCK5 proxy protocols
- 99% Network uptime
- Limitless rotation
- Unlimited concurrent requests
- Up to 500 sub-users
- Several payment options including credit card, wire transfer, and PayPal
Bright Data’s pricing starts at $500 monthly ($12.50/GB) for the cheapest rotating residential proxy plan. There is also a 7-day trial period and a 3-day refund guarantee.
- Strong and stable connections (99.99% network uptime)
- 24/7 professional support
- A large network of proxies
- Unlimited concurrent sessions
- Powerful proxy controls
- 7-day free trial
- Limited amount of bandwidth
- Expensive proxies
- Bright Data’s KYC (Know Your Client) procedure is a bit overwhelming
Shifter is an established residential proxy provider. Founded as reverseproxies.com in 2012 before rebranding to Microleaves, Shifter has grown into one of the most popular providers of this service. It features one of the largest proxy networks and adds its own unique features to set it apart from competitors.
One of the things that set Shifter backconnect proxies apart is that, while most residential proxy providers charge by the byte, Shifter utilizes unmetered connections. Meaning that regardless of how much bandwidth you use your internet will not be disconnected. This, coupled with its low-price tariff plans, has made them a popular choice.
Comparatively Wide Proxy Pool
Even though many residential proxy providers tend to overstate the performance of their proxies, Shifter has managed to obtain a pool of 31 million valid proxy addresses over the eight years it’s been in existence.
Their website claims that these IPs are scattered in every country and city in the world and they will never get you blocked thanks to their Peer-to-Peer network. This means that when using these proxies, pretty much every geo-restriction can be bypassed.
That said, Shifter backconnect proxies support both SOCK5 and HTTPS protocols. You can also choose the rotation time for your proxy ports. The minimum rotation time is 5 minutes and the maximum is 60 minutes.
- Over 31 Million IPs
- Instant scaling
- HTTP and SOCK5 capability
- Real Broadband, Digital Cable, DSL Residential IPs
- Pricing: Charged on the number of ports
- Authentication: User Pass + IP Auth
- Works with sneaker websites like Adidas and Nikes
In terms of pricing, Shifter does not charge per gigabyte and offers unlimited bandwidth. Instead, it charges based on the number of ports/gateways. This is because the more the getaways the more the load.
That said, the price for the most basic backconnect is priced at $249.99 per month and it offers 10 special backconnect proxies. Important to note is that this provider does not offer a trial period but has a 3-day moneyback guarantee.
- A large pool of IPs and locations
- Regular pool update
- Low-price tariff plans with unlimited bandwidth
- Regular session setup and control
- Proxies are powered by HTTPS and SOCK5 protocol
- Descent speed and scrapping performance
- Customer support is not the best
- Connection error rate is high
Smartproxy is a newcomer to the residential proxy market but it has already made a splash and is quickly catching up with the two big wigs: Oxylabs and Bright Data.
But what’s the main reason behind the massive success of this proxy provider? Well, unlike the big companies that have their sights on corporates, Smartproxy is laser-focused on small and medium businesses and individuals including regular small-time scrappers, Instagram hustlers, and sneakerheads.
An Impressive Proxy Pool
Notwithstanding, this proxy provider offers a carefully curated list of features and a quality line-up of proxies at an appealing price point. However, unlike the two top proxy providers that are a bit broad in their proxy offerings, Smartproxy’s main offering is the rotating residential proxies.
From the information provided on their website, Smartproxy claims to have a proxy pool of 40M+ rotating IPs from over 195 locations around the globe including 50 in the US alone. These IP addresses come from mobile and desktop devices of real users and use the IPv4 protocol to ensure security, privacy, and anonymity when scrapping the web.
Extremely Fast Residential Proxies
From our tests, we found the speed of their proxy network is double that of a normal SEO proxy on the market. Our results showed that the average response time to a server in the US was less than 3 seconds.
The provider also allows users to make unlimited concurrent requests provided the monthly bandwidth cap. Furthermore, the Smartproxy extension for Chrome and Firefox lets you choose a residential proxy network to browse the web. They also have a specialized tool for scrapping search engines called Search Engine Proxies that build upon the provider’s proxy network to fetch data with a high success rate.
- Proxies: Residential (rotating), Datacenter (shared), and Search Engine Proxies.
- 40M+ rotating IPs
- 195 locations worldwide
- Unlimited proxy connections
- Chrome and Firefox extensions
- Target audience: Small & Medium Businesses and Individuals
Smartproxy offers its residential proxy plans in three tiers that are based on bandwidth usage. The most basic residential proxy plan starts at $75 for 5GB per month and the price increases as bandwidth increases. Important to note is that this proxy provider does not offer a trial but instead a 3-day refund.
- Unlimited threads
- Affordable plans
- Fast and stable proxy network
- 24/7 customer service
- No subnets
- No SOCKS5 support
- Limited geo-targeting
Established in 2015, Oxylabs is a leading tech company that specializes in the supply of proxies. Although there are many shady proxy providers, this Lithuania- based proxy provider distinguishes itself from the others by operating within the purely, legitimate white area.
For one, everything about this proxy provider “screams” business. From its sleek and friendly website to a list of awards on the homepage, Oxylabs has a knack for earning customers’ trust and respect. Interestingly, the company also offers insurance with all its products.
Wide Range of Services
That said, Oxylabs offers a diverse selection of products that range from datacenter proxies to several types of residential proxies (both static and rotating) and a specialized real-time web crawler for large-scale data retrieval operations.
Its Residential Proxy network is large and stable and offers a pool of 100M+ IPs in 195 locations around the world. These geo-targeted proxies allow users to access geo-restricted content from select geo-locations without extra charge.
Uninterrupted Availability on Proxies
What’s more, the company has invested heavily in state-of-the-art infrastructure which allows 24/7 system monitoring and quick tracking of the network status to ensure that your web scrapping projects go uninterrupted.
But just like the best in life don’t come cheap, Oxylabs proxies don’t come cheap. For the Starter Plan, you’ll be looking to pay at least $300 monthly for 20GB traffic. Although the pricing is reasonable based on the features and quality of service offered by this provider, it’s way above the entry threshold for a regular small-time scrapper.
- 100 M+ rotating residential proxies
- HTTP & HTTPS protocols
- Country, city, and state-level targeting
- Unlimited concurrent sessions
- Proxy user management with Public API
- Average response time of 0.6s
- Easy integration with 3RD party apps
- IP Whitelisting
- Dedicated Account Managers (For business proxy subscriptions)
- All products are underwritten by Lloyd’s Technology Errors & Omissions (Technology E&O) and Cyber insurance
Pricing starts at a monthly price of $300/20GB ($15/GB) for residential proxies. The pricing, however, becomes more attractive as you scale up. The company also offers a 7-day free trial so you can test their services and a 3-day moneyback guarantee.
- Global locations
- Stable and reliable proxy locations
- High success rates
- 24/7 customer support
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Country and ASN filtering
- Limited SOCKS5 support
- Manual proxy configuration
- No separate mobile proxies
- High-priced plans
Geonode is undoubtedly one of the most affordable and comprehensive residential proxy providers that’s currently available.
Unlike most of its peers that offer a mix of proxies, this Singapore-based proxy provider strictly offers rotating residential proxies to help you bypass geo-restrictions, as well as ensure security and anonymity when scrapping the internet.
Exclusive Rotating Residential Proxies Pool
What is most interesting about Geonode is that it has a massive pool of residential proxies of 2M+ IPs that it claims are sourced from real devices from over 140 locations. These IPs can also be traced to an actual geo-location. This means that you can safely scrape the web without fear of being banned.
That said, it would interest you to know that Geonode does not charge for bandwidth. As such, you can comfortably scrap the web without fear of being disconnected. Something else to note is that the provider offers support for HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCK protocols.
- Proxy types: Rotating Residential Proxies
- Proxy pool: 2M+ residential IPs
- No data caps
- Proxy protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS4, SOCKS4A, and SOCKS5
- Continuous proxy rotation
- Sticky ports
- Code generator for API
Geonode offers a variety of price plans to suit your needs. Their lowest monthly plan is $77 and it gives you 50 threads while their highest package costs only $8,000 and it gives you 20,000 threads. They also offer an extremely accommodating free trial period that allows you to try the service risk-free for 7 days at just $1. There is also a 7-day moneyback guarantee.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Low-priced plans
- Impressive speeds
- No data logs
- Filter IPs by country, city or ASN
- Low failure rate
- Slow customer support
Owned and operated by Aqua Networks Limited, a London-based IT company that specializes in cloud solutions, PrivateProxy.me is undoubtedly one of the best subscription-based proxy service providers in the market. The company was founded in 2010—averaging over 10 years of experience—and has served thousands of customers globally.
While most people mistake PrivateProxy.me to be a VPN service, that’s not exactly the case. As the name suggests, PrivateProxy.me specializes in offering private (dedicated) proxies from its own proxy server collection, which are more secure than P2P (Peer-to-Peer) proxies.
This incredible selection of rotating private proxies have flexible intervals to ensure that the private proxies have new IPs on each new request. According to the information available on this provider’s website, the IP addresses you receive come from real user devices and haven’t been previously resold by other providers.
Lack of Advanced Security Protocols
Unlike the big players in the industry such as Oxylabs and Bright Data, you shouldn’t expect so much diversity when it comes to encryption and security features with PrivateProxy.me. However, PrivateProxy.me, like any reliable proxy service, encrypts data that transfers through your browser with SSL encryption. Regrettably, the provider does not offer support for SOCK5 protocols.
That said, the company says it operates one of the cleanest private proxy pool that’s distributed in over 195 locations around the world. However, PrivateProxy.me does not state the exact number of IP addresses in its pool.
- Proxy types: Residential, Datacenter
- Scrape data from 195 locations
- Instant proxy switch
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Additional gateway ports allowed
- Unlimited bandwidth
Privateproxy.me offers six backconnect proxy packages, each tailored to different needs at an affordable price. The Beginner package has the lowest monthly price and goes for $150 and you can only make 200K requests. The prices rise as your number of requests increases.
On the brighter side, Privateproxy.me offers a 7-day trial period. There is also a 7-day moneyback guarantee if you feel the service does not meet your needs.
- Great value for money
- Helpful 24/7 customer support
- Unlimited proxies from all high demand locations
- Instant delivery of proxies
- Proxy activation by username-password and IP authentication
- No SOCKS5 support
- You have to enter your billing information to use the trial
Established in 2019, SOAX is a newcomer in the proxy service provider space. This UK-based, company offers mobile proxies and residential backconnect proxies targeted at people who want to extract SERP data, monitor prices, and scrape online resources for relevant data.
The company provides a middle-ground alternative between the feature-rich proxy providers – think Oxylabs – and the “penny-pinching” services with limited features. In other words, SOAX’s services and pricing plans are targeted towards medium and small enterprises as well as small-time data scrappers.
More Than Just Residential Proxies
SOAX has undoubtedly amassed a massive pool of residential and mobile proxies since its inception. According to the information available on their website, the company has a pool of over 5M residential proxies and over 3.5M mobile proxies that it claims are provided by real internet service providers from around the world.
But as with all P2P proxies, there is a fluctuation in the IPs based on the number of devices online during that period. The residential proxies have forced or organic rotational IPs that are rotated by default to reduce downtime. This means if your previous proxy goes offline, you are automatically transferred to other IPs.
Important to note is that you can specify a custom proxy rotation time when you create your account. Also, SOAX proxies have set limits especially when it comes to ports. However, the company advertises them as unlimited. For example, the “Micro Wi-Fi” plan, which is the most basic plan offers 300 ports but you are allowed to go beyond 30 concurrent connections on each.
- Proxy types: Rotating Residential IPs and Mobile Proxies
- A huge pool size of 8.5M+ active IPs
- Excellent geo-targeting: City and ISP level geo-targeting
- Unlimited concurrent sessions
- Sufficient documentation and support
- Support FOR HTTP(S) and SOCKS5 protocols
- User: pass and whitelisted IP authentication
SOAX’s residential proxy plans start at $75 and offer 300 ports and 5 GB of data ($15/GB). The company also offers a 3-day trial with 100MB of data at $1.99.
- Excellent scrapping performance
- Low priced monthly plans
- Stable proxy servers
- Precise geo-targeting
- Responsive customer support
- They monitor you via their KYC (Know Your Customer) department
- No extensions or app integration
Established in early 2019, Infatica is one of the fastest-growing proxy providers in the market with a global proxy network. Headquartered in Singapore, Infatica is a legitimate service that discourages illegal activities and strongly advises against using proxies for such purposes.
As such, the provider strictly markets the usual white-label tasks such as ad verification, business intelligence, business intelligence, social media automation, and web scraping. That said, Infatica retails two types of proxies that you can use for several use cases. Namely, residential rotating backconnect proxies and datacenter proxies.
Limitless Proxy Services
As a new provider, Infatica, surprisingly commands a huge network of over 10 million P2P rotating residential IPs that come from over 100 different locations, with top locations being in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. One amazing thing about these proxies is that they support all the popular protocols including HTTPS and SOCK5.
And like most residential IPs, Infatica’s residential proxies rotate after every hour (60 minutes) – which is undoubtedly longer than normal. There is also no option for custom rotation. Instead, the provider recommends keeping the IPs for at least 10 minutes prior to rotation.
Another important thing you need to know is that this proxy provider doesn’t limit the number of concurrent threads you can run on its proxies. The only limitation you are likely to encounter is that one of traffic which is not uncommon with residential proxies.
- Proxy types: Residential Proxies, Datacenter Proxies
- Authentication: Whitelisted IPs
- 24/7 customer support
- Automatic IP rotation
- Reporting/ Analytics
- HTTPS and SOCK5 protocols support
As a rotating backconnect proxy provider, Infatica provides residential proxies for your business use cases. These proxies are categorized based on bandwidth. That said, Infatica pricing plans start with $360/month, which gets you 40 GB ($9/GB). As you go up in price, the cost per GB decreases. To boost your confidence in their services, Infatica offers a free trial (on request) so you can take them for a spin.
- Impressive pool size
- Quick response time
- Good scrapping performance
- Genuine residential proxies
- SOCKS5 support
- Inflexible rotation settings
- Limited geo-targeting
NetNut is yet another new entrant into the proxy market. Established in 2017, the Israeli-based company is one of the fastest-growing residential proxy networks in the industry and for a good course.
For one, NetNut has a unique way of offering its residential proxies to its clients, which has largely to do with how it sources its IPs. Well, unlike most residential proxy providers, NetNut doesn’t rely on P2P (Peer-To-Peer) networks to obtain their IPs.
Instead, the company sources its 20M+ residential IPs directly from ISPs which explains the speed and stealth of their proxies. To do this, NetNut relies on the services of another company by the name DiviNetworks. The company shares bandwidth between its networked ISPs globally which allows NetNut to obtain these IPs.
Unlimited Proxy Availabilty
But that’s not all. NetNut also deploys a dynamic P2P on top of the ISP proxy network for increased scalability. At the same time, these IPs are continuously active at any given time of day. This is a huge advantage compared to other providers who rely on P2P proxies whose availability varies.
Another interesting thing about NetNut is that there is no limit to the number of concurrent requests you can make. In fact, the provider recommends making as many requests as possible for better results.
But NetNut is not without its shortcomings. Well, unlike some of its peers, it doesn’t offer support for SOCKS5 protocol. Also, its list of supported geo-locations is not as extensive as you might expect and it only targets cities and states in the US.
- Proxy Types: Residential Proxies, Datacenter Proxies
- HTTP & HTTPS protocols supported
- 20M+ residential proxies
- IP whitelisting
- 24/7 IP availability
- Hybrid P2P proxy network
- Chrome extension and API for stats
NetNut offers two types of rotating residential proxy plans. Namely: Bandwidth based and request based. The bandwidth-based plan is available in 6 tiers each having a specific amount of gigabytes assigned to it. That said, the cheapest plan ($300/month) comes with 20 GB of data for $15.00 per GB over that allotted amount. As you move higher up the scale, you’ll get more bandwidth and extra features.
- IPs obtained Directly from ISPs
- Good performance
- Virtually zero fail rate
- Instant scaling
- Simple integration
- No limit on concurrent connections
- Not cheap at all
- Lacks granular targeting
- Not friendly for beginners
10. Storm Proxies
Founded in 2016 by a group of SEO experts, Smart Proxies is one of the key players in the residential IPs market. While the company doesn’t have much to offer compared to the likes of Bright Data and Luminati – something it’s well aware of – it’s refreshing to see that it doesn’t hide its shortcomings behind a fancy marketing copy.
That said, Storm Proxies retails three kinds of proxies, most notably dedicated proxies, rotating backconnect proxies, and social sites proxies. Each type of proxies has multiple plans that are affordably priced.
However, one thing that is unique among Storm Proxies plans is that they all come with unlimited bandwidth. So instead of the company limiting data transfers, they limit other features in your account.
Limited EU and US Geotargeting
All this notwithstanding, all Storm Proxies packages have access to a proxy pool of over 70K+ rotational residential IPs that are sourced from real user devices around the world. These should come in handy for small-time data scrappers on a budget who need a simple proxy service.
Unfortunately, Storm Proxies backconnect rotating proxies have few location options that include USA IPs and EU IPs. This means that you’ll have limited access to location-sensitive activities. What’s more, the provider does not offer support for the SOCKS5 protocol.
- Proxy types: Rotating Backconnect Proxies, Dedicated Proxies, Social Sites Proxies
- Protocols: HTTP & HTTPS
- 70,000 rotating residential IPs pool
- Locations: US, EU, global mix
- Automatic and instant delivery
- IP authentication
Storm Proxies is undoubtedly one of the cheapest residential proxy providers in the industry. Its residential proxy plans are priced based on the number of ports. These plans start at $50 per month, which gets you 5 ports. The most advanced plan is billed at $300 per month and it gets you 50 ports. That said, Storm Proxies doesn’t include a free trial in any of their plans but they do have a 24-hour moneyback guarantee.
- Unlimited bandwidth with all plans
- Cheap plans
- Easy to use dashboard
- Ability to specify custom rotation
- Acceptable speeds
- Specialized plans
- No support for SOCKS5 protocol
- No geo-targeting
- A small proxy pool compared to its peers
Residential Proxies Use Cases
There are many popular uses for residential proxies, but these are the most common ones that will make understanding this service easier.
Today, companies need to do more than just have great products. They must also know what their competitors are doing and keep up with the ever-changing demands of consumers if they want to succeed in business.
As such, they need to collect data. And in this case, collect the most accurate data critical to the growth of their business. Data extraction can involve a number of activities such as collecting data from websites and public records to scan for legal knowledge or scrapping social media sites like Facebook to find people’s information.
And since nobody likes when people are watching their every move, especially on the internet, website owners have to protect resources from data gathering. Similarly, data scrapping specialists need to cover up their activities in order to avoid detection and residential proxies are great for this job.
You’re a smart advertiser. You know that your ads are only going to be as good as the research you do and it’s worth taking every precaution necessary. Sometimes, this means proactively using residential proxies to test your ads in several locations.
Residential proxies let you bypass geo-restrictions and IP blocks, as well as detect fraud and irrelevant ads without disclosing any information about yourself to advertisers or other parties. This can help you outwit any competitor who is trying to smear your brand’s reputation.
The retail industry is a cutthroat game of chess. And everyone is in it to win. So, in order to stay ahead of the game, eCommerce websites, travel sites, and retailers must price their products relative to competitors’ prices. This means that the ability to access the competition’s pricing information is paramount.
Unfortunately, the owners of these businesses are aware that their competitor’s intention is to track and monitor their pages. To protect themselves, they place restrictions or continuously feed their competition with false information about product pricing.
To overcome this challenge, residential proxies are the perfect way to bypass e-commerce store restrictions on data gathering. Residing off of their own networks, these clever pieces of technology make it possible to access all the websites and pages needed in order to generate accurate pricing information and deliver an unparalleled customer experience.
Understanding how you rank and where your content appears can make or break your marketing strategy. As such, SEO specialists are always on the lookout for innovative ways to rank their websites higher. One of them is using a proxy server, which allows specialists to control the ranks of websites from different locations and verify targeted ads. It also provides a sneak peek at what their competitors are up to, so they can stay ahead.
Most websites are made to show you content based on where you are. The content, ads, and data from 3rd parties may change if you are in a different country or state. As such, you need a perfect testing environment that emulates a real user in that location. To make a good test, you need to use the right software and the right device and make sure the IP is in the right place. You can get this by using a proxy network service.
What Are The Differences Between A Cheap Proxy And A Premium Proxy?
In general, it’s true that cheaper proxies tend to be inferior to their more expensive counterparts. And while you may save money at first by purchasing an inexpensive proxy service, in the end, your decision could cost you much more.
For one, cheap proxies tend to have limitations when it comes to features and benefits. For example, if the company doesn’t allow specifying a country then it might be that they don’t have as many locations available to choose from either or even offer targeting options at all.
Another significant difference is the proxy pool size. As always, cheap proxies have fewer unique IPs in their pool which means the probability of getting banned is high since most of these IPs are abused. Comparatively, premium proxies have thousands of unique IPs in their pools which give you the confidence to scrap the web safely and anonymously.
Speed and reliability is another crucial factor. Premium proxies offer more speed, reliability, privacy than other proxies because rather than sharing proxies with other users, you will have your own dedicated private resource that guarantees performance. Meaning you’ll enjoy fewer network restrictions and faster connections – translating to greater accessibility.
Why Use Residential Proxies Instead of Datacenter IPs?
To start with, residential proxies are like the “ninja” of IP addresses. They provide you with a safe place to hide your identity and surf the web anonymously. And since they are provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), they give the impression of a regular household internet activity.
Datacenter IPs on the other hand are by no means affiliated with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They are more like shields – seeking to protect the user and anyone trying to look up the user’s IP. So, instead of giving away your IP, it will give away the datacenter proxy provider’s details.
So, why use residential proxies instead of datacenter IPs? Here are three good reasons.
- If you need to unlock content from another geo-location.
- If you are seeking complete anonymity.
- If your target’s protection tactics are strong such as sneaker websites and websites that experience bot traffic.
As you can see, there are many residential proxy providers on the market, all of which provide different features and benefits. Some might suit your needs and others won’t.
That said, the choice of your preferred proxy service provider is a question of your time and budget. In most times, residential proxies are priced higher than their alternatives. Interestingly, they have limitless use cases, which means you might be better off choosing an alternative to optimize your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are residential proxies?
Residential proxies come from an ISP and are set up for a specific device (i.e. mobile phone, tablet, or PC). They are the legitimate IP address assigned to a physical location. Unlike datacenter IPs, residential proxies have low block levels and high anonymity levels, which is an added benefit.
What is a residential IP?
Residential IPs are private IP addresses sourced from a real ISP such as AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Sparklight, and more. These IPs are seen as IPs that would be used at home ‘by real homeowners and are thus tied to a real device such as a home computer, mobile phone or other devices.
How do residential proxies work?
With each new request made to a website whether it is from one of the many popular sites like Pinterest, YouTube videos you watch, or just searching for something on Google – all these requests are being sent directly to that site along with your IP address which provides details about where in the world you’re at based off their geolocation data as well as your network.
Now, with a residential proxy, the requests you make are first sent through the server. At this point, the proxy server acts as an intermediary to make those requests for you from alternative residential IP addresses. As such, your IP address is cloaked, making it difficult for your actual location to be identified by anyone.
Why choose a residential proxy?
There are various reasons why people choose to hide their IPs. Whether it’s for web scraping, social media management, ad verification, or whatever the case may be, using a residential proxy network is the best way to access Geo-Blocked websites and Geo-Targeted content, hide your true identity from prying eyes, and allow you greater online anonymity.
One catch though is that you are limited with how many web pages you can search at a time because they come from the same IP. As a result, this type of server configuration can limit one’s browsing options and even get you kicked off the site for exceeding the allotted rate. With residential proxies, however, it’s easy to evade this menace thanks to the advanced rotation system that allows changing IP addresses.
How are datacenter IPs different from residential IPs?
Datacenter IPs come from the same network which means they will often have similar IDs. Due to the IPs belonging to one network and being assigned similar IDs, getting one address blocked will often mean that many others are as well.
Are residential proxies legal?
Residential proxies are both legal and necessary if you want to keep yourself safe online. However, they will be of no use if your goal is to hide criminal activity from detection by security legislators.
How much do residential proxies cost?
Plans vary from one proxy provider to the other. That said, the price can range from $5-$20 per gigabyte. However, the ultimate cost is dependent on the amount of bandwidth you buy and how long you are willing to commit to a particular plan.
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