Understanding Different Proxy Types [Residential, ISP, Datacenter and Mobile]
Proxies are in high demand these days as privacy risks continue to increase.
Although the internet is prone to cyberattacks and privacy issues, it’s still an indispensable part of our everyday lives. In fact, many businesses depend entirely on it for their operations. And to counteract its negative sides, technologies like proxy servers are used to offer users the freedom and safety to explore the internet without fear.
A proxy server is an intermediary between a user requesting information and the targeted web page. The proxy types are four based on the IP address – residential, mobile, data center, and ISP proxies.
Individuals and businesses use proxies to protect their identity and browse the entire web stress-free. They may need proxies to conduct market research, competitor analysis, SEO, academic research, and more. And while doing all this, they can remain anonymous and access any content from any site.
In this article, we will discover proxy types based on the IP address and the top proxy providers.
Residential proxies are IP addresses issued by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Local Internet Registries (LIRs) such as network operators, universities, etc., instead of a data center. These look like real IPs of visitors requesting access using their computers from their residence.
Residential proxies are leased for commercial purposes, and some of them can have browser information, preferred location, and cookies of their own. They are of two types:
i) Static Residential Proxy: Static residential proxies are used to hide your actual IP address behind a single residential IP. It looks real to ensure anonymity, and you will stay connected to that IP only until you disconnect or switch it with another server. It’s useful, especially for social media requiring you to have the same IP address if logged in with the same profile. However, you won’t be able to access geo-restricted content from other countries or regions with this.
ii) Rotating Residential Proxy: A rotating residential proxy hides your actual IP address behind a pool of different IP addresses that keep on rotating or changing over time. These IP addresses belong to different subnets connected with an advanced global IP address network. Rotating proxies are used heavily for web scraping, price aggregation, etc.
How Do Residential Proxies Work?
Residential proxies route users’ internet traffic via an intermediary or proxy server. The proxy server allocates you an alternative IP address through which all the server requests you make are channeled.
So, when you search for something on the internet, the destination server will get the message through the residential proxy you have been assigned with. This way, your actual IP address is hidden behind another IP belonging to a real computer or device. It also enables the sites you visit to perceive you as a regular user.
Based on your chosen service provider, residential proxies can help you access content from different cities and countries and provide security like HTTPS encryption.
Benefits of Residential Proxies
- You can access any website from anywhere and leverage the information you have gathered for your business or academic research. It’s hardly possible even though the internet is free to all; some sites enable geo-restrictions or block if they find activities suspicious.
- Using the proxies will help you see your site from your users’ eyes and optimize it to make it more user-friendly and display target ads for better conversions.
- You can send many concurrent requests to accelerate your data collection process and enhance your marketing, content, and pricing strategy.
- It will help you detect security issues, close the loopholes, find violations to keep your information and site safe, and protect your reputation.
Uses of Residential Proxies
Web scraping is gathering data from various sites like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., on the internet for specific purposes like competitor research, pricing strategy, etc. And if you try scrapping the internet all the time using your real IP, many sites will deem you suspicious and block your access. But by using a residential proxy, you can do that with ease with the impression that you are a regular visitor.
Keeping an eye on the market trends and competitor activities is crucial to ensure your business is always ahead. Using a proxy enables you to create an optimized marketing strategy according to your research and quality data. And marketers can utilize it to check the competitors’ content and ads and benchmark them against yours to assess where you are lacking and where to improve.
A good pricing strategy is essential to ensure that you are not overpricing your products and services. It’s because if you overprice, you will scare your visitors away, and if you underprice, they can doubt your deliverables’ quality. Using residential proxies lets you conduct a thorough price monitoring, analysis, comparison, and make an informed decision.
Academic research requires heavy internet exploration, and if you do it while using your real IP, you may get blocked. And the challenge here is that you need to be sure the information you have gained is accurate. To this, you can use residential proxies and explore the internet however you want.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to ensure your site and business are recognized well among your audience. So, using residential proxies lets you conduct an SEO analysis like keywords your competitors are targeting, traffic sources, and links. It will also help you modify your content to support different languages and assist you in link building with authority sites.
Staying active on social media and leveraging different platforms is hugely advantageous for your business. You can use the proxies to create accounts on various platforms and manage them effortlessly.
Protecting Your Brand
Using a residential proxy, you can view how your site looks like from other locations and countries. It will help you optimize your site based on user experience. Additionally, you can also detect any suspicious activity, violation of your intellectual properties, infringements, etc., to protect your brand’s reputation.
ISP proxies are proxies with both residential and data center attributes. They are supported by an ISP to assign an IP address to the user but are hosted on a data center’s servers. This enables ISP proxies to help users with multiple use cases like residential proxies and offer faster performance like datacenter proxies.
How Do ISP Proxies Work?
To work this out, companies offering ISP proxies partner with ISPs in various global locations to ensure users can access sites from across the globe. ISP proxies are also recognized as real IP addresses, so you can freely explore the web and scrape data.
Benefits of ISP Proxies
- ISP proxies look real as if they are from an ISP. So, the sites you visit recognize you as a regular user browsing with their own IP address. As a result, you can freely explore the web without the fear of getting blocked or restricted.
- As ISP proxies are hosted on a data center, you can enjoy high-speed performance while conducting your operations like web scrapping, research, etc.
- You can even buy private or exclusive IPs assigned to a particular domain only so that no one can use the same IP for a target site. It helps increase your success chances while reducing roadblocks.
- As ISP proxies have attributes of residential proxies, they have a wide range of use cases. You can use it for web crapping, price aggregation, academic research, social media management, and many more.
Uses of ISP Proxies
You can perform faster web scrapping with the help of ISP proxies to conduct market analysis, competitor research, and optimize your strategies. It will help your business achieve more reach, attract more visitors from targeted locations, and beat the competition.
Social Media Management
With ISP proxies, creating multiple accounts on social media platforms and managing them becomes easy, secure, and faster. It will help you analyze how your competitors utilize their social media and improve your strategies to better connect with your target audience. You can also create and manage various accounts on eCommerce platforms and classified sites.
If you are into investing, you can use ISP proxies to get reliable and accurate stock and market information to decide whether or not you want to invest. The data will also help you conduct background checks on the creditors and lenders to make an informed decision with total confidence.
Sneaker websites are regulated heavily, and sites like Nike quickly block suspicious users to protect their website, content, design, and other information from thefts. However, if you want to analyze data from sites like this (with good intentions), you can use ISP proxies and do it without fear. It will provide you with the needed speed and efficiency you require with the capability of going undetected to aggregate data from sneaker sites.
Datacenter proxies are the IP addresses owned by LIRs such as web hosting companies, universities, etc., and aren’t affiliated with any ISPs. These are known for their exceptional performance, speed, and cost-effectiveness. They are used chiefly for web scrapping on less regulated sites.
They are of different types:
- Private datacenter Proxies: Also called dedicated proxies, private datacenter proxies are IP addresses used in a given period or for a particular domain. These are extremely fast and can help businesses with web scraping, social media management, SEO, etc.
- Public datacenter Proxies: These are free proxies that are helpful for basic needs like changing locations to access a geo-restricted site. Its performance and security are inferior to shared and private datacenter proxies.
- Shared datacenter Proxies: These are shared by different people using them simultaneously. Small businesses with limited budgets or needs can use these proxies for web scrapping, SEO, accessing geo-restricted content, etc.
How Do Datacenter Proxies Work?
When requesting data from a site, your request goes through various touchpoints. First, it reaches a proxy server that processes the traffic and requests the site for data using a different IP address than your real IP. When the site verifies the request, it sends the data through your proxy server. This way, you get the requested data while staying completely anonymous.
Benefits of Datacenter Proxies
- Datacenter proxies offer incredible speed and uptime as they are maintained by companies like web hosts that use advanced technologies and speed optimizers for their servers in their data centers. As a result, all your operations will be faster.
- They also involve a certain cost but are moderate to carry out operations efficiently without investing a fortune. They are priced lower than residential or mobile proxies.
- You can use a static IP as long as you need it without rotating it to maintain source consistency. It will reduce the chances of getting flagged by sites and blocked.
- As the proxy providers have data centers located in various parts of the world, you can use it to view your site from different countries and assess its performance. You can also tweak your content a bit to support various languages.
Uses of Data Center Proxies
Datacenter proxies are used extensively for web scrapping to help you measure market trends and competitions and make better strategies for your business. It will also protect you from sites that supply misleading information after detecting suspicious activity.
Using a datacenter proxy will give you the complete freedom to access any content from any site from any country. It will help protect your identity or secure you from security troubles like hackers capturing your personal information and leveraging it for wrong intentions.
Accessing Geo-Restricted Content
If you cannot access a video or other content from your country but need it essentially, you can use a datacenter proxy to access it. It will unlock all the content you want to access, such as your favorite shows, sites banned in your country, etc.
Social Media and SEO
Datacenter proxies are also excellent for conducting SEO research of your competitors, such as keywords, ads, and content they use. You can compare and optimize yours based on the research and serve your audience well to garner more reach, views, leads, and conversions. You can also manage multiple accounts of various social media sites quickly with a datacenter proxy.
Mobile proxies are IP addresses with real network connections (like 4G or 3G) assigned to users by mobile carriers. These are available on portable devices like smartphones or tablets with an internet connection through mobile data. Connecting to mobile proxies helps you hide your IP address and mast it with a mobile proxy.
How Do Mobile Proxies Work?
A mobile proxy network consists of real-world 4G and 3G connections. They are allocated to portable gadgets by mobile operators to be used by genuine individuals. As these networks are everywhere – in every city, state, or country – they are authentic, highly effective, and undetectable.
Benefits of Mobile Proxies
- As mobile proxies look genuine, sites won’t be able to detect you easily. It will open the entire internet for you to access and leverage it to benefit your business.
- You can access content and sites with incredible speed to accelerate your process and always stay ahead of your business with accurate data.
- You can use a masked IP from the convenience of your mobile gadget like a smartphone and access the web from your fingertips. It will enhance your user experience.
Uses of Mobile Proxies
Managing Social Media
Mobile proxies are great for managing multiple accounts on social media platforms. It will enable you to have different IP addresses that you can use to access multiple accounts. It’s an excellent tool for social media managers for handling various client profiles.
Ad Verification and QA
You can use mobile IPs to verify cellular advertisement and mobile application user experience along with application quality assurance.
Mobile proxies are great for crowdsourcing, accessing GPS-sensitive data, tracking direct billing, app promotions, and more.
Residential vs. ISP vs. Datacenter vs. Mobile Proxies
- Residential proxies are offered by a real ISP and offer genuineness, greater flexibility, and multiple use cases.
- ISP proxies are offered by ISP but are hosted on a data center. They are also authentic, serving various use cases with incredibly faster performance.
- Datacenter proxies are hosted and owned by LIRs like web hosts and universities and are great for businesses to conduct market research and scholars for academic research.
- Mobile proxies are offered by mobile operators and are highly genuine, performing, and costliest of them all and are suitable for businesses with various needs.
Now, let’s quickly look at some of the provides for residential, ISP, data center, and mobile proxies.
Bright Data offers the most advanced residential proxies with the largest and fastest real-peer IP network worldwide. You get limitless rotation, an extensive and responsive interface, 72+ million IPs across the globe, and 99.99% network uptime. The service is available in multiple cities, countries, ASNs, and carriers.
Bright Data lets you scale up or down easily, send unlimited requests, integrate with tools, and set custom rules for better results. Its subscription starts from $300/month.
Oxylabs offers next-generation residential proxies with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. It includes an auto-retry system to achieve complete success and an enterprise-grade solution to ease your target complexities.
Oxylabs gathers quality structured data from eCommerce websites and offers built-in IP block management, human-like browsing, and zero captchas for effective web scraping. You can integrate it through standard proxy protocols with easy switching tech compatible with your current infrastructure.
Its price starts from $360/month with 20GB of traffic.
NetNut provides static IP proxies that are highly reliable and fast with 100% anonymity. It offers one-hop ISP connectivity to bring faster results, guarantees 100% network uptime and 24/7 IP availability, and dedicated private proxy pools with the highest success rates at maximum speed.
NetNut provides a simple API that helps you get usage statistics and dashboard access. You will get speed, quality, stability, and support with unlimited concurrent sessions.
Get it at $350/month with 20GB, IP allow listing, chrome extension, email support, and a 7-day FREE trial.
Get high-speed, anonymous, and premium datacenter proxies that support HTTPS and SOCKS5 using IPRoyal that comes with 10 Gbps unmetered bandwidth and threads. IPRoyal keeps your personal information safe and offers high-level security to browse the internet anywhere.
As IPRoyal allocates proxy to a single user, you will never face bandwidth overload, and thus, browsing speed is high. Choose from various locations, such as the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Netherland, Italy, France, and more.
Its IPv4 proxy plan starts from $7.5/month for 5 proxies, and the IPv6 proxy plan starts from $4/month for 10 proxies.
Dedicated Datacenter Proxy
Smartproxy’s dedicated datacenter proxies offer exceptional freedom and speed. It lets you control your browsing history, trust, health, and IP acceptability. You get unlimited threads, US IP addresses, easy proxy management, unlimited GBs, IP randomization option, and 99.99% uptime.
It’s great for SEO analysis, warming up for sneaker drops, scraping eCommerce and travel deals, accounts management, etc. Use the proxies in almost any device with HTTP/HTTPS support.
Its price starts from $39/month for 25 IPs, 5 proxy users, and unlimited traffic.
Limeproxies offers the largest and fastest mobile proxy services, targeting ASNs and carriers, and provides 2+ million IPs globally. It can fit your web scraping needs with its stable residential IP pool. Add some parameters to the username and filter residential IPs by city, ASN, country, etc.
Limeproxies gives you access to a 4G device using cellular towers to connect. Switch to a new IP automatically, access the whole cellular ASN, and get dedicated IPs, simultaneous usage of up to 25 IPs, complete anonymity, 300+ subnets, multiple locations, and high performance.
Its pricing starts from $70/month for 300 ports and 2GB.
Bright Data provides the largest and fastest real-peer 3G/4G IPs. You can use them on concurrent connections in any city with the highest resolutions. It’s helpful for businesses around ad tech, stock exchange, e-commerce, etc.
Bright data is fully patented and compliant and guarantees 99.99% network uptime. It offers 7 +million IPs worldwide and targets carriers and ASNs.
It’s priced at $300/month.
A proxy IP address helps you mask your real IP address to protect your identity and conduct various business operations like conducting market research, competitor analysis, academic research, and more. I hope the above information helps you determine the most suitable proxy type and choose a proxy provider accordingly.
You may also be interested in the best proxy servers.