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So-called data center proxies, i.e. proxies hosted in data centers, are the most common proxy type in 2023.
Where do proxy services get such proxies?
Proxy services that sell access to proxies hosted in data centers are usually IT companies (usually hosting companies) that can buy or rent large blocks of IP addresses (IP subnets) from various LIRs (Local internet Registry, i.e. official registrar organizations) and have many powerful servers in data centers around the world.
A proxy provider buys a subnet 184.108.40.206 – 220.127.116.11 (a fictional example, just for clarification) from an American registrar. He then rents servers in data centers in Dallas and New York and installs proxy software on them.
He does the same with the subnet 18.104.22.168 – 22.214.171.124 by buying or renting it from a German registrar and installing proxy software in data centers in Frankfurt and Berlin.
This process is repeated in Russia, Singapore, Brazil, etc. Large proxy services can have hundreds of such subnets.
What is the purpose of this?
A proxy service offers its customers access to these proxy servers against payment. The goal of the customers in turn is to change/replace/hide their real IP addresses.
The procedure is as follows: The customer buys access to the service, receives a list of the IP addresses available to him and uses them by entering them into his browser settings, bot, etc.
Why are data center proxies so popular?
- The IPs of such proxies do not change (permanent IPs), i.e. as long as the customer pays the rent for the IPs, he can be sure that his IP will not suddenly change.
- High data transfer rate and high availability (uptime), as well as a wide channel and constant network monitoring by data center staff and the proxy team. Malfunctions and short shutdowns of these proxies do occur, but are more of an exception. Usually they are caused by very rare software updates or short maintenance interruptions (thermocouple replacement, hard disk failure, etc.).
- No traffic restrictions. The price and amount of IPs that the buyer sees before making a purchase does not change. This means he knows how many proxies he will get and can be sure that he does not have to calculate in advance how much traffic will be routed through these proxies. The functionality of the proxies purchased will not be affected if any traffic limits are exceeded.
Data center proxies are ideal for long-term marketing campaigns, such as an increased presence of start-ups in social networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). When someone creates a completely new account on a social network and the subscriber base is gradually expanding, it is very important that the account is managed from the same IP address. This increases the trust of the social network and reduces the probability that anti-spam mechanisms are used and the account is blocked.
What are the disadvantages of data center proxies?
The disadvantage of data center proxies is their IP addresses. If you run a WHOIS check on such an IP, you will notice that it is registered to an IT company (e.g. web hosting) and not to a private or mobile internet provider.
In some cases this criterion can be used as a filter and this proxy will not work on certain pages. An example is the block of data center proxies on Nike’s and Adidas’ websites for sales of limited sneakers.
Services that provide access to this type of proxy have full control over the hardware and software part of the proxy and regularly “renew” their IP sub-networks, gradually taking them out of service and replacing them with new ones.