Shared proxies offer a good and cost-effective option for the simultaneous use of multiple available IP addresses by many users for the purpose of using the Internet anonymously, bypassing web filters, gaining access to certain content that is otherwise blocked due to their location, saving costs, etc.
Also, shared proxies can provide useful services such as encryption, security, and speed, which are essential for certain tasks.
Shared proxies are also called semi-dedicated proxies. Semi-dedicated proxies are shared proxies with a limited number of users per IP address. Since fewer users share an IP address, these proxies are faster and more powerful than free public proxies.
Dedicated or private proxies, on the other hand, share an IP address with only one user at a time, making them even more secure and powerful.
Advantages of using shared proxies
- Reasonable price
- Just as reliable as private proxies. (At least for us. This means that if a customer buys any package, no matter if there are 50,000 shared proxies, all of them will be fully available and functional).
- Possibility to integrate web scraping tools for data extraction
- Bots can be used to automate data extraction
- A high degree of anonymity, because many users use the same IP address
- Integration of additional functions to increase efficiency for specific applications
Disadvantages of using shared proxies
- Bandwidth is shared between users, resulting in slower transmission as compared to private proxies
- Higher probability of running into a captcha
- Shared proxy IPs are generally more likely to be blocked at the target website than private proxies.
- Greater susceptibility to errors and security problems due to the neighbor effect.
- -Number of concurrent connections is lower as compared to private proxies. The proxy provider can adjust this number according to the current situation. In case of complaints from owners of third-party services, the number of concurrent connections allowed can be reduced to zero.
For example: a complaint comes from the owner of a website to the proxy provider about hacking attempts from IP addresses belonging to this provider. In this case, the proxy provider will either drastically reduce the number of concurrent connections or completely block access to this website through their shared proxy IPs.
The following proxy types have a multi-user proxy sharing model:
- Free or Public proxies
All free or public proxies are shared (shared proxies), so much so that the actual number of users is in the thousands. The same proxies are published on different resources. Sometimes the same proxy server can appear several times in the same list. That is, the same IP, but simultaneously reachable on different ports, for example x.x.x.x.x:3128 and x.x.x.x.x.x:1081. This means that a user of Zennoposter, Scrapebox, or GSA alone creates a double load for this proxy. And there can be hundreds or even thousands of such users. Because of this excessive load, these servers become overloaded by incoming traffic and go offline.
- Data center hosted proxies
Generally, proxy providers tend to specify a certain number of users, e.g. 3 or 5, but we do not recommend that users use this number as a criterion for selecting a particular provider. This is simply because the provider can write down any number, even 2, but the user cannot verify this number. Therefore we recommend the following procedure:
Ask different providers for a test of a proxy package and check the bandwidth of the channel, for example on YouTube or torrent. Providers usually allow you to test shared proxies for a few hours up to a day without any problems. It is also recommended to test the performance of resources on which the proxy will be used. This type of proxy should be discarded immediately, if the user intends to access Google services. In such cases, shared mobile proxies are more appropriate.
- Residential Proxys
All residential proxies are shared de facto, except in individual cases where the proxy provider explicitly states on the website that they have a separate, private proxy pool. The number of IPs in the pool, which the provider states on their website (e.g. 20 million IPs) are equal to the total number of IPs they actually have in a month. Every day the pool is updated by about 20-30%. This means that ideally, this residential proxy provider has 800,000 to 1 million IPs per day. If the customer only needs German IPs, then this means 50-100 thousand IPs at best. And all these IPs are used simultaneously by several hundred or even thousand users of this proxy service. Therefore, the probability that proxies will not work on a target website is quite high. The actual numbers depend on the current situation on a given day, as well as on the specific provider, how many users they have, and which country the customer is interested in. While proxies from e.g. Botswana are not very popular, proxies from the USA, UK, and Germany are always very high on the wish lists.
- Mobile Proxies
As we mentioned in the article “What are mobile proxies?”, mobile proxy providers offer their customers the option of splitting the cost of a proxy among several people. This is a very good opportunity to get very trusted proxies at a relatively low price. Thanks to GNAT technology, the probability of the user being blocked at the target website is rather low, even with shared mobile proxies.
Why is this so? A short overview of GNAT technology
A mobile network operator has a certain pool of IPv4 addresses. In the case of Moscow, for example, there are about 14,000 addresses (the numbers are relatively similar for larger cities). Here the operator has at least 5 million subscribers, i.e. about 1250 people per IP address with an even distribution at a given time (in reality, the number of users of an address is much higher).
This technology is called GNAT. By exploiting its shortcomings and the lack of IPv4 addresses, mobile proxies make it possible to hide bots in the mass of normal smartphone users and significantly reduce the risk of blocking.