A proxy acts as a middleman between your local network or computer and more extensive networks. There are numerous advantages to using a proxy for monitoring your online activities and enhancing your network and PC security.
If you want to make use of a proxy, you have the choice between datacenter proxies and residential proxies.
What is a Residential Proxy Server?
A residential proxy server acts as an intermediary, using an IP address provided by an ISP, instead of a data center. Every residential proxy IP address has a physical geographical location, which acts as a unique identifying number that websites use to determine your authenticity and the origin of your request.
While there are billions of requests for devices to connect to the internet every minute, IP addresses allow the website servers to pinpoint the location of the device requesting access.
Every time you open your browser and start surfing your favorite sites, your device sends information to the incoming server about your browser cookies and preferences. It attaches all of that data to your IP address.
A residential IP address ties to your laptop, mobile device, or desktop computer. Internet service providers own these IP addresses, registering them in public databases. As a result, the incoming website server can identify the device’s location, network, and internet provider.
Most websites will recognize a residential IP address as a real person, not a bot. Therefore, using a residential proxy is less likely to get your request declined by the incoming server because the site views the request as legitimate.
Residential rotating proxies experience physical hosting on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Therefore, your ping, speed, and bandwidth can vary, depending on your machine spec, connection speed, and the type of proxy you’re using.
What is Residential Rotating Proxies?
Regular residential proxies hide your true IP address behind another IP. However, if the site requests more data, then your IP might be invalid, closing your connection. Rotating residential proxies change your IP address every three to five minutes, or when the incoming server submits a new request.
Also known as “backconnect” proxies, rotating residential proxies conceal your IP behind a pool of rotating proxies.
The proxies switch automatically, and you don’t have to manage the process manually. As a result, you can make as many requests as you like, without the concern of the site flagging your IP for suspicious activity.
What are the Advantages of Residential Proxies?
In this section, we’ll look at why its beneficial to use a proxy when browsing, downloading, or streaming online.
The internet community views residential proxies as a legitimate means of protecting your identity online. It’s challenging to create a residential proxy, as each of the proxies requires tethering to a physical address. Therefore, you can expect to pay more for residential proxy services when compared to datacenter proxies.
With datacenter proxies, there’s a chance that your target website might identify the proxy as a threat or flag you for suspicious activity. However, a residential proxy does not have this issue. Sites view residential proxies as a real user that’s looking to cloak their identity online, and that’s not an issue for most websites.
Challenging to Blacklist
Compared to datacenter proxies, rotating residential proxies have less chance of blacklisting by databases, search engines, and some internet security protocols. Unfortunately, hackers and other cybercriminals rely on datacenter proxies to cloak their malicious activities online.
Top search engines like Google, Bing, and Edge will blacklist any proxies that they think have links to suspicious or malicious activity. Websites and search engines view rotating residential proxies as a real person trying to access the internet, not a bot – as is the case with datacenter proxies.
Enhanced Online Security and Privacy
As we progress into the digital age, online privacy continues to be a central point of discussion that’s intensifying with each passing year. The fact is that hackers and cybercriminals exist, and they’re looking for any opportunity to penetrate your network and steal your data.
By using a proxy, you get to cloak your real IP address, concealing your true identity from cybercriminals out to harvest your data. Using a proxy prevents identity theft and fraud by ensuring that no-one can access your information while browsing, downloading, or streaming on the internet.
If you’re browsing the web “naked,” without any proxy protection, then you might have trouble trying to send multiple requests to a website. The website can detect your IP address, banning it from accessing the site, due to suspicious activity.
This problem is a pain in the neck for internet marketers and SEO specialists trying to build links or scrape data. However, with a rotating residential proxy, you get to circumvent these protective measures, allowing you to send as many requests as you like while conducting your activities online.
Access Geo-Blocked Content
Many websites only allow connections from local servers. Therefore, if you’re in the UK, and you’re trying to watch the US version of Netflix to check out the new season of Ozark, the Netflix server in the US will deny you access, asking you to use the local version of the service instead.
When you implement a residential proxy on your PC, laptop, or device, you can gain access to geo-blocked content without any hassles. The Netflix server will read your IP and verify you as a US resident, allowing you to access any movies or shows you want.
Thousands of websites geo-block their content. Using a residential proxy is the best way to circumvent these issues.
What are the Disadvantages of Residential Proxies?
While there are plenty of advantages to using residential proxies, there is some downside as well. Here are the top disadvantages of using rotating residential proxies.
When it comes to pricing, residential costs far more than datacenter proxies. You can pick up a datacenter proxy for as little as $0.02 per proxy.
In case of residential proxy services you will be charged according to amount of data, you have transferred using their proxies (in Gigabytes).
A residential proxy won’t have the same levels of stability as a datacenter proxy. There’s a chance that the proxy could malfunction halfway through your browsing session, leaving your real IP for the world to see.
Residential proxies don’t have the same hosting in datacenters. As a result, connecting with a residential proxy might slow down your browsing or download speeds significantly at times. It’s an unstable connection that might frustrate some people, especially when watching movies or TV shows. Residential proxies might also offer you variable ping times, as well as lower availability of the proxy.
Unknown Exit IP Address
Because residential proxies rotate through a list of proxies, changing them at will, it’s not possible to know your exit IP address. Not knowing the exit IP could be a problem for internet marketers and researchers.
What Kind of Tasks Suit Residential Proxies?
The use of proxies is growing. Many businesses and marketers rely on proxies to get what they want from other websites, without the site detecting the activity. Some of the most popular uses for residential proxies include the following.
- Price Comparison
- Ads Verification
- Account Management
- Data Collection
- Fraud Protection
- Brand Protection
- Application Performance Check
- Talent Sourcing
Let’s unpack some of the tasks where a residential proxy can help.
Digital marketers value SERP more than any other page on the internet. Launching an SEO campaign to get your site into the SERP is an extensive project. Marketers require the use of proxies to help them build links and make requests on websites when building the SERP presence of their website.
The internet is the world’s largest library of information. Marketers and businesses are continually collecting and scraping the web for data related to their marketing campaigns. They use scraping tools to collect data that are relevant to their campaign.
However, no website or search engine is going to allow a bot to make hundreds or thousands of requests. It’s more likely that the site or search engine will start adding captchas to your requests, leaving your scraping tool at a standstill.
A proxy can benefit your scraping activities. By switching IP addresses regularly, the site or search engine sees it as a valid, authentic request, allowing you to continue your activities undetected.
Most of us use ad-blocker apps or extensions when browsing online. However, if you remove the ad-blocker, you’ll find that Google changes the ads it displays to you, depending on your browsing history. Companies run different ad campaigns in different countries for the same products.
If you’re in the US, and you’re trying to understand what ads the UK audience enjoys, you have no way of looking at them, unless you use a proxy. By changing your IP address to a UK IP, you can check on which ads the UK online community is viewing and converting.
If you’re trying to scrape a competitor’s site for sales intelligence, then you’ll need a residential proxy. While datacenter proxies are more reliable, they are easier to detect. Therefore, if your target site detects your IP as a datacenter proxy or corporate user, they might ban your IP from the site.
However, recently, companies are choosing to use sneaky tactics to deter data scraping. In some cases, the website might detect your IP as a data center or corporate user, and then feed you false sales intelligence, ruining your marketing efforts.
Residential proxies are far more challenging for websites to detect, and you can go about your scraping activities undetected, without the concern of receiving falsified data.
Buying Sneakers and other Limited Products
If you’re a sneaker-head trying to get your hands on the latest releases from Footlocker, Nike, or Supreme, you’re going to run into trouble if you want to buy more than one pair of shoes on promotion.
These shoe websites are well aware that thousands of people want to cop the latest release. Some sneaker-heads will try to buy out an entire range to flip them to others for a profit. However, sneaker sites are well aware of this issue, and they limit your purchase to one pair.
If the site detects your IP trying to buy multiple pairs of shoes on the launch, they’ll ban your IP address. However, if you’re using a residential proxy, the site views all of your requests as legitimate individual purchases, allowing you to cop as many pairs as you want.
Bulk Accounts Registration
Internet marketers often run tasks where they register accounts in bulk on a website. However, the site will detect your IP trying to register multiple accounts and ban your IP address.
With a residential proxy, you can continually change between IP addresses, fooling the website into thinking that each of your requests is from a separate individual user with a unique IP.
If you’re making use of traffic bots in your marketing campaigns, you need the proxy to cloak your real IP. Traffic bots monitor incoming traffic to the site, detecting numerous requests from a single IP. After confirming your IP, the site blacklists you.
With a residential proxy, you can circumvent these traffic bots, allowing you to continue your marketing activities undetected.
Wrapping Up – Is a Residential Proxy Service Right for You?
If you’re an internet marketer looking to enhance the efficacy of your campaigns, then a rotating residential proxy has a lot to offer your marketing efforts. However, sometimes, it might be a cheaper solution to go with datacenter proxies when you require hundreds or thousands of proxies with non-changing IP addresses.
Choose the option that makes sense to you, and then register with a reputable proxy provider.