Proxy Types: A Short Guide

As more and more people turn to the internet for their needs, having enough security measures online has become more crucial than ever. 

Proxies can be an excellent way to safeguard your information when browsing online, and they offer an extensive range of uses for both individual users and larger enterprises. 

However, choosing a suitable proxy for your needs can be a challenge, especially since numerous types are available. Two of the most common proxy types are residential and datacenter proxies; and they can be applied to a wide range of uses.

However, what exactly are their differences? Moreover, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one? Let’s find out.

What Are Proxies? – An Overview of Proxy Servers

Before discussing the two most common proxy types, we will need to understand what proxy servers are first. 

Generally speaking, proxy servers or proxies are systems that act as intermediaries between your computer and the website it’s trying to access. All web requests your computer makes go through the proxy server first before sending the request to the website and vice-versa.

Proxies can add an extra layer of protection to your online activities since they can mask your IP address and ensure that all information going to your computer is safe.

Businesses can also use proxies for various processes, such as web scraping and price monitoring. Using proxies for web scraping, for example, can lower the chances of companies getting banned or blocked by specific websites.

There are numerous proxy types available, but the most common ones are residential and datacenter proxies.

Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies: Their Differences

Now that you know what proxies are, let’s move on to datacenter and residential proxies. So, what exactly are these two proxy types? Moreover, how are they different from each other?

1. Residential Proxies

Residential proxies are proxy servers that are tied to an actual location or address. Mobile proxy servers also fall under residential proxies, although they’re connected to mobile devices instead of physical locations.

These proxies are usually provided by internet service providers (ISPs), adding to the legitimacy of the traffic passing through these proxies. This makes them ideal for web scraping activities since websites are less likely to ban or block activities coming from this proxy type.

Users can also opt for rotating residential proxies to further decrease the chances of getting banned or blocked while extracting data from the web. 

Residential proxies, including mobile proxy servers, also make it more difficult for website protocols to differentiate between online requests made by genuine users online and web scrapers.

This proxy type also helps users bypass geo-blocks, which can be helpful if you’re trying to access particular kinds of content online. 

However, this proxy type has its downsides, namely in terms of costs and accessibility. Since ISPs usually provide residential proxies, they can be challenging to obtain, and they tend to be more expensive than datacenter proxies.

Best Use Cases for Residential Proxies

  • Web scraping
  • Accessing geo-blocked content
  • Ad verification
  • SEO

Pros

  • Mimics genuine user activity online
  • More challenging to ban or block
  • Helps bypass geo-blocks online
  • Ideal for web scraping processes

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Difficult to obtain

2. Datacenter Proxies

On the other hand, datacenter proxies are generated for mass-market consumption and hosted on cloud servers or “data centers” by third-party companies. Unlike residential proxies, these proxies aren’t tied to actual locations, which means they’re more affordable and easier to find.

Proxy server providers can also generate a large volume of IP addresses for datacenter proxies at once, making it easier to switch to a new one should the old IP address get banned or blocked.

Moreover, since they’re more readily available and affordable, it’s easier to buy datacenter proxies in bulk. You don’t have to worry about burning through your savings to buy a datacenter proxy.

Datacenter proxies also offer faster connections than residential proxies, so if speed is a concern, these can be the better choice for you.

However, datacenter proxies are also more prone to being blocked or banned, especially when your computer sends multiple requests at once.  

Best Use Cases for Datacenter Proxies

  • Anonymous online browsing
  • Gaming
  • Any online activity that relies on a speedy connection

Pros

  • More affordable
  • Readily available
  • Can be bought in bulk
  • Faster connection speeds

Cons

  • More prone to being banned or blocked
  • Easily identifiable to web servers

Conclusion

Proxies can be an inexpensive and convenient way to keep yourself protected online, whether you’re a regular user or a large enterprise. 

However, it would be best if you choose the right proxy for your needs, which is why you need to understand the differences between residential and datacenter proxies.

With that said, hopefully, this article has cleared this up for you, and you can now choose which proxy type is more suitable for your specific needs.

Radhe Gupta
Radhe Gupta is an Indian business blogger. He believes that Content and Social Media Marketing are the strongest forms of marketing nowadays. Radhe also tries different gadgets every now and then to give their reviews online. You can connect with him...

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