What is a Residential Proxy?

What is a Residential Proxy?

Want to safeguard your browsing activity? Looking for a better way to manage your social media and gaming accounts? Trying to cop the latest Jordans?

Well, residential proxies are just for you. They are becoming more and more of a household name as businesses and individuals look for new ways to improve their network security. Unfortunately, websites now recognize when traditional proxy providers are used. Residential proxies are more expensive but come with far greater reliability. In the following, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how residential networks work.

Over time, the demand for proxies has substantially increased. Now, proxies are blocked with more regularity. The most expensive form of residential proxies is a private proxy. Private proxies, also known as dedicated proxies, are more reliable than shared proxies.

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Advantages of Using Residential Proxies

Websites will not immediately block you when using a residential proxy. It appears as if you’re accessing the site through a genuine verifiable IP address. For the most part, proxy providers will more often than not offer a datacenter proxy when you subscribe to a proxy service. Make sure you specifically search for a residential IP provider. As these types of proxies become more popular, there will also be more providers. I would be sure to specify whether you need a dedicated or shared proxy. Below, we’ll cover the differences between residential proxies and datacenter proxies.

To start off, a residential proxy is more or less an IP address provided by your Internet Service Provider. These have become all the more important as others proxies have become too easy to spot by web servers.
In a nutshell, these proxies conceal your IP address as you browse under another valid IP address. It’s a connection linking an ISP to a residential address. This adds legitimacy and reputability to your business intelligence efforts.

Types of Residential Proxies

Types of Residential Proxies

As opposed to other types of proxies, residential IP proxies do not seek to hide their identity. But rather, they confront the matter that is keeping data away from their IP address. They own the specific IP address that they provide to you.

Regular datacenter or shared proxies can mask your IP address, but more do this to preserve your anonymity than maintain a sense of legitimacy. In this type of proxy, the legitimacy that a residential IP provides is lost. Residential proxies are accessible via a username/password or by IP verification. These proxies typically come in two forms, shared or dedicated.

Dedicated proxies are more expensive than shared because of just that – they are not shared. Private proxies are also considered more of a commodity; you pay for the exclusivity of the proxy network. A dedicated proxy is also known as a private proxy. A shared proxy may be sufficient depending on your needs. If you are not worried about temporarily blocked based off another user’s activity, then go for it. You will also never be sure of the activity of other users accessing the same residential IP as yourself. If you want to ensure more control over your proxy’s activity, it’s better to go with a dedicated proxy as it will be yours alone.

There are backconnect proxies which allow you to change IP addresses as fast as every five minutes. This makes it possible to switch between your residential proxies in case one of your addresses gets blocked for whatever reason. Below, we’ll briefly discuss why you might want to rotate your IP address.

Even though datacenter proxies are quite often used legitimately, they feature ubiquitous datacenter ISPs. This means they’re more easily detectable. Ultimately, these proxies do less than residential proxies with regard to your anonymity. Let’s consider a datacenter proxy’s protection between you and whoever you are concerned about is collecting your data. You will have your IP address and personal information protected, however, your activity is much easier to detect. The proxy, as well as the proxy provider, will have their data displayed to whatever site you’re accessing (instead of your personal IP address). Once the site reads your proxy’s IP address, then it is easy for the website to block the IP range that your proxy is utilizing. The beauty of a residential proxy is that its IP range is drawn from a reputable provider and or wide range of subnets so activity is more difficult to group together.

The issue with datacenter proxies is that you share that IP range with many other users and with devices hosted in datacenters. This is especially detrimental when you are trying to get around web filters which are filtering high traffic sites.

How to Spot a Residential Proxy

How to Spot Residential IPs

Spotting a residential IP is made easier when utilizing a service like WhatIsMyIPAddress or MaxMind. MaxMind, in particular, allows you to enter up to 25 IP addresses. MaxMind will give accurate data relating to the IP address’s organization, ISP, domain, metro code, approximate coordinates, postal code, location, and country code. This can be useful when determining if you are on a datacenter proxy or a residential proxy. Any IP address owned by a reputable Internet Service Provider like Time Warner, Charter, Comcast or Verizon is a residential proxy. It is also a way in which you can learn the origins of the IP addresses accessing your website.

Residential proxies are commonly used in brand protection, sales protection, social media, and e-commerce. They’re considered far more reputable than their competing alternatives. Additionally, they can offer multiple simultaneous connections. Websites recognize residential IPs as familiar so they’re more likely to temporarily instead of permanently block them.

Although residential proxies are the most expensive type of proxy, they are indeed the most effective. This type of proxy network can bring you many advantages. It is considered a far more credible alternative compared to other proxies on the market. It strengthens your network’s privacy and security. Additionally, it improves your network’s overall safety. What’s most important is that it increases your network’s capacity to browse the web.

It’s a wise idea to purchase residential proxies from a respected and credible provider. Testing various providers and rating their services and support yourself can prove to be a clever idea in the proxy market. Some providers claim to have a great product but support is poor or vice versa. Make sure to go with the product that can reliably provide an extra level of anonymity and protection.

Comparing Datacenter and Residential Proxies

Comparing Datacenter and Residential Proxies

Since residential IPs are meant to be used for residential purposes, they are considered more legitimate. In this sense, a residential IP is expected to be used by more than one person or even an entire building full of people. At the moment, few providers offer residential proxy networks. This has driven costs up. However, if you compare the cost of subscribing to monthly residential proxies versus paying for a lot of datacenter proxies – residential proxies win out.

Residential IPs can still be blacklisted, but as noted above, since the IP range is drawn from a number of seemingly random sources, it will be more difficult to block as compared to a datacenter proxy. With this kind of proxy, the IP range is much shorter and easily discovered. It’s important to be sure to use alternating proxies for different websites; testing various types of proxies against your target websites can prove to be beneficial for your project and budget.

When considering legitimacy and reputability, residential proxies are the easy winner. Using a residential proxy is the most efficient and secure way to shield your actual IP address. It gives you a very real IP address and residential proxies will never come from the same group. It is the safest and most credible manner in which you can safeguard your web browsing, generally speaking, no matter your needs.

Residential Proxies for e-Commerce

Residential Proxies for e-Commerce

When using proxies for e-commerce, whether it be for market research purposes or purchases, residential proxies tend to make a significant positive difference for many use cases.

For example, if you’re shopping for some limited release Nike sneakers, it can be really disappointing to have your proxy banned before purchase. Datacenter proxies tend to raise a lot of red flags whenever browsing large commercial sites like Amazon or Nike. Residential proxies escape red flags because web servers recognize the IP address as a residential one. This allows you to make multiple “requests” or connections at one time while escaping detection. Your site behavior is not automatically observed as abnormal.

If you’re someone that is always shopping for the hottest items, using a residential IP is definitely your most advantageous option. It ensures a safe checkout when shopping online and safeguards your anonymity. A residential proxy would prevent this from happening, as a residential proxy is viewed as a legitimate source of user traffic. Websites are able to recognize the high number of requests being made from your proxy and the speed at which the proxy operates. Web filters will understand when you are cycling through these proxies in order to increase the number of web requests made.

The average Joe user will not be able to make as many requests at one time as a user utilizing proxies. Interestingly, libraries kicked off internet filtering in the 1990’s. Since then, web servers have had filters in place to protect against this type of traffic. Again, many websites have built-in protection against cycling proxies. They are able to recognize the high number of requests being made from your proxy network, and the speed at which the proxy operates. Legitimate users will not be able to make as many requests at one time as other proxies. There is seemingly an endless amount of useful applications on a residential IP.

All Things Considered

A monthly subscription of legitimate residential proxies will end up saving you money over the long run. This rings true if you are buying datacenter proxies in bulk (as they are blacklisted, eventually, over a period of time). Traditional datacenter or shared proxies are not quite yet obsolete, but with their easy detectability and widespread use, it’s easy to understand why you might want to make the switch to a residential proxy service. Residential IPs give you peace of mind combined with excellent service.

There is increased utility, you can go much further than if you were using another proxy network. Accessing streaming services like Netflix has never been easier. With many VPNs and other proxy services, you will be able to access streaming services for a few minutes before being permanently banned. If this happens with a residential proxy, it is always temporary. It is also a great way of safeguarding your network security. Being able to surf the web with complete anonymity is a rarity in this era where interconnectivity is at its highest.

Author: Kenny

Kenny is an expert on topics like internet privacy, proxies, web scraping and SEO.

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