Proxy
10
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What is Residential Proxy ?

A residential proxy is a type of proxy server that routes internet traffic via an intermediary server, which accepts web traffic and passes it to another device or website. It assigns the user an alternative residential IP address provided by an ISP, which channels the server requests.
Written by
Josselin Liebe
Published on
September 14, 2023
Readers rating
47
votes

A residential proxy is a type of proxy server that routes internet traffic via an intermediary server, which accepts web traffic and passes it to another device or website. It assigns the user an alternative residential IP address provided by an ISP, which channels the server requests. Residential proxies are used to improve online anonymity, and allow access to geo-blocked content such as YouTube videos not available in your country. Residential proxies are far less likely to be blocked than traditional data center proxies, which use a small number of IP addresses, making it relatively simple for websites to block if they wish. Residential proxy services often have tens of thousands of IP addresses in hundreds of locations worldwide, which makes blocking them more challenging.

Benefits of residential proxies

Some of the benefits of using a residential proxy are:

Privacy and anonymity

You can browse the internet without revealing your real IP address or location. Websites only see the IP address of the proxy server, not yours while using the residential proxy. This thing will prevent companies from tracking your online behavior and showing you targeted ads only.

Better security

You can protect your device and network from malicious threats by using a residential proxy with encryption features. A proxy hides your IP address from hackers and malware, and prevents them from accessing your data.

Protection from malware

You can avoid visiting websites that contain viruses or harmful content by using a residential proxy with malware protection. A proxy scans websites for malware and blocks them if they are unsafe. It also scans downloaded files and images before they reach your computer.

Access to information with government restrictions

You can bypass censorship and access geo-blocked content by using a residential proxy that connects you to a different country or region. proxy allows you to access websites that are restricted either by your government or ISP, examples of such websites are like some social media platforms, news sites, or streaming services.

Unlimited bandwidth

You can enjoy fast and reliable internet speed by using a residential proxy that offers unlimited bandwidth. A proxy does not limit your data usage or throttle your connection, unlike some VPNs or shared proxies. You can stream videos, download files, or play games without any interruptions.

Circumvention of blocked IP problems

You can avoid being blocked by websites that detect and ban proxies by using a residential proxy that uses real IP addresses provided by ISPs. residential proxy makes your requests look like other connections, making it harder for sites to identify and block those requests and connections. Residential proxies have tens of thousands of IP addresses in hundreds of locations around the world, which makes blocking them more challenging as well.

Multiple IP addresses at the same time

By using a residential proxy, You can use multiple IP addresses simultaneously, which enables you to connect through an unlimited number of IP addresses at the same time. This scenario is useful for managing several social media accounts, conducting competitive research, or performing web scraping without being flagged as any suspicious activity.

Web scraping

You can collect publicly available data from websites efficiently and effectively by using a residential proxy, it will change your IP address each time you make a request to a web page for scraping. This makes your scraping business virtually impossible to be blocked by web-scraping detection softwares as well.

Benefits of Residential Proxies
Benefits of Residential Proxies

Usage of residential proxies

To use a residential proxy, first you need to find a residential proxy service that provides you a pool of IP addresses across multiple locations around the globe. You can choose the proxy service based on your needs, budget, and preferences of your work. Some of the most popular residential proxy providers are SmartProxy, IPRoyal, SOAX, and ISP proxies.

After choosing a proxy service, you need to register an account or sign up and select a plan that suits your requirements. You can then configure your proxy settings on your device or browser, or use an application provided by the proxy service. You can even choose the location, city, or country you want to connect to as well.

After setting up your proxy, you can start browsing the web using the residential IP address assigned by the proxy server. You can change your IP address anytime by rotating it manually or automatically. You can also use multiple IP addresses simultaneously for different purposes.

Some of the common uses of residential proxies are:

  • Web scraping for market research: You can collect publicly available data from websites efficiently and effectively by using a residential proxy that changes your IP address each time you make a request. This makes your web scraping virtually impossible to block by web-scraping detection software.
  • Ad verification: You can check if your ads are displayed correctly and accurately on various websites and platforms by using a residential proxy that allows you to access geo-blocked content and avoid ad fraud.
  • Market price monitoring: You can monitor and compare prices of products and services across different markets and regions by using a residential proxy that enables you to see real-time data without being detected or blocked.
  • SEO: You can optimize your website ranking and performance by using a residential proxy that helps you analyze keywords, backlinks, traffic sources, and competitors without revealing your identity or location.
  • Social media management: You can manage multiple social media accounts for different purposes by using a residential proxy that enables you to connect through an unlimited number of IP addresses at the same time without being flagged as suspicious.

Residential proxy providers

Some of the residential proxy providers are:

Smartproxy

A budget-friendly residential proxy service that offers over 40 million IP addresses in over 195 locations worldwide. It supports unlimited concurrent sessions, browser extensions, mobile IPs, and geo-targeting. It also has a user-friendly dashboard and API for easy management and integration.

Shifter

A residential proxy service that offers over 31 million IP addresses in over 100 countries worldwide. It supports unlimited bandwidth, instant scaling, sticky sessions, and geo-targeting. It also has a simple interface and API for easy configuration and integration.

Oxylabs

A residential proxy service that offers over 100 million IP addresses in over 180 countries worldwide. It supports advanced features such as auto-retry, session control, city-level targeting, and SOCKS5 protocol. It also has a dedicated account manager and customer support team for each client.

Geonode

A residential proxy service that offers over 2 million IP addresses in over 140 countries worldwide. It supports features such as rotating IPs, sticky sessions, country-level targeting, and HTTPS encryption. It also has a simple pricing model based on bandwidth usage and a free trial option.

PrivateProxy.me

A residential proxy service that offers over 10 million IP addresses in over 120 countries worldwide. It supports features such as rotating IPs, sticky sessions, city-level targeting, and HTTPS encryption. It also has a secure proxy network with a strict no-logs policy and a free trial option.

Cost of residential proxies

The cost of a residential proxy depends on the proxy provider, the plan, and the amount of traffic you use. Residential proxies are usually more expensive than data center proxies because they are harder to obtain and maintain. Residential proxies also charge based on bandwidth usage, which can vary depending on your online activities.

Price plans of some of the best and cost efficient residential proxy providers:

Froxy

Offers plans ranging from $70/month for 5GB traffic to $3500/month for 1TB traffic. The price per GB decreases as the traffic increases. It also offers a trial plan for $1.99 for 3 days with 100MB traffic.

Oxylabs

Offers plans ranging from $300/month for 25GB traffic to $800/month for 100GB traffic. The price per GB decreases as the traffic increases. It also offers custom plans for more than 1TB traffic.

IPRoyal

Offers plans ranging from $12.50/GB for 40GB traffic to $6/GB for 1TB traffic. The price per GB decreases as the traffic increases. It even offers pay-as-you-go plans starting from $15/GB.

Geosurf

Offers plans ranging from $450/month for 38GB traffic to $900/month for 90GB traffic. The price per additional GB decreases as the plan increases.

Disadvantages of residential proxy

Some of the disadvantages of using a residential proxy are:

High cost

Residential proxies are usually more expensive than data center proxies because they are harder to obtain and maintain. Residential proxies also charge based on bandwidth usage, which can vary depending on your online activities. You may need to pay more if you use a lot of data or need high-quality proxies.

Limited availability

Residential proxies depend on the availability of real devices that are connected to ISPs, which means that you may not always get the IP address you want or need, especially if you require a specific location or city to connect. You may also experience slower speeds or connection issues if the device you are using is offline or has low battery

Legal and ethical issues

Residential proxies use IP addresses that belong to real people who may not be aware that their devices are being used as proxies. This raises some legal and ethical concerns about privacy, consent, and security. Some proxy providers may offer incentives or rewards to people who share their IP addresses, but others may use malicious methods such as malware or botnets.

Data leakage

Residential proxies may not always provide complete anonymity and security for your online activities. Some proxy servers may keep logs of your traffic or cache data that may contain personal information such as passwords and bank details. Unless you use a trustworthy proxy provider with a strict no-logs policy and encryption features, your data may be exposed to hackers or third parties.

How to avoid data leakage using residential proxy

Data leakage is the accidental exposure of sensitive or confidential data to unauthorized parties. Data leakage can occur when using a residential proxy if the proxy server keeps logs of your traffic or cache data that may contain personal information such as passwords and bank details. Unless you use a trustworthy proxy provider with a strict no-logs policy and encryption features, your data may be exposed to hackers or third parties.

To avoid data leakage when using a residential proxy, you should follow these steps:

  1. Choose a reputable and reliable residential proxy provider that has a clear privacy policy and does not keep logs of your traffic or cache data. You can check online reviews, ratings, testimonials, and certifications of different proxy providers before choosing one.
  2. Use encryption features such as HTTPS or SSL protocols when connecting to websites or services through a residential proxy. This will ensure that your data is secure and unreadable for any third party without your permission or consent.
  3. Use authentication methods such as username/password or IP whitelisting when accessing your residential proxy server. This will prevent unauthorized access to your proxy account and settings.
  4. Use rotating IPs or sticky sessions when performing web scraping or other online activities that require multiple requests. This will reduce the chances of being detected or blocked by websites that monitor IP addresses.
  5. Scan the resources commonly hosting data leak dumps, such as S3 buckets, GitHub repositories, dark web forums, etc. You can use data leak detection tools that can scan the open and deep web for data exposures and alert you if any of your sensitive data is leaked.
  6. Remediate the vulnerabilities facilitating data leaks, such as misconfigured servers, insecure APIs, weak passwords, outdated software, etc. You can use vulnerability assessment tools that can scan your systems and networks for security flaws and provide recommendations on how to fix them.

What is the difference between residential proxy and data center proxy?

The main difference between a residential proxy and a data center proxy is the source of the IP address. A residential proxy uses an IP address that is provided by an ISP and belongs to a real device, such as a phone or a computer. A data center proxy uses an IP address that is created by a secondary corporation and comes from a data center or a cloud server.

Some of the other differences between residential proxies and data center proxies are:

Price

Residential proxies are usually more expensive than data center proxies because they are harder to obtain and maintain. Data center proxies are cheaper because they are easier to create and manage.

Speed

Data center proxies are usually faster than residential proxies because they have less latency and higher bandwidth. Residential proxies may be slower because they depend on the availability and performance of real devices.

Security

Residential proxies are more secure than data center proxies because they offer higher anonymity and lower detection rates. Data center proxies may be less secure because they use shared IPs that can be easily identified and blocked by some websites.

Availability

Residential proxies have more availability than data center proxies because they have a larger pool of IP addresses across multiple locations worldwide. Data center proxies have less availability because they have a smaller pool of IP addresses that may be limited to certain regions.

Use cases

Residential proxies are more suitable for web scraping, ad verification, market research, social media management, SEO, and accessing geo-blocked content. Data center proxies are more suitable for gaming, streaming, browsing, testing, and development.

Choosing a suitable proxy for you

Choosing the type of proxy that is better for you depends solely upon your needs, preferences, and budget, lots of different types of proxies are available on the internet that have their own advantages and disadvantages as well. However, here are some general guidelines to help you choose:

  • If you need high anonymity, low detection rates, and access to geo-blocked content, you may prefer a residential proxy. Residential proxies use real IP addresses provided by ISPs and make your requests look like other typical connections. However, residential proxies are more expensive, slower, and less available than data center proxies.
  • If you need high speed, low cost, and unlimited bandwidth, you may prefer a data center proxy. Data center proxies use IP addresses created by secondary corporations and come from data centers or cloud servers. However, data center proxies are less secure, more detectable, and more limited than residential proxies.
  • If you need high security, encryption features, and multiple protocols support (such as HTTP/S or SOCKS5), you may prefer a VPN, a virtual private network that creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. However, VPNs are slower than proxies because they encrypt all your traffic.

Ultimately, the type of proxy that is better for you depends completely on what you want to achieve while being online, and how much you are willing to pay for it. You can also use a combination of different types of proxies for different purposes if you need them.

Cost cutting while using a residential proxy

Residential proxies are usually more expensive than data center proxies or VPNs because they are harder to obtain and maintain. However, there are some ways you can save money when using a residential proxy, such as:

  • Choose a plan that suits your needs : Residential proxy providers offer different plans based on the amount of traffic you use. You can choose a plan that matches your expected data usage and avoid paying for more than you need. You can also look for plans that offer discounts for bulk purchases or long-term subscriptions.
  • Use rotating IPs or sticky sessions : Residential proxy providers charge based on bandwidth usage, which can vary depending on your online activities. You can reduce your bandwidth usage by using rotating IPs or sticky sessions when performing web scraping or other online activities that require multiple requests. Rotating IPs change your IP address each time you make a request, while sticky sessions keep the same IP address for a certain period of time. This way, you can avoid being detected or blocked by websites that monitor IP addresses and reduce the number of requests you need to make.
  • Use compression and caching features : Residential proxy providers may offer compression and caching features that can reduce the amount of data you transfer through the proxy server. Compression reduces the size of the data by removing unnecessary elements, while caching stores some data locally so that you do not need to request it again. This way, you can save bandwidth and speed up your connection as well.
  • Compare different residential proxy providers : Residential proxy providers may have different pricing models and features that affect their cost-effectiveness. You can compare different residential proxy providers based on their price per GB, traffic limit, number of ports, number of locations, quality of service, customer support, etc. You can also check online reviews, ratings, testimonials, and certifications of different proxy providers before choosing one.

These are some of the ways you can save money when using a residential proxy for various purposes.

Risks of Using your own device as a residential proxy

You can use your own device as a residential proxy if you have a static IP address provided by your ISP. Plus, you’ll need some technical skills and tools to set up a proxy server on your device as well. However, this is not recommended for several reasons:

  • Security risks: By using your own device as a residential proxy, you expose your device and network to potential cyberattacks from hackers or malware. You also risk leaking your personal data or compromising your online privacy if you do not use encryption or authentication features.
  • Performance issues: By using your own device as a residential proxy, you limit your bandwidth and speed to the capacity of your device and ISP. You also depend on the availability and performance of your device, which may be offline or have low battery at times.
  • Legal and ethical issues: By using your own device as a residential proxy, you may violate the terms of service of your ISP or the websites you access through the proxy. You may also face legal consequences if you use the proxy for illegal or unethical purposes.

Therefore, it is better to use a professional residential proxy service that provides you with a pool of IP addresses across multiple locations worldwide. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of residential proxies without the drawbacks of using your own device as one.

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