Datacenter Proxies Vs Residential: What’s Best?
Proxies transform your ability to navigate the internet by enhancing security and technological capabilities. Restricted by geographical location of your IP address? Wrong. Assume you’re forever blocked from websites whose origins come from countries other than your own? Not a chance. A proxy is a gateway between you and the internet. A way to bypass restrictions, break down digital barriers and produce the veil of anonymity that can gain you access to vital data and processes. A proxy optimizes your web scraping projects and makes everything you do more stable and protected. But you need only google the word “proxy” to find that there are a number of different types to choose from, and knowing the differences is crucial. Options can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing to those unfamiliar with the intricate details of proxy use.
Get to know the two most important proxy classifications–residential and datacenter proxies–to equip yourself with the right type of proxy for your needs. The difference between the two types of proxies is substantial, and knowing which type is optimal for your purposes will improve your use and utility drastically. Use the table of contents to jump to each section and learn more about these two types of proxies.
Table of Contents
What are Datacenter Proxies?
Most proxy users tap into datacenter proxies whether they’re aware of it or not. In fact, it’s the most common type of proxy, and these proxies are exactly what they sound like – housed in a large datacenter and utilized across connections all over the world for a range of purposes, from cybersecurity to geolocation switching.
First off, datacenter proxies don’t have anything to do with your internet connection or internet service provider. These proxies are completely independent of either one. Typically, you buy datacenter proxies in bulk from a secondary source, giving you an assortment of IP addresses to use. Every proxy will have its own unique IP address. Whenever you connect with one of the datacenter proxies, it will mask your identity by providing you with a new IP address, providing the appearance of a different location for all intents and purposes. For instance, with a datacenter proxy, you can be in Germany and get an IP address located in California. A datacenter proxy provider will allow you to choose the location of your IP address, giving you the freedom to stream or browse from anywhere in the world.
The main benefit of using a datacenter proxy is anonymity. A datacenter proxy hides your identity when you’re surfing the web which means you can perform online actions more efficiently: whether you’re tracking activity like sneaker drops, need to avoid bans, or do any number of things online without people easily knowing who you are. A datacenter IP is a great way to play games online, prevent hacking, and geo-switch your whereabouts.
What are Proxies that are Residential in Origin?
A residential IP is distinct from a datacenter IP in one clear (and consequential) way–it’s attached to a residential location and identified as such. Whenever you connect to the internet, you’re using a residential IP address. Your IP address identifies who you are and allows you to connect to various websites across the internet. For instance, let’s say that you call AT&T to get their high-speed internet service. They send you a modem, and after setting it up, you go online with a residential IP address. Sites with valuable data can generally tell if your IP address comes from a data center, or if it has the appearance of coming from a residential user. And while sites might block a data center IP because it has the appearance of automation, a residential location for your IP will allow you to continue on undetected (or rather, with the appearance of typical user behavior.)
So, in short, a residential IP proxy is an IP address connected to an internet service provider and location, providing the associated appearance of everyday online behavior. For instance, it might be incredibly valuable for a company in India to generate the appearance of a personal Comcast IP address out of California. For all intents and purposes, that connection looks and appears like it belongs to a person who lives in California conducting natural, “human” behavior. That distinction could be valuable in a number of scenarios, and it’s vital to consider where your proxy originates if you want to know what your proxy connection is capable of helping you achieve.
Static vs Dynamic IPs
Note that an IP address is either static or dynamic. A static IP address never changes, meaning it’s the same every time you log onto the internet. On the other hand, a dynamically assigned IP address does change. If your IP address is dynamic, it might be a specific number one day and then another number the next. Even if it changes, your identifying factors remain the same. That means that websites can identify your location based on your IP address. That type of identification can be unwanted if you want to connect to the internet anonymously, or if it blocks content in your area. However, those identifiers can, alternatively, provide the veil of typical use. In that case, a residential appearance might prove valuable.
Common user or “human” behavior
Consider the extent to which that information is written all over a typical ISP address for a common user. Most people don’t know what their IP addresses are, but go to a site like What is My IP Address and you’ll see that an IP can signify all of your details, including your IP address itslef, internet service provider, city, region, and country. You will even get a map of your location. This shows you just how powerful your residential IP is. Think of all the identifying information that can be accessed that way–a residentially identified IP can indicate a whole range of limitations or vast potential, depending on your intent and what utility you’re hoping to gain.
Datacenter Proxies vs Proxies with Residential Origin IP Addresses
So, we’ve come to the main discussion at hand: datacenter proxies vs residential. Before you can choose the best proxy for your needs, it’s important to weigh the capabilities and potential of each. And if you then decide between the two, you should also know exactly what to look for so that you can get the most optimal form of either kind.
Datacenter proxies: pros and cons
Let’s start with datacenter proxies. These proxies are super affordable, costing just a few dollars per month. That small investment allows you to enjoy all of the benefits that come with private datacenter proxies. In addition, it is easy to buy them in bulk and you can continue to change your proxies out, particularly the ones that are banned or flagged. A data center proxy also provides the option for rotating proxies, semi-dedicated, and dedicated proxies.
- Semi-dedicated proxies assign you a pool of proxies, which are shared, between a group of usually 3-6 other users. This is an affordable way to easily access anonymity for basic purposes. The real return on investment, in this case, does also depend on other users as well.
- A dedicated proxy is an assignment of a singular proxy in a (yep) dedicated way. That proxy is all yours and what you do with it is totally autonomous.
- Rotating proxies are top shelf because they’re automated to swap out proxy IPs for new ones after each subsequent performed action. Therefore their greatest value is to those who need to conduct successive actions with the appearance of new connections, and notably not “non-human behavior” of simply making a data request over and over and over at great speed might easily register with a site as bot activity, flag it, and prevent it from performing its intended action.
These proxies make it even harder for you to be detected by automatically rotating between different IPs.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to using datacenter proxies. For one, they don’t trace back to an internet service provider. Therefore, if someone inspected the proxy, it would be obvious that you are the user. But the good news is, this only becomes an issue if you share a subnet with someone who is abusing a proxy. Simply choose a provider that offers a lot of subnets and you can get around this issue with ease.
The other issue is that some sites ban datacenter traffic outright. If you need to perform a data scraping project on Twitter or Instagram, for example, you would not be able to use data centers to access the site. Fortunately, not many sites are willing to ban all data center users, but it is still important to keep in mind depending on your use case.
Residential pros and cons: a good proxy is hard to find
Since residential IP proxies provide people with legitimate IP addresses, they are less likely to get blacklisted from websites. If website owners were to look into the details of the proxy, they would see that it belongs to an internet service provider rather than a datacenter. That makes it look as if a regular person is surfing the web. This can be potentially be negated by a datacenter proxy provider if they offer a diverse range of C-class IPs. Designed for company use, and particularly helpful for SEO, C-class subnets with high diversity can make up for datacenter IPs’ relative lack of authority. But, again, all of this won’t matter if your use case is unable to utilize data centers for any reason.
But if you’re an enterprise-level company that depends on quality data, collecting it from across various sites and platforms with speed and dependability–then a residential address via proxy has a lot to offer. It’s a great utility and that investment comes with a price tag–however, it can be well worth the cost–that is if and only if you can obtain residential IPs that are ethically sourced. Being an ethical consumer takes work, and too often big box proxy companies (even some well-known ones) will pitch shadily sourced IPs at competitive costs from resident users who are either a)don’t receive adequate compensation for their infrastructure resource, or b) aren’t even aware that their IP is being resold because they signed a long, unrelated agreement contract that signed over their rights without their knowledge. This is what’s called unethical IP sourcing, and sadly, it’s all too common. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. While rare, there are still face forward companies that you can get to know and who want to get to know you, and with that ethical value underpinning a business, you can be proud to work together on business forward innovation and data-driven insights informed by ethical to decisions that can be meaningful and resonate with your mission.
A good company will work with you to make themselves transparent, communicate and demonstrate a commitment to strong ethics, and provide you with high-quality, ethically sourced proxies with all the residential benefits so you can develop data-driven and actionable visions. And just like datacenter proxies, a good provider will walk you through your options, and you should also be able to make proxy decisions based on the utility afforded by semi-dedicated, dedicated, and rotating residential ones.
Bottom line: residential IP proxies are incredibly secure, work for almost any use case, and give the appearance of a real user–a vital play for web scraping and developers looking to revolutionize their data collection practices. They’re optimized as a business investment. That investment though can pay off in the long-run. It all depends on what your needs are and what is within you or your company’s project budget. For other uses, datacenter proxies are affordable, and typically well-optimized for anonymity and security relative to their intent
How to Find the Best Datacenter Proxies and Proxies with Residential IPs
First, remember to always purchase a proxy rather than download one for free. Free is great in the immediate, but a free proxy can open your server up to spam, hackers, and other nefarious activity occurring online–bad news. Datacenter proxies are easy to buy from a variety of sources. Residentials are harder to come by, and ethically source ones are all-important–a truly valuable commodity.
Buy Residential Proxies
Blazing SEO uses top-notch residential IP addresses that are smartly (and fairly) sourced using ethical practices that are good for everyone. Real ISP addresses from real users who are compensated for their utility. Fair use is a top priority for us, and we believe everyone benefits from better business practices. Always ask the right questions about ethics when choosing your residential proxy provider and expect Blazing SEO to deliver the highest integrity product.
Our proxies are fast, reliable, fair and ethical, and backed by real people who are there to support your use so that you get the best product possible. Sign up for our residential beta and explore all the reasons that make our residential proxy clients successful and sustainable for good business.
Buy Datacenter Proxies
If you’re looking for the best quality for datacenter proxies, Blazing SEO provides it. Before you buy, make note of how many proxies will need to purchase at a time. Purchasing in bulk the smart option, especially if you need to use multiple IP addresses while automating processes. The more IP addresses you have the greater your chance for success.
Be sure to buy data center proxies that are fairly priced and come from a provider without hidden fees and offer discounts depending on the duration of your purchase. If you keep all of this in mind while shopping for a proxy, you will be sure to buy the best proxy available and surf the web from whatever location you please.
The different kinds of proxies available mean you have a whole base of utilities that you can make use of for a whole range of purposes. Consider everything that each of these two types of processes can allow you to do. Remember to buy your proxy from a reputable site and keep in mind that any proxy company, no matter what type they sell, should be trustworthy, above all–and be able to demonstrate their commitment to ethical proxy practices. As a reputable business, you should only work with a proxy provider that weeds out customers that can’t match their ethics. Consider your online endeavors as a real investment, treat it as such, and with knowledge and consideration, it’ll pay off.
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