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Residential Proxies: Why companies need them?

While VPNs are all the rage these days for accessing geo-blocked content, its forefather, the proxy server, still lives on today. Whether you want to hide or change the location you’re accessing a webpage from, need to scrape data from the internet, or manage multiple social media accounts, proxies can help you get these things done efficiently. However, many websites are already familiar with this practice and thus, have blocked several proxy servers. This is where the residential proxy comes in. So, let’s take a look at what residential proxy servers are and how they work.

What are Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies are intermediary IP addresses borrowed from devices of real users: desktop, laptop computers, and sometimes even IoT devices like smart TVs. Mobile phones fit the bill as well, though only when they’re on WiFi: IPs on mobile data are sold separately as a premium option.

The important thing is that a residential IP has to be issued by an internet service provider and not a cloud hosting company (like Amazon’s AWS). This is what separates them from data center proxies.

residential proxies

How do residential proxies work?

Such proxies route the traffic from the target website through an IP that is associated with the physical address of a regular Internet user, thus appearing as a legitimate request from the web. In essence, a residential proxy is an intermediary server with a high level of security on your side, which lets you remain completely cloaked behind it over the whole period of use.

And there is a whole range of how to use these proxies. Here we will study some use cases when such IPs can be handy in your proxy-driven operations. You can safely use them for scraping websites (inside bots or scripts) for required information or data. You can stream geo-blocked content to your computer from remote servers. Or you can arrange for uploading or downloading to remote torrents using P2P connections.

Whatever your case, by using residential proxies you will be able to hide your real IP replacing it with a genuine alternative address that will ensure your anonymity online.

Now that we mentioned residential proxy usage, the major drawback that you might experience is with search engines that might have a limit on the number of queries over certain time intervals. Be careful in this case, since you can get banned by a search engine for repetitive attempts to access the site. To overcome this hurdle you might want to use rotating residential proxies that can be set up for accessing sites within certain intervals.

Why use a residential proxy network?

There are many reasons why you would want to hide your real IP address. This could be for scraping data from different websites, uploading and downloading torrents via P2P connections, accessing multiple accounts from the same computer, or streaming geo-blocked content.

Whatever might be the reason, using a residential proxy network is a great way to hide your real identity online. It gives you a genuine IP address that is similar to a default residential IP address and hides your IP from servers and scraping bots online which maintains your anonymity.

The only disadvantage is that search engines allow you to make a specific number of search requests within minutes. So using a single server setup can limit search engine access and even get you banned if you repeatedly exceed the limit.

Features and Benefits

Conceal your identity

By connecting through a residential proxy, the websites you visit will never be able to see your real IP address, masking your internet browsing activity.

Supercharge web scraping

Pulling publicly available data from websites can be a goldmine of useful information, but if you do it from a single IP address, you may be quickly blocked by web-scraping detection software.

By connecting through a residential proxy, your IP address changes each time, making your web scraping virtually impossible to block.

They are far less likely to be blocked

Traditional datacenter proxies 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.

You can have multiple IP addresses at the same time

Good residential proxy services enable you to connect through an unlimited number of IP addresses at the same time. You can automate hundreds of connections from one location. This is great for managing several social media accounts at the same time without being flagged by the provider as suspicious, for instance.

They are fast

Compared to virtual private networks (VPNs) and shared proxies, residential proxies typically offer faster speeds as there’s less overhead, and fewer people use the same servers concurrently.

residential proxies

Types of residential proxies

Although the sort of IP-rotating mechanism employed by some residential proxies has a wide margin of benefits, it is not without its limitations. For example, it is a common occurrence for rotating residential proxy networks to experience longer periods of downtime and less-than-optimal speeds. In practice, residential IP proxies are also plagued by high costs; hence, it is up to users to strike a balance between speed, usability, and price from the myriad providers that offer these services.

On the other hand, static residential proxies are preferable in some situations whereby a constantly rotating IP would be flagged as suspicious by a capable algorithm, blocking further access to the user or application in question.

Another scenario entails an e-commerce server tasked with preventing returning visitors from producing an inordinate amount of logins from multiple geographical locations and IPs—this will certainly be considered a sign of proxying which may, according to policy, be blocked as such.

Because static residential proxies are intrinsically considered data center proxies, they combine the robustness and high speeds associated with data center routing infrastructure. The fixed, non-ISP-related nature of static residential proxies is also alluring to businesses that require closed-loop network interactions with their client base, or simply because it simplifies contractual and operational models given its relative transparency. In short, the static residential proxy combines features akin to its more dynamic sibling but rarely exhibits the same price tag.

What to consider before buying Residential Proxies

Budget

Residential proxies are often very expensive. Nevertheless, you can always find a better deal. All you need to do is compare prices between providers.

Purpose and use

Why do you need residential proxies? This is a very pertinent question. If it is for basic security and small-scale scraping, then think again. Maybe you don’t need them. Datacenter proxies might as well be what you need. On the other hand, if you want a proxy package for large-scale scraping, anonymity, and security, then you need residential proxies.

Always strive to know why you need residential proxies. It is not prudent to spend so much when maybe you could do just fine with a cheap shared proxy package. This also applies when buying different residential proxy packages.

Compatibility with automation tools

Such as for SEO, if you are into this site optimization, then you better check and confirm that the residential proxy package supports SEO tools. Be sure to verify that before purchasing.

Site unlocking

They make it possible to stream content from geo-restricted sites without ever being blocked or flagged. Some providers may have blocked IPs. Check and verify the package before making a payment.

residential proxies

Conclusion

If you are looking to anonymously access the internet by hiding your IP regular proxy networks are great for you. But if you are searching for a way to not get banned and your work involves making a series of intense search requests and data scraping, you will find residential proxies useful.

The residential IP proxy addresses are tagged with the real location of other users. This makes you less prone to getting banned by avoiding overload on the servers as IP addresses are rotated. So residential proxies are perfect for harvesting and scraping research data from websites of your choice including sneaker and ticket websites that recognize and prohibit proxy data centers.

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