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Difference between Residential Proxies and Datacenter Proxies

Last Updated : 14 Sep, 2023
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Proxies have become essential for many businesses and individuals who need to access the internet without revealing their location or IP address. A proxy server acts as an intermediary between the user’s device and the internet, allowing users to access websites and online services while hiding their IP addresses. Proxies can be used for various purposes, including web scraping and market research.

A proxy tool like Bright Data performs the function of a firewall. The software ensures data accuracy with its use of residential and static proxies and provides insights that aid customers in their decision-making. It offers the world’s most advanced and reliable Proxy Manager, which is an open-source desktop tool that provides automation and optimization options for proxy projects and also handles connection problems effectively. It also enables fast and stable public web datacollection at scale owing to the 72+ million IPs from various countries across the globe.

Bright Data products cater to different levels of data expertise, from no-code data extraction and analysis for business owners to flexible proxy and scraping configuration for IT professionals.

There are two main types of proxies:

  • Residential proxies
  • Datacenter proxies.

This article will explore the differences between these two types of proxies and their best use cases.

What are Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies are IP addresses that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign to their residential customers. These proxies are created by using the IP addresses of real devices owned by real people. When a user connects to the internet using a residential proxy, the website or online service they are accessing sees the request as coming from an actual residential device rather than a data center or server. Residential proxies are the closest thing to mimicking the behavior of real users. 

Residential proxies are highly valued for their legitimacy and authenticity. Because residential proxies use real IP addresses, they are less likely to be detected by websites and online services that use anti-bot measures. For example, many websites and social media platforms use CAPTCHAs and other anti-bot measures to prevent bots from accessing their content. However, residential proxies are less likely to trigger these measures because they mimic the behavior of real users.

Websites and online services are also less likely to block or ban residential proxies. Many websites and online services maintain blacklists of IP addresses associated with data centers and servers because bots and malicious actors commonly use them. As mentioned, residential proxies are less likely to be blacklisted because they use real IP addresses.

What are Datacenter Proxies?

Datacenter proxies are IP addresses assigned to servers located in data centers. These proxies are created using a range of IP addresses assigned to the server by the data center. When a user connects to the internet using a datacenter proxy, the website or online service they access sees the request as coming from a server rather than an actual residential device.

Datacenter proxies are highly valued for their speed and affordability. Because datacenter proxies use servers located in data centers, they can provide fast and reliable connections to the internet. These proxies are also typically cheaper than residential proxies, making them an attractive option for businesses and individuals on a budget.

However, datacenter proxies are also more likely to be detected and blocked by websites and online services that use anti-bot measures. Because datacenter proxies use IP addresses associated with servers and data centers, they are more likely to trigger captchas and other anti-bot measures. Datacenter proxies are also more likely to be blacklisted by websites and online services, which can limit their effectiveness.Click here for more information about the differences between residential and datacenter proxies.

Comparing Residential and Datacenter Proxies

Several factors must be considered when choosing between residential proxies and datacenter proxies. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type of proxy:

Residential Proxies:

Pros:

  • Legitimacy and authenticity: Residential proxies use real IP addresses assigned to real residential devices, making them less likely to be detected and blocked by websites and online services.
  • Low risk of blacklisting: Because residential proxies use real IP addresses, they are less likely to be blacklisted by websites and online services.
  • Suitable for sensitive tasks: Residential proxies are ideal for tasks that require high levels of anonymity and security, such as web scraping.

Cons:

  • Expensive: Residential proxies are typically more costly than datacenter proxies.
  • Limited speed: Because residential proxies use real devices, their connection speeds may be lower and less reliable than datacenter proxies.

Datacenter Proxies:

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable: Datacenter proxies use servers located in datacenters, which can provide quick and reliable connections to the internet.
  • Affordable: Datacenter proxies are typically less expensive than residential proxies.
  • Good for non-sensitive tasks: Datacenter proxies are ideal for tasks that do not require high levels of anonymity and security, such as market research.

Cons:

  • More likely to be detected and blocked: Because datacenter proxies use IP addresses associated with servers and data centers, they are more likely to trigger captchas and other anti-bot measures.
  • More likely to be blacklisted: Datacenter proxies are more likely to be blacklisted by websites and online services, which can limit their effectiveness.

Feature Comparison

  • Speed: Datacenter proxies are generally faster and more reliable than residential proxies because they use servers located in data centers.
  • Anonymity: Residential proxies provide higher levels of anonymity and security because they use real IP addresses assigned to real residential devices.
  • Legitimacy: Residential proxies are more legitimate and authentic because they use real IP addresses.
  • Blacklisting: Datacenter proxies are more likely to be blacklisted by websites and online services because they use IP addresses associated with servers and data centers.

What are the Best Use Cases for Residential Proxies and Datacenter Proxies?

Residential Proxies:

  • Web scraping and data mining: Residential proxies are ideal for tasks that require high levels of anonymity and security, such as web scraping and data mining.
  • Social media management: Residential proxies can manage multiple social media accounts without triggering anti-bot measures.
  • Sneaker copping: Residential proxies can be used for buying limited-release sneakers without getting banned.

Datacenter Proxies:

  • Market research: Datacenter proxies are ideal for market research and price monitoring because they are fast and affordable.
  • SEO monitoring: Datacenter proxies can be used to monitor search engine rankings and conduct keyword research.
  • Ad verification: Datacenter proxies can be used for verifying ad placements and detecting fraudulent activity.

Conclusion

Residential and datacenter proxies each have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Residential proxies provide higher levels of anonymity and security because they use real IP addresses assigned to real residential devices. In contrast, datacenter proxies are faster and more reliable because they use servers located in data centers. The choice between residential and datacenter proxies depends on the user’s specific needs and the task at hand. Overall, understanding the differences between these two types of proxies is essential for businesses and individuals needing internet access without revealing their location or IP address.


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