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Which Is Better for You: A Residential Proxy or a Datacenter Proxy?

Proxies are intermediaries between the user’s device and the target site they’re accessing. When using proxies, all the requests sent from the user’s device go through the proxy server and reach the target site with a different IP address – a proxy IP address.

The two main types of proxies are datacenter and residential proxies. While both types route the user’s requests through a proxy server and shield the original IP address, these proxies also have a number of differences, and they’re used for different scenarios. You can learn more about residential proxy features and compare these proxies to datacenter IPs to find out which type of proxies is better for you.

Residential and Datacenter Proxies: The Differences

Residential proxies are IP addresses provided to residential homes by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). These proxies come from various locations around the world, and they’re the least likely to get blocked by the target site. This is due to the fact that it’s very difficult for the target site to recognize if the user is using a proxy or connecting through a regular IP address. And target sites don’t want to block regular users.

When it comes to the price, residential proxies are on the more expensive side because they’re more difficult to acquire. These proxies are slower than other types of IPs, but they’re the best choice for accessing sites with advanced anti-bot measures, such as search engines. They’re also frequently used for managing social media accounts.

Datacenter proxies come from datacenters, so they’re considered to be artificial. These IPs are cheaper and easier to acquire than residential proxies. However, their locations are limited because they can only come from the places where data centers are located.

Datacenter proxies are often used for tasks that require fast IPs and a high number of them. For example, they’re used for market research.

Hence, the main difference between residential and datacenter proxies are their origin, speed, and price.

Where Are Residential Proxies Used?

Residential proxies are mainly used on websites that have robust anti-scraping or anti-bot mechanisms in place. Since these IPs are supplied by ISPs, they’re the least likely to be flagged as proxies.

Companies and individuals use residential proxies for managing multiple social media accounts, website automation, market research, etc. These proxies are rotating, so you cannot keep one proxy for too long. In many cases, this works as an advantage since sending too many requests from a single IP address will most likely get that IP blocked very quickly.

Where Are Datacenter Proxies Used?

Datacenter proxies are mostly used for tasks that require many high-speed IP addresses. This is due to the fact that these IPs are cheaper and quicker than residential ones.

The main use cases of datacenter proxies cover market research and various other web scraping tasks that require quick proxies. These IPs are more likely to get flagged as proxies by target websites, so they’re more effective when used on websites with lower anti-bot security.

Datacenter proxies can be dedicated, shared, or semi-dedicated. Dedicated proxies are only used by one client at a time, which means the user gets to enjoy the full bandwidth. Shared proxies are used by multiple users at the same time. This makes the proxies cheaper but can come with various downsides, such as a bad neighbor effect. Semi-dedicated IPs are shared by a small number of users simultaneously, and it’s an optimal choice price and effectiveness-wise.

Which Proxies Are Better for You?

When choosing between residential and datacenter proxies, it all comes down to the user’s needs. If the user wants to simply shield their IP address, either type of proxy will do that. However, if we’re talking about more advanced tasks, then it’s important to consider a few factors.

Datacenter proxies are a better choice for projects that require high-speed IPs. These proxies are also cheaper. In general, those with a strong knowledge of proxy technology can make datacenter proxies work for nearly any use case. However, there isn’t a better choice in some scenarios than residential proxies.

Residential IPs are irreplaceable when it comes to targeting websites that have high anti-bot measures in place. These IPs have the highest security and are the least likely to get flagged as proxies because they’re connected to real residential addresses. Residential proxies also cover a wider range of locations than datacenter IPs, so if you need proxies from a highly specific location, then residential proxies are a better option.

Conclusion

Residential proxies and datacenter IPs have many differences, but they also have one undeniable similarity – both shield the user’s real IP address.

Residential proxies are issued by internet service providers and are connected to residential locations. These IPs are highly secure and can ensure the highest level of anonymity. There’s virtually no chance to track the original user’s IP address if they’re connecting via a residential IP. However, residential proxies are less widely available than datacenter proxies and also come at a higher cost.

Datacenter proxies come from various data centers. They’re so-called artificial IP addresses because they’re not provided by ISPs but created at data centers. These proxies are very fast, and that’s one of their main features. They’re also cheaper and more broadly available than other types of proxies.

When considering which type of proxies is the best for your case, you should think about your tasks and what proxy features they require. If you prefer anonymity over speed, then residential proxies are the best choice for your case.

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