If you are keen on online anonymity and cyber safety or have been involved in market research that involves searching the web for information, you must have come across the term ‘proxy’.
Proxies are tools that an internet user can use to access the web without revealing their IP address or location. Instead of the users’ details, the web server will see the proxy’s IP address and a corresponding location.
The anonymity that proxies provide enables businesses to carry out operations such as
- Price scraping for better pricing strategies
- Web scraping for market intelligence
- SEO monitoring for digital marketing
- Ad verification
There are two main types of proxies – data center proxies and residential proxies.
Data center proxies come from cloud server providers. They do not rely on an internet service provider or internet connection. They provide anonymity when browsing the internet by masking the real IP address with an artificial IP.
Our main focus is on the residential proxy.
What is a Residential Proxy?
How do residential proxies work? A residential proxy server is an IP address provided to a homeowner by an internet service provider. They are legitimate and have an IP address attached to a specific location.
They are limited in supply, and yet their demand is high. This is unlike data center proxies that can be created in bulk to meet an increase in demand.
What Makes a Residential Proxy to be Highly Demanded?
Unlike a data center proxy that comes from a secondary corporation, a residential proxy comes with a legitimate IP address that makes it an excellent choice for carrying out sensitive projects such as price scraping.
2) High Anonymity
A residential proxy will provide the highest level of anonymity. They are rare, and this means fewer users. These proxies allow users to browse the internet, scrape data from websites, and carry out other projects without the fear of having their proxy banned or blocked.
These proxies are less detectable. They give the impression of a real and authentic visitor, and unlike data center proxies, they are not easily flagged. Any attempts to trace the source of the proxy will lead back to the internet service provider.
The Four Top Things to Look For in Residential Proxies
There are four things you should keep in mind when getting a residential proxy.
The fact that a residential proxy is provided by an internet service provider makes it hard to get, and consequently, expensive. However, you can always get the best price by comparing offers from different providers.
Finding the best price does not mean you should compromise on quality. A shared residential proxy may be cheaper than a private proxy, but misuse by the other users could compromise on the proxy’s reliability and safety.
You need a proxy that will meet your needs. Do you need a residential proxy for basic security and anonymity when browsing the internet, web scraping, price scraping, or social media management? Your answer to this question will determine the residential proxy package you purchase.
When price scraping, for instance, you will need a residential proxy with rotating IP addresses. For social media management, you can assign an IP for each account with no need for rotation. Some web scraping projects require IPs attached to a specific location to enable access to geoblocked sites.
3) Compatibility with Your Tools
Some projects will require the use of other tools in addition to using the proxy. You should never assume that the residential proxy you purchase will be compatible with these tools. Discuss your intentions with the vendor first before making your purchase.
For instance, if you intend to buy a residential proxy for SEO monitoring, ensure that the package you intend to purchase supports SEO tools. The same case applies to web scraping, verify that the proxy will be compatible with the scraper. Alternatively, get the proxy and scraper from the same vendor.
4) Confirm That It Is Operable
As we mentioned, a residential proxy is not readily available, and this makes it expensive. Their reliability also makes them a favorite among business owners involved in large-scale web scraping projects. These factors entice some dishonest providers to sell proxies with IP addresses that have been blocked.
You should never make your purchase blindly. Check and verify that the IP address is working perfectly before investing your hard-earned money.
Residential proxies are the most reliable proxies and an excellent choice for businesses, especially when used in market research projects.
They provide high levels of anonymity and legitimacy. However, they are not easily available, and this makes them quite expensive compared to data center proxies. Ensure that you are getting the best price for the highest quality.
Confirm its functionality. The proxy should be capable of meeting your needs and integrate seamlessly with other tools you may need to use in the project.