Headline: What is a proxy, and what are its different types? Want to learn more about them? Find out what residential and datacenter proxies are and what they’re all about here.

Every time you search the internet, your activity can be tracked using your IP address. Similar to a personal PIN, your IP address isn’t supposed to be accessible to everyone. That is where proxies come in.

But what exactly is a proxy, and what are its different types? If you want to learn more about it, keep on reading to find out more about what residential and data center proxies are and what they’re all about.


What Is a Proxy?

A proxy serves as an intermediary between you and the internet. A proxy will process internet requests and relay them to the web on your behalf.

For example, when you search for something online, the search goes to the proxy, which changes your IP address then forwards the search to the internet.

After obtaining the results from the internet, the results go through the proxy to your computer. Through this process, your original IP address remains anonymous, and so does your identity.

There are two main types of proxies: datacenter and residential. While you may have heard of other types of proxies, datacenter and residential proxies are among the most popular. So, how do they differ?

Datacenter Proxies

Datacenter proxies are proxies that don’t have a residential IP address. Instead, they rely on datacenters to get their IP addresses.

Datacenters are basically servers that are characterized by a broad bandwidth that helps manage multiple proxy addresses simultaneously.

Datacenter proxies are independent and private. Usually, they are bought in bulk and offer a wide array of IP addresses that you can use.

Unfortunately, since the IP address they leave is obtained from datacenters, these proxies can be a lot easier to identify.

However, they are the fastest type of proxies. This can be pretty handy on various occasions. For example, if you are using a sneaker bot, you can make multiple purchases within seconds.

Residential Proxies

Residential proxies are those that have an actual residential IP address.

Some internet users lease their IP addresses to companies that offer proxy services. These companies then provide their customers with these IP addresses.

This means that the proxies are attached to a physical location that exists and uses an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

So, how do they work?

The residential proxy provider works by leaving a residential IP address that you are using instead of using your IP address.

Since the IP address is actual, most websites barely flag them as proxies which makes them the more secure option. They are commonly used for data mining when conducting business research.

Datacenter Vs Residential Proxies

While both residential and datacenter proxies serve as proxies by hiding IP addresses and allowing users to remain anonymous, they have significant differences between them. Let’s have a look at those key areas:

1. Pricing

The significant difference between the data center and residential proxies is their prices. Datacenter proxies tend to be easier to find, which essentially makes them cheaper.

On the other hand, residential proxies are hard to come by and are, therefore, more expensive.

2. Ideal Applications

If you like to get a proxy for web crawling and data mining on new or small websites, you can use data center proxies as their fast speed makes them ideal.

However, consider using a residential proxy if you would like to mine data from a bigger and established site.

Bigger websites have a robust security system that can easily detect unreal IP addresses. This makes residential proxies appropriate for that situation.

Nonetheless, if you merely want a proxy to change your IP address, you can rely on either of them.

3. Proxy Speed

 When choosing a proxy, speed is a factor to consider. Datacenter proxies don’t depend on the internet to function.

Thus, they offer faster proxy speeds since they lack speed limitations, unlike residential proxies. On the other hand, residential proxies rely on internet service providers, which causes them to be slower.

4. Legitimacy

 Residential proxies use a residential proxy that is attached to an actual physical address. Also, they rely on an ISP which makes them appear more legit and real.

Conversely, datacenter proxies don’t rely on ISP and aren’t attached to any real physical address. Thus, they are less likely to be legit.

For example, let’s assume you would like to carry out a background check on your competitor.

Read Twincities’s article to know what background check services you could use.

If you decide to use a residential proxy to spy, and the website owner decides to investigate their searches, they will trace the IP address to an actual physical location.

Thus, they won’t find it alarming and are less likely to take any action like blacklist or block your IP address.

The Bottom Line

Both residential and data center proxies help you remain anonymous on the internet.

However, based on our datacenter vs residential proxies comparison, residential proxies tend to be more authentic as they’re not easily detected, unlike datacenter proxies.

However, which one you decide to go for depends on your needs and budget. If you have a tight budget, then datacenter proxies are more viable.

Meanwhile, if you want more reliability for doing huge tasks, then residential proxies are worth considering.

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