Residential proxies route the internet traffic through a remote server that stands between the user and the target website. A proxy server functions as an intermediary and shields the original IP address of the user’s device by assigning the user an alternative, residential proxy IP address.
Proxies come in various types, and the most popular ones are datacenter and residential proxy IP addresses. These types of IPs differ in their origin and features.
Residential proxies are IPs assigned to residential addresses by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Each home with an internet connection has an IP address assigned to them, and these are called residential IP addresses. Residential proxies are IP addresses assigned to real devices, and they contain information about that IP’s location.
Companies and individuals use residential proxies for various tasks. So what makes them useful?
Wide Range of Locations
Residential proxies stand out from the crowd of other proxy types with their geotargeting features. Since residential IPs come from a wide range of locations around the world, users benefit from a very specific location targeting.
Depending on a proxy provider, users can target country- or city-level locations. Different providers cover various locations, but the best providers have a wide selection of areas covered by their residential proxies. Some providers cover hundreds of different locations but others may offer significantly fewer locations, so users should always make sure the provider covers their wanted area before purchasing proxies.
Choosing a residential proxy IP address from a specific location allows accessing content that’s only available in that area. This helps bypass geo-location restrictions and gather data that may not be available with the user’s original IP address.
Better Success Rates
Residential proxies have features that ensure better web scraping success rates. These proxies are issued by ISPs, so target websites treat these proxies as regular IP addresses. Target sites don’t want to block regular users. Therefore, residential proxies are much less likely to get banned than any other type of proxies.
Moreover, residential proxies can be rotated. This means that the user can get a new IP address assigned to them at set intervals. Rotating proxies ensures that one IP address doesn’t send too many requests to the target website in a short period of time and therefore increases success rates. In some cases, the user needs to keep the same IP for a longer time and some providers allow that too.
Because of these features, residential proxies are useful for targeting websites with robust anti-scraping or anti-bot mechanisms.
High Level of Anonymity
Target websites see and treat residential proxy IP addresses as any regular IP addresses. Targets cannot tell if the user is connecting through a proxy. This means the user’s identity is secure, and they can browse the web anonymously.
When connecting through a datacenter proxy, target sites can often identify that the user is utilizing a proxy. This is due to the fact that datacenter proxies are artificial, created at a datacenter, and they have distinct features. Therefore, datacenter proxies cannot ensure the same level of anonymity as residential proxies.
Managing Multiple Accounts
Some social media sites don’t allow users to manage multiple accounts from the same IP address. Connecting to different profiles with the same IP can get the user accounts suspended, and that’s the risk nobody wants to take. For example, Instagram only allows managing up to five different accounts from the same IP address.
Residential proxies are extremely useful when it comes to multiple social media account management. Whether these profiles are run by bots or by a single person, using residential proxies will ensure that social networks cannot see that multiple accounts run on the same device.
Large Pool Size
When considering a proxy service provider, it’s important to make sure it has a large proxy pool. This means that users can easily grab a new IP address whenever needed.
Residential proxy IP pools are always smaller than datacenter ones because they require real IP addresses. However, residential proxy pools can still be large. Some providers have thousands of residential IPs, while others feature millions of addresses.
The bigger the pool, the more IP addresses and locations that users can choose from.
Residential proxy IP addresses are useful for many reasons. These IPs are assigned by internet service providers, which makes them hard to be detected as proxies by the target sites.
When it comes to locations, residential IPs can come even from the most remote places in the world. This makes them especially useful if users need to target very specific areas. For example, Metrow covers over 190 locations worldwide, but each proxy provider covers different ranges of locations, so it’s a good idea to check their coverage before committing.
When gathering data, success rates can highly depend on the proxies. Users with residential IPs are treated as regular internet clients, which ensures higher web scraping success rates.
Residential proxies can ensure high anonymity as they shield the original device’s IP address and replace them with a proxy one. This keeps the user’s information secure and doesn’t reveal that the user is connecting to the target website through a proxy server.
Managing multiple social media accounts requires proxies because otherwise, these accounts can be blocked. Residential IPs are the best choice for this use case because social networks don’t want to block their regular users.
A large proxy pool can also make residential proxies useful. The more IPs users can choose from, the better their chances of scraping the web without getting blocked.