What is a Residential Proxy?

What is a residential proxy?

A residential proxy can be a great method to access geo-restricted websites, add extra security while browsing the Internet or even perform some black hat SEO techniques.

Both dedicated and shared proxies have their own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, you will need to decide what you want to use a proxy for and what your priorities are before deciding which type will be best for you.

What you’ll learn

What is a residential IP address?

When an IP address is allocated to a home user, rather than for commercial or data center use, it is referred to as a residential IP.

The term only started being used recently when digital rights management systems explicitly distinguish between residential and data center IP addresses. Content streaming providers often only do business with residential IP addresses and not data center IP addresses.

The IPs are allocated by an ISP (Internet Service Provider), and they identify Internet users to the ISP while accessing websites. The residential IPs can be either static (unchanging) or dynamic (changing), depending on the ISP pricing and policies.

Websites like XMyIP can identify your public IP address and further identify your country, city, and ISP. Most of the websites can also access this information at any time.

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What is a residential proxy?

A residential proxy is a proxy server that uses a residential IP address as its public IP.

Residential proxy - How does it work?

There are numerous reasons why people use dedicated residential proxies, and it is not only to add more security to internet activities. A residential IP proxy can be used to access content that is limited to specific geographical locations. When content is limited to specific parts of the world, a residential proxy server can help people access those sites from another location.

Criminals often use such proxies to hide their location, as it makes it more difficult to track them. Many people, however, use residential proxy servers simply for safety reasons. There are numerous security threats like malware that could affect a system, and when a residential IP proxy is used, the vulnerability to these and other types of online attacks is reduced. While residential IP proxies could be used to commit crimes, the opposite is also exact, and law enforcement officers can use them to infiltrate criminal organizations.

Such proxies are also useful for marketing purposes: grey and black hat SEO strategies, ad verification, check geo-targeted local content.

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Types of residential proxies

Any kind of proxy can installed on a proxy server with residential IP, including HTTP proxies and SOCKS proxies. However, it is not practical to have a web proxy with residential IP due to the high costs.

An advanced type of residential IP proxy is the residential backconnect proxy that is rotating a pool of residential IPs for every request or every several minutes.

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Where to find residential proxies?

Most of the proxy providers offer access to shared proxies or dedicated proxies with IP addresses allocated for data center usage. But, several services provide access to private residential proxies network as well (e.g., Luminati, StormProxies, Oxylabs, Smartproxy). Take a look at my proxy tools page or take Google search on “residential proxy,” “residential IP proxies,” ” buy proxy residential IP,” or “residential dedicated proxy.”

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Advantages of a residential proxy

The most significant benefit of residential proxies is that they’ll provide more security and anonymity while surfing the web. It is especially true when it is used as a point-to-point connection between a remote location and you. As a residential proxy provides a single tunnel through which all data communication flows, and the data that flows to and from a remote location is encrypted, deciphering the content without an encryption key becomes virtually impossible.

Another important advantage of residential proxies is that they are less likely to get banned from websites or get IP blacklisted. Thus they are ideal for accessing geo-restricted websites, web scraping, data extraction or to be used as sneaker proxies, ticketing proxies, Instagram proxies, Facebook proxies, Twitter proxies.

If you do decide to use a free residential proxy, be careful when selecting a service provider. Many claim that their services are secure and private, but this may not always be the case. It would be better to buy a residential proxy from a reputable service so you can be sure that you’re getting what you really want.

You may, in fact, be worse off than you would be without it if you use the wrong residential IP proxy service.

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Disadvantages of a residential proxy

The main drawback of a residential proxy is the cost. As it is difficult to get residential IPs, this makes them relatively expensive, as so few service providers offer them.

Another important drawback is related to proxy replacement in the case of IP blacklisting. A residential proxy is harder to be replaced than a datacenter one.

Using a proxy server could also slow down your internet connection. It is because you’re adding another point through which data needs to flow. When using different residential proxy servers, you may experience a difference in speed. It’s always a good idea to first test out different providers before deciding which one will give you the best performance.

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Differences between a residential proxy and a datacenter proxy

Residential IPs are considered more legitimate and genuine when compared to datacenter proxies, just because it is more difficult to create multiple residential proxies than it is to create multiple datacenter proxies.

These same reasons however also means that they are more costly than what datacenter proxies are, and there are relatively few providers around.

A residential proxies network could be prone to be blacklisted, as it is likely that they are abused. In these situations, some databases and security technologies blacklist residential IPs.

While datacenter proxies are considered less genuine, they are still protective. They are also less expensive and have more providers, as it is not difficult to obtain datacenter proxies and hundreds of providers provide them.

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Despite the potential drawbacks, residential proxies can be a great way to add security to what you do online. Their most prominent use remains the ability to establish a point-to-point connection between a remote location and you for companies with employees that often travel to various locations around the globe.

I have a background in marketing and I have been working with proxies for several years. I started this blog to share my knowledge about proxies and proxy tools.