Proxies have changed the way businesses navigate the internet. Gone are the days when businesses were restricted to content from their geographical location.
Being blocked from accessing data from competitor businesses is a thing of the past. Proxies have broken down digital barriers and opened up a world of opportunities for businesses to succeed.
There are two major types of proxies that we’re going to discuss side by side: Residential vs Data Center proxies. Afterward, you can decide which proxy is better for your business.
Both these proxies hide your IP address while you’re browsing the internet, so what makes them different? Let’s look at each of them in detail.
What are Residential Proxies?
If you’re wondering what is a residential proxy, it’s an intermediate server using residential IPs provided by an ISP. They are linked to an actual residential address and this gives them credibility. Web servers are keen on spotting and blacklisting proxy servers but they cannot spot residential proxies.
Why Use Residential Proxies?
- Travel Fare Aggregation
Collecting travel data is a tedious task for travel fare aggregators. Reliable sources of data like airline companies, travel agencies, bus companies, and train companies have employed strict security measures.
If they detect any bot-like activity, they will block suspicious IP addresses immediately. Since residential proxies have legitimate IP addresses, they can’t block them. Aggregators can easily obtain and compare various travel fare prices and time tables.
- Web Scraping
Web scraping/data gathering is an important process for business success today. To stay ahead of the competition, you must collect crucial competitor data from the internet.
With the vast amount of information on the web, gathering the information manually would be difficult. That’s where residential proxies come in. They are the ideal tool for automated large scale data gathering.
These proxy networks can imitate real human activity. They contain several rotating residential IP addresses. They rotate between requests, preventing web servers from identifying any bot-like activity. Businesses can gather as much information as they need without restrictions.
- Ad Verification
The increase in ad traffic fraud has caused businesses severe losses in advertising dollars because the target market cannot see the ads.
To make matters worse, some business competitors can take advantage of this to destroy your reputation. With residential proxies, you can enhance ad performance, verify ads, unmask fraud and check the advertisers’ landing pages anonymously.
- Purchasing Limited Edition Products
Once in a while, popular brands will release a limited edition product. Businesses that deal with these types of products would want to buy them to resell. However, the brands usually manufacture a small quantity. Chances are that you may not get your hands on them unless residential proxies are involved.
First of all, you’ll bypass any location restrictions and access these products from wherever you are. You’ll also have a good chance of buying multiple limited edition products by using multiple residential proxies, with each of them taking a spot in the buying line for you.
What is Data Center Proxies?
These proxies have no affiliation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Their source is a secondary independent company that provides you with a private IP address and anonymity on the web.
You can buy a batch of sequential IP addresses from the providers. These proxies are categorized into two types: dedicated proxies and semi-dedicated proxies. Dedicated proxies are owned by only one user while semi-dedicated proxies are used by multiple accounts.
Why Use Data Center Proxies?
Rapid Response Time
This is the most beneficial aspect of data center proxies. They work fast. This is especially useful when gathering a large amount of crucial data from the web within a short timeline. You’ll experience more success with more IP addresses.
These proxies are cheaper than residential proxies. You can access them in bulk, easily and cheaply in case you need multiple proxies for projects like web scraping. They are also the most common proxies, so they are readily available with several companies selling them.
Although web browsers can detect the use of a data center proxy, the proxies will effectively hide your identity. They keep your identity anonymous on the web and allow you to access geographically restricted information.
The Verdict: Residential Proxies or Data Center Proxies?
Generally, businesses will choose residential proxies. They may be more expensive, but they are also more reliable because of their legitimacy. Businesses need to keep their reputation intact. They also offer various locations to connect from in case of geo-location restrictions.
The benefit of data center proxies is that they are cheaper, so they are easier to acquire. This means that more users will engage in malicious activities online and they can easily get banned.
However, if you want to gather data quickly and cheaply, they can work. Work out your business needs, then take your pick between residential vs data center proxies.