Difference Between Data Center and Residential Proxies

data center proxies
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  • 3 March, 2018

Are you one of the internet users who is wary of prying eyes? The fact is, you’re not alone, since there have been different occasions where people have revealed that the government (and others – hackers, CIA, companies, etc.) spy on people through their IPs, many people have started looking into ways by which they can protect their privacy. Who wouldn’t? Imagine surfing the internet in Alaska, and just a random person in Norilsk, Russia can access your computer, see your location, your PC model, and possibly collect more information than you would like any stranger to have.

For this single reason of protecting your privacy from prying eyes, you have found yourself looking for proxies, and you are contemplating which one is best for you.

First, What is a Residential IP?

A residential IP is one that is gotten from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which shows the location of the user on the IP. There is no anonymity with a residential IP, as anyone can look up your IP address can see information like your ISP name, and in most cases, your location and computer address.

What is a Datacenter Proxy?

Basically, a datacenter proxy is one that is not connected to or owned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Picture a datacenter proxy as a wall, no one can see your IP address or trace your location through your IP address. Anyone who tries to look you up via your IP address will only see the proxy address belonging to the datacenter, including information about the company that operates the datacenter. So a datacenter proxy is good for anonymity.

Pro/Cons

  • They are much cheaper, unlike ISP who provide residential IPs.
  • The legitimacy of datacenter proxies is questionable.
  • There’s anonymity because no one can see your IP address, location or your computer address, but they know that you’re using a proxy because they will see the IP address of the company providing the service.
  • There are many choices of providers to choose from.
  • They have higher bandwith.
  • There is a possibility that the provider offering the datacenter proxy IP have been banned by some websites such as Amazon which takes its security seriously, so you won’t be able to use it on such websites.
  • Great, but you’re not here to read about what you already know, you have been hearing about residential proxies and you’re completely confused about this. Not to worry, we will share with you what we know about it.

Residential Proxies

Residential proxies are just like the traditional residential IPs we talked about, which you know so well, but with anonymity, by giving users another residential IP address instead of theirs. If you are using a residential proxy and you google your address - the famous “what’s my IP address”, it ought to show a different IP address than yours.

Pros/Cons

The truth is, if this was vividly so (if it is possible to sell a residential IP to another person in a different location), this would have been the best way to protect your privacy, but there are real concerns about the possibility of residential proxies.

According to top datacenter proxy companies and the more reputable traditional residential IP companies, it is impossible to sell residential IPs for proxy. For scraping? Yes, there is a company that does that already, Hola. Hola offers free datacenter proxies, but at the expense of the nonchalant users. Hola sells the millions of residential IPs they collect from their subscribers to companies, basically any highest bidder who ought to use the IPs for scraping.

So, when you see an advert that says they offer residential proxies, you might have to do more research on the company before you invest your money. Why? It is possible that companies who claim that they offer residential proxies actually provide datacenter proxies, but manipulate the details so that it shows another residential IP.

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