What is a Residential Proxy and Why You Should Use It?


15.06.2022 in Residential Proxies by Matt Brown

Though the topic of our article is revolving around ‘residential proxies’, we have to step back first to understand what an Internet proxy server is.

A proxy server acts as an intermediary door between a computer and the Internet, and it can be used for a multitude of purposes, from increasing our privacy and security levels to allowing us to reach restricted locations.

Now, though there are multiple proxy types in the world, for the purpose of our article we will mention the ones that are of interest to us: datacenter proxies and residential proxies.

Datacenter proxies are virtual IP addresses that we can find in a data center from a physical location. In a data center, a single server can provide thousands of proxies sharing the server’s resources and IP subnetwork. The main advantage of using these proxies stands in their speed, the downside is that they look similar and attract restrictions from online sites that may consider them unsafe.

Further on, when talking about datacenter proxies, we have two main types to work with. We may be dealing with private or shared datacenter proxies. Private datacenter proxies can be used by just one customer at one time, while shared ones can be accessed by more customers at the same time.

Now, we are getting to the topic of our article, the residential proxies. What are residential proxies and why do they display such a large interest for businesses?

First of all, to keep it simple, residential IPs are the IP addresses that we use at home and reveal several public details to outside parties, such as the country, the city, the Internet Service Provider, and even the neighborhood of the person using that IP.

As for the interest in residential IPs displayed by numerous companies, we have to mention that these enterprises need reliable access to data from various online sources to continue their business activities. These companies may be involved in e-commerce, online marketing, SEO, social media, and other areas of interest.

But why would these companies be interested to use residential IPs for their online scraping activities?

As we mentioned above, these companies need to target and retrieve online data for their business projects, so they need to go online with IP addresses that belong to real users to increase their chances of obtaining the required information.

If companies would choose the cheaper option of scraping data on a datacenter proxy network, they may find themselves restricted from accessing some online places or they may even receive a false set of data from the sites they target. And when the success of your business depends on the online data you access, you want to make sure you choose the best residential proxy network in the market

What are residential rotating proxies?

Companies looking to access multiple online locations without getting blocked can take advantage of a network of residential rotating proxies that guarantee higher levels of success and increased privacy.

Customers use rotating proxies to connect to a proxy pool that provides a new residential IP address with each rotation time, so these proxies are also known in the industry as backconnect residential IPs or rotating residential proxies.

We can definitely say that residential rotating proxies take the privacy game a little further, increasing a user’s chances when scraping online locations as we are dealing with a pool of residential IPs that change - rotate -  at regular time intervals. And when your device’s IP address changes often, the targeted location will not try to restrict the access allowing you to continue sending requests without raising suspicions.

For instance, our company’s residential proxy pool contains millions of IPs that allow users to obtain accurate data from the online locations they target. Shifter’s P2P routing service has been designed to permit consumers to browse anonymously by directing their requests through other users. Furthermore, customers benefit from our attractive pricing policy that considers the proxy ports in use and not the data usage.

Benefits for companies using Residential Proxies

Why use residential proxy?

Companies that choose residential proxies are involved in a variety of business projects that require specific data from a variety of online sources. Residential IPs make sure that the targeted information is reached even when dealing with geo-blocked content as customers can choose to connect as local users.

At the same time, residential proxies are useful for users who want to avoid receiving a false set of data as it happens when using datacenter proxies. Since most companies are not looking to attract any attention from the targeted websites, using a residential network becomes key in creating the appearance of a natural connection without raising any flags.

Let us try to discover the main benefits companies enjoy when using residential proxies:

  • Privacy: users go online with IP addresses that belong to real people from other countries, so the targeted sites have no reason to block them, especially when using residential rotating proxies.
  • Legitimacy: Residential IPs are legitimate IP addresses that are provided by established Internet Service Providers from various countries. When using these IPs, users have an easier life in avoiding the anti-scraping procedures allowing them to remain active for a longer time to obtain more information.
  • Best chances to succeed: Residential IPs, especially backconnect or rotating ones, offer the greatest chances of success to users who look for the right tools when scraping online data.
  • Connect from anywhere in the world: The most popular proxy platform providers, including Shifter, have worked for a long time to build some of the largest residential proxy pools in the world. With such a proxy network in place, users have numerous countries at their disposal to connect to, increasing the chances of reaching the targeted data.

What Are Residential Proxies Used For?

Proxy use cases

Residential proxies bring many benefits to companies that need to access online data fast and without trouble.

Residential IPs are simply more genuine if we compare them with other types of proxies. For this reason, it should not come as a surprise to see that their use cases cover a large array of industries and interests.

1. Online scraping

This is probably one of the most popular use cases for residential proxies as many companies need to ‘know’ what the competition is doing, how they sell their products, and what prices or promotions they are displaying for the customers.

It is quite obvious that the way a company sells itself equally reveals who its customers are and where they come from so your company’s reps may be able to make the right decisions when choosing the target audience and the message.

Is your competition trying to protect its prices and reputation just like you do? Of course, that’s why it’s advisable for you to use residential rotating proxies and elude any blocking attempts while reaching the desired information.

2. Ads verification

With residential proxies in place, marketing agencies and those involved in online advertising have the possibility to check the ads from the sites they control. If companies do not have access to residential proxies, they may not be able to verify what exactly the ads look like or what they are all about.

Residential proxies allow you to track and monitor the ads which appear on your site.

3. Price monitoring

As we mentioned earlier, companies need to scrape the competitors’ websites for various information and data that could benefit their own businesses.

And what is more important for your company’s managers to obtain if not a market price overview that could shed some light on where your company’s prices stand and where they should be?

With residential proxies at your disposal, you would know at any moment what are the latest prices from the competition providing your Sales department with the ultimate data that could help them make correct decisions to keep up with the market.

Without residential proxies, your competitors’ websites may provide the wrong set of data when noticing that a web scraping process is in place. The latest online security tools allow IT managers to automatically detect any intrusion or scraping attempt and provide inaccurate details on purpose. Residential rotating proxies allow you to mask your scraping efforts.

4. Online marketing

Internet marketing is now part of our everyday lives and we just take it for granted. But in such a crowded space, how do marketers make sure they remain ahead of the competition unless they have a secret card up their sleeves?

Well, with residential proxies at hand, marketers can keep a close eye on the competition making sure they establish a unique identity and address the right audience.

When you have all these elements in place, it just becomes easier to create online ads, email marketing campaigns, landing pages, and establish a strong social media presence.

5. SEO purposes

Every company that is looking to establish an online presence is fully aware of Google’s power, so no business can ignore the SEO part and is interested to know how competitors manage to attract the right clients.

Therefore, many SEO efforts are spent in an attempt to discover the main keywords and backlinks from the competitors’ websites. And though many SEO managers employ several SEO tools that offer relevant information, it is much easier to add to your SEO campaigns the right set of residential proxies that would allow you to check your competitors’ online presence without getting blocked.

Now, though it’s indeed useful to have an idea of your competition’s SEO plan in order to create a better one for yourself, we have to say that at the end of the day nothing sells better than a good set of products or solutions that customers appreciate.

6. Social media

Social media and online marketing go hand in hand and when SEO-wise content doesn’t seem to reach the desired audience, it's always nice to have a strong social media presence and millions of followers.

But how far can you go with your social media accounts when relying on a single IP?

With residential rotating proxies in place, you can easily switch between multiple social media accounts to run more campaigns at the same time while managing them from a single location.

7. Sneaker promotions

How many shoes do you need? Well, if we are talking about limited edition sneakers from Nike or other popular brands, some people may never have enough of them. 

So, turn on your bots and your residential rotating proxies before trying to access the desired sports shoes sites to avoid getting blocked.

What is a Residential Proxy? Conclusions

Residential proxies - especially the rotating ones where the user connects to a proxy pool getting access to a large number of residential IPs - have been specially designed for companies that need to run large scraping campaigns and really need the high security and privacy levels offered by these proxies.

For this reason, residential rotating proxies are expensive and address enterprises that look for the best solutions to reach the targeted information from the online environment. Further on, enterprises that need to access GEO-restricted content and access the Internet from different corners of the world are more than happy to pay for the privacy offered by residential proxies.

Read more about how to monitor customer reviews with proxies.

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Shifter was founded in 2012, as one of the first residential proxy providers, since then it has become one of the leading proxy networks in the world and it's used by more than 25.000 clients including Fortune 500 Companies. Users can connect from anywhere to access local data without any restriction, while preserving a high degree of privacy and security.