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Residential Proxies vs. Datacenter Proxies

Dwight Zahringer

Why are Residential Proxies Better Than Datacenter Proxies?

Proxies are useful when hiding your IP address online, which is important. There are multiple affordable options and plenty of free services. Home users can use a free proxy as they could use a VPN to mask their IP address.

Businesses are far more likely to avoid free VPNs or proxies and choose a more advanced paid proxy service. Traditionally, this would have involved using a data center proxy server, but other choices are available now, and businesses are using them.

Several providers now offer residential proxies, and many firms involved in data collection, optimizing content for SEO, and social media marketing are recommending these other data center proxies. Providers promise that they are more reliable and secure than shared proxies. But are they better, and if so, why?

Datacenter proxies vs residential: What is the purpose of a proxy?

All proxies have one main purpose: to provide a gateway for your information to flow anonymously to a website and back again. When you connect to a proxy service, your data will no longer travel directly to the website you are visiting.

Instead, the proxy provider will assign you a new IP, and all traffic will appear from the proxy’s IP. The website will believe the proxy IP address belongs to the user.

This means you can remain anonymous and choose a different location to operate from. For instance, in 2022, Slovakia had the biggest Netflix library in the world. So, switching your proxy to that country would allow you to see new content.

Proxies are used by home users and businesses to mask their IPs, access geo-restricted websites, and connect to the Internet securely. The type of proxy you use will determine how this traffic is routed, as not all proxies are the same.

What are the differences between proxy services?

A datacenter proxy is shared by many users, and the IPs are generated by the provider. Residential and mobile proxies are different. explains that residential IPs are provided by real internet service providers and are linked to genuine devices. Mobile proxy IPs are linked to mobile networks and are also genuine.

Some differences between mobile, residential, and shared data center proxies include cost, reliability, privacy, and what they can be used for. All three types of proxy will mask your IP, but some will do so more effectively.

What is a residential proxy service?

When you connect to a data center proxy, the traffic between your device and the websites you look at will be funneled through the proxy server. With a residential proxy, things are quite different, making them a superior option for many.

Using a residential proxy will connect you to a genuine device linked to an ISP. In effect, you will appear to be a residential internet user who uses one of the many internet service providers worldwide.

Your IP will be hidden as it would through a mobile or data center proxy, and you will be anonymous while online. Due to the cost, though, residential proxies are not used as much by individuals as data center proxies are and are currently used more by businesses. However, many businesses offer micro plans to make the service more affordable to individuals currently choosing data center proxies.

What is a data center proxy?

A data center proxy will still hide your IP, while a residential proxy will expect that the IP address provided is not linked to an ISP. This means these IPs are more detectable and can be flagged as suspicious by websites.

These proxies still work as intermediaries, except that they funnel your traffic through a server instead of a device linked to a residential IP. They are also shared with other users, which can cause issues.

Nevertheless, data center proxies offer a reliable, affordable, and easily accessible solution to individuals and businesses who wish to remain anonymous online. Residential proxies might offer more, though.

Why are residential proxies better than data center proxies?

One of the biggest problems with shared data center proxy servers is what is known as the neighbor effect. Sometimes, and perhaps more appropriately, this is called the bad neighbor effect. It effectively means that your proxy IP could be blacklisted from websites through guilt by association.

If a user was acting suspiciously online or perhaps involved in fraud, the website could report this IP to the proxy provider. Blanket bans can and have occurred, making data center proxies null and void for certain websites. Unfortunately, web users can even find their own IPs on blacklists, and the Passive Spam Block List check is just one of many blacklists operating today.

Residential proxies don’t have the same problem as shard proxy servers. For instance, ProxyEmpire Residential Proxies provides genuine IPs provided by ISPs that are linked to one device and not a shared server.

Residential IPs are far harder to detect than data center IPs due to their authenticity. And websites are far less likely to blacklist residential internet protocol addresses when there is a high chance they are genuine web users.

residential proxiesWhy use residential proxies?

Data center proxies are valuable tools for businesses and are still used by millions. However, the value of a residential IP for certain business practices is understood. For instance, data center proxies can be used for web scraping, but they may be more practical for smaller-scale data collection than residential proxies.

The neighbor effect means that data center proxies may not always be fully effective for tasks such as web scraping. Website owners want to protect their data and content from cyber attacks and online threats. Quite rightly, they also wish to protect their customers’ sensitive data from any breaches.

Websites use different types of security, including botnet protection. Social media sites invest much time and money into shutting down bots and fake accounts. Website operators try to stop web scrapers from extracting data and content. When any IP is identified as being linked to these activities, it will be flagged and banned.

Residential proxies are almost undetectable from real users. Therefore, they are ideal for use with web scrapers, social media marketing, and other types of data collection.

What can you use a residential proxy for?

Individuals who use a residential proxy for home use would find the world opened up to them. At the moment, it is more likely that a business would use residential proxies than a home user, but there are some reasons an individual would want a reliable, secure proxy, too.

Home users

A home user could utilize a residential proxy for:

  • Reselling
  • Accessing ticket sites
  • Accessing sneaker sites
  • Streaming foreign content
  • Accessing geo-blocked promotions
  • Opening multiple social media accounts

Buying sneakers through proxies is a growing trend now. This lets fans of sneakers be able to buy more than one pair when limited editions are released. Often, brands will limit purchases of new-line sneakers to one pair per customer. Using different IP addresses bypasses this problem.

Similarly, configuring a proxy to appear in another country can give access to new content and promotions. A residential proxy could be a cost-effective solution for someone interested in reselling tickets or other products.


Any size business can use residential proxies. Some of the more common tasks that are made easy through proxies are these:

  • Web scraping and data mining
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO improvements and compliance
  • Price comparison
  • Ad verification
  • Research
  • Bypassing geo-restrictions

Switching a proxy to a different region means a business can check to see what adverts are displayed on their pages. Your business could unwittingly display inappropriate or rival advertising in different geographical regions.

Residential proxies are fast becoming one of the important social media marketing tools today. Being able to make multiple social media accounts through a proxy undetected is vital to being able to scrape valuable data.

Web scraping itself is also made more effective through the use of residential proxies. Residential proxies can have 1,000 concurrent connections, and mass web scraping can occur through rotating IPs.

This means you can collect and analyze competitor data, including market prices for comparison, contact details for leads, SEO improvements for content, and keyword analysis. So long as all the data you collect is not confidential, web scraping is an allowed business practice.

Is it okay to use a residential proxy?

Some regions of the world ban or restrict proxy use. In 2017, Russia passed a bill to prohibit the use of proxies. Regimes that strive to restrict internet access from their inhabitants make proxies and VPNs more vital for freedom.

Fortunately, most countries don’t ban the use of proxies. Residential proxies use authentic ISPs to obtain IP addresses. The practice is nothing illegal, and proxies provide a safer way to browse and work online.

While there are accusations that residential proxies enable online fraud, most people using these services do so to protect their sensitive data and improve business practices.

Advantages of the proxies

Residential proxies are better than data center versions by default due to how IP addresses are assigned. Datacenter proxies allocate IPs generated in blocks not linked to genuine ISPs. Residential proxies, however, assign authentic IP addresses linked to real devices connected to ISPs.

Today, proxies are a valuable tool for businesses involved in data collection and analysis, and they are widely used in eCommerce and social media marketing. While data center proxies remain useful for businesses and individuals seeking anonymity and safety online, residential proxies have several advantages.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between residential and ISP proxies?

Residential proxies are linked to real residential IP addresses, making them appear as genuine user connections to websites, which is ideal for tasks requiring high legitimacy, such as web scraping. However, they tend to be slower and less reliable due to their dependence on residential internet connections. ISP proxies, a blend of residential and data center proxies, are assigned by Internet Service Providers but hosted on faster, more reliable data center servers.

This hybrid nature offers the authenticity of residential IPs with the performance benefits of data center proxies, making them suitable for activities needing speed and a moderate level of legitimacy, like SEO monitoring. Essentially, residential proxies maximize legitimacy, while ISP proxies balance speed, reliability, and authenticity.

Secondary Image Source: Unsplash

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