Both Datacenter Proxies and Residential Proxies have many similarities but also major differences from each other. They both act as a proxy that will replace your own IP address with a different IP address.
They both improve your internet privacy but one does it more than the other and they both also differ in price, features, functionalities, and performance.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to differentiate between the two, their advantages and disadvantages, and which one to utilize for yourself.
Datacenter proxies are proxies that are held in servers from various data centers. That’s the source of the millions of IP addresses you can utilize. When connecting to a website, you only have to go through the proxy server. The greatest strength of a datacenter proxy is that it offers:
A fast and steady connection. You would have a fast and strong internet connection because you’re connected to a powerful datacenter server. It would be up for most of the time and most likely, won’t slow you down.
An affordable price. As datacenter proxies are comparatively easier to make, they are quite cheaper compared to other proxy types and you can buy a range of IP addresses.
Unlimited traffic. You can use as much traffic as you like because you won’t be limited on its usage.
Datacenter proxies have their own disadvantages too. Most of which are:
Easy to detect by websites. Websites that are looking to block proxies or VPNs and have several systems in place to do that, would have an easier time detecting datacenter proxies because these types of proxies are not assigned to a residential ISP.
Limited locations. As you need a server to be in that specific, physical location, there’s a limited amount of places you can connect to when using a datacenter proxy.
Little subnet diversity. You would only be given one to a few subnets when using a proxy server, depending on the number of IP addresses you want to utilize. This means that if a subnet would be banned by a website, all IP addresses in the range of that subnet, which has 256, would also be banned.
When Should You Use Datacenter Proxies?
Datacenter proxies are best used for websites that aren’t that strict with their policies. There are plenty of websites like this and you can easily find them on the internet.
Ecommerce websites are a good example. If you think that speed is more important than reliability for a certain task, then you can also use datacenter proxies on it.
Residential proxies are proxies that use real IP addresses from actual devices which are provided by ISPs (Internet Service Providers). When you go to a website, your connection not only has to go through the proxy server, it also has to go through a real person’s device. The greatest strength residential proxies offer are:
Full anonymity. Due to connecting to an actual device, websites would be deceived into thinking that you’re a genuine user and not just someone using a proxy.
Abundant locations. Residential proxies are located all over the world as users that have provided their IP addresses come from various places but some countries do have higher concentration compared to other countries.
Massive proxy pool. Excellent proxy providers will have a proxy pool of millions of IP addresses that you can utilize.
Large subnet diversity. Residential IP addresses rarely share a single subnet due to the massive amounts of IP addresses there are in the proxy pool.
Like datacenter proxies, residential proxies also have their fair share of disadvantages. Some of which are:
Slow speed. When using residential proxies, your connection still has to go through a person’s device, it would take longer than datacenter proxies that don't have to do it.
An Expensive price. Residential proxies are harder to set up and maintain compared to datacenter proxies, so they cost a lot more.
The subscription plans are also based on how much traffic you consume, so your traffic would be limited based on what plan you’re using. Although there are some plans that offer you unlimited traffic.
- Unstable connection. As you’re connecting to another person’s device, that person may suddenly disconnect themselves from the network which means that your connection would also be lost.
When Should You Use Residential Proxies?
Residential proxies are best used on websites that have strict restrictions against the use of any automation tool or bot and help you avoid any bans that come your way. Most social media platforms and sneaker stores would fit the bill.
For any advanced tasks like web scraping or ad verification, residential proxies are best used for it. It can also be used when you want a specific location for your task as it offers the most amount of locations you can find.
Which One’s Better?
Comparing datacenter proxies and residential proxies, datacenter IPs are faster, more stable, and cheaper than residential IPs, but residential IPs give you more anonymity and more different locations. The better one of the two though would depend on what you want to use the proxies for and the budget that you have.
For example, you want to scrape a website but you don’t have that large of a budget. Even though residential proxies are the best for this type of task, they are expensive. So you can use datacenter proxies as they’re faster and cost a lot less, you just have to know that they’re riskier and more prone to being banned.
If you’re scraping a social media website though, it’s always best to use residential proxies as utilizing datacenter proxies would certainly get you banned.