In this article, we’ll be thoroughly discussing residential proxies, what they are, where they come from, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and their use cases. Learn about how residential proxies can help you stay on top of your competition and stand out from the rest of the crowd.
If you're new to proxies, read our beginner's guide to Proxy to learn more about it.
What Are Residential Proxies?
Residential proxies are IP addresses that are sourced from actual devices. These devices could be computers, laptops, mobile phones, or any smart device that can access a Wi-Fi connection. Most reputable proxy providers get their residential IP addresses through ethical means, like using an application to pay users to share their bandwidth. Repocket is a great example.
How Do Residential Proxies Work?
Residential proxies work the same as any regular proxy server, except for one thing. Your connection has to go through an end user’s device. In other types of proxy servers, your connection only needs to go through the proxy server and then reach the website.
For residential proxies though, you go through the proxy server and the end user’s device before reaching the website.
Going through the end user’s device would deceive websites into thinking that you’re a genuine user. This helps you avoid getting flagged and banned when doing any automation task and even if websites find your activities suspicious, they will be hesitant in banning you.
If an IP address you’re using does get banned, the proxy network will automatically rotate to another IP address in your proxy provider’s IP address.
What Advantages Do Residential Proxies Bring?
There are many advantages that residential proxies provide, some of which 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 a 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.
What Are The Disadvantages of Residential Proxies?
There are also disadvantages when using residential proxies, such as:
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.
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 the amount of traffic you can use would be limited to the subscription plan you’re using. Although, some proxy providers have plans that offer you unlimited traffic.
Unstable connection. As you’re connecting to another user’s device, that user may suddenly disconnect themselves from the network, which means you’ll also be disconnected from the network.
This has become less and less of an issue though, as proxy networks have gotten better at switching between IP addresses.
What Are The Uses Of Residential Proxies?
There are many use cases for residential proxies, but they are best used for websites with heavy protection. Examples would be any popular social media platform like Facebook or search engines like Google.
As these websites have strong systems to detect bot usage, you would need residential proxies to avoid getting detected and subsequently banned by these websites when doing any automation task. Some of these tasks include:
Managing Social Media Accounts
Residential proxies are your go-to option when you want to do any automated task on heavily protected websites. Whether it be social media platforms, search engines, or sneaker sites, you need residential proxies to prevent your account from getting banned and your IP address from being blacklisted.