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ISP Proxies vs. Residential Proxies

Navigating the array of proxy types can be arduous when you just want a reliable solution to get the job done. But it’s important to choose wisely because opting for the right proxy could mean the difference between overspending for mediocre results and achieving optimal performance within your budget. That’s why, in this blog post, we’ll demystify the debate on ISP proxies vs. residential proxies, clarifying their key similarities and differences.

ISP Proxies vs. Residential Proxies

What are ISP proxies

ISP proxies are a type of proxy directly provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These proxies are allocated by the ISPs and hosted on data center servers.

In a sense, ISP proxies combine the best of the residential and datacenter worlds: they’re excellent for tasks requiring the authenticity of a residential IP and the speed and reliability of a datacenter proxy.

There are shared and dedicated ISP proxies. Shared ISP proxies come from a shared IP pool and are used by multiple users simultaneously. It’s a cost-effective option for those who need proxy services and don’t mind sharing the IP address with others.

In contrast, dedicated ISP proxies are exclusive to a single user, offering more control and privacy as the IP address isn’t shared with anyone else.

Pros of ISP proxies

  • High anonymity – appear genuine and avoid detection with authentic IPs.
  • Exceptional speed – enjoy an unbeatable proxy response time.
  • Immediate availability – access on-demand bulk of IPs.
  • Customizable session control – tailor your session duration to your task requirements.
  • Enhanced security – safeguard your activities with robust security measures.

Cons of ISP proxies

  • Narrow geographic availability – fewer global locations can potentially impact geo-specific tasks.
  • Limited IP range diversity – a smaller variety of subnets poses a higher risk of detection and blocking.

Most common business use cases of ISP proxies

ISP proxies are best suited for tasks requiring high connection speed, consistent uptime, and stable, long-lasting sessions for data-intensive activities. Here are some popular use cases for which businesses employ ISP proxies:

  • Social media marketing – hop between different accounts and collect publicly available social media platforms’ data.
  • eCommerce account management – access markets and bring your products or services to new audiences.
  • SEO monitoring – gather up-to-date search engine data, run keyword research, and track rankings.
  • Price aggregation – collect real-time pricing and availability data from multiple sources.
  • Market research – identify changing user behavior, monitor prices and developments across different industries, and gather accurate data from your competitors.
  • Web scraping – bypass anti-scraping measures and collect public website data from various targets.
  • Brand protection – detect trademark infringement, monitor brand mentions, and keep your brand’s image clear.

What are residential proxies

Residential proxies are IP addresses sourced from regular users’ household devices connected to Wi-Fi networks. This means that every residential IP is linked to a physical location. With billions of devices connected to the internet, their IPs can accurately identify the location of any specific device.

Residential proxies are ideal for a wide range of applications, particularly where authenticity and privacy are key. They excel in tasks like data scraping, as they’re less prone to blocking.

It’s important to note that residential proxies operate within shared IP pools. Typically, users can choose to rotate IPs with each request or stick to an IP for a duration of 1, 10, or 30 minutes.

Pros of residential proxies

  • Diverse IP selection – choose from a broad spectrum of subnets for enhanced undetectability.
  • Highest anonymity – rest assured of remaining unrecognized as a proxy user.
  • Global locations – leverage a wealth of international geo-targeting options.
  • High success rate – stay uninterrupted in performing tasks while avoiding detection and restrictions.
  • Increased security – use rotating IPs to conceal your real IP, adding a layer of security online.

Cons of residential proxies

  • Medium speed – relatively slower connection speeds compared to other proxy types.
  • Variable connection stability – residential internet connections are less predictable, resulting in occasional fluctuations in connectivity.
  • Shared IP allocation – residential IPs are shared among multiple users, which can lead to IP blacklisting due to another user’s activity.

Most common business use cases of residential proxies

Residential proxies are ideal for tasks requiring high IP diversity and specific location targeting. Here are some of the most common use cases for which businesses use residential proxies:

  • Web scraping – gather public web data to generate valuable insights and scale your business.
  • Multi-accounting – create and manage multiple accounts on social media, eCommerce, and other platforms.
  • Market intelligence – collect pricing, customer behavior, and product trend data for strategic decision-making.
  • SEO research – extract paid and organic SERP results and different keyword rankings to bring you more traffic and conversions.
  • AdTech tasks – run ad verification and performance analysis tasks to ensure your ads are shown to the right audience.
  • Fraud prevention – monitor your websites to detect and respond to potentially fraudulent activities.

Comparing ISP proxies vs. residential proxies

ISP and residential proxies are two major proxy types that serve as superb tools for anonymity and data management. Sometimes, you may see ISP proxies referred to as static residential proxies, where the “static” aspect means that the IP address remains consistent over time.

ISP proxies offer speed and reliability with the authentic appearance of residential IPs. They shine in high-speed, stable connections, though they face geographic and subnet diversity limitations.

Residential proxies boast a wide-ranging subnet diversity and superior anonymity, making them less likely to be blocked and ideal for tasks requiring high IP diversity. However, they typically provide slower speeds compared to ISP proxies and shared IP addresses, which can be a disadvantage if other users’ activities lead to the IP being blocked.

When comparing both, businesses must consider the nature of their tasks: ISP proxies are best for speed and stability in data-centric operations, while residential proxies are best for authenticity and undetectability in user-centric activities.

The choice between ISP and residential proxies hinges on specific needs, such as the required level of anonymity, geographic targeting, and the balance between speed and the likelihood of encountering blocks.

Final thoughts

We hope that we’ve helped you understand the key aspects of the ISP proxies vs. residential proxies comparison. Now, how about getting some? At Smartproxy, we’ve got industry-leading proxies. Just log in to our dashboard and choose the plan that suits your needs.

We take pride in our 55M+ residential proxies from 195+ locations with the fastest response time (<0.6s), one of the highest success rates (99.47%) in the market, and a great entry point with Pay As You Go. New users can start their residential proxy journey with a 3-day free trial!

As for ISP Proxies, you’ll be pleased with our flexible options. You can pay per GB to use static ISP proxies from a shared pool, or you can pay per IP to get dedicated ISP proxies.

So, grab some powerful gear, and if you ever need someone to talk to about choosing the right proxies, don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 support team via LiveChat.

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Frequently asked questions

What’s the main difference in ISP proxies vs. residential proxies?

ISP proxies are provided by Internet Service Providers and hosted on servers at data centers, whereas residential proxies are linked to real residential IP addresses.

Why do residential proxies cost more than ISP proxies?

Residential proxies typically cost more due to their high anonymity, difficulty acquiring legitimate residential IP addresses, and extensive global coverage.

How do proxies hide your identity?

Proxies hide your identity by routing your internet traffic through an intermediary server. This masks your IP address with the proxy's IP, making your online activities and location untraceable.

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