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October 08, 2021
7 minutes read

What is a Mobile Proxy?

Residential proxies, datacenter proxies, ISP proxies, mobile proxies... So many proxy types offer different features and benefits. And boy, oh boy, we understand ya. Choosing your go-to type can be quite a tough cookie. However, knowledge is power – that's why we wanna tell everything you need to know about mobile proxies.

From how mobile proxies work to the most popular use cases, we're here to spill all the beans on the features you don't wanna miss out on when choosing a mobile proxy provider.

What are mobile proxies?
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What are mobile proxies?

A mobile proxy is a type of proxy server that accepts and forwards connection requests and returns data through a mobile device connection, such as a smartphone or tablet. This allows you to access websites and apps as if you were browsing from your mobile device, even if you're using a laptop or desktop computer.

Mobile proxies provide only real IP addresses. It means a mobile proxy shows you as a legitimate user in the assigned country. Dope, right?

Oh, and there's one detail you shouldn't sleep on. Mobile IPs come from mobile phones or tablets that are connected to mobile carriers, such as Comcast, T-Mobile, or, Sprint, and run on mobile data networks. A device running on Wi-Fi has a residential IP, not a mobile one.

3G/4G/5G mobile proxies

When it comes to mobile proxies, there're three main types based on the mobile network generation they use. Yep, you've guessed it – it’s 3G, 4G, and 5G. Each has its own pros and cons.

3G mobile IPs are the oldest and slowest of the three, with maximum speeds of up to 2 Mbps. While they may be slower, they can still be useful for tasks that don't require high-speed, such as web browsing and managing multiple accounts on social media.

4G mobile proxies are faster than 3G, with maximum speeds of up to 100 Mbps. They're perfect for tasks that require higher speeds, such as video streaming and online gaming. 4G mobile proxies also tend to have lower latency, meaning faster response times. You might also find some providers calling 4G proxies LTE, don't get confused – they're the same.

5G mobile IPs are the newest and fastest of the three, with maximum speeds of up to 20 Gbps. They're still relatively new, so they may not be widely available yet, however, some of the mobile proxies providers already offer 5G type already. They're ideal for tasks that require extremely high speeds, such as 8K video streaming and even diving into virtual reality.

In conclusion, the main differences between 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile proxies are speed and latency.

What are 3G/4G/5G mobile proxies?

How do mobile proxies work?

Mobile proxies work their magic by routing internet traffic through a mobile device's internet connection. When you connect to the internet using a mobile proxy, your internet traffic is rerouted through the mobile device's internet connection, masking your original IP address.

To use a mobile proxy, you have to install an application or configure your device's network settings to connect to the proxy server. Once connected, your device's internet traffic is redirected through the mobile proxy.

Mobile proxies are useful for peeps who wanna maintain privacy and security, access geo-restricted content, avoid IP bans and blocks.

How are mobile proxies created?

There're a couple of ways providers create an IP pool of real mobile devices.

  • Providers of mobile proxies usually develop software that can be installed on a mobile device, effectively turning it into a proxy node. This process is usually deliberate, but there's a possibility that a device could unknowingly operate as a proxy node if the user chooses some sketchy proxy provider.
  • SIM card farms, the process of creating mobile proxies involves accumulating a large number of SIM cards and setting up proxies using mobile data dongles and specialized software. This allows the devices to function as proxy nodes and provide users with access to the internet through a secure and private connection.
Mobile proxies from real mobile devices

What makes mobile proxies so epic?

Mobile proxy services are often seen as the GOAT. But why, tho?

Firstly, here's a question: have you eva heard of IPv4? If the answer is negative, don’t sweat, we’re here for ya! IPv4 is an Internet Protocol (IP) that establishes connections between devices and supports around 4.3 billion unique IP addresses.

That may sound on point; still, there’s a setback. Mobile carriers entered the market when most of the IPs had already been distributed. With the residue, they had no unique IPs left to assign to each of their customers. Yikes!

That’s when CGNAT technology came into the picture. CGNAT allows each public IP to represent not one but hundreds of mobile service clients behind it. 

And here’s an interesting detail: if one of the customers seems suspicious, websites cannot simply block the customer's IP. If they blocked an IP to stop one user, they’d also take down a hundred other users with the same IP. And that's just unfair.

Websites don’t wanna take the risk, and that’s why mobile proxies slap! With mobile proxies, not only do you automate tasks easier and faster, but you also minimize the risk of getting blocked. They’re much more efficient than any other proxy type – no cap!

Mobile IP addresses from around the world

Features of proxies from mobile devices

We know mobile proxies may sound like a quick fix for your problems. But hey, don't rush it! There're a couple of things we suggest keeping in mind. Are ya ready for some juicy details?

IP rotation

Mobile carrier periodically rotates mobile addresses on their end. It means mobile IPs inevitably rotate, and you won't keep the same IP for as long as you want. If you're searching for one and only IP, try ISP or dedicated datacenter proxies.


The general speed mobile proxy service offers you is 5-50 Mbps. And it's much slower than the speed residential or datacenter proxies can give. However, 5G proxies can reach up to 20 Gbps, and that's impressively fast.


Yep, mobile proxies can get away with much more than any other proxy type. And unfortunately, it reflects on their cost. The price of mobile proxies is several times bigger compared to any other proxies, including datacenter and residential proxies. And for someone looking for an on-budget solution, residential proxies might be a better fit.

What is a mobile proxy network used for?

OK, now we're palsy-walsy with the benefits and features mobile proxies can provide. So it's time to dive into the pool of its main use cases:

Multiple accounts management & automation

Signing into several accounts with the same IP is, to put it mildly, a risky move. Websites can delete the accounts, and your internet service provider (ISP) can block you. Wanna bypass potential problems and level up your account creation game? Got ya, pal! Mobile proxies guarantee the highest trust score in creating a bulk of accounts at once.

Proxies can be used to automate and manage multiple eCommerce and social media accounts, making it easier for users to handle multiple accounts simultaneously. With the help of mobile proxies, users can perform a variety of activities on different social media platforms, such as scheduling stories in bulk, engaging with followers, and growing their social media following.

Ads management & automation

Mobile proxies can be used to verify, monitor and automate ads in real time. This means that users can keep track of how their ads are displayed across different regions of the world, and protect them from fraudulent activities. Mobile proxies can detect any fraudulent activities that may negatively affect your ads, and help you take immediate action to address the issue.

Market intelligence

Proxies help to gather up-to-date market insights and analyze competitors, helping businesses develop their strategy and expand into new markets. By using mobile proxies to access the internet from different locations, businesses can collect data on market trends, consumer behavior, and competitor activity.

Testing applications

By running tests through mobile proxies, creators can ensure that app users have the best possible experience by detecting errors and maintaining app quality. By testing apps from different locations, businesses can identify and fix any issues that may negatively impact user experience.

4G mobile proxies for multiple accounts management and ad verification

Bottom line

A mobile proxy seems like a silver bullet when nothing else seems to work. With the availability of 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile proxies, you can choose the option that best fits your needs. However, it's important to choose a reliable provider and use mobile proxies responsibly to avoid any possible worries.  With Smartproxy, you can harness 10M+ ethically-sourced 3G/4G/5G mobile proxies with 99.99% uptime, rotating and sticky IPs, advanced targeting of 140+ locations, and 700+ ASNs. Enjoy OS filtering, 24/7 support, and unlimited concurrent requests. s, Cheers!


Mariam Nakani

Say hello to Mariam! She is very tech savvy - and wants you to be too. She has a lot of intel on residential proxy providers, and uses this knowledge to help you have a clear view of what is really worth your attention.

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