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May 28, 2021
6 minutes read

What is a Private Proxy?

Like your average Joe proxy, a private one acts as a middleman between you and the internet. Any twists, you may ask? Well, yes. Unlike shared ones, private proxies are IP addresses dedicated to you and only you at any given time by a proxy provider. No shocker that private proxies are always among the hottest hits of all time. And it’s easy to see why: they offer more security and privacy, fewer slowdowns and IP blocks.  

Already hooked? Good, cuz in this article, we’ll talk about all things private proxies.

What is a Private Proxy
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What is a private proxy?

If you browsed in a proxy world long enough, you know that there are two most common proxy types: residential and datacenter. And both types can also be either shared or private (or semi-dedicated, for that matter). 

So, not to confuse you any further, if your proxies come from data centers and you share the same proxy pool with other proxy users at the same time, your proxies are shared datacenter ones. You’ll need datacenter IP addresses assigned only to you to call them private (or dedicated) datacenter proxies. The same applies to residential IPs (just they don’t come from data centers, but from real devices). 

But  don’t let these similarities fool ya, these proxy types have many differences. So let's break ‘em down by looking more closely into dedicated datacenter proxies and shared residential proxies since a lot of users have a hard choice between the two. 

private proxy

The difference between dedicated datacenter and shared residential proxies

Pros & cons of dedicated datacenter IPs

Dedicated (or private) datacenter proxies are truly fast and furious. To top it up, they’re stable and a perfect cost-saving solution for any proficient proxy user. 

So, if you don't need to rotate your proxies automatically and you require full control of the IP address, this is your go-to option. Private datacenter proxies are great for SEO projects, multiple account management, and scraping ecommerce en masse. And, psst, if you’ll go with our proxies, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth and threads!

Bear in mind that this is a perfect solution for advanced users. Why? Even dedicated datacenter IPs share the same subnet. This means that there’s a large number of similar IPs which might trigger website anti-bot detection mechanisms. So be extra careful! If you aren’t fluent in proxy, go for a shared residential one. 

Pros & cons of residential IPs

Residential IPs come from real mobile and desktop devices. As for Smartproxy, we have over 40 million of these IPs and offer unlimited connections and threads. Note that although they aren’t private but shared, we make sure that at any given time, only a few people are sharing the same proxies. Yup, the huge proxy pool helps a lot to ensure that you get only the freshest IPs!

The best thing about residential proxies is that you experience virtually no IP blocks. So if you're interested in managing social media accounts or accessing geo-restricted content – this should be your jam. Of course, they ain’t perfect and have some minuses such as less stability and speed. If you want to dig more into residential IPs, check out this blog post.

Choosing the right proxy for your business: private or shared?

Whether you need a dedicated datacenter or residential proxy depends not only if you’re an advanced user, but also on the sites you target and the goals of your scraping projects. Here’s how it usually goes:

Residential proxies are great for extra-sensitive targets

These proxies can be used for web scraping, social media management, affiliate testing, and SEO research, just to name a few projects. If you’re a sneakerhead, you should get these babies for the next drop, ‘cause they are lit for sneakers’ copping. Oh, and for flipping NFTs or travel fare aggregation too. Yet another use case is ad verification. Companies often use residential IPs to track how other businesses are changing their pricing, see what products they’re releasing and manage their own brand reputation. 

Dedicated datacenter proxies are powerful for large-scale projects

Top projects include scraping eCommerce as well as doing competitor analysis. For example, some companies use these proxies to monitor and compare prices – either for internal purposes or providing aggregation services. Other businesses follow product demand and trends gathering data from top products or customer reviews. 

BTW, some businesses perform SEO analysis, manage various accounts or even warm up for sneaker drops using dedicated datacenter proxies. Yup, you heard that right, even datacenter proxies when they’re private can do this magic! 

Just  note that specific sites might be blocked for our DDC proxies. Check  our FAQ section for more info.  

private or shared

How to choose a private proxy service provider? 

Choosing is hard, so here are key things you should consider before purchasing private IPs from any proxy provider.

First things first, compare the providers you can find and contact them directly. A good proxy service provider will always ensure top-notch customer support and documentation to get you going. After this innocent chit-chat, you’ll know if you’re dealing with actual proxy pros.

Finally, when you have all of your bases covered, check out the technical aspects. This includes checking IP pool size and geo-locations that they offer. Also, check if these proxy providers offer free trials or money-back guarantees. ‘Cause sometimes you just have to try the product yourself to know if it’s a match. Oh, and find out if their proxies are pocket-friendly!

Just don't get tempted by free proxies – they entail cybersecurity risks and have low performance. 

How to choose a private proxy service provider

Alternatives to private proxies

You certainly don’t need dedicated IP addresses for every project. For example, web scraping of less sensitive targets, multiple account management, monitoring product releases, and anything in between can be done safely and reliably even with shared datacenter proxies if you know a thing or two ‘bout proxies. 

Most of the time, what matters is the size (yup, the size def matters here) of the proxy pool itself. Let's say you have a dozen or so dedicated residential IPs, but if you route ten thousand requests through them, you can bet your ass they will be blocked in a minute. 

On the other hand, a million-strong shared rotating proxy network will have no problem either handling that load or delivering you complete results. So again, choose proxies depending on your businesses' goals. And psst, seriously, check these shared residential IPs.

Wrapping up 

To sum up, private proxies are a trendy choice in the market, offering plenty of possibilities to choose from. 

And as you can see, dedicated datacenter proxies are great for advanced users. If you are one, this is your chance to pay less for various tasks like SEO analysis or e-commerce scraping. Just remember that they are static proxies. So rotating ‘em requires seriously complex coding. 

But if you are a newbie in the proxy world, get yourself a shared residential proxy plan. These proxies are easier to handle and don’t fuss about automatic rotation (yup, they rotate automatically). Happy proxying!


James Keenan

Senior content writer

The automation and anonymity evangelist at Smartproxy. He believes in data freedom and everyone’s right to become a self-starter. James is here to share knowledge and help you succeed with residential proxies.

Frequently asked questions

How to use a private proxy?

If you wanna learn how to use dedicated datacenter proxies, check out our help docs. Here we have an extensive guide on how to use them. Don’t shy away from contacting our support team if you encounter any problems.

Note that this type of proxy is better suited for advanced users.

Are shared proxies safe?

Yes, they are safe if they are from a reputable proxy provider. They’ll ensure your safety while browsing with their proxies and will make sure that only a few people will use them at any given time. To do that, they should have a pretty solid proxy pool like us.

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