What is a Private Proxy?

James Keenan

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.

Private proxies are a type of proxy that lets only one client use it at any time. For example, a private proxy will never let two users connect through it at once. There are a many of other proxy types you can find online, but private proxies remain one of the most popular ones. This popularity is well-earned, because there are some major features of private proxies that everyone is excited about.

private proxies

Private proxies

A private proxy is a dedicated IP address, which a user uses to connect to its target exclusively.

Nevertheless, a private proxy is not a definite term, because simply dedicating an IP address does not say much. A private proxy might come from a real device and be a private & residential proxy, or it might be created at a data center, making it a dedicated datacenter proxy. Those two proxy types are wildly different, which means that simply saying that a proxy is private means nothing.

Read our blog post about datacenter and residential proxies to find out more.

Best private proxies are not free or cheap private proxies

Even if you use a private residential proxy, you have to get it from a reliable provider. Maintaining a private proxy server is hard work that does not come cheap. All of it adds up, and if you are not paying for the service, someone surely is. That means that you might be the real product in the transaction. This happens when a supposedly “private” proxy server is set up by hackers to steal your data, infect your devices or steal your identity.

This is why we strongly recommend you vet your proxy provider carefully before going ahead with the purchase.

If you are not paying for the service, someone surely is. A supposedly “private” free proxy server is set up by hackers to steal your data, infect your devices or steal your identity.

How to choose the best private proxy provider

As we’ve said before, look out for cheap private proxies. Look for feedback online, but always take it with a grain of salt – advertisements are everywhere these days. If you cannot find any reviews or user testimonials, it’s best to stay away.

Next, compare the providers you can find and contact them directly. A good proxy provider will always ensure top notch customer support and help documentation to get you going. This is how you can be sure that the company is actually focused on the proxy users, and not their data.

best private proxy provider

Finally, when you have all of your bases covered, check out the technical aspects of the providers. Is their IP pool large enough for what you want to do? Do they offer free trials or money back guarantees? Is their price really affordable?

This is how you can be sure that you are getting a really ‘cheap’ private proxy – your business, data and identity are a lot more expensive, after all.

Alternatives to private proxies

Dedicated IP addresses are not mandatory for most task you want to do. Screen scraping, account management, product releases and anything in between can be done safely and reliably with a shared IP pool. Most of the time, what matters is the size of the proxy pool itself. For example, you might 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 proxy network will have no problem either handling that load or delivering you full results.