What is the difference between residential and datacenter proxies?

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.

Residential proxy and datacenter proxy servers offer a way to hide your IP address and help you anonymously scrape data from the web. But which proxy is the best choice for you?

Residential proxies vs data center proxies

Initially, both residential and datacenter proxies are used to hide your real IP address when browsing online. You might need to hide your IP address if you, let’s say, have been blocked by a certain website, regardless whether for malicious intent, or just when trying to access geo-blocked content such as Netflix, YouTube, or whilst searching for cheapest flight tickets available online.

In this article you will find answers to the following questions:

So, how does this work? Well, your IP address is like an online fingerprint that is used to track your website browsing habits. By using a residential proxy you are able to hide your real IP behind another IP, which is traced to a home address that’s not your own. Whereas a datacenter proxy IP address is traced back to the corporation or datacenter associated with it.

So, which one would be the better choice for you to use?

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What are datacenter proxies and why use them?

Let’s start with datacenter proxies – they are the most common proxies out there. When it comes to hiding your IP address, these proxies don’t have anything to do with your internet connection or Internet Service Provider (ISP) as these are completely independent of both. This way it easy for you to hide your IP address without being linked to one particular place.

Essentially, every time you visit a new website, you’re asked to accept its use of cookies, this is usually to make your browsing experience better. Once a website or search engine knows who you are, it can log your browsing habits to offer you a more personalized and satisfying online experience.

If you are in need of online anonymity, or you want to unlock content from another country, you might use a proxy service linked to a data center to help mask your IP address.

One way to help and identify you, websites use cookies by placing them in your browser. Another way is tracking your IP address. Of all online fingerprints you leave behind when you browse the internet, your IP address is the most valuable, as it can pinpoint your exact geographical location. This way, search engines can provide localized results, and websites can geo-block content based on your location.

So, if you are in need of online anonymity, or you want to unlock content from another country, you might use a proxy service linked to a datacenter to help mask your IP address. The trouble is, websites are getting more aware of this, and will often block datacenter proxies. There is a way though – if you’re tired of being flagged while using datacenter proxies, residential proxies offer an effective way around this problem.

What are residential proxies and why use them?

Smartproxy How Proxies Work
How do they work? Residential proxies offer IP addresses that are connected to real residential addresses, making them all but impossible to ban. This allows you to effectively hide your real IP address, work around geo-blocked content or scrape and harvest data from around the web.

Residential proxies offer IP addresses that are connected to real residential addresses, making them all but impossible to ban.

Smartproxy offers a rotating residential proxy service that constantly rotates and updates the IP you’re hiding behind, making it a more effective way to improve your online privacy, security and safety. Smartproxy makes sure to secure communications and transactions by supporting an HTTPs protocol. Smartproxy residential rotating proxies also give you access to a pool of more than 10 million proxies which alternate with each new request, or sticky IP sessions to keep your sessions for up to ten minutes. This way very few, if any, websites will be able to track you. Unlike free proxy services, which are usually slow and unreliable, Smartproxy offers residential proxies with an unlimited number of connections, threads and countries at once. Even so, there’ll be a solution to suit both your needs and your budget, as our pricing model is based upon traffic usage.

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Are residential proxies better than datacenter proxies

In short, the answer is yes – and there are a few reasons why you should choose rotating residential proxies over datacenter proxies.
1. Residential proxy IPs are more legitimate – Security systems will usually place more trust in residential IPs, as residential IPs are assigned only to real residential addresses. Basically, some websites can detect you are using a proxy connection and you may find that your datacenter connection is blocked. What usually happens is that datacenter IPs are often easier to acquire than residential IPs, and a high percentage of datacenter users will be hiding their real IP for malicious purposes. Therefore these IPs are more likely to be banned.
2. A greater range of locations to connect fromRotating residential proxies offer a range of locations you can connect from, making them ideal for circumventing geographical blocks.

How to set up a residential proxy server?

To get started, get in touch via live chat, or leave us a few details in “Contact us” form and we’ll get right back to you. In order to get you set up, we’ll discuss your needs and use case. After creating your dashboard account you can choose the subscription service that suits you the best.

You can then use this dashboard to track your daily traffic usage, add extra sub-users and track their usage, add whitelisted IPs, and change your plan at any time. You can also add extra credits to your account if necessary.

For more information, check out our FAQs, or if you’re ready to get started, get in touch and we’ll set you up right away. Start using residential proxies today!

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