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May 03, 2023
5 minutes read

What Are Rotating Proxies and Why Should You Use Them?

Rotating proxies might sound like a fancy term for someone who just started diggin' around the world of tech, but they're actually a handy tool for anyone who wants to protect their online identity or collect data from the web.

In simple terms, rotating proxies are proxy servers that change the IP address with each request. This means that each time you make a request through a rotating proxy, the server will automatically switch to a new IP address.

Stay with us as we're going to explore what rotating proxies are, how they work, and the most popular use cases that match these proxies. So, without further ado, let's learn!

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What is a rotating proxy?

A rotating proxy is a server that changes its IP address for each connection, making websites think the connection is coming from a different location or device each time. Rotating proxies are useful for web scraping, market intelligence tasks, and managing multiple social media accounts. By adopting this rotation algorithm, proxies can help you scrape websites even with tough anti-bot systems. 

Our rotating proxies are residential, mobile, and datacenter IPs. Residential ones are generated from real desktop and mobile devices connected to local Wi-Fi networks, which makes their connection requests inconspicuous to the target website and protects you from subnet bans. Datacenter proxies are usually the product of data centers and cloud hosting services. And mobile proxies assign IPs from mobile devices connected to cellular networks and have the highest success rate among all the proxy types.

Why use rotating proxies?

Rotating proxies can be handy for various use cases, including load testing, web scraping, creating multiple social media accounts, automating sneaker copping, running market intelligence research, and more. Actually, the list could go on and on! There're endless possibilities where to use rotating proxies and quite common benefits:

  1. Spreading requests over millions of IPs. The bigger the provider's IP pool, the greater chance for you to scale your tasks by routing your requests via different IPs.
  2. Overcoming blocks and CAPTCHAs. Rotating IP addresses for each request lower your chances of getting banned from the targeted sites.
  3. Improving anonymity and security. By constantly changing your IP, you make it harder for anyone to track you down. Rotating proxies become your shield against various attacks.

How does IP rotation work?

IP rotation does a simple yet vital thing – it assigns a new IP for every request you make. Rotating proxies serve a great deal while imitating massive real-time connections of different users. By choosing rotating proxies, you can send thousands of connection requests and be sure that the server rotates IPs every time. 

If you're running some tasks that require keeping the same IP longer, you can use sticky sessions. They enable you to use the same IP for up to 1, 10, or 30 minutes, depending on your needs. 

how rotating proxies work

Our rotating proxy service has convenient backconnect nodes for the whole pool or location-targeted IP pools. For instance, you can use thousands of residential US proxies by connecting to a single backconnect node for US-targeted IPs. According to the same logic, you can reach any country, state, or city worldwide. Here's a short explanation with examples of how to deal with endpoints. 

The main rotating proxy IP types

When it comes to rotating proxies, there're three main types you can equip: rotating datacenter proxies, rotating residential proxies, and rotating mobile proxies. Here's what ya' need to know about each of 'em:

  • Rotating datacenter proxies are IP addresses that are provided by data centers. They're fast, reliable, and affordable, making them popular for running market intelligence campaigns, casually browsing the net, and adding an extra layer of security. These proxies are best for users who need a large number of IP addresses and don't need to worry about location accuracy. Datacenter IPs work well for market intelligence, entertainment, and cyber and brand security.
  • Rotating residential proxies come with IPs from real desktop and mobile devices that are connected to local networks. They're a bit slower than datacenter proxies, but they win users for their accuracy in terms of location and can be used for a wider range of cases like web scraping, multiple account management, ad verification, sneaker coping, price comparison, and much more. 
  • Rotating mobile proxies assign IPs from, you've guessed it, mobile devices connected to cellular networks. Although they're a pricier option, they have the highest success rate among all the proxies and have a near-to-zero chance of getting detected by even the most sophisticated anti-proxy software. Mobile proxies are great when you need to manage multiple eCommerce or social media accounts, run ads, test apps, and power various automation tools.
rotating proxy types

The best rotating proxies

Looking for effective yet affordable rotating proxy services? We hear you and have something that really works. Our rotating proxy pool consists of 65M+ rotating residential, mobile, and datacenter proxies.

Some other technicalities we thought might be handy for you:

  • Our residential rotating proxies' average response time is the best in the industry – <0.6 sec, according to Proxyway's research;
  • Datacenter proxies are responding even faster, at <0.3 sec, according to our speed test, and you can choose Pay per IP or Pay per GB options;
  • Proxyway research shows that Smartproxy residential IPs have the highest success rate in the market – 99.47%;
  • The Pay As You Go option enables you to buy as many residential proxy GBs as you need without a subscription;
  • Our mobile proxies have over 700 mobile carriers, iOS and Android filtering, and an amazing 10M+ of IP pool.

In a nutshell

Rotating proxies are an excellent deal compared to how much time and effort they can save you. If you're ready to optimize your IP rotation process, check our best value offers for residential, mobile, or datacenter proxies. And for any questions about how it works or what are the best tools for your use case, drop a line to our always-active support team.


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

What is a rotating proxy service?

A rotating proxy service allows users to get a constantly changing IP. Unlike a static proxy, which always uses the same IP address, a rotating proxy service automatically switches the IPs at every request or at their selected period.

Rotating proxy service helps to bypass CAPTCHAs, IP bans, and other restrictions, as well as get an additional security layer. For example, if a website limits the number of requests that can be made from a single IP, a rotating proxy service lets users make more requests by switching to a new IP address each time.

Should I use sticky or rotating proxies?

The answer depends on your use case. Sticky proxies allow keeping the static IP address longer, while rotating proxies automatically switches IPs with each request or at the selected time frame. Sticky proxies are useful if you need a consistent IP address for a longer period of time, like managing multiple social media or eCommerce accounts, whereas rotating proxies can be helpful if you need to make a large number of requests or wanna avoid being detected or blocked by a website when scraping or running automated SEO tasks.

What is a proxy list?

Proxy lists are the group of available proxies that can be integrated into various tools. Those lists include IP addresses, ports, protocol, anonymity, and uptime information. Usually, you can choose between free, open, and private proxy lists depending on the level of security and anonymity you require.

How to get a proxy list?

There're a few ways to get proxy lists. Here's a couple of 'em:

  • Surfing the web for free proxy lists. However, we don't recommend using free proxies if you're serious about your personal data. Their performance is often poor, IPs are compromised, and there's a big chance that the provider will collect your data like cookies, browsing history, or even credit card information.
  • Purchasing a proxy list from the provider. When you do your research and find the provider that matches your needs, you can get a proxy list by purchasing the subscription. Trusted providers take care of a massive IP pool, top-notch speed, and great uptime, so you can run your online activities without a single worry.

Are free proxy lists safe?

If you're starting to dig into a proxy topic, you might feel tempted to start with free proxy lists. We feel you – everybody is hyped about free stuff. However, we recommend staying away from them at any cost. They're almost always malicious proxies with a sugar-coated label. 

Seriously, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch – most such proxies don't allow HTTPS connection meaning your data isn't encrypted, and you “pay” for those IPs by disclosing your personal information to third parties. Even if there's no shady side behind the free proxy lists, they're often overused and highly sluggish. Therefore, it's always better to use quality rotating proxies as a less time-consuming and safer alternative.

Proxy lists vs. rotating proxy service – what should I choose?

Proxy lists are an alternative to rotating IP sessions, however, it's an old-school way to integrate IPs into your software. There’re different types of them – free, public, or private – and the effectiveness and safety of IPs will depend upon which list you choose. Still, using a rotating proxy service would probably be more effective because of several reasons:

  • There's no need to gather thousands of IPs;
  • Proxy uptime isn't a thing you should worry about;
  • You can forget about importing proxy lists or dealing with “dead” IPs.

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