Residential vs Datacenter Proxies: What's Best?

November 10, 2022 · 4 min read

There are some differences between residential vs datacenter proxies and how it affects web scraping. Although they serve the same purpose, which is to hide your IP Address, making a choice between residential proxies and datacenter proxies can be crucial for your results.

In this article, we'll dive deep into the basics of proxies as well as the differences between datacenter proxies vs residential to know which one is the best for you.

Let's get started!

What are proxies?

Proxies are the intermediary gateway between a user and a server. It can change your unique IP address, encrypt your data and provide anonymous browsing.

They are used in various ways, like anonymous browsing, accessing geo-restricted content, reducing network or server load, web scraping and so on. Residential proxy and datacenter proxy servers are some of the proxy types that can help you anonymously crawl data from the web.

What is the difference between residential and data center proxies?

What are residential proxies?

Residential proxies are servers with IP addresses connected to real residential addresses making it difficult to ban. It allows you to select a specific region (country or city) and anonymously browse the web as a real user in that area to prevent ISP tracking.

Some websites on the web have anti-scraping bots that can identify non-genuine visitors and prevent them from scraping data from the site and a typical example of such website is the e-commerce giant, Amazon. Since a residential proxy server issues IP addresses that are attached to real and physical addresses, using them makes it easy to bypass security bots, allowing you to scrape data, access geo-restricted contents and so on.

It's worth noting that residential proxies are legal since the IP addresses are ethically acquired with the consent of homeowners.

What are datacenter proxies?

Unlike residential proxies, datacenter proxies do not provide physical IP addresses as they're not associated with internet service providers (ISP) but still create total web anonymity. They're artificially generated by datacenters or cloud services. Using datacenter proxies can sufficiently raise speed and stability in high workloads.

However, you should be aware that datacenter proxies are easier targets for bans and restrictions if discovered by the website or service. This can be important when dealing with social media platforms or big e-commerce marketplaces, as they pay attention to anti-scraping measures. Only reliable sources of datacenter proxies must be used to avoid flagging or security issues.

Let's compare datacenter vs residential proxies based on their use cases.

Residential vs Datacenter Proxies: the comparison

When to use Residential Proxies

PROS

Some advantages of using residential proxy servers are:
  1. It provides legitimate IP addresses.
  2. There are lower chances of the IP addresses getting blacklisted.
  3. It is able to bypass various security bots.

CONS

  1. Residential proxies are expensive.
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When to use Datacenter Proxies

PROS

The advantages of using datacenter proxies are:
  1. Efficient in hiding IP addresses.
  2. They are fast and offer high performance.
  3. There are low risks involved since the proxy provider can replace an IP when it gets flagged.
  4. Compared to residential proxies, datacenter proxies are cheaper.

CONS

  1. Datacenter proxies are easily traceable by bots.
  2. A higher chance of getting blacklisted compared to residential proxies.

Which proxies should you choose?

Residential proxies are perfect for successive queries, accessing geo-restricted contents, bypassing e-commerce bots or and other web activities that track ISPs. If you are aiming for massive data, doing research or web scraping open-sourced libraries - datacenter proxies is your best option.

If a precise location is vital for you, ensure you know where the datacenter proxies are located. Otherwise, choosing a residential proxy will give you complete control over the location of the IP address. For example, search engines return results according to the user's location known by the IP, so if you want to do market research in the United States, you don't wish to use European proxies.

Residential vs Datacenter Proxies: What's Best for Scraping?

Both residential and datacenter proxies are good for scraping. The reason is that a wisely balanced combination of proxies creates a solid gateway for web scraping. Choose the proxy providers carefully to avoid overpaying for IPs with red flags or potentially hazardous connections.

Residential proxies are the best options for sneaker bots as they help your bot behave as a real customer on the way to checkout. However, due to being higher in cost and harder to get, these proxies themselves don't give a good chance in copping limited collections. Only a combination of datacenter proxies and residential proxies does the job.

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Conclusion

The comparison between residential and datacenter proxies can only be made valid through their use cases. Although both residential and datacenter proxies serve the needs of connecting the queries from a user to the server making it possible to scrape data from the web anonymously, their origin is different and so is their purpose.

Residential proxies are based on real ISP addresses to ensure you are a person with a residential IP and not a scraping bot. Datacenter proxies are bulk-generated, secure and affordable in tasks when crawling big data.

Only a wise combination of the two proxy types leads to a smooth process in web scraping with no blacklists. With software that manages rotating proxies, the scraping results are the best.

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Frustrated that your web scrapers are blocked once and again? ZenRows API handles rotating proxies and headless browsers for you.
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