Static vs Rotating Proxies: the Definitive Comparison

December 8, 2022 ยท 5 min read

Knowing the difference between static vs rotating proxies can help you choose a suitable proxy for your web scraping needs. While a static proxy connects through one IP address per session, a rotating proxy rotates IP addresses specified in the provided pool of IPs.

A good proxy server comes in handy when hiding identity, enhancing anonymity and scrapping important information. Whether you use static or rotation proxies, you get the benefit of crawling at high speeds and high bandwidth.

In this article, we'll be going over the major difference between static and rotating proxies as well as the proxy scraper that will help you crawl webpages effectively.

Let's compare!

What Is A Static Proxy?

A static proxy lets you access a site from one unique static IP address. They connect to sites online through timely sticky sessions that can last anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes or longer. There's no IP rotation with static proxies.

Static proxy service providers let users choose a single IP address from a list of IP addresses and, compared to rotating proxies, static proxies are less customizable. They differ slightly from mobile and Internet Service Provider (ISP) proxies that rotate IP addresses after some time.

What Is A Rotating Proxy?

A rotating proxy exchanges the allocation of IP addresses from a pool of IP addresses for each new request. This makes it a better option for web scraping because the target website receiving multiple connection requests from a rotating proxy will get a log of several different geolocations.

Additionally, rotating proxies use bots to auto-rotate IPs for each new request and can change the features of the gateway server and customize the number of IPs and the location of IP addresses.

Should I Use Static Or Rotating Proxies?

Static vs rotating proxy
Click to open the image in fullscreen

Knowing the differences between rotating vs static proxies is one thing, knowing when to use them is another. That said, it's advisable to stay off and avoid using free proxies for web scraping as these publicly available proxies increase the chances of you getting blocked.

Data scraping use cases often need proxy rotation to bypass server-side bots, which places limits on IP addresses. Here are some of the use cases for both static and rotating proxies:

When To Use Sticky Proxies

Use cases

  • For online shopping.
  • Perform an SEO audit.
  • Manage social media accounts.
  • Perform market research.
  • Manage Classified Sites.

1. Sticky Proxies are perfect for a Smooth Shopping Experience

Most shopping sites have a multistep shopping approach. Sticky sessions can help you keep your IP address consistent while preserving the identity of the shopper from the login page to the checkout page.

2. Used to perform SEO Audits

Sticky Proxies can help search engine web scrapers identify top-ranking pages on a single site. The audit can extract top-ranking keywords, link data and many more.

3. Manage Social Media Accounts

Web scraping data can help you define how social media algorithms rank certain profiles higher than others. One advantage is that a static proxy lets you get data from various social media accounts using one IP address to crawl each account.

Sticky IP addresses can help you avoid bans on social media advertising accounts. This is the main difference when using static vs rotating proxies. Users prefer sticky sessions to scrape competitors' social ads and social media posts since it can help avoid bans on social media advertising accounts.

4. Multi-Step Market Research

Market research can help get valuable data useful for future marketing campaigns, and a static proxy lets you do this by scraping quantitative data from your market. It might be a forum, a job portal, a Facebook group or a Reddit community.

If your project needs a multi-step process, you'd want a consistent IP on each page. Static proxies let you scrape these without triggering an alarm.

5. Manage Classified Sites

Classified marketplaces have lots of data to scrape and sometimes rotating IPs may not be an ideal option. So using static residential proxies can help you scrape classified marketplaces without getting blocked.

Downsides

Some of the downsides of using static proxies are:
  1. They depend on IP rotators for large-scale tasks.
  2. They can trigger CAPTCHAs when many connections come from one IP address.
  3. Free proxies have limited sticky sessions which are not enough for large-scale web scraping.
Frustrated that your web scrapers are blocked once and again? ZenRows API handles rotating proxies and headless browsers for you.
Try for FREE

When To Use Rotating Proxies

Unlike static proxies, rotating proxies give users access to one backconnect IP that acts as a gateway to the proxy pool, and depending on your configuration you can send thousands of connection requests with a new IP address for each request.

Use cases

Some advantages of rotating proxies include:
  • Make Data-Driven Internet Marketing Decisions.
  • Perform Heavy Data Scraping.
  • Automate Scraping With Bots.
  • Enhance Anonymity.
  • Create Sneaker Proxies.

1. Make Data-Driven Internet Marketing Decisions

Rotating proxies are ideal for scraping product information, like volatile prices. Developers can get valuable information from product pages while assuming the identity of a real IP address.

Marketers can also track changes in SEO, check competitor user reviews and identify top-ranking keywords on different sites, like Amazon and Indeed.

2. Perform Heavy Data Scraping

Rotating proxies help you bypass cookies, CDNs and antibot software that can detect web scraping patterns. A premium rotating proxy has a pool of trusted IP addresses that are difficult to get blocked.

3. Automate Scraping With Extra Features

Scraping is a voluminous task, and a good rotating proxy provider has extra features to save you the time and headache of doing tasks manually.

4. Enhance Anonymity

Websites normally receive unstable connections from different IP addresses of home users. Rotating residential proxies assume the pattern of several home users for each request, thus building trust with the target website while preserving privacy.

Residential and datacenter proxies
Click to open the image in fullscreen

5. Create Sneaker Proxies

You can use rotating proxies to get quick access to limited editions of sneakers.

Downsides

  1. Blackhat methods used with rotating proxies generate a lot of bot traffic making the target website.
  2. The price of rotating proxies varies by the amount of traffic and it can get pricey compared to static proxies.

Static vs Rotating Proxies: which one to use?

There are three main factors to consider when choosing between rotating vs static proxies, they are security, performance and price. Let's get into the details.

Security

Static proxies connect from a single IP address over longer sessions. Such proxies get blocked if used for e-commerce web scraping. Whereas rotating proxies enhance security by rotating IPs, reducing the chances of detection.

Performance

While static proxies guarantee a higher uptime, rotating proxies have higher performance. Rotating proxies allow connections through fast servers, at high speeds, high bandwidth and low latency. These help web crawlers transfer a lot of data per session.

Pricing

Some rotating proxies have traffic-based pricing, so if you choose a pool with many IP addresses or make many connections, then the price will surely be high. Static proxies prices vary with the IP address and are generally cheaper.

What is the best Proxy Pool for Web Scraping?

There are different proxy providers on the market but ZenRows is your best bet at finding the best proxy pool for web scraping. It's a web scraping API that handles all proxy management, so you avoid the headaches of web scraping.

Take advantage of the free trial available and watch your workflow become super easy.

Conclusion

There are different use cases that can be used as a talking point for the static vs rotating proxy debate. Knowing which one to use depends solely on you but as discussed: the security, performance and price are criteria to look at when selecting proxies for web scraping.

That said, knowing the best proxy provider to go with is another important step in web scraping. ZenRows has the best proxy pools, it simplifies proxy management, bypasses anti-bots and CAPTCHA and is capable of scraping web pages seamlessly with a single API call.

The perfect all-in-one tool for web crawling, try it out for free!

Did you find the content helpful? Spread the word and share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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

Want to keep learning?

We will be sharing all the insights we have learned through the years in the following blog posts. If you don't want to miss a piece and keep learning, we'd be thrilled to have us in our newsletter.

No spam guaranteed. You can unsubscribe at any time.