Static vs. Rotating Proxies: The Definitive Comparison

March 21, 2024 · 8 min read

Should you go with static or rotating proxies for your next project? As usual, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But you're here to find the best proxy type for your use case, so this article will help you with that.

Below, you'll find a breakdown of static and rotating proxies' key features, their most significant use cases, and a comparison of their strengths and weaknesses. You'll be ready to make an educated guess for all your upcoming tasks.

Read on!

What Is A Static Proxy?

Simply put, a static proxy is a proxy that doesn't change. If you use a static proxy, your IP address will remain the same throughout the entire session (typically lasting between 5 and 45 minutes) for all subsequent requests. Static proxy service providers let their users choose a single IP address from a list of IP addresses.

Static proxies excel in speed and stability and provide sufficient anonymity if you opt for a high-quality provider, but they’re more prone to blocks and detection.

Static proxy vs. sticky proxy

Is there a difference between a static and sticky proxy? The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but usually, the key differentiator is how long the proxy can stay online. A static proxy may be usable for days, while sticky proxies last a shorter period (up to an hour).

Static proxies’ key features

The most important characteristics of static proxies are:

  • Reliable speed: Static proxies tend to use fast, reliable servers. This is handy for tasks requiring a stable connection.
  • Unchanging IP: Depending on the provider, you can keep the IP for a limited time or as long as needed.
  • High blocking risk: If you make multiple requests from one IP address, you’ll likely trigger CAPTCHAs.
  • Limited performance: Free tools with scarce sticky sessions or a small pool aren't enough for large-scale web scraping or other tasks involving huge data volumes.

What Is A Rotating Proxy?

A rotating proxy automatically provides a new IP address from a large pool for each request. Depending on your configuration, you can send thousands of connection requests with a new IP address for each. The IP addresses rotate in regular time intervals or after a defined number of requests.

Proxy rotator providers (such as ZenRows) allow you to change the features of the gateway server, as well as customize the number of IPs and the location of IP addresses.

Rotating proxies’ key features

  • Maximum anonymity: Frequently changing IPs makes it impossible to track your Internet activity so you can browse the web securely.
  • Anti-bot bypass: Your IP constantly rotates, so your chances of being detected and blocked are slim, even if you perform complex data scraping tasks.
  • Precise geographic targeting: With a large pool of IPs available, rotating proxies often let you narrow down the IPs to a specific location.
  • Potential cost issues: Rotating proxies may be costly since their prices vary depending on the amount of traffic.

Should I Use Static Or Rotating Proxies?

Static vs. Rotating Proxy
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Static proxies are useful for all online activities that require keeping the same IP for more time, e.g., managing social media accounts or online shopping. Rotating proxies are better for web scraping and all tasks connected to large-scale data retrieval. If you use free proxies for web scraping, you’ll most likely get blocked quickly.

When to Use Sticky Proxies?

Let’s go through a list of use cases where sticky proxies are a must.

1. Online shopping

Most e-commerce sites have a multi-step shopping process (you must pick the product, add it to your cart, pay, etc.). Sticky sessions can help you keep your IP address consistent while preserving the shopper's identity from the login page to the checkout page.

2. 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. Social media account management

A static proxy lets you get data from various social media accounts using one IP address to crawl each account. The data can help you define how social media algorithms rank certain profiles higher than others, scrape competitors' ads and posts, and more.

4. Multi-step market research

You can gather valuable data by scraping information from webpages related to your niche, such as a job portal, a Facebook group, or a Reddit community. If your research requires a multi-step process, a consistent IP on each page will let you avoid triggering an alarm.

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When to Use Rotating Proxies?

While static proxies may come in handy in the tasks described above, rotating proxies are better suited for most professional use cases. Let’s examine a few of their most popular use cases.

1. Big-scale data collection for market research

Large data volumes and rapid changes require automated solutions for companies that want to gather information at a competitive pace. Rotating proxies are ideal for scraping product information, such as price changes, review monitoring, or keyword research for e-commerce.

2. Heavy data scraping

Rotating proxies help you bypass cookies, CDNs, and anti-bot software that can detect web scraping patterns. Premium rotating proxies always provide a pool of trusted IP addresses that are difficult to block. If you’re after a web scraping proxy, you should always go for rotating.

3. Scraping automation

Good rotating proxy providers offer extra features such as user agent rotation or auto-parsing, so you don’t waste time performing them manually while web scraping.

Differences and similarities between static and rotating proxies

Now that you know the most important features and use cases of rotating and static proxies, let’s move to the final comparison of both options.

Static proxies Rotating proxies
Security Low. Static proxies connect from a single IP address for longer sessions, making them easy to block. High. Rotating IPs enhances security, reducing the chances of detection.
Performance Good. Static proxies guarantee a high uptime and decent speed. Depends. While some rotating proxies are slower due to more complex mechanics, high-quality providers allow connections through fast servers at high speeds, high bandwidth, and low latency.
Price Usually lower. Prices vary with the IP address. Traffic-based or IP-pool based. Prices depend on the number of connections you make or IP addresses you can access.
Maintenance High. You have to maintain your IP list manually. Low. Rotating proxies are automated.
Exclusivity Shared or exclusive. You can obtain static proxies that are available just for you. Shared. Rotating proxies always provide IPs from shared pools. Still, high-quality providers offer pools large enough to mitigate any potential downsides.


The choice between a static and rotating proxy depends on your project type. Before making the final call, always consider your projects' security, performance, price, and maintenance requirements.

For most tasks involving big-scale scraping and large datasets, rotating proxies are the only viable choice. Traditional proxy pools are costly and high-maintenance, so the best solution is usually a web scraping API with a proxy rotator, such as ZenRows. ZenRows simplifies proxy management and charges only for successful requests. You can bypass anti-bots and CAPTCHA web pages with a single API call.

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