All About Residential Proxy and Its Use Cases


Hiding your IP address while surfing the web can be very helpful. It allows you to remain anonymous, protect your privacy, and even unblock geo-restricted content. Therefore, it is always recommended to use a VPN to change your IP when using the Internet. However, you may not yet be ready to commit to your VPN provider. In that case, you might like proxy sites.

What is a residential proxy?

A residential proxy is an intermediate IP address borrowed from a real user device (desktop, laptop, possibly his IoT device such as a smart TV). Mobile phones are also allowed, but only if connected to WiFi. Mobile Data IP is sold separately as a premium option. Importantly, private IPs must be issued by your ISP, not by a cloud hosting company (such as Amazon’s AWS). This distinguishes it from data center proxies. 

There is another proxy type where the IP is hosted in a data center but registered with a consumer ISP. This is a static residential proxy and is covered in a separate guide. 

What is considered a private IP address? 

An IP address can be considered resident if registered with an Internet service provider that provides consumer services. B. Comcast in the US, Vodafone in the UK.

Data Center or Residential IP by IP Checker

Why Use a Residential Proxy Network?

People use a private proxy to change their IP address, just like any other anonymous proxy. Websites rely on IP addresses to restrict or control access because IP addresses identify a device and its location. 

For example, if you’re outside the UK, you won’t be able to watch BBC iPlayer. Also, if you make too many requests from the same IP address, Google will show his CAPTCHA. Data center proxies or VPNs can usually be used to resolve these issues. However, some websites (again Google) may detect that you are connected via his IP or VPN in a data center. They will then block you or give you false information. 

Residential proxies are much more difficult to identify because they route connections through real devices. This makes you or your web scraper look like a regular user.

Access blocked due to data center IP.

Websites that block access to VPN and data center addresses. Another advantage is that residential proxies cover many locations worldwide down to the city level. This allows companies to conduct localization campaigns and collect accurate local data.

The most common residential proxy use cases are 

  • Ad Validation – Companies run scripts to test that ads display correctly in the
    proper context. Residential proxies are preferred as they cover more locations and avoid detection by scammers.
  • Sneaker Scalping – Sneakerheads use private proxies and bots to purchase shoes during exclusive releases. The data centre proxy no longer works because the sneaker store is well protected. 
  • SEO Monitoring – SEO agencies scan Google and other search engines to research keywords, track ranking changes, and analyze competitors. It isn’t easy to scratch Google with a large data centre IP. Aggregate travel prices – Companies like Trivago aggregate and compare ticket and hotel prices. Anonymity is very necessary as the target is actively blocking his web scrapers. 
  • E-commerce – Businesses search websites such as Amazon to monitor product trends, positioning, and price changes. A resident IP facilitates this process and prevents erroneous data from being received after detection. 
  •  Multiple Account Management – Individuals and businesses must manage multiple social media profiles or merchant accounts on platforms like eBay. This requires a reputable anonymous IP.
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