As with all products, residential proxies require solid knowledge to use them successfully. The ins and outs of them are many, and the internet is filled with somewhat conflicting information. But what is necessary isn’t that hard to understand after all, and you will get the rest while using them.
If you are looking for a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. We will cover all of the essentials – from the origin of IPs to the most important use cases. Let’s get started.
What are residential proxies?
Residential proxies are a type of proxy. Every proxy acts as an intermediary changing your IP with their own and ensuring privacy, but residential ones achieve this result with superior legitimacy. The difference stems from the way residential proxies are designed.
When you set up an internet connection to your home, you will need to contact a local internet service provider (ISP) and have a working device, such as a PC, to connect. If you change places, you will contact the ISP again, and they will provide you with a new connection for the new location.
Residential proxies use this ordinary connection to the internet, meaning they are tied to an exact location and a physical device. Just like for any other internet user, the connection is verified by an ISP and given a unique residential IP address.
IP (internet protocol) address allows devices on the internet to communicate by assigning every one of them a unique string of numbers. When you enter a website, it knows where to send the data because the IP of your device is always visible.
With a proxy, you can hide your identity by showing the IP of the server instead of yours. Websites then have to send the data to a proxy server first, and only then it is forwarded to you.
If you use a residential proxy, the IP provided to the website will look like the one from any other user on the internet. The website will have a harder time noticing that you are using a proxy, so your identity is protected better.
Most other popular privacy solutions, such as VPNs or datacenter proxies, employ internet connections from large data centers intended for commercial use. It reflects in their IP addresses, so websites can easily differentiate and suspect them for hiding identity.
Pros and cons of residential proxies
The main advantage of residential proxies is their legitimacy, and it is a combination of two other features – Affiliation with an ISP and unique IPs.
- IP hostname and location is verified by an ISP and makes residential proxies IPs no different from ordinary ones.
- Residential proxies have real locations behind them – no IP can have the same string of numbers twice. Most other proxies are often created virtually in bulk, and their IPs can only differ by a few digits.
Another major benefit of residential proxies is accurate location targeting. No other type of proxy can achieve this on a city level. It is due to residential IPs being tied with physical devices in a real location.
Poor performance is sometimes mentioned as a drawback of residential proxies. Such generalizations are rarely correct because it all depends on the provider. A fast residential proxy from a trusted provider will perform better than an average VPN or datacenter proxy.
Ethical concerns are a drawback of a similar kind. Residential IPs should only be sourced with the legal consent of the IP address owner. Unfortunately, some providers obtain their IPs unethically, but it’s a drawback of a provider more than of proxies.
The only fair drawback of residential proxies is their price as their maintenance is complicated for providers. If they don’t invest enough, expect drawbacks in performance or legality. You can only get what you pay for with a trusted provider.
Web scraping. Data-driven decisions are an essential part of successful businesses. But collecting data is a time-consuming task. Web scraping automates it using bots. You just need to request data, and it will be delivered in minutes. Residential proxies are essential because they allow bots to avoid bans and access restricted content.
Market research. The data you can find online is an invaluable resource for analyzing current or possible markets. You can monitor prices, collect feedback and search for potential customers. Chances are, your competition is already scraping this information online. Without residential proxies, you won’t be able to automate this process, access your data and protect your privacy.
Social media management. Every major business is on social media, so there’s no way around it – you have to be there too. But with so many different platforms and customers to target, it is not an easy task. Success in social media requires multiple accounts for good reach and automation software for efficiency.
Both solutions are only possible with residential proxies. Social media platforms actively block users with multiple accounts and those that use automation, all based on their IPs. With reliable residential IPs, you will automate multiple accounts, avoid bans and reach your audience effectively.
Residential proxy providers
Choosing a provider is a responsible step that may define your experience with residential proxies. They all differ in quality, and some, especially free ones, have to be avoided entirely. To make your choice easier – here’s a checklist of features to look for:
- Large IP pool
- Excellent performance with close to zero downtimes
- Ability to rotate IPs for needed periods
- Integration of any automation tool
- Customizable pricing plans for unique projects
Click here to learn about residential proxies from a provider that ticks all the boxes. Metrow has fine-tuned its residential proxies for web scraping and social media management. You can experience it all for yourself.
Residential proxies are an excellent tool for anyone in need to collect data or manage multiple social media accounts. Their provider legitimacy and location targeting capabilities can do much more. Now you know what they are, so just put them to good use.