What are Residential Proxies?
Residential proxies conceal your IP by replacing it with another, legitimate IP. Whether needed for online anonymity or data scraping, here’s all you need to know about residential proxies.
What are residential proxies?
Before jumping into explaining what residential proxies are, let us first answer what a proxy is in the first place. According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, a proxy server is “a server that exists between somebody’s personal computer and the Internet to provide some services for the user and/or to prevent them from reaching information, websites, etc. without permission”.
As the description goes, it is like a transition between your computer or local network and larger scale networks. It can be used for multiple purposes – from improving security to monitoring your online activities. One type of proxy network is residential. A residential proxy is an IP address that is provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and allocated to a homeowner. Each IP address is attached to a physical location, and even though there are billions of digital devices connected to the internet at any time, the location of any device can be pinpointed by the IP address it is using. So every time you go online, your internet service provider tracks your visit by monitoring your browsing preferences with cookies and logging your unique IP address.
Trouble is, while the internet is a global community, many service providers will geo-lock content so you can only access it from certain countries. Moreover, if you’re trying to scrape data or use bots for search engine optimization (SEO), your IP address might get blocked and you won’t be able to access the desired webpage.
Luckily, a residential proxy network is one of the effective ways to getting around these problems.
Why use a residential proxy network?
As we already mentioned, you might want to hide your IP address for various reasons. You might need to scrape data from a number of websites, run numerous accounts from the same machine, upload or download torrents via P2P connections or stream geo-blocked content.
Whatever the case is, using a residential proxy network is a great way to hide your true online identity, as it allocates genuine, residential IPs to your connection, hiding your IP from clients and servers to give you complete online anonymity.
There is one snag though – because search engines will only allow you to make a specific number of requests from the same IP in a minute, this type of single server set up can significantly limit your browsing options, and even get a ban if you exceed the rate you’re given.
What are residential rotating proxies?
Unlike regular residential proxies, which simply hide your online location by hiding your real IP behind another IP, rotating residential proxies, also known as backconnect proxies, conceal you behind a pool of proxies. These proxies switch between themselves with every session or at regular intervals.
When you channel your connection like this, your IP will continuously change. This way you can make as many requests as you like without getting flagged for suspicious activity.
Here’s what happens each time you make a server request:
- You send a server request through your normal connection. We will call this Connection 1 and let’s say you search for “smart proxy”.
- The server returns you the result: https://smartproxy.io/. If you keep repeating this search or run a bot to make multiple, high-rate searches, the search engine will flag this as suspicious activity and may even ban Connection 1.
But what happens when you try to connect through a residential rotating, or backconnect proxy? Once you make the initial search, every subsequent search gets directed through a different connection. By doing so, there’s no risk of being flagged for a suspicious number of requests. The proxy then rotates your IPs so you get a new identity, if not with each search, then after a set period of time. This way you avoid any risk of being flagged for suspicious activity.
How to connect via rotating residential proxies?
Although free proxy services are available, it’s best to sign up to a subscription plan with a trusted proxy provider, which is much more reliable, quicker and offer the greatest level of security and anonymity.
Smartproxy offers a range of price plans to suit your needs and budget. Price plans are based on traffic usage and offers access to a pool of up to 5 million proxies, with an unlimited number of connections, threads, and countries at any time.
All you need to do to get started is to sign up to our dashboard. Here you will get to choose your preferred subscription, if needed, change your plan, or add credits. All of which you can do whenever you like. This dashboard also allows you to track daily traffic usage, as well as add sub-users and track their usage.
For more information, check out our FAQs, or if you’re good to go, get in touch via live chat or leave us a few details in “Contact us” form and we’ll get right back to you.