Choosing between residential and datacenter proxies

Iveta Vistorskyte

Jun 19, 2020 4 min read

One of the main topics from Oxylabs first webinar was the differences between residential and datacenter proxies. Also, our product owner Mindaugas Dunderis advised which proxies to choose for specific tasks.

Are you interested in watching the whole webinar? Get more information on choosing the right proxy provider or how to set the right approach to web scraping! Click here and watch it for free!

What are the differences between residential and datacenter proxies?

The main difference between residential and datacenter proxies is their origin. Residential proxies are IP addresses supported by an Internet Service Provider. They are genuine IP addresses.

Datacenter proxies come from data centers, and they are not affiliated with an ISP. Usually, datacenter proxies are used for infrastructure, such as servers, web hosting, and so on.

Deciding what to choose: residential or datacenter proxies?

Before making a decision, you should think of the most important part – what websites you are going to scrape and what data is your target. Also, if you already tried web scraping and know your target websites, you should consider what issues you have encountered.

Here are our advices on choosing the right proxy type:

1. If you need to scrape raw data, or assets, like images, it means that your average request size becomes quite large. Usually, residential proxies are charged for traffic, so it is important to consider your budget. In this case, we recommend choosing datacenter proxies since they have unlimited traffic.

2. If you are not planning to scrape all the time and you need one-time data for your project, residential proxies should be a more cost-efficient choice.

3. If you are searching for a solution to scrape real-time data, datacenter proxies are faster and more stable compared to residential proxies. However, they are easier to catch and block. If the response time is not that important, residential proxies are a better option.

4. There are many cases when users get blocked from targeted websites while using free proxies from unreliable providers. If you are in a similar situation, we suggest you start with datacenter proxies. However, if most or all of your requests were unsuccessful, probably the security on your targeted website is much more complicated. Then, you should consider residential proxies.

5. Most websites serve content according to the geo-location of visiting IP addresses. For example, you can see different pricing and even shipping costs. Some websites provide content to a single country, so if you are visiting a website from another country, you will not get any information. In this case, residential proxies will do the best job for scraping data from such targets.

Why not use both: residential and datacenter proxies?

Everything depends on your targets and goals. In some cases, you will need residential proxies, for example, for tough targets to scrape. Datacenter proxies will be the one and only choice when you need a fast and stable solution for easier data targets. However, if you are planning to scrape different targets continuously, you will probably try both types of proxies.

Also, since we have experience in scraping many websites, we are always ready to help you. We might already know the best approach for each of your targets, and you will not need to waste your precious time trying to find out a proper solution for your web scraping tasks.

Here is an infographic for better visualization, explaining the main differences and features of these types of proxies:

Datacenter Proxies vs Residential Proxies

Wrapping it up

To sum up, choosing between residential and datacenter proxies depends on your goals. Before deciding what to pick, you should think of what targets you are going to scrape and what information you need. Also, you should consider issues you may face (or already faced).

Click here to book a call with our sales team and discuss which proxies are better for your tasks! If you already decided that you need residential proxies, register here, pick the plan that suits you, and start using our proxies today!


About Iveta Vistorskyte

Iveta Vistorskyte is a Copywriter at Oxylabs. Growing up as a writer and a challenge seeker, she decided to welcome herself to the tech-side, and instantly became interested in this field. When she is not at work, you'll probably find her just chillin' while listening to her favorite music or playing board games with friends.

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All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.