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The main difference between a dedicated and a shared IP address (IP is short for internet protocol) is that dedicated IPs are given exclusively to one user, whereas multiple users at the same time use shared IP addresses.
When it comes to hiding your identity online, using proxies is a great way to stay anonymous and hide your real IP address.
However, once you start looking into proxy solutions, you’ll probably end up trying to choose between dedicated (a.k.a. private) vs. shared proxies.
When it comes to the question “shared IP address vs. dedicated IP address”, the answer is that dedicated proxies are usually chosen more frequently rather than shared proxies. In this article, you'll find out why.
But before we go into this, let’s take a minute to look a bit closer at the definitions of these two types of proxies.
The most significant difference between dedicated (private) vs. shared IP (internet protocol) addresses is that dedicated IP addresses are given exclusively to one user. Meanwhile, a shared IP address can be used by multiple users at the same time.
A shared IP address is used by multiple users at the same time.
A dedicated IP address is not shared with anyone else and assigned only to one user. Dedicated proxies can also be called private proxies.
If you want to learn more about each IP address type, check out these posts:
Now, let’s compare both IP address types based on several different criteria.
Risk of blocks. The main difference between a shared IP address and a dedicated IP address is how likely you’re to get blocked when scraping. When you’re using a dedicated IP address for web scraping, the chance of getting blocked is significantly smaller than with a shared one.
Control. This point ties closely to the first one – being in control and having ownership of your IP addresses is what reduces the risk of getting blocked. After all, you’re in charge of what websites are being scraped with that specific IP, for how long, and in what manner; all that while knowing no one else is using that IP address at the moment.
Speed. When it comes to web scraping, most users are looking for speed. Dedicated proxies are usually very fast because you don’t have to share the performance with anyone else. Unlike shared, dedicated datacenter proxies have no bandwidth limitations and have exceptionally high uptime.
However, it’s important to note that there are times when shared IP addresses can be as fast as the dedicated ones. Mainly, it depends on what other users connected to the same server are doing; in other words, how intense their traffic is. That said, if you choose shared IP addresses and require high performance, make sure to choose a premium service with a large IP pool.
Security. Dedicated proxies are also called private as they are not shared with anyone else, and are usually secured by protocols - HTTP, HTTPS or SOCKS5. By buying dedicated proxies from a reliable IP address provider, you can be sure that your personal information won’t be compromised and will stay encrypted. Also, since dedicated proxies are assigned only to one user, there’s little chance of bandwidth overload.
However, if you want to enjoy all the benefits of dedicated proxies fully, choosing the right IP address provider is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You might find providers that offer free dedicated proxies; however, in essence, dedicated proxies can’t be free. Don’t trust this false advertising, and make sure that you’re buying only from legitimate businesses.
Pricing. When it comes to the price tag of dedicated vs. shared proxies, dedicated proxies are not as cheap as shared ones. Since proxy providers are selling one IP address to just one user, that user has to cover the full cost of maintaining the dedicated proxies’ servers. Meanwhile, shared proxies are known to be the most cost-efficient solution when it comes to web scraping.
Target website type. Shared proxies are ideal for scraping niche websites that are not typically scraped by other people – such websites are less likely to use anti-bot measures. In other words, you won’t be impacted by other people using the same shared proxies and scraping totally different sites.
Another scenario when shared proxies are recommended is when your target website doesn’t seem to resist being scraped and are less likely to be using heavy anti-bot measures; however, you still need proxies for anonymity and location spoofing.
Final note. At the end of the day, both shared and dedicated IP addresses belong in the dedicated IP address category. Shared and dedicated IPs aren’t as different as, say, datacenter and residential proxies would be.
The main factors we went through – speed, security, etc. – more so help to evaluate the entire proxy and IP address market, especially, when it comes to the free ones with no proper IP reputation guarantees or ownership. At Oxylabs, you can safely choose either proxy type, without having to worry about your speed and security being compromised.
Although dedicated IP addresses can seem like an obvious choice in most cases, we want to stress that it all depends on your needs. If you’re looking for cost-efficiency, most likely your choice will be shared IP addresses. .
If you’re not sure if dedicated proxies are the right choice for you or your business, drop us a line, and we’ll help you decide.
Is my IP address shared or dedicated?
Your network IP address assigned by your ISP will always be a dedicated one; it can be a static or a dynamic one.
As for IP addresses from proxy (or VPN) providers, if you haven’t specifically requested a dedicated IP address and paid for it, you most likely are using a shared IP address.
Click here to read more about static and dynamic IPs.
Is a dedicated IP address safe?
Although a dedicated IP address sounds like a more secure option – since it’s used by one person – it doesn’t mean it’s a necessity. Opting for shared IP addresses should be safe enough as long as they come from reputable premium providers. On the other hand, if you use free proxies with no guarantees for proper IP reputation, you may be facing several risks.
Can I change my dedicated IP?
It solely depends on your dedicated IP address provider – you should reach out to them to discuss if a new dedicated IP address can be arranged.
About the author
Lead Product Marketing Manager
Gabija Fatenaite is a Lead Product Marketing Manager at Oxylabs. Having grown up on video games and the internet, she grew to find the tech side of things more and more interesting over the years. So if you ever find yourself wanting to learn more about proxies (or video games), feel free to contact her - she’ll be more than happy to answer you.
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.
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