What are Shared Proxies?

Mantas Miksenas

Apr 24, 2020 7 min read

Shared proxies are IP addresses that are used by multiple users at the same time. Shared proxies are considered to be inferior in comparison to private proxies. However, shared proxies can be suitable for the majority of tasks online. Shared proxies tend to be the cheapest type of proxies.

As you probably already know, your IP address is like your ID which contains all important information about you. So, if you are looking for an answer on how to hide IP address and stay anonymous when extracting data from the internet, you’ll be needing proxies.

There are a few different types of proxies one can look into. If you have the time, we invite you to read learn more about these proxies:

We even made a video, so make sure to check it out:

When it comes to shared proxies, they are mostly used by people who simply want to browse the web anonymously and bypass web filters. You may also use them to connect to websites from a specific location. For example, if you wish to appear as a user from Canada, you could use Canadian proxies.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the most essential pros and cons of shared proxies. After all, if you’re interested in buying them, you need to know what you’re getting into. You can also check out the descriptions of many other proxy types in our in-depth blog post.

Shared proxies can be used to browse the web anonymously, to access specific content on certain media streaming services or to bypass geo-restrictions by using proxies from a given location, such as a United Kingdom proxy. Although if you are looking for ways to increase your anonymity on the web for individual use, using a VPN might prove to be a better solution, as discussed in our blog post Proxy vs VPN.

Shared proxies vs. semi dedicated proxies

When speaking about shared proxies, we have to mention semi dedicated proxies as well.

A semi-dedicated proxy is also a shared proxy, but its provider limits the number of users sharing that proxy. Usually, only a few people get access to the same IP, so when using semi dedicated proxies, you can expect better performance and speed.

Shared proxies vs semi dedicated proxies

The benefits of using shared proxies

Less expensive

  • The main advantage of shared proxies is that they are usually less expensive than dedicated proxies. This is the usual reason that some people choose to use a shared IP.
  • Since proxy providers are selling the same IPs to several users, it’s a lot cheaper to maintain shared proxy servers. Providers can split the costs and offer a lower price.
  • In some cases, shared proxies can be a viable option for the beginners to experiment until realizing the exact needs for their project while keeping the starting costs on the lower side.
Shared proxies are used by people from different locations

Good with most scraping tools

  • Shared proxies can be useful when using specific web scraping tools, as long as the target website doesn’t block the assigned IP address.

Highly anonymous

  • Let’s not forget that shared proxies offer high anonymity because with multiple users sharing the same IP address it’s almost impossible to identify a single user.


  • It can be argued that using a shared IP can be as efficient and effective as semi dedicated or private proxies.
  • Obviously, it all goes down to the user’s needs, but if you choose to obtain shared proxies from a reputable proxy provider, usually it is granted that the provider will optimize the use of shared proxies to suit every single user.

Things you should keep in mind

Although shared proxies have a lot of benefits, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Sharing bandwidth with other users

  • Unlike with dedicated proxies where you have all the bandwidth to yourself when using shared proxies, you’ll have to share the performance with other users.
  • That’s why these proxies can be a bit slower.

The bad neighbor effect

  • Since you share the same IP addresses with a bunch of other people, there’s a risk that one of them will do something illegal, and the entire IP address will get banned limiting your access to that site as well. This phenomenon is known as “the bad neighbor effect.”


  • Using a shared IP also carries the risk of it being unreliable. Due to the fact that many users might be using the same proxy to access the web, it might became too slow or even completely unresponsive.


  • If too many users with the same shared proxy try to use Google at the same time, the search engine might see it as spam and respond by displaying a captcha message. This is very common when using a shared IP.


So what is a shared proxy? To sum up, shared proxies are used by organizations and companies for filtering content, as well as by private persons for unblocking restricted content and browsing the internet anonymously.

When it comes to choosing a shared proxy over a dedicated one, it all depends on your needs. Dedicated proxies are faster and offer great performance, while shared ones are cheaper. You can find more information about the differences between dedicated IP vs shared IP in our other blog posts.

If you’re not sure if shared proxies are the right choice for you or your business, book a call with our sales team, and we’ll help you decide.

People also ask

What is a static proxy?

Static proxies are datacenter IPs that are assigned via a contract by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). And as the name “static” implies, it allows you to operate as a residential user with the same IP for as long as needed. Read more to find out what are static proxies.

What is proxy rotation?

If the proxy server is configured correctly, it is possible to rotate IP addresses from a proxy pool (list) of IP addresses. Thanks to proxy rotation, numerous connections can be managed from a single device. This makes it possible to scrape websites with higher success rate.

What is better, a proxy or a VPN?

Although proxies can be just as efficient for those seeking anonymity, using a VPN is generally recommended for private individuals.

Do proxies hide your IP?

Yes, proxies do hide your real IP address and in a lot of cases this is their main function. However, you should also know that there are plenty of other uses for proxies in which hiding the user’s original IP address is only secondary to some other goal.


About Mantas Miksenas

Mantas Miksenas is an Inbound Sales Team Lead who believes he needs to keep moving forward by pushing the limits. The tech industry compliments the latter aim as it expands boundaries and helps to build the future. While he pushes his limits, he likes to put on a soundtrack of smooth Jazz and improvisational music to keep himself energized.

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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