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Lukas Motiejunas

Jan 16, 2019 5 min read

So, you have a rough idea what proxies are and what they do. But one question might have arisen whilst scrolling through the infinite pools of proxy information – “what’s the difference between data center and residential proxies?”

Well, this article aims to tackle this question. Let’s dive in, and start with the aforementioned proxies’ descriptions.

What are data center proxies?

Data center proxies are proxies that are not affiliated with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They come from a secondary corporation and provide you with completely private IP authentication and anonymity.

However, data center proxies usually come from cloud server providers and are used by many at the same time. Since they are not listed as ISP providers, these IPs can already be flagged by some targets and certain precautionary measures might be taken. But keep in mind that this is not the case with Oxylabs data center proxies. All oxylabs data center proxies are private proxies and assure little to no IP blacklisting.

this is an illustration on how data center proxies work
How Oxylabs data center proxies work

We have already written a blog post about data center proxies, going into detail what they are, if you want to learn more about them, click here.

What are residential proxies?

A residential proxy is an IP address provided by an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to a homeowner. It is a real IP address attached to a physical location. So basically, whenever you move to a new location and set up your internet, your ISP will provide you with an IP address. If curious, you can check what is your IP address by simply googling it.

this is an illustration on how residential proxies work
How Oxylabs residential proxies work

Just like with data center proxies, we have a full article about residential proxies, so if you wish to learn more about them, click here.

Residential vs. data center proxies

Having a rough idea what residential and data center proxies are, let’s dissect both of them and reveal their main differences.

Residential proxies:

  • Legitimate – because residential proxy IPs are provided by a real ISP, it makes them look real and legitimate. Whereas data center proxies, as mentioned earlier, are created in bulks and come from cloud server providers, so can be easily detected and blacklisted if buying from an untrusted provider.
  • Harder to get them blacklisted – for the same reasons as mentioned in the “more legitimate” section, residential proxies are harder to blacklist.
  • More expensive – it’s only natural that high anonymity and low chances of getting blocked means you’ll have to pay more than you would for data center proxies.  

Data center proxies:

  • Faster – some tasks require faster proxies, and data center proxies are usually faster than residential proxies, allowing you to accomplish everything in a shorter period of time.
  • Better for harvesting data – if you are a business in need of well-performing proxies to harvest data – data center proxies are the way to go. Just keep in mind to buy from a reputable proxy provider, and learn the know-how. With Oxylabs dedicated managers the latter would not be an issue to learn.
  • Not legitimate, but still protective – even though websites can tell whether you’re using a data center proxy or not, datacenter proxies still shield your IP address. And if you use a private data center proxy, getting banned or blacklisted shouldn’t come as an issue.
  • Cheaper – when buying in bulks and on a budget, data center proxies are the way to go. They are a lot cheaper than residential proxies, as well as faster. And if you buy them from a good provider – will be secure as well.
This is a picture of a man thinking next to his laptop

Which proxies should you choose?

So residential vs. data center proxies – it all comes down to whether you need high security and legitimacy, or you need faster proxies who will simply help you shield your IP.

In most cases, it is best to use residential proxies as it doesn’t leave a footprint and won’t trigger any security alarms. This is especially important if you seek to harvest data in large quantities.

But data center proxies work very well if you cover your footprint. Data center proxies are the way to go if you have a good know-how on proxies and focus on buying only private data center proxies. Both issues can be solved by Oxylabs data center proxies.

Conclusions

Both residential vs. data center proxies hide your IP address, nevertheless, residential proxies are more secure, as the websites you visit have a harder time to detect them. That doesn’t mean that data center proxies are not worth looking into. From the right provider, they will be secure and they will be cheaper, not to mention faster.

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About Lukas Motiejunas

Lukas Motiejunas is an Account Manager at Oxylabs, and he places a strong personal interest in the market research field. Mainly, in the merge of business sector and digital tools utilization to distinguish the most effective practices to carry out automated market research operations. So if you have any questions relating to market research, he’s your guy to answer them. Lukas believes that he has a hidden talent to be a great chef, although rumor has it, he uses the smoke alarm as a timer.

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