Datacenter proxies and residential proxies logo by Oxylabs
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Lukas Motiejunas

Jan 16, 2019 7 min read

Both residential proxies and datacenter proxies hide your IP address. However, residential proxies are considered to be more anonymous, as the websites you visit have a harder time to detect them. On the other hand, datacenter proxies are cheaper and provide much better response rates in comparison to residential proxies.

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 datacenter and residential proxies?”

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

What are datacenter proxies?

Datacenter 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, datacenter 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 datacenter proxies. All Oxylabs datacenter proxies are private proxies, and ensure little to no IP blacklisting.

oxylabs datacenter proxy pool

How Oxylabs datacenter proxies work

We have already written a blog post about what datacenter proxies are, going into detail about their features and more, so check it out! Or, simply watch our Lead Account Manager Nedas video below:

Datacenter proxies are created on powerful servers

What are residential proxies?

A dedicated 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.

The main difference between datacenter and residential proxies lies in the source of the IP. All other differences that arise rely on the differences between household machines and servers.

oxylabs residential proxy pool

How residential proxies work

Just like with datacenter proxies, we have a full article about what residential proxies are, so if you wish to learn more about them, have a read.

Residential vs datacenter proxies

Having a rough idea what residential and datacenter 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 datacenter 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. Additionally, these proxies can maintain the same IP if needed.
  • 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 datacenter proxies.  

Datacenter proxies:

  • Faster – some tasks require faster proxies, and datacenter 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 – datacenter 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 datacenter proxy or not, datacenter proxies still shield your IP address. And if you use a private datacenter proxy, getting banned or blacklisted shouldn’t come as an issue.
  • Cheaper – when buying in bulks and on a budget, datacenter 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.
Differences between residential and data center proxies
Picking sides when considering residential vs datacenter proxies isn’t always easy

Which proxies should you choose?

So residential vs datacenter 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. Speed, security and legitimacy are the main differences between datacenter and residential proxies.

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. Identity sensitive data is where dedicated residential proxies win.

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

All of the differences outlined above should make the choice of residential vs datacenter proxies a lot easier. Armed with an understanding on the main difference between residential and datacenter proxies, you can now move on to bigger projects!

Conclusions

Both residential vs datacenter 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 datacenter proxies are not worth looking into. From the right provider, they will be secure and they will be cheaper, not to mention faster.

Want to find out more about dedicated residential proxies and how they work? Or maybe read up on other proxy types such as static IPs? We got you covered! Our blog has many detailed posts on all things proxies and web scraping tools!


People also ask

What are the other types of proxies?

Categorization of proxies can be based on protocol (HTTP(S) and SOCKS5), access (private and shared) and many other aspects. Although, the most important differences are between residential and datacenter proxies.

Are proxy locations important?

Yes. Certain online content is geo-restricted which means that it might be displayed only to, for example, USA proxies and not to any other region-based server.

How are datacenter IP blocks different?

Datacenter IPs come from the same network which means they will often have similar IDs. Due to the IPs belonging to one network and being assigned similar IDs, getting one address blocked will often mean that many others are as well.

Can residential proxies be used for search engine scraping?

It is not recommended to use residential proxies for search engine scraping. Most search engines apply very strict anti-scraping measures which makes it very difficult to avoid IP blocks.

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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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