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Lukas Motiejunas

Jan 16, 2019 4 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 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 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.

What are Data Center Proxies?

Data center proxies are private 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, keep in mind that data center proxies 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.

this is an illustration on how data center proxies work
How 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 Their Main Differences?

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

Residential proxies:

  • More 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 are easily detected and blacklisted.
  • Better for harvesting data – data center proxies are used for harvesting as well, but as mentioned above – they do get blacklisted a lot easier than residential proxies. That is why if you are a business in need of well-performing block-free proxies to harvest data – residential proxies are the way to go.  
  • Harder to get them blacklisted – for the same reasons as mentioned in the “more legitimate” section, residential proxies are harder to blacklist, unlike data center proxies.
  • 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 acomplish everything in a shorter period of time.
  • 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 clean data center proxy, getting banned or blacklisted shouldn’t come as an issue. Just make sure that the proxies come from a reliable provider.
  • 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 – should be secure as well
This is a picture of a man thinking next to his laptop

Which Proxies Should You Choose?

It mainly 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 as good if you cover your footprint. Just keep in mind that because data center proxies are used by many, there is the chance that some of the IPs you’ll use will already be blacklisted and might obstruct your work.

Conclusions

Both residential and 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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