In today’s digital landscape, proxies have an essential role to play for businesses operating online. For this reason, it’s important to understand what proxies are for, as well as the differences between the two main types of proxies – static proxies and rotating proxies.
In this blog, we will outline the role of proxies and delve into the characteristics and uses cases that differentiate them so that you make an educated decision when choosing one.
The term “proxy” refers to a type of server which fulfills the role of an intermediary between users and websites or online platforms. Proxies facilitate indirect communication between the two parties, relaying web requests on behalf of the user and concealing the IP address of their browsing device.
There are a variety of different reasons why one might need to use a proxy service. These can include the following:
A static proxy, also referred to as a dedicated proxy, is a type of proxy server which provides a user with a fixed IP address that remains constant throughout a browsing session. In doing so, static proxies give users a high degree of stability and continuity in their connections.
There are two primary types of static proxies: static residential proxies and static datacenter proxies.
Static residential proxies are ones that utilize residential IP addresses. These are IPs that are assigned by Internet service providers (ISPs) for use on residential networks. As such, they are connected to real user browsing devices and are also linked to real physical addresses, making them highly authentic and trustworthy from the perspective of websites.
Like their residential counterparts, static data center proxies also provide fixed IPs for users. However, rather than using IPs assigned by ISPs, they use ones provided by datacenters. These IPs are routinely hosted on cloud servers, and as such, they have no ties to any specific user device or physical address. Though they provide fast connections, they appear less authentically online than residential IP proxies.
A rotating proxy, sometimes referred to as a dynamic proxy, is which changes IP addresses throughout a browsing session. When users utilize rotating proxies, they are assigned a new IP either at fixed intervals or upon each new request. For this reason, rotating proxies provide a higher degree of anonymity than static proxies do.
There are four main types of rotating proxies. These are rotating residential proxies, shared datacenter proxies, ISP proxies, and static mobile proxies.
Rotating residential proxies are ones that use a pool of residential IPs. These IPs are rotated periodically, enabling users to browse anonymously to prevent their activities from being tracked or blocked.
Shared datacenter proxies use dynamic data center IPs that multiple different users utilize. They are highly cost-effective for this reason and are useful in instances where users require frequent IP rotations without needing the extra authenticity that residential IPs provide.
Rotating ISP proxies are ones that utilize pools of IPs obtained directly from ISPs. However, they are hosted on datacenter servers without the involvement of actual end users. As such, they can be considered something of a hybrid, offering some of the functionality of both residential and datacenter proxies.
Mobile proxies use IPs that are associated with mobile devices rather than fixed-line connections. They enable users to appear as though they are browsing on mobile devices, masking their locations and device IPs.
When making the decision to choose a static or a rotating proxy, it’s important to understand which can better suit your needs. The following comparison provides a quick breakdown of their most important characteristics so that you can do just that:
Static and rotating proxies each have a wide variety of use cases. These include the following:
Both static and dynamic proxies have their advantages and disadvantages. To determine which one to use, you need to consider the complexity of the website you want to scrape, whether you need those IPs for the long term, and whether you need immediate access. Once you have determined which proxy type you need, you can proceed to test their performance and see how they work for your specific needs.