In order to explain the concept of residential proxies, we have to define what a proxy is in the first place. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a proxy server is ‘a computer system that facilitates the exchange of data between users on a network’. The main reason to use a proxy server is for greater security, for example, forwarding requests across a firewall.
It usually acts as a point of transition between your computer or local network and larger-scale networks (e.g. the internet itself). It can be used for multiple purposes, such as improving security and performance on one hand and monitoring your online activities on the other.
|Forward proxy||Pass requests from private network to the internet, securely|
|Reverse proxy||Pass requests from the internet to a private network, securely|
|Proxy chaining||Using both forward and reverse proxy servers|
|Backconnect proxies||Regularly switches between IPs after a short period of time|
Each proxy network type (Forward, Reverse and Chaining) can “sit” on either residential or data-center proxies or infrastructure. The purpose of both residential as well as data-center proxies is to hide your real IP address while surfing the web, thus increasing security. When browsing the web, every once in a while you may get blocked by a certain website even if you have no malicious intentions.
The reasons for being prevented from entering a website can vary. More often than you think, they have to do with your IP address (if you are a business visiting your competitor’s website too often and being too inquisitive), your location (if you are not allowed to enter a website due to location restrictions), etc.
In case this happens to you, you will want to enter your target website from another IP address. Residential proxy is basically an address provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). It uses residential IPs and it is used by the majority of legitimate proxy users.
What we mean by legitimate is the fact that, for the most part, residential proxy network users don’t want to hide their identity per se, but rather to tackle the issue that they come across due to their address and successfully get to their desired website.
On the other hand, data-centers are used by the people who want to stay anonymous for one reason or another. Similar to residential proxies, they will mask your real address but are not provided by ISPs. You can read more about data-center proxies later in the article.
If you want to ‘fool’ the browser and servers in order to get the information you want in spite of the fact that your real IP is being blocked, you will need to change your IP address from time to time.
For this, you will need a residential proxy network. A high-quality residential proxy network will:
There are different kinds of residential proxies:
It is no secret that internet providers use various types of software to track our online activity and know pretty much everything about our bond with our favorite websites, what we do there, etc.
Any trace that we leave is associated with our residential IP, so all our transactions can be easily discovered by a security organization or even a really smart hacker.
Now, if you want to stay anonymous, you will need to disguise your true address.
This is where data-center proxies enter the stage – they will successfully mask your real address, thus making you untraceable to tracking software. However, you should bear in mind that this type of proxy is generally frowned upon.
Precisely due to the fact that they are better at hiding your identity, data-center proxies have been largely used by hackers for illegal activities. This made servers be on the alert for this type of proxies, which makes you more likely to get blacklisted if you are using them. In addition, even if you decide to get a data-center proxy, it only serves as a wall between you and those being too inquisitive about your online activities and you will get blocked eventually since the IP ranges of data-centers usually starts at the same few integers, making it easier to block the whole range if your target website decides to do so.
With this in mind, even if you obtain it, you will still need a real residential proxy in order to stay undetected, anonymous and get your work done. You see, the IP range of residential proxies can’t be grouped under a simple range since the IPs are spread across the whole world.
If you are getting blocked by a website that contains information of great importance to you, you will want to bridge the gap that emerges as a consequence of your true IP.
The best way to mask your real address is to use a residential proxy network, which will allow you to connect to the desired website through a server found in another location.
Furthermore, you can use residential backconnect proxies or dedicated residential proxies, depending on your actual needs. With all this in mind, it is obvious that residential proxies are a safe, completely legitimate and reliable way to make your internet browsing effortless and efficient.