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Published On: Sat, Nov 7th, 2020

Datacenter vs Residential IP Proxies

Even if you have a solid understanding of what proxies are and what they do, you can still get confused with all the different types. In this article, we will discuss the main differences between datacenter and residential IP proxies.

They both do essentially the same thing. Like any type of proxy, they hide your IP address. Whenever you move into a new home and enter into a contract with an internet service provider, your connection will be assigned an IP address, and so will every device you use with that connection, including your router, computer, and smartphone. This numerical label we refer to as an IP address allows you to send and receive information on the internet.

Residential proxies resemble the IP addresses assigned by internet service providers to the average consumer while masking your real IP address so you can enjoy the benefits of anonymity. In this regard, residential proxies definitely have an advantage but whether they’re better than datacenter proxies or not largely depends on what you want to use them for.

photo/pressmaster

What Are Datacenter Proxies?

Datacenter proxies can be used to mask your real IP address and all the associated information, but they are not a full substitute for a residential IP. Whenever you access a website or an online service, the system that verifies your IP address will see the datacenter proxy address and information regarding the company that owns the datacenter. In short, they’ll know that you’re using a proxy.

What Are Residential Proxies?

As the name suggests, a residential proxy gives you the same benefits a datacenter proxy does, but it’s also a better substitute for a residential IP address.

A residential IP address is tied to a physical location and a physical device such as a router or computer. A residential proxy uses IP addresses provided by internet service providers and not datacenters so that they’re connected to real residential addressees. Since most online platforms recognize residential IP addresses as real people and not proxies, this means you can hide your real address without running the risk of getting flagged or having your accounts suspended because of suspicious activity.

So Which One Is Better?

As we already mentioned, this depends on what you want to use a proxy for. Datacenter proxies tend to cost less, so if all you want is to mask your real IP address, they’re mostly ok. The problem is that since datacenter proxies cost less, most people that are trying to spam websites or have other nefarious intentions will use them.

This means that many online platforms, once they detect activity coming from datacenter proxies, will handle it with more scrutiny. You will mostly be able to get by with datacenter proxies, but from time to time, you may not be granted access to some platforms, and you’ll have to either use your real IP address or a residential proxy.

Conclusion

To help you choose between datacenter and residential IP proxies, let’s do a short recap of the most important aspects covered in this article.

  • Both datacenter proxies and residential proxies can mask your real IP address
  • Website security systems can tell the difference between a datacenter and a residential IP address
  • Once website security systems detect that you’re using a datacenter proxy, you won’t necessarily get blocked or have your accounts suspended, but your online activity will receive more scrutiny

Author: Stephen Marshall

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