Residential or Datacenter Proxies: What Should You Choose?

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There are different types of proxies, each with its own characteristics that make it ideal for a given function. If you look at residential and datacenter proxies, for example, they are markedly distinct, with the former being virtual while the other is real. This is one of the many considerations you need to take into account in your decision-making. But before getting into more details, let’s understand what a proxy is.

What is a Proxy?

Before we begin, let’s answer the “what is a proxy?” question. Also known as a proxy server, a proxy is a real or virtual intermediary through which internet traffic is routed. The proxy assigns a new IP address to requests originating from a web browser before sending them to the target website. In this way, the requests appear to originate from the proxy instead of a user’s computer. At the same time, this intermediary also receives responses sent from the server first before directing them to the browser.

In this regard, a proxy can be termed as a buffer between a user’s computer or browser and the internet. It is no wonder that there are several types of proxies, namely HTTP/HTTPS and reverse proxies, that are used to secure web servers – they prevent cyberattacks. Other types of proxies, besides those mentioned above, include:

  1. Forward proxies
  2. Transparent proxies
  3. Rotating proxies
  4. Static proxies
  5. Shared proxies
  6. Dedicated proxies
  7. SOCKS/SOCKS5 proxies
  8. Anonymous and high anonymity proxies

In this article, however, we’ll mainly focus on residential and datacenter proxies.

What is a Residential Proxy?

A residential proxy is an intermediary that assigns residential IP addresses. These addresses belong to internet service providers (ISPs). It works by routing internet traffic through real users’ devices in which residential proxy software has been installed.

Normally, residential proxy providers enter into agreements with ISPs and their customers who consent to their devices being used as proxies at a fee. This arrangement creates a scenario whereby requests that are routed through these customers’ devices appear to originate from their mobile phones or personal computers. In this regard, residential proxies create a protective buffer that associates even those requests that are sent by bots such as scrapers, which would otherwise be easily detected and blocked, with real users. This prevents IP blocking. Additionally, they enable users to bypass geo-restrictions.

Pros of Residential Proxies

  1. They are not easily blocked
  2. These proxies bypass geo-restriction
  3. Residential proxies improve security and privacy: only one user is allocated the available bandwidth
  4. They are fast
  5. They offer online anonymity by masking the real IP address

Cons of Residential Proxies

  1. They are expensive but you can check out Proxy.Coupons to get huge discounts.
  2. Residential IP addresses are rare

Uses of Residential Proxies

1.     Accessing geo-blocked content

Usually, residential proxy providers have agreements with ISPs and users from different countries. Thus, when you procure a residential proxy, you can elect to route your traffic through a device that belongs to a user located in a different country from yours. This way, you get to bypass geo-restrictions, particularly when accessing websites that implement geo-blocking.

2.     Large-scale web scraping

Residential proxies are not easily blocked as the requests are associated with real users. This makes them ideal for large-scale web scraping. You can use residential proxies to extract various types of data instrumental in:

  • Competition monitoring
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Price monitoring
  • Reputation and review monitoring
  • Lead generation

3.     Social media management

Some social media platforms limit the number of accounts you can open using the same IP address. A residential proxy, therefore, helps you go around this problem.

4.     Ad verification

You can use residential proxies to view and verify how your ads are displayed in other countries.

What is a Datacenter Proxy?

A datacenter proxy is a virtual computer that assigns datacenter proxies, which are generated by powerful datacenter computers. For this reason, this type of proxy is fast. But it is also easily detected and can therefore be blocked as easily. In addition, unlike residential proxies, which are rare, datacenter proxies are readily available, an attribute that makes them cheap.

Pros of Datacenter Proxies

  1. They are fast
  2. Datacenter proxies are readily available
  3. They are cheap and affordable
  4. These proxies bypass geo-restriction
  5. They are ideal for small-scale web scraping

Cons of Datacenter Proxies

  1. They are easily blocked
  2. Datacenter proxies are not ideal for large-scale web scraping

Uses of Datacenter Proxies

1.     Bypassing Geo-restriction

You can use datacenter proxies to access geo-restricted content.

2.     Small-scale web scraping

Datacenter proxies are perfect for scraping data from small websites, which do not have elaborate detection mechanisms in place.


If you are looking for reliability, particularly when web scraping or managing multiple social media accounts, use a residential proxy. Alternatively, if you are looking for a cheap but powerful proxy to access geo-blocked content, a datacenter proxy is the better option.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.