What are the differences between a residential proxy and a datacenter proxy?

On certain occasions we need to hide our public IP. One of the options we have are VPNs, which in addition to guaranteeing anonymity, manage to improve security. They achieve this because our data travels in a tunnel protected from cybercriminals and organizations that spy on us. In this aspect, the use of a VPN on public Wi-Fi is more than necessary. Also the proxies that offer the possibility of hiding our IP address through an intermediary server. There are generally two types of proxies: residential and data center. In this article we are going to see the differences between them and which one we should choose.

Home proxy or data center

They both have the same purpose, they are created to give you anonymity while browsing the internet. This avoids being blocked or restricted from visiting certain web pages or using certain services. In that aspect, the change of IP address is the means they use to achieve it.

When we use a proxy, our requests do not go directly to the destination server we want to access. In this case, a proxy server will intervene as an intermediary. Thus, it takes note of our requests, forwards them to the Internet and then returns the response. Its purpose is that nobody knows who the real user is and we achieve this thanks to that intermediary that is the proxy.

A data center proxy will have a server that is located in that center. There, our IP address is going to be changed to a different IP address provided by that server. You may be interested in what Tier certification is for data centers. The IP address of this datacenter is cataloged as an IP address of a specific company (that of the data center, generally) and is not cataloged as a residential IP.

Instead a residential proxy It does the same thing, but it uses different IP addresses that are assigned to real physical devices in different homes, and these IPs are going to hide ours. Residential IP addresses are those that Internet operators have that serve users directly in their homes.

The main difference is that a data center proxy assigns us a new IP address that is not provided to us by the Internet Service Provider or ISP. Instead, with a residential proxy it allows us to use a different IP addresses that that ISP assigns to a real physical device in a different house.

Differences in price, speed and security

As for the criterion of price, a data center proxy is easier to create since it does not use operator-assigned IP addresses. This means that it will have a lower price. The residential proxy, on the other hand, will use different IP addresses that the ISP has assigned to different devices located in different houses. In this case, being more complex and requiring the participation of an Internet provider, a residential proxy will generally be more expensive.

In regards to the speed In the case of a data center proxy, your Internet connection is independent of other devices. Thus, this proxy works without the help of the ISP. On the other hand, residential involves the use of other devices and in some cases could slow down your connection. In short, we can say that a data center proxy is faster than a residential one.

According to the security a residential proxy is more difficult to trace because it uses a real IP address that has been set by the ISP. On the other hand, the data center proxy is also quite secure and will provide us with more security than if we browse the Internet without using any proxy. Therefore, residential is more secure because it is more difficult to identify it as a proxy.

Which offers more addresses and is easier to use

If we refer to the number of IP addresses, the residential proxy works with real public IP addresses in different locations. In that aspect it provides many more available IP addresses. On the other hand, the data center runs all of its IP addresses through its server without using devices outside of the data center. Thus, it provides a smaller variety of IP addresses, which could limit its use.

Refering to availability, we have more data center proxy providers because they are easier to implement. Also, as they are cheaper, faster and less complex to develop than residential proxies, we can say that they are more available and also that we will have more possibilities to choose offers.

Which one should I choose?

Depending on the activity we carry out, one or the other will suit us more. A data center proxy will help us to:

  • Anonymous browsing.
  • Market or academic research.
  • Research your competitors’ ads.
  • Collect data from websites.

On the other hand, we would be better off with a residential proxy for:

  • Access geo-restricted content.
  • If we work with more confidential data.
  • If we are working with larger projects that need more security.

Finally, you may be interested in knowing what residential IP addresses are and what we can use them for.

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