Choosing Residential Proxy Subtype: a Quick guide

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It’s not enough to choose a proxy type for optimal performance. Whether residential, datacenter, or mobile proxies, you must also know what other parameters are needed for your use case. A good choice of subtype can also save you money, especially when residential proxies, a default choice to many, are rather expensive.

Why Residential IP proxies are a default choice?

Proxies are devices that can act as intermediaries between the user and the rest of the internet. When you use a proxy server, you transfer all of your requests to a proxy, and it then completes the tasks on your behalf.

When we think of proxies, we tend to imagine data servers. These are powerful devices that can host websites, store petabytes of data, and perform other advanced tasks. Residential proxies are the exact opposite of this - they run on common household devices and internet connections.

The reason for such a setup is to use the anonymity a residential IP address can provide. Each residential internet connection, such as your home one, is verified by an internet service provider (ISP). They get the right to assign IP addresses from international organizations, such as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Every ISP must vouch that the IP addresses they assign are used by residential users, not commercial entities. As a result, even the internet service contract includes various clauses for residential users, restricting them from using the internet for commercial purposes.

Every website you visit with a residential IP address can see that you are connecting from a residential area and that your ISP is a residential one. In other words, it’s clear you aren’t a competitor collecting data. It’s more likely you are a legitimate customer, which should not be disturbed by CAPTCHAs or other restrictions.

That is why even if residential proxies are, in general, slower than those who use commercial IPs, it’s the first choice for most use cases. However, the choice doesn’t end here, and you can still get more from your residential proxies.

Static or rotating residential proxies

You are more likely to encounter static residential proxies than rotating ones. A static IP address is one that remains unchanged for a set period of time. So, if you need to use scraping bots to collect large amounts of data from a website, you will need a static proxy. 

Having a constant connection will enable you to stay logged in to your account and get the data you need, no matter how long it takes. Static residential proxies are also more reliable as keeping the same connection ensures you won’t have many performance drops.

The only real drawback is that such proxies are expensive and priced per IP address purchased. That’s why some prefer using rotating residential proxies. These are proxies that change the IP address at a given interval or for needed tasks.

Rotation does have benefits when there are limitations on how much data one IP can access or when you need to hide your tracks from websites better. However, residential proxies tend to lose performance when rotated. The best way to fight this is with a private IP pool you rotate yourself.

Private or shared residential proxies

A private residential proxy is one that can only be accessed by one user. It does cost a lot compared to other options, but it’s literally a physical device in a residential area that is running just because you are paying for it.

The person who is using his home for such purpose must be compensated adequately. Not to mention, the provider has to maintain the whole infrastructure for this purpose. Sharing residential proxies does bring down the prices, but just as with rotation, it lowers the performance.

Besides, you can never be sure what other users are doing with the same proxies. It’s a common problem for shared proxies to get banned or restricted from certain popular websites. Residential proxies are especially vulnerable to this issue as it defeats the purpose of going through the hassle of setting up a proxy server in a residential area.

If you have the budget, go with a private residential static proxy, which is usually considered to be the best type of proxy service. In fact, many providers market them as ‘premium’ proxies. They cost the most, but they are also the fastest and most legitimate proxy type.


The last and most confusing part of choosing a residential proxy subtype is finding the right proxy protocol. Simply put, protocols are rules by which data transfer on the internet is governed. What rules your proxy abides by can determine its performance and whether it will be compatible with certain software.

There's much to know about internet protocols, but you don't have to when selecting residential proxies. In practice, the choice is quite simple and can be streamlined into two options:

  • HTTP (or HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the foundation of websites on the internet. It's a text-based protocol that allows clients (web browsers) to load pages, images, videos, etc.
  • SOCKS stands for SOCKet Secure and is a newer and more versatile protocol. It's commonly used for tasks when you need a lot of data transfer fast - web scraping, video streaming, and file sharing, to name a few.

SOCKS5, the newest iteration, compiles many other internet protocols under its umbrella - TCP, FTP, and P2P- and can even be used as a replacement for the above-mentioned HTTP.

So, unless the software you plan to use specifically requires HTTP or HTTPS protocol, my recommendation is to go with SOCKS5-compatible proxies. It's the most versatile type, allowing you to both surf the web and transfer data quickly. 


There you have it - a quick guide for those who are struggling to find the best subtype for their residential proxies. More practical knowledge can only be gained by testing and tinkering yourself, but having some theory beforehand is a sure way to save you time and money.


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