Did you know that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a website can track your online history every time you browse the internet? Your physical business location can be traced, yet you can achieve online anonymity by using a residential proxy. But, what is a residential proxy? Check Oxylabs’ residential proxies for more information.
Proxy Servers Defined
The term ‘proxy’ is not new to many of us, especially if you are in business. Many businesses today use proxies to harvest data and improve their business.
A proxy, also known as a proxy server, is a third party buffer that acts as an intermediary between the web and your device/computer. In other words, a proxy server is a “substitute” IP address that will allow you to browse the internet anonymously (using a new and different IP address).
As mentioned earlier, an individual website or ISP can track your online activity or physical location. How is that even possible? Through your Internet Protocol (IP) address. For your device/computer to connect to the internet, it must have an IP address. This address contains vital information, including your online behaviour and your actual location. A website or ISP will only require your IP address to be able to pinpoint your physical location and activity.
A proxy will come in to conceal your online identity. When you access the web using a proxy, traffic flows from your computer via the proxy server till it reaches the destination page. The page in question will process your request and send the response to the proxy server, which then delivers the information to you/your device. By doing so, the proxy masks your real IP address (which remains unexposed), and you can enjoy a high level of anonymity.
Private, Semi-Dedicated, And Shared Proxies
Proxies are available in three forms; shared, semi-dedicated, or dedicated/private proxies. All of them will provide online security for your business. Let’s look at each one of them.
Shared proxies are used by numerous users to achieve anonymity. These proxies operate under the principle: one proxy, different users.
Semi-dedicated proxies operate like the shared proxies. The only difference is that semi-dedicated proxies have a limited number of users. One proxy will be shared among a few users. In many cases, the admin usually limits a single proxy to at most three users, which significantly reduces lag.
Dedicated/private proxies are one user proxies. If you acquire a dedicated proxy for your business, then you are the only one using that particular proxy server. Private proxies offer high anonymity levels and are hard to block.
Different Proxy Types
There are various types of proxies available today. The most used ones are residential and data centre proxies.
Datacenter proxies are the most common types of proxies. These servers are not in any way affiliated with an internet connection or an ISP – they are independent of both. Third-party companies provide this type of proxies. Datacenter proxies will allow you to browse anonymously without being associated with a specific physical address.
A Closer Look at Residential Proxies
A residential proxy is a server connected to an actual IP address. These IP addresses are real IP addresses that have been provided to a particular homeowner by an ISP. They are valid IP addresses tied to a specific geographical location. For instance, if you have an internet connection in your residence, then that’s a residential IP address. If your internet connection were to be used by another person in a different geographical location, then your internet connection would become a residential proxy.
Residential proxy servers are known to provide high levels of anonymity. They are affiliated to a particular ISP and a real physical location. Since these servers are authentic and recognized, they are so hard to get blocked or banned. Therefore, providing high-security levels.
Why Residential Proxies?
Typically, proxies are used for anonymity purposes. Here are some of the benefits of using residential proxies.
- Residential proxies provide high anonymity levels. They are provided by actual ISPs which makes them real and hard to blacklist
- Ideal for data scraping. Many businesses use residential proxies for data scraping since they offer high online security
- Residential proxies are real (affiliated to an individual ISP) and are associated with a specific location. They are not easily perceived as bots since they mimic actual human behaviour.
Applications of Residential Proxies
Apart from being used to achieve anonymity, residential proxies can also be used for:
- Ad Verification
- Travel Fare Aggregation
- Business Intelligence
- Brand Protection
- SEO Monitoring
- Price Scraping Intelligence
- By-Passing Geo-Blocking, etc.
As a business, you might require to scrape data. Residential proxies are the most suitable proxies and will make the scraping process hassle-free since they mimic real IP addresses – they won’t be easily recognized as automated bots. However, for the ultimate experience, always ensure you buy your residential proxies from a trusted provider.