Like most proxies, residential proxies act as an intermediary between a users’ device and the internet. They transfer requests from the user to the web and responses back from the web to the user. The sites that the user is trying to access will only detect the proxies’ identity and not the user’s. Generally, users will require a proxy server to:
- Stay anonymous on the internet
- Access geographically restricted content
- Bypass blocking mechanisms
So what kind of a beast are residential proxies? Before we look at what makes them unique, what are they? Residential proxies are actual residential IPs distributed by internet service providers to individuals/homeowners.
Basically, your ISP will give you a new IP address each time you move and connect your internet to a new location. Each residential IP address is connected to a dedicated device (mobile or desktop). It also contains information about the network, location, and ISP of the device.
What Makes Residential Proxies Unique?
What makes residential IPs special is that the servers perceive them as IP addresses of real people. If you would like to learn more details about residential proxies, you should dig in deeper, but the basic information is provided in this article. Restrictive sites that generally ban certain IP addresses will not block residential IPs because they look genuine. Here’s how they benefit individuals and businesses with their unique qualities:
Web Scraping/Data Gathering
Web scraping is necessary for businesses today. They need to maintain their competitive advantage by gathering important competitor information from the web. However, this information is so much that they can’t do it manually. Residential proxies are the perfect tool for large scale web scraping.
Although users can access restricted websites with residential proxies, these sites are constantly checking the user behavior for any strange activity. Let’s assume you are trying to scrape 50 pages from a site with high-level, anti-scraping measures.
After scraping the first few pages, the server will detect repetitive unhuman activity. At this point, it might present you with a CAPTCHA or block your IP.
Residential proxy networks prevent web servers from detecting any unhuman user activity by imitating real human behavior. These networks contain various residential IP addresses which rotate after each request. Businesses can then scrape all the information they require without restriction.
Fraudsters have mastered the art of faking ad traffic. Real people are not seeing these ads and businesses are losing a lot of money in the process.
Competitors can also use this to damage their reputation. Residential proxies are an effective way to verify these ads, improve ad performance, detect ad fraud and anonymously check out the landing pages of advertisers.
Travel Fare Aggregation
For travel fare aggregators, collecting travel data is tough. Data sources like travel agencies, train companies, bus companies, and airline companies have stringent security checks and they will block any bot-like activity. This is where the legitimacy of residential proxies comes in, enabling aggregators to collect and compare different travel fare prices, time tables, and other data.
Buying Limited Edition Sneakers
Popular sneaker brands will sometimes release a new limited edition product. For sneakers in particular, who doesn’t want to own a limited edition pair of Adidas or Nike footwear?
The problem is that they only make a few pairs. Imagine millions of people eyeing 10,000 pairs of sneakers. The chances of owning one pair are slim to none unless you use residential proxies.
Residential proxies will help you bypass any geographical location restrictions imposed by these brands, so you can access the sites no matter where you live. Also, you can use several residential proxies to ‘stand in line’ for you without being detected. The more you use, the better your chance of owning these popular kicks.
Residential proxies support several SEO tools and allow you to improve your business performance by optimizing your site effectively. When you scrape competitor information, you can access the keywords they use and discover their sources of traffic. Residential proxies also help you to create useful links.
Many users still use free proxies to access the web anonymously and access geographically restricted content but don’t realize that it’s not as secure as they think.
You might be able to mask your IP address from the website you’re accessing, but not from the proxy server. Basically, it’s like you’re handing over your IP address to the proxy server for an opportunity to use theirs.
Dedicated residential proxies are generally more secure and provide you with a high-speed reliable connection. With residential rotating proxies, also known as residential backconnect proxies, your IP address can change every 5 to 10 minutes.
Residential proxies might be similar to other proxies in such a way that they provide anonymity, can bypass blocking mechanisms and access geo-restricted content. However, to answer the question ‘What kind of a beast are residential proxies?’ you should look at their unique applications. Residential proxies are the only go-to proxies for web scraping and buying limited edition sneakers online.