The Main Difference Between Datacenter and Residential Proxy Servers
Gleb Lepeshkin
Gleb Lepeshkin Published: 2021/12/27

When it comes to selecting an optimal set of paid proxies for your online mission, you might face a very tricky question: whether to go for residential proxies or datacenter proxies will do the job alright? 

And, although residential proxies may sound like a comparatively slow but reliable solution for some tasks like Google scraping or online sneaker shopping, there is still a range of cases where datacenter proxies will be a better and faster solution for software developers and regular proxy users.

In this article we will go through the competitive features between datacenter and residential proxies and carefully study the use cases of both datacenter and residential proxies. This will let you have a better picture in your mind before making a decision on what types of proxies will be the most suitable for you. 

But don’t worry if you still are not sure about the type of proxies to commit to. Our account managers will be there to guide you through the process of picking just the right proxy for your mission. 

Special Features of Using Datacenter Proxy Server

Datacenter proxies are IPs that originate from the major datacenter and hosting businesses like Azure Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Such proxy servers are in no way attached to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and are meant to hide your IP while performing missions worldwide.

Use Cases of Datacenter Proxies

The most frequent applications of datacenter proxies include the following:

Anonymous web browsing. The fact that datacenter proxy IPs are not linked to a certain physical address makes them a great choice for redirecting traffic for safe anonymous browsing without a risk of leaking information about your location.

Accessing geo-restricted streaming services. If your country imposes some sort of country restrictions on streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube or Hulu, you will be able to override such restrictions with datacenter proxies. 

Social media management. When tasked with maintaining control of several social media accounts (with several logins) for private or public use you risk getting banned while accessing such accounts from a single IP. Datacenter proxies can be a great solution in giving you extra IPs (or a chain of IPs) for each account you need to take care of.

Gathering intelligence on competitors’ ads. Datacenter proxies also come rather handy when it comes to secretly tracking how your competitors’ ads perform in various locales and in audiences worldwide.

Preliminary ads testing. Before you engage in a wide and expensive ad campaign it would make sense to see how your ads will perform in various countries and locations. Datacenter proxies will help you in setting up such test runs of your ads.

Conducting marketing and academic research. When you are tasked with building an objective marketing road map, it is essential to gain first hand information about your market audience in various countries. Datacenter proxies will assist you in switching from one country to another during the process. A similar situation may occur when you need to access scientific or analytic papers from other countries. Using datacenter proxies will be a great choice in this case.

Pros and Cons of Datacenter Proxies  

The following will be clear advantages of datacenter proxies over other types of proxy servers:

Fast speed. Datacenter proxies are designed to operate at high speed and on wide bandwidth connections.

Wide pools of IPs. Datacenter proxies can be acquired in large batches to be replaced immediately when banned. It makes them a great choice for web scraping. 

Affordable prices. As a rule datacenter proxies come from shared servers and are priced lower than residential proxies. 

Hard-to-trace locations. Since datacenter proxies are not linked to real locations, it makes the request originator’s location almost untraceable.

And the following can be seen as disadvantages of datacenter proxies: 

Easily banned. Datacenter proxies can be easily blacklisted due to the nature of their origination. 

Similar subnetworks. Although the absolute volume of datacenter proxies is huge, most of them share the same subnetworks. This can be risky from the operational perspective when a whole subnetwork of IPs can be banned by a website or service. 

Limited geo-targeting. Since datacenter proxies are cloud-based, it’s hard sometimes to set them up for accessing a particular geo-location.

Main Features of Residential Proxy Servers

Unlike datacenter proxies, static residential proxies originate from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are assigned residential IPs. This means that such proxies are originally supplied by ISPs all across the World (e.g. by such companies as Verizon, Comcast or Sprint).

Use Cases of Residential Proxies

The most frequent areas of applications of residential proxies include the following:

Accessing geo-blocked websites. You can use a residential proxy from a country of your choice to access data that is prohibited from accessing from your country of residence. 

Online shopping for exclusive items. In case your country or location is banned from participating in online shopping on a certain platform, you can secure for yourself a residential proxy that will solve this issue and you will be able to buy that pair of sneakers you so anticipated. 

Safe web scraping. Residential proxies are viewed as legitimate IPs when you access a website for scraping. Unlike datacenter proxies that sometimes may redflag your scraping operations, residential proxies are always your best choice for data harvesting. 

Price aggregation. Another use case for residential proxies is price aggregation missions on major e-commerce websites. With residential proxies your actions will not raise suspicion and you will not be banned from the site.

Reputation management. You can successfully use residential proxies for brand protection purposes. They will be extremely useful for identifying the cases of brand reputation infringement for further processing.  

Automated scraping. If you use tools like Scrapebox for automated web scraping, you will enjoy powering this software app with some reliable residential proxies. Your automated scraping will go quite smoothly.

SEO missions. Residential proxies can be also used for Search Engine Optimization. You can find out how your site is performing against the competition by accessing it from search engines of various countries.    

Pros and Cons of Residential Proxies  

The following will be advantages of residential proxies over other types of proxy servers:

Hard to ban. Normally residential proxies appear to be legit during any kind of online mission, therefore the chances of getting your proxies banned or raising red flags are rather thin. 

Versatility of use. Residential proxies can be used pretty much for any operation that requires proxies out there.

Reliability. The main feature of residential proxies is their reliability. If you invest in the right residential proxies for an online mission, this match will guarantee you great performance of your proxies over a long time. 

And the following can be seen as disadvantages of residential proxies: 

High price. As a rule, residential proxies cost more than datacenter proxies due to their origin and scarcity. 

Low speed. The speed of a residential IP is limited by the bandwidth of the ISP providing the connection. So, normally residential proxies are slower than datacenter proxies. 

Differences in Benefits and Prices Between Datacenter and Residential Proxies 

The table below covers the main differences between residential proxies and datacenter proxies. You can use it for quick comparison of datacenter vs residential proxies.

Datacenter Proxies vs. Residential Proxies Comparison Table

(for the purpose of comparison we take proxies operating on the same protocol and with similar security certificates) 

Datacenter proxyResidential proxy
PriceDatacenter proxies are cheaper because they are produced in large volumes by data centers. So, the fact that they can be a bit less reliable in some use cases and the availability makes them more affordable than residential proxies.Residential proxies are more expensive because of the scarcity. They represent real people’s IPs and that’s what makes them so valuable. Most sites consider requests from them as from legitimate IPs and do not block them.
SpeedDatacenter proxies use the fastest servers available in the market and therefore such proxies are extremely fast.Residential proxies are not as fast as datacenter proxies but if we consider the speed from the proxy to the nearest target server it can be relatively fast. 
Use casesDatacenter proxies will be your best choice where you will need a super fast proxy to do the job (e.g. anonymous browsing, overriding geo-restricted streaming).Residential proxies are good for any kind of applications where you need to have a reliable proxy server (from web scraping and online shopping to SEO related missions).

Select PrivateProxy as Your Reliable Proxy Partner

If you are choosing between residential proxies vs datacenter proxies, you might want to address your use case with our account managers. They are extremely experienced in selecting just the right set of proxies for each individual use case, and will be able to advise what type of proxies to use: datacenter or residential proxies.

For instance, if you want to buy proxies for social networks or proxies for vpn services, we will have a customized set of IPs for these particular missions.

If you are looking for rotating proxies, we also will be ready to help with rotating datacenter proxies or rotating residential proxies depending on your mission requirements. 

All in all, as our customer you can totally rely on PrivateProxy.me as your ultimate proxy provider.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.

  • What are the key differences between datacenter and residential proxies?

    From the technical perspective datacenter proxies are different from residential proxies by the origin. Datacenter proxies are hosted at large data centers and residential proxies are coming from the Internet Service Providers. From the operating perspective, datacenter proxies are faster than residential proxies and are used in cases that do not feature heavy anti-spam systems. Residential proxies are slower than datacenter proxies but they can be considered more versatile and therefore more expensive than the datacenter IPs.

  • What are the benefits of a residential proxy server?

    The key benefits of residential proxies are their versatility and reliability. For some missions you can buy a limited set of residential proxies from your residential proxy provider that can serve you for a long time while you are carefully performing scraping or parsing missions of some websites.

  • What are the main benefits of a datacenter proxy server?

    The main benefits of datacenter proxies are their availability and speed. You can always find them in abundance and at an affordable rate from your proxy provider.

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