There are many reasons why you would want to use proxies. The most straightforward one is privacy. You can hide your real IP address by using a proxy to mask your internet requests. A proxy prevents websites from tracking your online activities or collecting data about you.
Of course, proxies are also handy for when you anonymize other activities on the internet. For example, if you are a researcher or a business trying to collect public data from the World Wide Web, using thousands of IP addresses from residential proxy pools is the way to go.
Residential proxies are unique in the way they direct traffic. They borrow the IP addresses of thousands – sometimes millions – of residential devices. You can send all your connection requests through them.
You can find residential proxy services from the best providers nowadays. Whether you need proxies for web scraping, or you want to automate some analytics tasks, these are the residential proxy networks to help you.
Smartproxy is the go-to service provider when it comes to residential proxy networks. The company was one of the first to make residential proxies available in a legitimate way. It is also a service that you can get without breaking the bank: most plans offered by Smartproxy are affordable for individual and business users.
Smartproxy offers a wide range of features, but its pool of more than 40 million residential proxies is the most appealing feature of them all. You can run even the biggest data scraping operation without running out of IP addresses or getting blocked by data sources. The residential proxies are also spread across 195 locations around the world.
Performance is never an issue with Smartproxy residential proxies. You will never experience slowdowns or run into bottlenecks. The tool also supports the main web scraping platforms with automatic IP rotation, making it one of the easiest to integrate today.
Oxylabs is another great option for those looking for affordable residential proxy services. Oxylabs is no stranger to web scraping, so it is not surprising to find its proxy service tailored to the needs of scrapers and digital marketers in general. The only downside is that services offered by Oxylabs are geared more towards business (and larger) users.
Still, you get more than 70 million residential IP addresses when you use Oxylabs services. Performance is top-notch, and you never have to worry about not having enough bandwidth to stream from larger data sources. You can even run complex scraping applications in the cloud and still use residential proxies from Oxylabs.
Being tailored for business users, Oxylabs offers superb customer support. In fact, you get a dedicated account manager to help you configure your residential proxies from the moment you request a quote for the company’s services. This is the perfect service to use if you want to use web scraping to gain business insights.
If you have used a proxy service before, you are most likely familiar with Luminati. It is one of the oldest names in the business and the largest provider of proxies in the market. Luminati has a service plan for everyone, but it is now starting to prioritize enterprise clients with large needs.
Luminati is certainly the biggest with more than 72 million residential IP addresses in multiple pools. You can route traffic through proxies in any city in the world and get great performance every time. On top of that, you have granular control over your use of proxies, including how you want the traffic to be routed when accessing specific sites or data sources.
While Luminati is not the most affordable residential proxy service, it is certainly the most accessible. You can pay only for the resources you use (in a pay-as-you-go business model), and you can limit your use of residential proxies according to the budget you have.
Aside from these three, there are other providers that let you use residential proxies for various purposes. Geosurf is a particularly popular option for its granular location targeting options. Its proxy pools are not as large as the other competitors, but Geosurf supports routing traffic to more than 1,500 cities. What’s interesting about Geosurf is its browser plugin, which lets you use residential proxies when browsing the internet. Another example would be BlazingSEO with their web browser proxy.
If location is not a big factor to you, you can also try NetNut as an alternative. It has 5 million residential IP addresses, but only from around 50 cities in total.
Regardless of why you need residential proxies, you cannot go wrong with these service providers.