Residential IP vs. Data Center Proxies: Complete Guide

Residential IP vs. Data Center Proxies

Beyond facilitating information transfer, IP addresses can be used for tracking on the internet. An Internet Protocol (IP) Address is a unique identifier for every device connected to a network, internet, or local network.

Your IP address gives off critical information about your session, down to your ISP details and your device location.

Incogniton has features that enable you to hide crucial details about your device to access the internet. Some of these vital data that Incogniton masks include your device operating system, session data, and screen size. However, of all the data you want to mask, your IP address is the most valuable browser footprint you leave.

To avoid this, we use proxies. You attach the proxy to Incogniton.

Proxies hide your IP address and help you access the internet anonymously. Residential and Data Center proxy servers are popular types of proxies used. Both offer different ways of achieving the same result. However, the best use of the proxies depends on how well you understand how they work.

This article will explore the various proxy servers to identify which, along with Incogniton, can best handle multiple accounts and privacy. We shall discuss

  1. How residential and data center proxies work.
  2. The pros and cons of each proxy.
  3. Which is best for you?

Before we get started, let’s discuss in detail what a proxy is.


What are Proxies?

A proxy (or proxy server) is another computer that serves as an intermediary between you and the internet. This means the data exchange between you and the internet servers passes through them.

When you connect to the internet, there is an exchange of data between you, the client, and the internet servers. It is usually a direct transfer of information between the sites you visit and your device. Your IP address identifies you and helps facilitate this data exchange.

Proxy servers have their IP addresses just as you have yours. So when you use them, your data requests go to the proxy and not the internet servers. The proxy server modifies your request and sends it with its IP address to the internet servers.

When data is sent to you, it is via the proxy server. This way, your IP address is unknown to the internet servers.

Proxies are like gateways in internet real estate. However, they come with a twist. These gateways have identity concealing features. When you go through them, you are recognized as something different.

This can help to improve your privacy. Site owners will be unable to track your web activities using your IP address. With your real IP address, they can get information about you as well as the device with which you access their platforms. More so, the IP quality of your proxy influences their security decision.

Proxy servers are for a lot of other things. They are used for hosting firewalls and regulating internet traffic. They are also used to either bypass content filters or set up content filters. Some use them in place of WiFi routers to share internet connections.

Also, internet users who desire anonymity and data privacy on the internet use them to achieve their aims.

Proxies come in different flavors, and different proxies work better than others with Incogniton. You must have sound knowledge of proxies in order to achieve absolute anonymity when using them with this browser.

We classify proxies in various ways. Mainly, they are classified based on their source. These divide the kinds of proxies available into two significant groups: data center proxies and residential proxies.

There is a third type called Mobile Proxy. They make use of IP addresses that ISPs assign to network carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. These IP addresses are shared by several users at the same time. They are used in the telecommunication industry. Mainstream use is uncommon for mobile proxies.

In summary, proxies are bridges between the internet user (you) and the internet server. They enable anonymous and safe data exchanges on the internet by masking IP addresses. Now that we know what proxies are let’s get started with what residential IPs are.


What Is a Residential IP?

Residential IPs are IP addresses attached to a physical location. An Internet Service Provider provides them to homeowners when setting up internet connections in their residences. Hence, the name residential IP. It is the IP address your smartphones, and home routers use to access the internet.

A residential IP is linked to your devices and carries quite a lot of specific information about you. Information like where you live, how often you buy certain things, and who you pay can be tracked via your IP address. On one end, this makes residential IP highly trusted. And on the other hand, it exposes the user to privacy issues.

You can know your IP address by simply googling this search query: “my IP address.” Alternatively, you use IP locator websites like WhatIsMyAddress to check.

Resident IPs can serve as proxies.


Residential Proxies

Residential proxies borrow IP addresses from real users’ devices and enable the proxy user to use them to access the internet.

Using our internet real estate analogy, a residential IP is a gateway to a single house, a building that belongs to a private entity. Web admins and site owners recognize it as such too. Thus, when this gateway serves as a proxy, the proxy user’s original IP address is hidden, and the residential IP is tracked instead. This means the proxy user is recognized as the individual in that residence.

Types of Residential Proxies

There are two types of residential proxies.

  1. Static Residential Proxy
  2. Rotating Residential Proxy

Static Residential Proxy: This proxy type hides your real IP address behind a single residential IP. The new IP address stays consistent every time you connect to the internet via that proxy. A proxy like this is necessary when using social media platforms that require logged-in profiles to have the same IP address every time they log in.

Rotating Residential Proxy: This Proxy type hides your real IP address behind a pool of IP addresses. Your proxy IP address keeps changing or rotating between the pool of different IP addresses. Some proxy providers allow you to set the frequency of these rotations. You can also use some proxy management tools to achieve the same result.

Paid vs. Free Residential Proxies

Access to residential proxies is either free or paid. Free residential proxies are public, and anyone with access can use them as they see fit. In contrast, paid residential proxies require a subscriber fee for access.

Paid residential proxies are preferred to free ones. Due to the nature of residential proxies, users need verification to access them. This verification does not exist for free residential proxies, making it difficult to be sure of its authenticity.

Pros & Cons of Residential Proxies

Pros & Cons of Residential Proxies

Let’s talk about the benefits:

  1. High Level of Anonymity: Residential proxies are almost undetectable. Websites can’t block such proxies since you are using an IP address attached to a physical location. It is almost as if you’re surfing the internet with your original IP address.
  2. Security: Data sent via residential proxies are secure because they are attached to private IP addresses.
  3. Versatility and Reliability: You can use these proxies in any form without hassles. Their high levels of security make it reliable though your connection is still at the mercy of the real owner of the IP address.
  4. User-friendly: You don’t need to do much to get started. Once you set your proxy location and connect to your proxy, every other thing is automatic.

However, these juicy benefits also come with albeit juicy disadvantages.

  1. Slow Speed: Your maximum speed depends on the speed of the person’s internet connection to which you’re connected. Thus, connection speeds will be slower than expected.
  2. Limited Options: There aren’t too many providers that offer residential proxies. This is because obtaining these kinds of processes is quite complicated. And also, some providers use questionable methods to get the proxy servers.
  3. Very Expensive: The complicated process of acquiring a residential proxy makes it expensive compared to other kinds of proxies.
  4. Location is traceable: Due to the nature of residential proxies, it is easier for one’s location to be determined.


What Is a Data Center IP?

A Data Center IP address is not provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). data center IPs are owned by hosting and cloud companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure cloud, Digital Ocean, and many others. They are assigned in batches to each of their data centers.

These IP addresses are only available in specific locations. And that’s usually where the data centers are set up. Companies sell batches of them to users that require them. Often these batches contain IP addresses arranged in sequential order.


Data center Proxies

Data center proxies use data center IP addresses. Due to their non-affiliation with ISPs, data center proxies offer high degrees of anonymity. The IP addresses will trace backed to the company and not a real individual.

Data center proxies are located in expansive data centers and used for internet connections across the globe. Primarily, these proxies are for web hosting services. Nevertheless, they can still be used as proxies to browse the internet. data center proxies are popular among internet users because they are suitable for a wide range of tasks.


Types of Data Center Proxies

The following are the types of available data center proxies.

3 Types of Data Center Proxies

  1. Public data center Proxies: These are mostly free DC proxies. Their use is mostly limited to less restrictive sites. They can be used for basic things like changing location when you want to access a site restricted in your geographic location.
  2. Private data center Proxies: These are also called dedicated proxies. Users typically use them for specific tasks. These proxies are expensive but fast and efficient.
  3. Shared data center Proxies: Just as the name implies, more than one user connects via these kinds of proxies simultaneously. You can imagine that they would be slower, cost less, and get banned easily.


Paid vs. Free data center Proxies

Like residential proxies, there are free versions of data center proxies and paid ones.

The paid versions are the recommended type because they are reliable and much more secure than the free ones.

Pro-tip: When using free proxies, make sure you do not share your personal information.

Pros & Cons of Data Center Proxies

Data center proxies are popular kinds of proxies for many reasons. Some of these reasons include the following:

  • High Speed: These proxies are engineered to deliver high internet speeds. Therefore, connections via them are completed at reasonable speeds. Some proxy providers boast of 1 gigabyte per second on their proxy servers.
  • Access is Cheap: The prices attached to access for data center proxies are affordable. This is because setting up a data center proxy infrastructure is quite easy. All that is needed is to convert existing data center IPs for use as proxies.
  • Untraceable Location: DC proxies are cloud-based and not attached to any physical location. This makes it virtually impossible to trace them to any physical location.
  • Always Available: Data center Proxies are available all day round. You don’t expect data centers to sleep; they offer 99% uptime. You can even predict downtimes. Thus, you use them any time you want.
  • Quantity is not a problem: Data center IPs are created in bulk by data centers. This makes data center proxies available in large numbers. There are downsides to using data center proxies. They are easily detected because ISPs do not issue them. Other disadvantages include the following.
  • Prone to Blocking and Blacklisting: Physical locations are not attached to data center IP addresses, making it easy for websites to blacklist them.
  • Few Locations: Data centers proxies are cloud-based, limiting the availability in many locations. Increasing the coverage of data center proxies means building more data center infrastructure in more locations.
  • Not User-friendly: When you procure data center IPs, you get what is called proxy lists. These are lists of IP addresses that you have to input into your browsers before you can use them manually.


Which Proxies are Right For You?

Your choice of proxy will depend on what you want to accomplish. If your endeavors are budget-constrained, a residential proxy might not be a good choice. However, if you desire high anonymity and security, you might want to reconsider.

There are several factors you should consider before you decide on which proxy you should use. These factors are listed below.

Thinking About Solution

1. Purpose: This is a major factor to consider when choosing a proxy to use for your project. These proxies have different strengths and weaknesses. You will have to find the ones whose strengths you can leverage to achieve your aims.

For example, certain sites frown on the use of data center IPs and will block them automatically. To access those sites, you will need to utilize residential proxies.

2. Speed: Residential Proxy Servers offer slower internet speeds. Therefore, if you desire faster speeds, they are not good options. Though data center proxies offer less anonymity, their connection speed is quite impressive.

If fast speeds are not your aim, you can easily settle for any proxy that your budget can handle.

3. Availability: Proxy availability depends on location. Some desired proxies might be unavailable in locations you intended to use them.

There is a restriction to data center proxies regarding availability in many locations. Residential proxies cover wide ranges and are available in many areas globally.

4. Budget: Reliable proxies come with a price tag. Your budget will determine which ones you will be able to afford.

The impact of budget on your choice may be less significant. There are several proxy providers with different offerings. This variety increases the chances of getting a perfect fit of proxy for your project within budget constraints.

As you can see, these factors cannot singly affect the choice of a proxy. The best decision will surely be based on the combination of these factors.


Residential Proxy vs. Data center Proxy: When to Use Them

These proxies have varying strengths and weaknesses. Trying to pick the right one can get very confusing very fast. It gets complicated when your choices will have a real impact on what you’ll be able to do with the proxies and how successfully.

The table below contains a list of possible scenarios where you might want to use either residential or data center proxies.

A quick tip before you purchase your next proxy…
Please, research your intended proxy provider. Be sure that the provider is legitimate. The last thing you want to talk about is being scammed. Check out this page for details on different proxy options you can purchase.



To recap, we have discussed what proxies are, what residential IPs and data center proxies mean, the pros and cons of both proxies, and what to consider when choosing your next proxy server.

Residential proxies offer high anonymity but are expensive. Data centers proxies are pretty fast and cheap. Your choice of the best proxy to use will be determined by what you intend to use them for and your expertise.

For many users, data center proxies are good options when used in concert with anti-detect browsers like Incogniton.

Remember, the modern internet environment is highly monitored and tracked. Site owners and web admins use web tracking techniques such as canvas fingerprinting to achieve their aims.

For users who desire anonymity on the internet, using anti-detect browsers like Incogniton can help evade these modern techniques. However, an effective strategy begins with the choice of a proxy server.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop them in the comment section.



What’s the Difference Between Proxies and VPNs?

Virtual Private Networks and Proxies are similar because they serve as intermediaries between you and the internet servers. However, VPNs encrypt all the data that passes through them while a proxy does not.


What Are the Other Types of Proxies?

Other types of proxies include transparent proxy, public proxy, secure socket layer (SSL) proxy, rotating proxy, distorting proxy, reverse proxy, and many more. There are various reasons for using a proxy. Hence, different kinds of proxies exist.


Are Proxy Locations Important?

Proxy locations have direct impacts on the speed of the connection. Also, some certain content on the internet is geo-located. You will be denied access if your proxy is not located within the desired geography.

As a result, you might be limited in your choice of proxy based on your location.

Can I Create Proxy Servers by Myself?

Yes. You can create proxy servers all by yourself. It requires quite a significant investment depending on the kinds you want to create. Data center proxies are difficult to establish and maintain compared to residential proxies.

You can easily set up a residential proxy when you procure internet services from ISP. However, for data center proxies, you have to procure servers, set up infrastructure to house them, and then maintain the infrastructure and the servers.


Which Proxy Type Costs the Most?

Generally, residential proxies are more expensive compared to data center proxies. However, different providers have their pricing models. It is advised you check out their offers to decide which is best for you.


Can I Achieve Total Anonymity on the Internet by Using Proxies Alone?

Proxies alone cannot help you achieve total anonymity on the internet. Web admins have different methods of tracking internet users. They can still utilize other techniques to track your web activities despite you using proxies.

Nonetheless, when you combine proxies with other privacy protection tools like the Incogniton anti-detect browser, you can attain 95% anonymity. Total anonymity might be a pipe dream in our modern internet environment.


How Do I Know if a Proxy Is a Residential or Data Center?

You need access to an IP database to do this. Tools like IP2Location can help to get that access. You can get up to 200 checks per day. Check for fields that contain information on “Proxy type.”


How Can I Identify a Reputable Proxy Provider?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify providers of excellent proxy services. However, you rely on testimonials from other users and online forums. As a rule of thumb, be wary of extremely cheap proxy providers.

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