Static and rotational proxies: A detailed comparison

Static and resident proxies

Proxies play an important role in conducting mission-critical web research.

What is a proxy?

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between a client requesting a web page and the server that provides it. Proxy servers provide anonymity, which allows you to bypass the restrictions set by many websites to prevent their sites from being taken down.

Why do you need proxy servers?

Many companies are interested in collecting large amounts of web data to support their needs for ad verification, price monitoring, social media monitoring, reputation management, or data mining.

Unfortunately, many websites place restrictions on the types of data that can be collected from their sites. Almost all websites have a robots.txt file that describes the rules that the website owner wants web crawlers to follow.

Many websites impose restrictions on search engine crawlers. These include geographical restrictions (the site is visible only to visitors from certain geographical regions) and restrictions on the number of requests (100 requests in 5 minutes). When this type of activity is detected, websites can install blocking technologies such as CAPTCHAs or simply refuse to load pages.

Proxy servers can help circumvent these restrictions by routing traffic through IP addresses that appear to be legitimate visitors.

What is a static proxy?

The IP address of a static proxy does not change over time. Static proxy servers are groups of IP addresses that data centres and internet service providers sell or rent.

Static proxies have a number of advantages. Because there is only one "hop" between the requesting and target website, they are faster. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to save an IP address "for life" - it will be yours for as long as you need it.

Static proxies also have some disadvantages. Depending on your needs, a static IP address offering may not cover all your geographic data collection needs. Some online retailers, such as Amazon, block static IP addresses that make too many requests.

What are resident proxies?

Resident proxies provide you with a new IP address if the IP address you are using is no longer available or if you have set up automatic IP address rotation in your proxy manager. IP addresses can be changed after a certain period of time (seconds/minutes),after a certain number of requests, or as soon as the IP address you are using becomes unavailable. The proxy management system controls when and how you are assigned new IP addresses. Residential proxies get addresses from a pool of home or mobile IP addresses. People choose to connect their devices to the network in exchange for a free or ad-free app.

Resident proxies have several advantages over static proxies. First, resident proxies use IP addresses from millions of homes and mobile devices. This allows for geographic targeting down to the city/state level. Secondly, the combination of resident IP addresses and legitimate IP addresses from home/mobile devices makes resident IP addresses very difficult to detect.

Resident proxies have three main disadvantages. Rotating proxies are slower than static proxies. There is an additional "hop" in the process when the gateway proxy needs to be assigned a new IP address. The pool of IP addresses (resident/mobile devices) usually has less bandwidth than the proxy servers of the data centre or provider. Finally, resident proxies are usually more expensive because the proxy provider has to provide and maintain millions of IP addresses.

Comparison of static and resident proxies

Static proxy servers

  • IP addresses are purchased or leased from data centres or providers
  • Businesses running less complex websites that can benefit from a faster pool of static IP addresses. Included use cases are account management and ad verification.
  • You can detect

Resident proxies

  • A new IP address is assigned if so configured.
  • Companies developing complex websites that can benefit from IP rotation
  • Difficult to detect

Using static and resident proxies

The use cases for static and resident proxies differ significantly. The most common use cases include

Use cases for a static proxy

  • Ads verification. The ability to view ads on behalf of a user from a specific country/state/city allows marketers to ensure that the right messages and images are sent to the right audience and lead to the right landing page.
  • Testing network penetration attacks. ISO 27001 certification requires a network penetration test. Static proxies can provide the volume, speed, and anonymity needed for good penetration testing.
  • Manage social media accounts. Manage multiple Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts from different geographies.
  • Reputation management. Static proxies are great for collecting data about your company's online image. This can include positive and negative customer reviews, press mentions, and social media mentions.

Cases of using a resident proxy server

Analysis of the competitive e-commerce market. Collect information on prices and inventory from your competitors.

Business analytics. Extracting sensitive public data, such as information from LinkedIn, requires anonymity and scale that resident proxies can provide.

Conclusion

Both static and dynamic proxies have their pros and cons. To know which one to use, you need to ask yourself the following questions: How complex is the website I want to crawl? Do I need these IP addresses in the long run? Do I need immediate access (as there is a KYC process for proxy rotation)?

Once you've determined what type of proxy you need, fill out the form below to get a 7-day free trial and see how proxies work for yourself.

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