While VPNs are all the rage these days for accessing geo-blocked content, its ancestor, the proxy server, still lives on today.
Whether you want to hide or change the location from which you access a web page, need to retrieve data from the Internet, or manage multiple social media accounts, proxies can help you do these things efficiently.
However, many websites are already aware of this practice and have therefore blocked several proxy servers. This is where the residential proxy comes in. So let’s see what residential proxy servers are and how they work.
Data Center vs Residential Proxy Servers
While data center proxy servers provide fast and reliable service, many people, departments, and institutions use them as well. However, some companies that don’t like to be clawed back for their data have blocked access to multiple data center proxies.
They can do this by looking at the IP addresses accessing their network. They will note addresses that are obviously scavenging by visiting many pages at inhuman speed, and then block it and its entire subnet.
Additionally, most data center proxies are artificial, meaning they don’t belong to a specific device, address, or ISP. This is obvious to almost all large companies, so they can easily block access from these artificial addresses.
For example, Amazon does not want its data deleted, so it has already blocked the entire subnet from many proxy servers. Assuming you can find a data center proxy server that still has access to Amazon, if you scrape the e-commerce platform, you’ll soon find the service you’re using blocked.
The advantage of a residential proxy server is that it uses residential IP addresses that most companies do not block. After all, if they block large swaths of residential users, they’ll get complaints from ISPs that their customers can’t access essential websites like Amazon.
How Home Proxies Work
In addition to using an actual IP address tied to a physical computer or home address, residential proxy networks also make detection more difficult because they can use hundreds or even thousands of unique IP addresses. Therefore, each time you make a connection request to your target site, it will come from a different computer located remotely.
So, if you fetch data from Amazon, each request to access their servers will come from different computers around the world. In this way, you can efficiently collect the information you need without being blocked or encountering problems such as false information.
Residential Proxy Uses
While using a home proxy sometimes seems dodgy, especially since Amazon blocks it, here are some legitimate reasons for using it.
Verification of advertisements
Companies spend millions on digital advertising. Since online ads are harder to track, they need to know where their ads appear. This way they ensure that their ads reach their customers and target market.
By using residential proxies, they can safely scour the internet for their ads and get accurate data on who is seeing them and where. It also helps companies ensure their reputation by monitoring where their ads appear and removing ads that appear on pages that don’t match the company’s image.
While big brands like Nike and Adidas can work directly with big tech companies, small names don’t. Some of them prefer to use third-party services to search the Internet for products that infringe their copyrights.
That way, if a third-party seller puts up counterfeit items similar to what they’re selling, they can immediately catch them and notify that marketplace to remove the counterfeit products.
Social media management
Suppose you are a professional social media manager working with clients all over the world. In this case, you might run into difficulties if you work with two or more clients from different locations, such as Australia, the UK, and the US.
This is because social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are wary of different social accounts using the same IP address. This may result in additional security measures, additional verification steps, or even a temporary or permanent ban.
Using a fixed residential proxy server fixes your access location to where your client is and avoids geo-blocking. With this, you can avoid possible issues with the social media platform you are using.
Many companies use this service for market research. By gathering information using web scraping, you can find demographic information about your target market, allowing you to reach your customers more effectively.
You can even use it to find public information about your competitors’ actions. Ultimately, this helps the consumer because it fuels competition, allowing companies to offer better products at attractive prices.
Can you share your home network and win?
Although it may seem that the use of residential proxy networks is primarily the purview of institutions and professionals, the typical home Internet user may share their excess bandwidth with residential proxy providers.
Some companies that allow you to rent your connection from them include Honeygain, PacketStream and IPRoyal. You can do this by creating an account with them and then downloading an application that will allow their server to connect to your computer.
When they do, they use your computer or smartphone to route traffic through your IP address. Their apps use little to no computing power, and you can usually limit the amount of data they use in a month.
Currently, honey gain pays $3 per 10GB of data they use, while IPRoyal offer $2, and Packet flow respectively pays $1 for 10 GB of data. These aren’t big bucks, and you shouldn’t sign up for another internet service just for this service.
However, they’re great for sharing data you’re not using to get a little extra at the end of the month. Plus, you can use all three services simultaneously, maximizing your passive earning potential.
Use a residential proxy to counter online throttling
Residential proxy servers have several legal, ethical, and legitimate uses. And while most users probably won’t need it, you can at least share your connection with businesses, institutions, and professionals who need to work around certain online limitations. And if you do, you might even get a small reward from time to time.
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