There are so many opportunities for growth in the digital age for firms. But as you work to expand your company, you must take the proper steps. For example, if you try to use your business’s IP address to monitor what other companies are doing online, your company’s sensitive data sets and networks connected to the internet could be exposed to various cybersecurity risks, which businesses should still make a priority to prevent. So, it is vital to understand how residential proxies can help keep your IP address anonymous. This article will define what they are and how they can be essential for business use.
What Are Residential Proxies?
A proxy server is a device that can keep you anonymous online, like a virtual private network (VPN), as you browse various websites. This type of server can keep you safe online by concealing your IP address, as it can provide you with an alternative one that can receive all of your search requests instead.
While traditional proxy servers, known as data center proxies, can channel your search traffic through data centers or the cloud, standard residential proxies can allow you to change your IP location by routing traffic through an intermediary server. A residential proxy server, associated with regular internet service providers (ISPs), can be any type of device that can take your search traffic and channel it through a different device. This means the website sees the IP address associated with the server’s device rather than that of your company.
By being affiliated with ISPs, standard residential proxies become more anonymous than most proxy servers as it can hide that you are using a proxy more effectively, meaning there is less likelihood that a connection will be blocked. As well as standard residential proxies, you could also purchase rotating residential proxies, a proxy server offering a new IP address from the relevant proxy pool for every new connection. So, for example, if your script orders this type of residential proxy to send 1000 requests to any number of websites, you will be offered 1000 different IP addresses.
Why Should A Business Use Residential Proxies?
In short, residential proxies are helpful for businesses as they make it seem like the search traffic is coming from another location. With this in mind, the main reasons why a company should adopt residential proxies are:
To Supercharge Their Competitor Data Collection
Residential proxies can allow you to collect data about your competitors online as they permit unlimited IP addresses. This means you can access several connections for web scraping while ensuring you remain anonymous online, making it impossible for your data collection activity to be blocked.
This way, businesses can gather invaluable insights to inform future company decisions. For instance, travel companies can use residential proxies to collect data from their competitor’s websites and platforms so that they can change prices based on this data and market changes.
Additionally, obtaining multiple IP addresses allows you to manage numerous social media accounts without the provider recognising this activity as suspicious.
To Protect Your Business Identity Online
Residential proxies allow you to remain anonymous when browsing online as it masks your IP address. As a result of using this proxy server when searching online, it can inadvertently offer protection against cyber security threats like phishing scams or ransomware.
To Monitor Your Online Advertisements
The use of residential proxies permits your business to monitor how a typical user views your ad so that you can check whether it is displayed correctly.
What Are the Advantages And Disadvantages of Residential Proxies Compared To Other Proxy Servers And VPNs?
Before purchasing a service to protect your business’s online identity, you need to know what residential proxies can and cannot offer and how they compare against similar services.
Firstly, standard and rotating residential proxies can provide a larger number of IPs to choose from, resulting in your company always having an anonymous, stable connection from any location from a device. In addition, by swapping your IP address with an IP address from a different location, standard and rotating residential proxies could allow you to access content from anywhere, bypassing geo-restrictions. This differs from static residential proxies, which only offer a few locations, meaning that getting IP addresses in many countries will be challenging.
Additionally, while data center proxies can be cheaper than standard and rotating residential proxies, they are not associated with an ISP, meaning it is easier for a provider to know that a user is using a proxy server. Once a provider realises this, you could be prevented from accessing content on a website and potentially blacklisted.
On the other hand, while VPNs and residential proxies conceal users’ IP addresses, it is more common for VPNs to offer better encryption capabilities for user network traffic. Moreover, VPNs restrict outside parties’ capacity to observe and follow user activity. If you utilise residential proxies, your private information might get stolen. VPNs can also shield user data from cybercrime and stop ISP tracking. To summarise, while residential proxies can conceal IP addresses, VPNs can hide IP addresses and private data. In other words, if you have a budget and security is your top priority, VPNs are the better option.
Yet, VPNs offer a slower connection than residential proxies because they have to spend time encrypting user data and activity. As a result, your internet connection may become slower if you use a VPN to encrypt connections and reroute information. So, if your business needs a better lag-free experience regarding loading speed and initial connection time, standard residential proxies or rotating residential proxies offer a better solution.
But, unlike VPNs, residential proxies only reroute traffic from a single system. For instance, a VPN is preferable to residential proxies if your employees operate remotely. This is because it enables them to connect various devices or any system or gadget used in the office. However, standard or rotating residential proxies are cheaper than VPNs if you only need to hide your IP address from one site and are worried about expenses.
Furthermore, while a VPN can also help you access geo-restricted content, it is becoming normal for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to have a list of VPN IP addresses that they can block automatically. So, unlike standard and rotating residential proxies, which can provide you with a new IP address not used by anyone else, VPNs are easier to block and detect as most share the same IP addresses among a larger range of users.
Standard and rotating residential proxies can keep you anonymous online and help you scale your business for the future. For instance, it can assist with verifying ads online, web scraping projects, and accessing geo-restricted content. Ultimately, the decision as to whether residential proxies are better for you than other similar services like VPNs will depend on what you need it for, cost, speed, and privacy concerns.
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