Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies: 5 Key Differences

By
Khaled Bentoumi

Reviewed By

Updated
May 15, 2024
12 min read

Helpful Summary

  • Overview: We compare datacenter and residential proxies, focusing on their differences across IP address source, risk, speed, cost, and use cases.
  • Why you can trust us: anyIP is a leading provider of mobile, residential, and rotating proxies.
  • Why it is important: The right proxy type affects online anonymity, speed, cost, and success in web scraping, ad verification, social media management, and more.
  • Action points. We recommend evaluating your project's needs and considering detection risk, speed, and cost.
  • Further research. Visit the anyIP blog for more information on different proxy types and their use cases.

Comparing Datacenter and Residential Proxies?

Imagine you own an online store. If you actually do… even better!

Getting the latest pricing information from your competitors can give you a leg up in the market. But if you use the wrong kind of proxy, you could be risking a ban from important pricing websites. So, which one should you use, residential or datacenter proxies?

In this anyIP guide, we’ll be helping you answer that very question. Not just for pricing, but for any task that requires a proxy.

Why Listen to Us?

Choosing the right proxy can be hard. Many businesses find it tough to decide between datacenter proxies and residential proxies. And choosing incorrectly can impact your operations and even get you banned from certain websites.

reviews of anyip.io

At anyIP, we specialize in providing top-quality proxies for a variety of needs. Our team has years of experience working with different types of proxies, and we know the ins and outs of each one. Plus, we have over 10,000 happy customers who trust us to provide them with reliable, efficient proxy solutions.

Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies: An Overview

Residential proxies route your traffic through residential network devices like:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Routers
  • Modems
  • IPTV devices
  • Mobile phones

The IP you browse with is assigned to one of these devices by an ISP (Internet Service Provider). This makes them look like a regular person is online from a real place. They're more trusted and websites are less likely to block them because they look like real internet users.

Datacenter proxies route your traffic through (you guessed it) a datacenter. The IP you browse under is publicly linked to the proxy provider you use. And while datacenter proxies are great for tasks that require high speeds and anonymity, they’re much more likely to be flagged as suspicious.

How Do Datacenter and Residential Proxies Work?

Proxies act like middlemen between your device and the internet. They hide your real IP address by routing your requests through a device or server with a different IP address. This allows you to browse the internet anonymously and access websites that may be blocked in your region.

Now, here’s a quick explanation of how datacenter and residential proxies work:

Datacenter Proxies

Datacenter proxies run on servers in datacenters, facilities filled with computer systems and networking equipment. These are usually big buildings spread in a few locations across the globe.

diagram of how a datacenter proxy works

When you use a datacenter proxy, your request is routed through one of these servers. The server then sends the request to the website you want to access, and the website sees the IP address of the datacenter server instead of your real IP address.

But, since all the requests routed through a datacenter proxy appear on publicly known IP addresses, websites can easily detect and block them.

Residential Proxies

Residential proxies work similarly, but route your traffic through real residential IP addresses. These are normal home internet connections, which means every request appears to be coming from a real user's internet connection.

This makes residential proxies more difficult for websites to detect and block, as they appear like regular traffic from real users.

diagram of how a residential proxy works

However, residential proxies tend to be pricier than datacenter proxies, as they require partnerships with ISPs to access these residential IP addresses. Luckily, services like anyIP have done the hard work of establishing these connections, meaning you can access residential proxies fairly cheaply.

Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies: 5 Key Differences

Now, let’s look into the main differences between datacenter and residential proxies:

1. IP Footprints & Reputation

Datacenter proxies use IPs assigned to them in bulk. These are well known and publicly linked to the datacenter. As a result, if a website or service wants to block datacenter proxies, it’s a relatively easy task. Virtual private networks (VPNs) have the same problem.

Residential proxies use genuine IPs assigned to home network devices by ISPs. When you use this kind of proxy, you appear as a real individual user and not a datacenter entity.

So, to summarize, both proxies shield your IP address… BUT it’s immediately clear to websites that you’re using a datacenter proxy to do so, and it’s much more difficult (almost impossible) to tell that you’re using a residential one.

2. Speed and Reliability

Datacenter proxies offer amazing speeds and are super reliable. This is because the infrastructure within the datacenter is designed specifically for proxy use. They have high bandwidth connections, powerful servers, and dedicated teams maintaining the hardware and software.

Residential proxies can be a bit slower and less reliable. This is because home networks often experience performance dips and downtime. That said, if you choose a provider that prioritizes quality over quantity, you should still be able to find fast and reliable residential options.

Statistics and features offered by anyip.io

At anyIP, we offer over 100 million mobile and residential connections, all sourced based on their performance and reliability. That’s how we’ve managed to maintain a 98.6% success rate and a 0.6 second response time.

3. Precise Geo-Targeting

Residential proxies are great for getting IPs from specific cities or ISPs. You can set your location to anywhere where there’s an available IP address. That makes them perfect for tasks needing access from certain places, like local data scraping, testing geo-locked content, or using services limited to certain regions.

Datacenter proxies usually offer country-level targeting, with locations determined by the location of the physical datacenter. They're good for some jobs, but might not be detailed enough for local tasks.

4. Scale and IP Pool Size

Residential proxy networks often have a wider geographic range and a larger pool of IP addresses than datacenter proxies. For example, as we mentioned earlier, anyIP’s pool includes 100 million proxies spread across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Datacenter proxies have pool sizes that vary based on the provider, but it’s usually much smaller than residential proxy pools since IPs can be shared between users.

5. Cost Structure

Residential proxies typically cost more. The effort to get and keep real residential IPs, along with their better chance of avoiding detection, makes them pricier. This is a key point for companies to think about when choosing between the advanced features of residential proxies and the fast, efficient datacenter proxies.

anyIP uses a special mix of residential and mobile IPs, offering a dependable service that's also cost-effective. This blend gives a high-quality proxy pool that costs less than usual residential proxies.

With prices starting at $2 per gigabyte, anyIP offers affordable rates. This makes it a good choice for both individuals and companies.

Datacenter vs. Residential Proxies: Feature Comparison

Feature Residential Proxy Datacenter Proxy
IP Source Home Internet (ISPs) Server farms
Detectability Low to Moderate High
Speed Potential variations Usually Faster, Stable
Cost Generally Higher More Affordable
Geo-Targeting City/ISP-level precision Often limited to country
Scale/Pool Size Larger, vast geographic spread Smaller, centralized pools
Ideal for… Tasks requiring 'everyday user' appearance, harder scraping targets High-load scraping, less focus on undetectability

Specific Scenarios: Making the Best Choice

Choose Residential Proxies…

  • When Scraping Sensitive Targets: Sites with strong anti-bot measures can block non-human traffic, especially from datacenter IPs. Residential proxies are less likely to be blocked because they use real home device IPs. They're great for scraping tough sites without being stopped.
  • When Managing Multiple Online Accounts: Social media platforms can spot and link accounts run by one person if they all come from the same IP. With residential proxies, each account seems to come from a different place, making it hard for platforms to link or ban them.
  • When Bypassing Web-Based CAPTCHAs: CAPTCHAs try to stop bots by checking if actions are human. Datacenter IPs might face more CAPTCHAs or stricter checks. Residential IPs face less suspicion, so they can help avoid CAPTCHAs or make it easier for bots to get through them, useful for tasks that can't be stopped by CAPTCHA checks.

When to Choose Datacenter Proxies

  • When Speed and Volume are Key: Datacenter proxies offer high speeds and stability because they're hosted on powerful server farms. They're great for when you need fast data transfer and processing more than hiding your tracks.
  • When Your Budget Matters: Datacenter proxies are cheaper than residential proxies. They're easier to manage and don't rely on individual internet users for their IP addresses. If you're watching your spending, datacenter proxies are a budget-friendly choice.
  • When Checking Content: When you just need to check if a website is up and working, datacenter proxies are a good pick. They're fast and cost less. Even though these IPs might be easier for some sites to spot, the risk is low for simple tasks that don't need to avoid detection.

Conclusion

Choosing between datacenter and residential proxies depends on things like IP types, how tough website blocks are, how exact you need to be with location, and the size of your project.

Datacenter proxies are great for big projects. Residential proxies are better for appearing as a real, genuine user and offer massive IP pools. Each type is best for certain tasks, so think about what your project needs.

At anyIP, we offer reliable proxy services that help individuals and businesses access a massive pool of high-quality mobile and residential proxies. Try anyIP today and see how our powerful proxy solutions can benefit you and your business.

Khaled Bentoumi

Khaled is a software engineer. He’s been involved in many startups of different sizes. Previously, he founded Data to Page, an AI Programmatic SEO startup. He now handles all the marketing at anyIP.

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Article by
Khaled Bentoumi

Khaled is a software engineer. He’s been involved in many startups of different sizes. Previously, he founded Data to Page, an AI Programmatic SEO startup. He now handles all the marketing at anyIP.

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