The Difference: Residential vs. Datacenter Proxies

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Proxies can open many possibilities for businesses and individuals; however, choosing the right option might be confusing. This article will focus on datacenter proxies and residential proxies and how one might choose between them.

What are Proxies?

Proxies act as gateways between you and your connection to the internet. In the early days, proxies had a simple job, to forward web requests for performance and data security. However, modern proxies are capable of doing much more and may be used for enterprise levels and personal usage.

The main two types of proxies are datacenter proxy and residential prosy, and these two have their distinct capabilities and applications. Knowing where each of them is employed can help you figure out which one is right for you.

Datacenter Proxies

You must understand that datacenter proxies are in no way attached to your ISP or your internet connection. These are owned by third-party, often large enterprises such as Digital Ocean, Azure, etc. Frequently, data center is provided by cloud service providers and is used by many users simultaneously. This may sometimes get the IP flagged; however, it’s not always the case with good datacenter proxy providers.

Datacenter proxies can be found for both free and paid options. Their name themselves explain the difference that can be observed between datacenter proxies and residential ones. While the latter is available at no cost, the former requires you to buy a subscription. You need to understand that the free ones, the free data center proxies, and its providers do not guarantee reliability and are often vulnerable to bans and blacklisting.

Datacenter proxies are used in cloud servers, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and so on. It helps with Anonymous browsing allowing its user to browse without leaking their actual locations. It also enables users to access restricted content in their area. Streaming sites: Netflix, YouTube, and other ones might have some content restricted in places like India but not in the US, and they can be accessed with a datacenter proxy if you are in India or another region where the content is restricted.

Residential Proxies

Unlike datacenter proxies, residential proxies are provided by an Internet Service Provider to an owner. If and when you need to move to a new location, your ISP will provide you with an IP address that you can set up. It’s an actual IP address that is attached to a physical location provided by your own ISP.

Important note: Expressed consent is one of the only ways that proxy providers are able to acquire residential or mobile IP addresses to apply review monitoring, scraping public information, and other uses.

The significant difference between residential proxies and datacenter proxies is that the IP source is different.

Datacenter Proxies VS Residential Proxies

Datacenter proxies and residential proxies have 2 major distinguishable elements to them.  

Datacenter Proxies

Cheaper: If you are buying in bulk or if you are on a budget, then datacenter proxy is your ideal option. They are both more affordable and faster than residential proxies, and if you buy them from a good provider, they also mitigate a lot of the security issues.

Suitable for Data Harvesting: If you run a business that needs data harvesting, then again, go for datacenter proxies. Make sure you buy from a good provider.

Residential Proxies

More Expensive: These proxies give you high anonymity and also have much lower chances of getting blacklisted or blocked, which is why you have to pay more for residential proxies in contrast to datacenter proxies. However, you may find some of the cheapest residential proxies on the market.

More Secure: Residential Proxies are provided by your ISP, making them more secure and legitimate. Datacenter proxies are sometimes created in bulks and have higher chances of being block-listed, especially if an untrusted organization provides them.


Both types of proxies discussed above can hide your IP address, but one form is more secure than the other while the other is more convenient, cheap, and faster.  Given you have the right provider, datacenter proxies can be a very appealing option; otherwise, picking the residential proxy should be considered.