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Choosing a product for your business isn’t the same as choosing a product for your home. A bad decision for your business can affect your productivity and lower your competitiveness in the market. That’s the case when choosing proxy servers, or simply proxies, so you must make an informed decision. If you are considering private proxies, read on to learn their pros and cons.
Proxy servers (or simply proxies) act as getaways between you and the internet. They allow you to connect to every other web server only after routing the connection through an intermediary device. Such an extra step has many applications, but two functions are primary in ensuring the benefits of proxies:
You Can Hide Your IP Address
Hiding your IP address allows you to stay anonymous. This makes it harder for websites to track your activity. For businesses, this means you surf the web anonymously. You can also tackle many other essential tasks, such as web scraping, ad verification, and many more.
You’ll Bypass Geo-Restrictions
With a proxy server, you can bypass geo-restrictions because you can choose the origin of your proxy’s IP address. Often, websites restrict valuable market data according to IP address information. But this isn’t a problem when using proxies because you can access websites as if you were from somewhere else.
What Is the Difference Between Shared and Dedicated Proxies?
Proxies can be designed in various ways. However, two distinctions are the most important to know before you make a purchase. The first one is based on the exclusivity of access to the proxy server.
Private (or dedicated) proxies provide exclusive access only for one customer. You can visit Oxylabs website to find an excellent overview of private proxies. Shared proxies can have multiple users connecting to them concurrently. Semi-dedicated proxies are a middle option. These provide different access points to a few customers at a time.
What Are Some Other Proxy Types?
Other proxy types can either be private or shared in terms of their exclusivity. This is the case with two of the most popular ones, residential and datacenter. The distinction between them is based on the source of their IP addresses.
Residential IP addresses are in physical devices that use a connection affiliated with ordinary internet service providers (ISPs). They are the most legitimate proxy type, blending in with regular internet traffic and attracting less suspicion.
However, residential proxies are more expensive to maintain. Also, they can be slower for tasks requiring a lot of bandwidth. For the same reason, residential proxies are almost always private, as the servers can rarely maintain a load of more than one user while staying functional.
Datacenter IP addresses originate from specialized datacenters. They use only commercial tier internet connections unaffiliated with an ISP. This allows these proxies to be created cheaply in large quantities. They have superior speed compared with other proxy types.
It isn’t challenging for websites to recognize datacenter IP addresses and know that you are using a proxy. Various measures, such as IP rotation, are taken to lower this risk. As a result, datacenter proxies are often used privately, but sharing them is also popular as a means to cut costs.
Private access improves any proxy. But their type determines the limits to how good they can get. For example, a private datacenter proxy is more legitimate than a shared one, but it’s inferior to a residential proxy. Therefore, the advantages may vary according to the type you choose.
- Speed. Having a private connection is faster than sharing it with others. Since there are no other users, you can be sure that no one else will overload the server and that the performance will remain stable.
- More secure and legitimate. Accessing proxies privately increases security. Basically, it lowers the possibility of someone else accessing your company’s data. It’s also more legitimate since IP addresses can’t get banned by anyone else.
- Location choice. Private proxies have a better selection of locations spread around the globe. Shared proxies tend to be concentrated in locations where the provider can support many users concurrently.
- Unlimited bandwidth. Most private proxies are priced per IP address. This means you won’t pay for the amount of data you transfer. In many scenarios, such pricing cuts costs even if initially you have to pay a bit more.
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Where Do Businesses Use Proxy Servers?
It’s best to perform most tasks with private proxies because of the superior quality they provide. Therefore, private proxies have more applications than their shared counterparts. They are often used to ensure cybersecurity while helping to monitor websites, test applications, and set up email protection software.
However, web scraping is the most common way businesses benefit from private proxies. This is an automated method of collecting publicly available data online in seconds. Companies collect diverse data to help them in their day-to-day tasks, such as:
- Market research
- Brand protection
- Review monitoring
- Price intelligence
- SEO monitoring
There aren’t many disadvantages to using private proxies. Some might name price as a drawback since your first payment will be higher than for shared proxies. In the long run, however, longer load times, IP bans, and price per bandwidth will make shared proxies more expensive than private ones.
Of course, there are scenarios where overpaying is impractical. This could be the case, for example, when you need to constantly perform large-scale website monitoring and you know that the target server doesn’t have strong defenses.
Usually, with shared proxies, you pay only for the bandwidth, meaning you will have a larger IP poll. This leads some to choose shared proxies over private ones, especially in cases when you need to transfer small amounts of data from a lot of different IPs.
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If you can afford it, choose private proxies. The advantages are many, and the disadvantages are barely relevant to most use cases. It’s even a cheaper option for those who value their time, as your company surely does.
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