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How to Choose the Best Proxy Provider for Your Needs

Choosing the best proxy

You got the the point where you need proxies, sometimes a few or maybe hundreds of them. But it can get very confusing about the different type of proxies offered, and each type can fit better for one project or another.

If you’re confused about terms like semi-dedicated, back-connect, elite, data-center, residential, etc.. and what type of proxies to choose based on your specific need, then this is the right place to enlighten you. Also, here will be listed and kept updated the best providers on the market.

So here we go with proxy providers in various classes of offerings, and highlighting their strengths/drawbacks and use cases. Let’s begin!

Best Semi-dedicated (Shared) Proxies

Characteristics: Data-center proxies (Server IP’s) which are usually shared between maximum 3 users, these proxies are good to get you started with any project.

Can be used for:

  • Medium web scraping projects
  • Decent for social account management (not very recommended for account creation)
  • Accessing various blocked sites and services

Strengths

  • The best cost-value for a private proxy
  • Decent speed

Drawbacks: 

  • Shared between 3 users (this can cause speed problems or IP flagging problems)
  • Data-center IP’s (not so liked by social media sites, but can pass along sometimes)

Best providers:

Best Dedicated Proxies

Characteristics: Data-center proxies (Server IP’s) which are only used by one user at a time. They are very reliable for many projects if used properly.

Can be used for:

  • Intensive web scraping projects
  • Decent for social media account management and creation
  • Managing advertising accounts like Adwords and Bing ads
  • Managing payment processing accounts like Paypal and Payoneer
  • Accessing various blocked sites and services

Strengths:

  • You are the only owner of the IP
  • You have all the proxy speed/bandwidth for yourself

Drawbacks:

  • They can get expensive to renew each month if you don’t get enough profit out of your projects
  • Data-center IP’s (not so liked by social media sites, but can pass along sometimes)

Best providers:

Best Residential Rotating Proxies (Also called Back-connect)

Characteristics: Also called rotating or back-connect proxies, these are basically a huge pool of many IP’s that your computer will randomly change to. You will get one IP/port that you connect to, but at the other end the IP keeps rotating. The IP change is either after a fixed time of 5 minutes for example, or with every request you do, depending on the provider and your usage preference.

If you want to stay under the radar while managing a bunch of social media accounts on any network, while scraping various websites or while submitting data to Web 2.0 sites, then residential proxies are the best choice. These proxies comes from home ISP providers which are regarded as IP’s used by genuine users.

Can be used for:

  • Perfect for social media account management and creation
  • Great for web scraping, although the slow speed might cause issues at times
  • SEO tools that use light bandwidth
  • Accessing various blocked sites and services

Strengths:

  • The main advantage of residential proxies is that you’re not limited to 5, 10 or 100 static IP’s like in the case of dedicated proxies, you’ll simply make the request through thousands of available proxies that are in the central pool, and you’ll barely hit any rate limiting from various sites that can impose IP limits;
  • Another great advantage is they’re detected as home IP’s, this increasing their trust factor on various social media sites. (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc).

Drawbacks:

  • Slower speeds (you may come across slower or faster IP’s)
  • You can’t control what IP address you will use
  • The price for accessing a big pool and the traffic usage price can get very costly

Best providers:

Best High Anonymity (Elite) Proxies

Characteristics: High anonymous proxies (sometimes called elite proxies) removes as much identifying data as possible so that the web server you access receives no piece of information about who you truly are. The opposite are the transparent proxies, which forward all user data (meta headers that could lead to the identifying of the user) along with the connections.

Can be used for:

  • Black-Hat practices in general, where the user needs to stay (almost) anonymous

Strengths:

  • High anonymity

Drawbacks:

  • You’ll get slower browsing speeds with these types of proxies because the added hops

Best providers: 

PLEASE NOTE! Usually, anonymous proxies are useful for a somehow minimal level of security, keep in mind that one single proxy is not going to do much when it comes to hiding your identity, if you’re doing serious things anyone really wants to monitor. It may keep you safe for reaching into your friends systems, but will be of no good in face of NSA or FBI.

If you want to go deeper into it, you better setup multiple levels of protection, like using TOR browser in combination with a no-log-policy VPN underneath a high-anonymity proxy, or other more complex setups that you can think of.