Proxies come in all shapes and sizes: you can get residential or mobile IPs for more demanding tasks, or stick to data center ones if you only need to change your location. But there is more to the kinds of proxies. You can also choose between rotating and static ones.
What’s the difference between them, and which type you should choose for your project? This article will answer all your questions.
What are rotating proxies?
Proxy rotation is a feature that changes your IP address with every new request you send.
Each time you’re visiting a website, you send it a request that shows a destination server a lot of data, including your IP address. For example, if you’re gathering data using a scraper (to generate leads, perhaps) you will send a lot of such requests. When most of them come from the same IP, the destination server gets suspicious and bans it.
The solution is to use rotating proxies to change your IP address with each request:
Sure, in the case of web scraping you can get a scraper that will rotate IPs or a standalone manager for this job. But that’s a needless hassle today because you can get rotating proxies and let your provider take care of the rotation.
How do rotating proxies work?
For you, as a user of proxies, this service is very simple. You choose a suitable plan to get access to the pool of IP addresses, and then you enjoy getting connected to a new proxy server with each request. It’s a seamless and effortless process for users – they don’t need to worry about anything. The only thing you should pay attention to is the number of IPs in the pool you’ve got. Make sure the amount of concurrent requests doesn’t exceed your pricing plan.
For a provider, it’s a much more complex task. It’s crucial to develop an agile and reliable algorithm that will change IP addresses for customers with each request they send. But that’s not your problem, and it’s the best thing about rotating proxies – you can focus on your goals, not on the tech side of the process.
Demystifying free rotating proxies
If you google "free rotating proxies", you will find several providers that will offer such a service. But we advise you to avoid free proxies because they might bring you more harm than good. Often such providers don’t review users and their activity. That’s why the quality of IPs is rather low – the chances are, most of them are blacklisted and banned from many websites.
? Further reading: Paid vs. Free Proxies: What’s the Real Price to Pay?
You can never be sure that free proxies will cover your real IP address, or that the rotation pattern will be working properly. Therefore, you might experience a lot of issues and delays when trying to use free rotating proxies for your goals – web scraping is quite impossible with the half-banned pool of IPs, and in the case with social media management, you’re risking to get your accounts blocked.
So it’s better to stick to paid providers, especially considering that proxies are a rather affordable service. Then you will be able to execute all the tasks as quickly and smoothly as possible.
What are static proxies?
Static proxies are designed to allow you to remain connected to one proxy server during a set amount of time. Such a sticky option is a much older technology than rotating proxies, but static ones are still very useful for certain tasks. They’re usually a bit cheaper because they don’t involve a complex rotation pattern.
What to pick: static or rotating proxies?
Your choice depends on your needs. Both types of proxies have their pros. The advantage of static proxies is that the IP address remains unchanged with new requests. On the contrary, the advantage of rotating proxies is that you will get a new IP address for every request. Both pros are useful in certain situations. So let’s take a look at use cases for both kinds.
Use cases for static proxies
In some situations, the proxy rotator set you back. Social media managers will appreciate static proxies for letting them stick to a single server because if a user logs into their account constantly changing IP addresses, the social media platform will get suspicious and block the profile.
Another use case for static proxies is online shopping. E-commerce sites might show different data for returning visitors and users from different locations. Also, the server might become alerted if one buyer’s account gets logins from various IP addresses.
Static proxies will also be useful for manual marketing research when a specialist wants to check the required data through the eyes of a user from one location. IP rotation might result in incorrect information since most of the marketing content is dynamic.
In general, if you need to use a single IP address over some time, static proxies are your choice.
Use cases for rotating proxies
Residential rotating proxies in particular are great for data gathering. Using them, you will lower the chances of your scraper facing bans and restrictions because it’s sending too many requests from one IP address. Thus, rotation makes it easy to acquire data for different purposes that include but are not limited to:
- Price aggregation
- SEO monitoring
- Travel aggregation
- Competitive analysis
- Market research
Also, a rotating IP proxy will be useful for testing different aspects – usability, security, the capability of your servers, and so on. It will let you create a steady flow of requests to simulate certain activity – the sudden spike of traffic, for instance.
Rotating proxies are suitable for all the automated processes that require different IP addresses for reaching set goals.
Rotating IP addresses make automated tasks such as scraping and testing much easier as a provider takes care of the rotation allowing you to focus on your goals. However, static proxies are still useful in some situations. Now when you have an understanding of the difference between these services, you can pick the one that fits your needs. But if you’re still struggling with the choice, simply drop us a line, and we will help you out.