People use proxies to hide their real IP address not only to circumvent online censorship or access content blocked by corporations (like video streaming with geo-based restrictions). In recent years, proxies are often used as a tool for solving corporate tasks from load testing to competitive intelligence. There is a useful review of such tasks on Hackernoon.
Today we will talk about factors to consider when choosing a proxy network for your business.
How big is a pool of available IPs
Research shows that to keep efficiency at a high-level proxy network should be continually expanding the number of available IP addresses.
First, this decreases the probability of a particular address being detected by sensors, second, when you have a lot of connection options, the data exchange will go faster.
This is why the number of available IPs is a crucial factor when choosing a proxy network. For example, Infatica's network now has 1,283,481 of residential IP addresses.
How many geographical locations are available
Besides the number of IPs, another critical factor to review is a geographical distribution of these addresses. Very often, proxy providers can't offer a lot of geo options to connect. As a result, some companies directly lie their customers about the real geographical locations of their proxy servers. Here is research on this topic.
The more options for connection in different countries you have, the more effective the censorship circumvention process is, no matter what type of block you need to bypass, government-implied, or corporate.
When choosing a proxy network, you have to consider the volume of an IP address pool as well as their geographical distribution. Ideally, you should be able to find out how many IPs are available in a specific location (country or territory). Not all companies publicly share such data. However, we at Infatica do. Here is the distribution of IPs in our network:
Restrictions for users
For any proxy, especially used in a corporate segment, the network's performance is critical. However, many proxy providers imply restrictions for their users, which may limit the performance. This is rarely mentioned in marketing materials, but you can easily face limits for, say, traffic or the number of concurrent sessions.
To avoid such inconveniences, it is always better to directly ask the provider about any restrictions implemented in the network. For example, we at Infatica introduced an opportunity to use unlimited traffic or the number of concurrent sessions back in 2018.
Useful links and materials by Infatica:
- How Residential Proxies Are Useful For Businesses: Six Real Use Cases
- Research: Creating A Censorship-Resilient Proxy Tool Based On The Game Theory
- How to Catch When Proxies Lie: Network Proxy Service Location Verification Using An Active Geolocation Algorithm
- Flash Proxy: How To Bypass Internet Censorship Using Browser-Based Proxies