Guide to Efficient Web Scraping With Residential Proxies

Residential proxies may seem complex due to their flexibility and large number of use cases. In this article, we're providing you with all necessary information to use them effectively.

Guide to Efficient Web Scraping With Residential Proxies
Article content
  1. What are residential proxies?
  2. Residential vs. datacenter proxies
  3. How to use residential proxies?
  4. Residential proxies use cases
  5. Rotating residential proxies
  6. Static residential proxies
  7. A few words about free residential proxies
  8. How to get residential proxies?
  9. How to make residential proxies?

Residential proxies are one of the most widely-used services nowadays as businesses and simple users want to avoid restrictions and automate some tasks. But despite the popularity, this tool is still entwined with the haze of mystery. What are residential proxies, and how do they differ from other kinds of proxies? Why are they so special and do you need them at all?

This article will answer all your questions about residential proxies and provide you with all the details you need to know.

What are residential proxies?

Residential proxies are IP addresses that were issued by a real internet service provider for an existing device. In other words, they are remote gadgets to which you can connect to reroute your traffic and mask your real IP address.

Residential vs. datacenter proxies

These two services might seem quite similar — both kinds of proxies allow you to mask your IP and avoid restrictions based on a location. But the difference between them is rather significant.

Datacenter proxies are shared servers you can connect to. Besides you, there will be many other users that also connect to a datacenter proxy server to mask their data — it means, you will share the IP address with others. It can be an issue for certain tasks such as web scraping. So even though datacenter proxies are rather fast and cheap, they are not as agile and reliable as residential ones.

Multiple users are connected to the same data center address

If you need a perfect cover-up, you should stick to residential proxies. Using them, you will appear to a destination server as a resident of a country of your choice. And considering that the IP address is real and belongs to an existing device, it’s unlikely that a destination server will suspect that you’re using proxies.

A user is connected via a residential IP address

There is another, more specific kind of residential type — mobile proxies. These are IPs that only belong to mobile devices. Such a service can be useful for specific marketing needs, testing, and research.

Choosing between residential and data center proxies for buying sneakers

Generally, residential proxies will be the better choice. To quote from our article that goes into greater detail about using proxies to buy sneakers:

There is one more case of using proxies to buy sneakers online: geo-restrictions. Most brands would allow only so many countries to access the limited collection. And you want to be located in that country. Using a [residential] proxy, you can appear to be in the needed location without physically moving there.

How to use residential proxies?

Usually, picking residential proxies you will gain access to a pool — a certain number of IP addresses from the locations of your choice. The size of the pool depends on your needs and on the pricing plan you get.

Once you have proxies, you can connect them manually, using a proxy management tool, or via a scraper if you’re getting this service for data gathering. Simply choose the location you need and enjoy online freedom.

Residential proxies use cases

There are many use cases for residential proxies, but we will cover the most popular ones so that you can gain an understanding of how exactly this service can be useful.

Data gathering

Residential proxies are very often used for gathering data from the internet. Data scientists use a special tool called scraper to acquire the information. It is a robot that goes through pages and obtains the data it was told to gather.

Website elements are organized in a way that allows to scrape the website data

? Further reading: 4 skills that will make you a better data scientist

Since most website owners protect their resources from data gathering for numerous reasons, specialists need to cover up their activity to remain unnoticed and acquire the information successfully. Residential proxies are great for this job — applying a new IP address for each request, specialists can hide their scraping activity and avoid restrictions.

Further reading: What is the difference between scraping and crawling?

Data gathering became one of the cornerstones of a successful business. So it will be fair to say that residential proxies will be useful for any company that wants to scrape data from the internet and leverage it to reach desired goals. Web scraping is a useful tool for all markets you can imagine — business intelligence is a priceless possession.

Marketing research and content management

A good marketing strategy is based on quality data. Marketing specialists can use proxies to check the activity of competitors — what ads and content they offer to target audiences in different locations, for example. Also, using residential proxies, marketing managers can verify their own ads to make sure they’re displayed correctly and are reaching the required audience.

Content is a part of marketing strategy, so with proxies, marketing specialists can see what kinds of blog posts or some other content their competitors offer to target audiences from different countries. It can be a valuable source of insights and inspiration as it’s easy to see what’s working for someone and pick up their approach.

Price aggregators

As price aggregators follow a challenging goal — to deliver their users true and quality information about prices — they need to gather data every day. Residential proxies allow price aggregators to access all the websites and pages they need. That’s a huge deal considering that most e-commerce stores protect their pages from data gathering. But proxies are the perfect way to bypass this restriction.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO specialists utilize proxies to control the ranks of websites from different locations and verify targeted ads. Viewing the internet through the eyes of a user from a certain country, they can ensure things are going just as planned. Also, with the help of residential proxies SEO specialists can see what their competitors are doing and, perhaps, get useful insights.

Academic research

It’s crucial for those performing academic research to have access to all the information they need for their project. Moreover, they need to be sure this data is not false. Residential proxies will lift all the limits you might encounter online. Also, they can let researchers check if the information looks the same for users from different locations to verify it.

Testing

Developers use residential proxies to test their services and make sure they’re working properly for all users regardless of their location. Also, proxies are great for testing the server for its protection and ability to handle the traffic. With different IPs, it’s easy for developers to create realistic attacks and traffic loads.

Brand protection

The opportunity to browse the internet through the eyes of users from different countries allows brands to quickly detect malefactors. Residential proxies are great for finding infringement cases and gathering proof for the violation of intellectual property rights, enhancing your brand protection measures.

Rotating residential proxies

User sends multiple requests with the help from rotating proxies

Proxy rotation is the feature that changes IP addresses accordingly to set criteria. You can set this function to rotate proxies every couple of minutes or to assign a new IP to each request — the last option is useful for web scraping. Rotating proxies simplify many tasks.

This service is usually offered by a proxy provider. But you can also use special proxy management tools that will rotate IPs for you.

Static residential proxies

Using static proxies, you will remain connected to the same IP until you choose to disconnect from it or switch to another server. This approach is older than rotating residential proxies, yet it’s useful in some cases. For example, for social media management, you need to remain connected to the same IP address for as long as you’re logged into the same account.

A few words about free residential proxies

A mockup interface of a website offering free residential proxies

You can get free residential proxies, but we strongly recommend you to avoid them. Free proxy providers don’t verify their users. Therefore, you never know how clean and reliable these proxies are. Quite likely, most of them will be already blocked by many websites and maybe even blacklisted as proxy servers. Then you will have a hard time trying to find the working IP address. It will slow down the processes significantly if not get them jammed at all.

How to get residential proxies?

Simply use a paid provider that offers high-quality residential proxies. Infatica checks every customer to make sure it’s not using proxies to violate someone’s rights or perform any illegal activity. Therefore, the whole one million of our residential proxies is clean and available for your use. We offer flexible pricing plans, so it will be easy for you to choose the suitable one. Yet, if you struggle with your decision, drop us a line so that we help you out.

How to make residential proxies?

Since each residential proxy is a real device, you need to gain access to it to reroute your traffic through it. Obviously, you need the owner of this gadget to know about your activity, otherwise, you’re violating the rights of this person.

Infatica sources residential IPs through the SDK — a network of apps. Developers join our SDK to monetize their software, and they offer their users to become a part of Infatica’s proxy network. In exchange for that, users get valuable benefits such as ad-free apps or specific premium features. Every user can join and quit the Infatica network at any moment. We keep our rules and activity clear to make sure everyone is satisfied. Also, we reroute our customers’ traffic through sourced devices only when they’re not used by their owners.

Residential proxies are a useful and valuable tool for businesses and individual users. Depending on your needs, you can choose different pools of IPs, rotating or static proxies. The only thing you should avoid is free residential proxies — they will not do you any good. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our support team is always ready to provide you with all the information you need.


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