Proxies help a digital brand do everything from staying anonymous and protecting themselves and their sensitive data to collecting large amounts of data from different sources.
Yet, while it is crucial to always use a proxy when accessing the internet, it is also important to think about the type of proxy and how it is acquired.
Proxy services are acquired and created by providers in different ways, and the type you opt for can greatly influence how easy you perform operations on the internet.
In today’s guide, we will describe the two main classes of proxies, how they are acquired, and some of the ethical and technical concerns to take note of before subscribing.
What Is A Proxy?
A proxy can be defined as a device that mediates connections between internet users and the web. They are built by different companies and sold to business owners who use them as intermediaries for accessing the web. For a real-life example of high-quality proxies, check out Oxylabs.
Businesses that use proxy services usually send their requests and receive results via the same route.
This is necessary for several reasons, including providing an extra layer of protection and security, helping to automate mundane tasks, overcoming several limitations and bypassing geo-restrictions.
Ethical and Technical Factors to Consider When Acquiring Proxy Services
Below are some important factors to consider when choosing a proxy service provider. Some of these factors are ethical, while others are more technical:
The first thing to consider when considering a provider is to ascertain to what degree their tools are legal.
Web scraping involves scraping publicly available information, and the process is considered legal.
Yet, certain tools go beyond that to scrape very sensitive information from servers. This information does not largely help the acquiring business in any meaningful way, but it can expose the data source to future troubles.
Similarly, some proxies scrape at all times and never give the websites and servers time to breathe, causing them to repeatedly crash. This causes problems for the data sources and costs money to fix.
To avoid all of these, you should first find out how legal the tool is and whether or not it holds any legal concerns.
When considering speed, it is important to remember that not all proxies are the same. Some proxies work very slowly while others are incredibly fast, helping you achieve tasks quicker and faster.
Speed is especially important for activities such as web scraping as it does not only save you time but also ensures the data is collected in real-time, offering better accuracy and performance.
- Size of Proxy Pool
Different proxy services also provide different quantities of proxies, but we mostly know that the higher the amount of proxies, the more effective the tool would be.
Large proxy pools generally guarantee large quantities of internet protocol (IP) addresses which a user can pick and choose to switch when the need arises.
When performing repetitive tasks, it is always advisable to use a new IP for every new request to prevent blocking. Therefore, you need to ask how many IPs the proxy pool supplies before settling.
- Scalability and Integration
Proxies also differ in how easy they are for scaling and integration. Scaling a proxy allows you to easily extend a proxy to handle more activities or workloads without breaking it.
Proxies that are easier to scale up are more favorable than those that break upon scaling.
Integration allows you to use multiple tools in conjunction with the proxy. While some proxies are easier to integrate with other systems and protocols, some do not allow for this feature.
A final thing to note is the maintenance of updating requirements for the proxy you choose to go for.
To reduce how much extra work you need to do, a proxy needs to be easy to maintain and upgrade.
In some cases, proxies that are maintained and updated regularly by the providers are more preferred as it means less strain on the brand and better overall efficiency.
How Residential and Datacenter Proxies Differ
There are two broad classifications of proxies based on the type of IP address they provide. Some proxies come with IP addresses that can be linked or tied to actual physical locations, while others offer IP generated by machines.
Residential proxies are proxies that supply IP addresses based on physical locations. They resemble those used by regular homeowners making them less likely to be banned on several websites.
The proxy service providers usually acquire residential proxy addresses from internet service providers (ISPs). However, this makes them highly expensive and less affordable for smaller and medium-scale enterprises.
They make up for this by being harder to detect as bots while easily switching addresses to evade challenges such as geo-restrictions.
Datacenter proxies, on the other hand, come with cloud-generated IP addresses that cannot be linked to any actual place. They are often built by different third-party firms, and their addresses are not allocated by the ISPs.
This could mean that they are easier to spot as bots on some websites, making them susceptible to blocking and banning.
However, they are useful in several instances, such as social media management, and are almost 10 times faster than regular residential proxies.
They are also more affordable and can be easily afforded by even smaller businesses.
Proxy services play several important roles that help businesses protect themselves and grow. There are different types in the market.
Yet, it is necessary to take note of certain things before subscribing to a particular provider. Some of these ethical and technical concerns have been discussed above.