We cannot downplay the importance of proxies in today’s business environment. They can be put to use in different scenarios in business, like in a web scraping project, and they often come with several benefits for a business owner.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy is a server that is between you and the site you intend to visit. Several protocols exist to help you successfully connect proxies. With a proxy server, you can make an HTTP request to a website – rather than travel directly to the site. Your request will pass through the proxy server, and finally to your target site.
Types of Proxies
There are different types of proxies, but our focus will be on datacenter and residential proxies.
What are Datacenter Proxies?
Datacenter proxies are the proxies you see everywhere. They have nothing to do with your connection or Internet Service Provider when hiding your IP address – they’re entirely independent of both. That makes it is easy when you want to protect your IP address.
If you wish to unlock content from another country, the datacenter proxy service might suffice to mask your IP address. However, websites are getting smarter, and they will, in most cases, block datacenter proxies.
If you’re tired of being flagged while on datacenter proxies, residential proxies may be what you need.
What are Residential Proxies?
With residential proxies, you have IP addresses that connect to real residential addresses – and that makes it impossible to ban. It gives you leverage in that you can hide your IP address and even get around geo-blocked content or better still, scrape data from the web.
Aside from the mentioned proxies above, we can further classify proxies into shared or dedicated proxies. Let’s delve into them for clarity purposes.
More than one person often uses shared proxies on the same server. These proxies are in operation at the same time – more like several people on the same IP address.
You’ll have to contend with a slow connection because of the shared server. In this situation, you must be patient when using shared proxies. You might spend a minute or more loading a page.
Advantages of Using Shared Proxies
- They’re cheap and readily available.
- They come with several servers.
- They’re perfect for extracting SEO related data.
Shared Proxies Drawbacks
- With several users on one proxy server, your connection will be slow and may even be stuck for several hours.
- The network is not entirely private as several users share it.
- You can lose your IP address and data to hackers.
- They’re not as reliable as dedicated proxies.
Dedicated proxies are private proxies belonging to ONE PERSON – without being shared. One of the perks of using dedicated proxies is the loading speed. You don’t have to worry about lag time, and you can surf, stream, search, and even download as much as you can.
Advantages of Dedicated Proxies
- The IP address does not change, and that means you can access sites that whitelist IPs.
- You’ll never experience the neighbour effect because several users share the IP. It results because of the bad behaviour of some users.
- More bandwidth is available for use, which means faster speed.
- Dedicated proxies have protection against hacking and spoofing attempts.
Dedicated Proxies Drawbacks
- These are an expensive type of proxies – sometimes they go as high as five times the price of shared proxies.
- Dedicated proxies may not provide the same level of anonymous as shared proxies.
Dedicated Proxies Used Cases
Financial Protection and Safety
A dedicated proxy server can be used to protect sensitive information within a private network. Information like credit card numbers, routing numbers, and account details are confidential.
With dedicated proxy servers, you can get an extra layer of protection and security to prevent potential hackers from gaining access to sensitive financial data on the network.
SEO service providers leverage dedicated proxies to acquire keyword ranking data and also get their hands on backlinks – even monthly search volumes too. Dedicated proxies reduce the risk of restrictions when extracting data from search engines to access keyword ranking. By the way, you can learn more about these use cases in a great post at Oxylabs blog.
Shared Proxies Used Cases
So many companies have software to detect a dubious number of requests coming from the same IP address. With a few thousands of pages of content available on your target site, you may be caught and restrict severally.
A shared proxy come hand in such circumstances. Set proxy into your web scraper and then spread out a large number of requests. You can do it in such a way that the IPs are spread evenly across the globe.
Take, for example; you sell online. You can use a shard proxy and web scrape to monitor the performance of your sales – or better yet, scrape information as regards your customers.
We cannot overemphasize it – the essence of proxy for business. Some specific types of proxies have more advantages over others, making them suitable for some business applications.
If you want to be successful at web scraping, then dedicated proxies are a must. The reasons are well-enumerated above – it gives you more bandwidth, it eliminates the neighbour effect, which is familiar with shared proxies, among several other benefits.