Attila Toth
3 Mins
July 21, 2020

Data center proxies vs. residential proxies

In this blog post, you are going to learn the main difference between data center proxies and residential proxies. When to use data center and residential proxies in your web data extraction project to maximize successful requests

Why would you even need proxies?

First of all, let's see why would you even need proxies. When you start extracting data from the web on a small scale you might not need proxies to make successful requests and get the data. But, as you scale your project because you need to extract more records or more frequently, you will experience issues. Or the site you're trying to reach might display different content depending on the region. So these are the two cases when you need to start using a proxy solution.

Difference between data center and residential proxies

Data center proxies are much easier to get access to and they are much cheaper. In many use cases, where you cannot extract data without any proxy, you can just start using data center proxies and be able to extract data.

Residential proxies are harder to get access to and they are more expensive because they are provided by actual Internet Service Providers and not data centers. Residential proxies are also of higher quality and can work even when data center proxies fail.

Which one is better for web scraping?

Whether you should use data center or residential proxies in your web data extraction project, it comes down to your situation’s details. There’s no general rule of thumb to decide which type of proxy will work for you. But one thing is for sure: unless you have some special requirements you should start off with data center proxies. Then, based on how it works for you, you can switch to residential proxies if you really need to.

Residential proxies are more expensive, thus you will probably be better off using data center proxies if you can, and applying some techniques to keep your proxy pool clean.

Most effective way to use proxies in your web scraping project

The biggest issue with residential proxies is, as it was mentioned, they are expensive. So usually the most effective way to scale your web data extraction project is to try to maximize the value of data center proxies, by being smart about how you actually scrape the web and how you use proxies.

Two things, that you can do to achieve this:

  • automatic proxy rotation: when a proxy fails you automatically assign a new one
  • auto-throttling: you set your request frequency based on how the website reacts.

If you want to learn more about these tactics, I recommend watching our FREE webinar on this: How to scale your web scraping with proxies.

Learn more

If you missed our webinar on data center proxies and residential proxies, watch it now. I am sure you'll find it very useful.

If you feel like you know enough already and you don't want to spend way too much time on managing proxies, you can just use an already existing solution for proxy rotation and management.


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