Five Types of Residential Proxies and When to Choose Them?

Proxies are notoriously difficult to choose for first-time buyers. One of the main reasons for this is that there are not only types but multiple subtypes of proxies. Residential proxies, often labeled as premium proxies, are no exceptions. This article goes over five main residential proxy subtypes to help you choose.

What are Residential Proxies?

Proxy servers are intermediary devices that route your network requests before they reach the internet. The goal is to hide your original IP address, which is used by websites and your internet service provider (ISP) to track your activity and impose geo-restrictions. A residential proxy type is based on the origin of the proxy IP address.

Instead of using commercial internet connections and devices, residential proxies are sourced from ordinary homes with IPs verified by an ISP. It’s the way most internet users surf the web, so you are likely to blend in with the rest of the traffic. Residential proxies also have accurate location targeting. When considering which residential proxy provider to choose, it’s essential to prioritize ethical and trustworthy options. Companies like Rayobyte offer top-notch ethical residential proxies that ensure digital interactions are conducted responsibly and effectively.

Since they are run on physical devices, usually home-use laptops, in residential areas, you can target locations on a city or neighborhood level. Other types of proxies rely on data centers or cellular towers, so their locations aren’t that accurate.

The proxy servers we are going to talk about here are all anonymous proxies. As opposed to transparent proxies, they hide the IPs of the user and don’t tell the target servers that it’s a proxy server sending the requests. Other differences between subtypes are much more important when choosing residential proxies.

  • Free Residential Proxies

All free proxy types are shrouded in misconceptions and, as a general rule, better avoided. The common reason is that of security – you can never know what is snooping around your activity or trying to spread malware. The provider has a lot of authority, and when the proxy is free, there’s no one you can blame.

That said, free proxies can be useful if you find them from credible sources. Free trials and free proxy lists from legitimate providers can be beneficial. However, you shouldn’t rely on them to be well-performing or hide your identity at all times.


Free residential proxies are very rare. You’ll be lucky if you’ll find them at all. Even then, however, they are unlikely to perform well. So, the best use case is to test how proxies integrate into your software or whether they are compatible with needed websites. Usually, it’s a one-time use case before you purchase a better option.

  • Shared residential proxies

If you’re tight on budget, the second best option is to purchase shared residential proxies. They have all the benefits of other residential proxy subtypes, except the connection is shared with other users concurrently. It effectively lowers the costs of using proxies but comes with a few other drawbacks.

Shared proxies often have IPs that are already banned from the websites you intend to visit, and they might have some performance issues. It’s not guaranteed to happen, but it’s highly likely since you are sharing the connection with other users and can’t control what they are up to.

Anonymous browsing

That’s why shared residential proxies are the most suitable for daily tasks, such as simple anonymous browsing. It doesn’t require extraordinary speed but requires an IP address obscuring that shared residential proxies can provide. Often, these proxies are also rotating, which further improves anonymity and security.

  • Rotating Residential Proxies

Rotation is a process of changing IP addresses according to set parameters. Most often, it’s a time setting, changing the IP every half an hour or shorter. In some cases, a private pool of residential IPs is used to make the rotation settings more advanced than the provider can offer.

For example, different residential IPs might be used for different tasks. It makes tracking your activity much more difficult, but you’ll be able to access the needed accounts and websites. There are a few use cases where this is crucial.

Small-scale web scraping

Web scraping is a process of collecting data online using automated bots. Scrapers can achieve much faster speeds and accuracy than a human ever could. However, they are frequently restricted by websites, so proxies are essential for such purposes. More data-intensive projects require datacenter proxies, but rotating residential proxies are perfect for small-scale web scraping.

  • Static Residential Proxies

While rotation can ensure data access and increase anonymity, static residential proxies are more expensive and commonly presented as the premium ones. The reason is that residential proxy IPs are already very legitimate, so you want to use them for as long as possible.

In many cases, rotating residential IPs might attract more suspicion than help to hide your online fingerprint. Usually, such applications involve logging in to online accounts and, for example, completing purchases.

Bulk purchasing

E-commerce platforms often limit how much one visitor can purchase. To enforce this, they check the IP addresses of visitors and log their activity. Residential proxies are a workaround for this, as you can get different static IPs for enough time to complete purchases and appear as a different user.

  • Dedicated residential proxies

Static proxies are commonly dedicated, which, in this context, means that only one user has exclusive access to the proxy. No one else can use that same bandwidth or create risks of getting the IP banned. It’s the most expensive option for the best performance.

Social Media Management

Most large companies need to manage multiple social media accounts spread around the world from one office. Residential proxies are used to streamline this process and help social managers connect to multiple accounts at once. It also enables one to use social media management automation tools.


Residential proxies are your go-to choice when you need quality IP addresses. Before you jump into any of the above types, consider your use case and choose them accordingly. Hopefully, this article is a good starting point for your decision. The rest can be learned while actually using them.

Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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