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What is Residential Proxy Server and Why Use it?

Proxy fundamentals

When people want to browse the web via another IP address, they often use residential proxies. This proxy type is the first choice for many business and home users. But what makes it better than the rest?

The truth is that residential proxies are better than other proxy types in specific scenarios. If optimal online anonymity and security are a priority, there’s no alternative. This means you must know when to use them because they are usually more expensive than other proxies.

For this reason, here’s everything you need to know about them.

All You Need to Know About Residential Proxies

To determine when residential proxy servers are the best option, you must know what they are and how they work. So let’s start by explaining what residential proxies are and where they come from.

What is Residential Proxy Server?

Residential proxy is remote online device owned and used by real users. The IP addresses of these devices are registered with real internet service providers. In other words, using them will make your traffic look like it’s coming from those devices instead of yours. As a result, you can browse the web anonymously and protect your online privacy and security.

Residential IP addresses come from physical devices like desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets on a residential (home) internet connection. You can often find mobile proxies as a separate service that involves mobile devices connected to the internet via mobile data carriers.

To clarify things a bit further, datacenter proxies are servers with IP addresses from a cloud hosting company. On the other hand, static residential proxies or ISP proxies are IP addresses hosted in data centers but registered under internet service providers.

How Residential Proxies Work

Browsing the web without a proxy means connecting to the target website directly. This allows the target server to identify your IP address and location, which makes geo-blocking possible.

However, using a residential proxy server means connecting to a device that functions as a gateway and replaces your IP address with its own. If you’re using a proxy provider with a pool of residential proxies, you can choose the right IPs to meet your location or rotation requirements. These features allow you to connect to the desired website via a new IP address and online identity.

Residential IP addresses rotate, so we often refer to them as rotating residential proxies. You can get a new IP for each connection request or make sticky sessions to keep the same IP for a set period. Some residential proxy providers allow you to use the same IP for up to 24 hours. Finally, others allow you to use it until the IP owner goes offline. Finally, certain providers don’t offer sticky sessions at all.

What Are Residential Proxy Servers Used For

Thanks to the high degree of anonymity and security that residential proxies provide, people worldwide use them for both casual and business online activities. However, since they’re usually more expensive than datacenter proxies, residential proxies are often the first choice of businesses and companies.

Here are some of the most common use cases for this proxy type.

Web Scraping

With residential proxy servers, businesses can scrape massive amounts of data from multiple websites. More importantly, they can gather all this data without delays due to IP-based blocks. That’s because the rotating IPs will make the target site assume all those requests come from different legitimate users, thus hiding your web scraper and ensuring efficient data collection.

App and Website Testing

Using residential IPs allows web testers to check if a particular site or app shows the right content to people in a specific IP range or location. Residential proxies are ideal for this purpose because they cover more locations, up to the city level, allowing you to visit websites or apps as a real user from the target location.

Ad Verification

Residential proxies can help you check if your ads don’t show up as intended in front of your target audience. Since they cover more locations worldwide than other types of proxies, they are perfect for ad verification. Using them will help you gather the information that exposes fraudulent publishers, allowing you to blacklist them and optimize your marketing efforts.

Sneaker Copping

Security measures on popular sneaker sites are more strict than ever. Nowadays, residential proxies present your best bet to grab the limited-edition sneakers you want. With their help, you can use sneaker bots anonymously and increase your chances of getting the footwear you want before others or even buy multiple pairs of limited editions.

Pricing Aggregation

Residential proxies allow you to scrape hotel, flight, and ticket price data anonymously and safely. That’s because they help you look like regular website visitors, allowing you to collect real-time travel fare data in any location without worrying about bans.

SEO Monitoring

Scraping search engines like Google can be very challenging, but residential proxies can help. They allow you to research keywords, analyze competitors, and track position changes without having to deal with detection and blocks. This can help you stand out from the competition.


Residential proxies are an invaluable tool for eCommerce companies since other online server “see” them legitimate users. This allows companies to improve their competitor research, protect their privacy and security, and enhance their social media marketing efforts.

Social Media Management

Businesses that want to promote their brand on social media and reach the target audience in a specific location need to manage multiple social media accounts. With residential proxies, they can open as many accounts as they need on numerous social media platforms and manage them without worrying about bans.

How to Use Residential Proxies

Using residential proxies is a no-brainer. Some proxy providers offer a list of residential IP addresses, but most give access to their network through a single endpoint proxy, so you don’t have to import proxy lists. In other words, they are responsible for selecting and managing the proxies, so all you have to do is route your requests to the proxy endpoint.

Residential proxy servers have the same IP:port format as other proxy IPs. In some cases, providers use a DNS hostname instead of the IP address to make it look better.

Final Thoughts

Residential proxies can be very useful for any personal or business user, but only if sourced from a reliable provider that sources them ethically. IPRoyal is a reputable proxy provider with its own pool of ethically sourced residential proxies. Being able to offer our own genuine residential proxies allows us to ensure maximum anonymity and performance for our clients.

Unlike many proxy providers that source their proxies in questionable ways, IPRoyal’s users agree to join the network and share their IPs. They can also leave as they please. More importantly, we offer compensation for the bandwidth our clients use. With 24/7 monitoring, we ensure there’s no illegal activity, ensuring safety and privacy for our network.

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