What is a proxy server?
Proxy servers are intended for setting up high-anonymity Internet connections and, initially, as a tool to counter hacker attacks and surveillance. A proxy server is a device (a PC, laptop, etc.), which is an intermediary between a user’s device or local network and the global network (the Internet). High anonymity is achieved through masking of a user’s main IP-address behind the proxy’s.
If you are directly connected to a server, whatever website or resource you visit, it will track your IP address, which your ISP has assigned to you. Once you connect to a proxy server, that IP-address is no longer visible to the website. They will see the proxy’s IP instead.
Why use proxies?
As mentioned above, proxies are used to change your visible IP-address when you browse. This is not to justify any nefarious or felonious activities: all you want to do is circumvent barriers, not conceal your identity. Proxy servers are used for several purposes, to name a few:
- Circumventing restrictions and bans: some ISPs may geo-block access to websites. To overcome such barriers, you can connect to a proxy located in the website’s home country. Likewise, if a website is blocked in your country, you can connect to a proxy located outside your country, from where the website is accessible, and view it. This is also the case of query and download limits: you can circumvent these in exactly the same fashion.
- Data scraping: to run a website or a business successfully, one should have sources of information close at hand. If you hang around a resource for a long time, its owner might not be okay with that, so he or she will ban you. You can change your IP-address and take suspicion off from yourself (at least for a little while) and continue to scrape data.
- Website and ad verification: also, you can use the tactics to check the accessibility of your website and ads in other regions of the world. In other words, you can access your own page from a foreign proxy and see whether or not it is displayed properly and ensure that the content is not distorted.
Why choose residential proxies?
There are various types of proxies that differ in structure and reliability. The most common ones are datacenter and residential proxies.
Datacenter proxies are very popular, because they use advanced software and technical solutions. They boast speedy and stable connections. Mostly, they are used for vendor purposes: ISPs rent servers and IP pools that are owned by datacenters. The IPs are sold to users.
You can purchase a group of IPs and change them from time to time, making it even harder for websites to track them. Datacenter proxies are quite so affordable. However, they have some weak spots.
Their effectiveness attracts crowds of users, and not all of them are good boys and girls. Cybercriminals and bot networks choose them more often than not, so they have pretty much fallen into distrust. Many whales, such as Avito, Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc., have blacklisted large pools of datacenter IPs. Therefore, if you have connected to a datacenter proxy and are now browsing actively, admins will definitely check your IP and ban it in case it is blacklisted (which is quite so possible). Just the mere fact of your using a datacenter IP is a good reason for many sites to at least scrutinize you.
For this reason, residential proxies are increasingly popular. In fact, a residential IP is an address, which an ISP assigns to ordinary users (mostly homeowners); these, in turn, allow other users to route their traffic via their devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones or routers) and use them as proxy servers. Once you have connected to such a proxy, your main IP-address will be masked behind the proxy’s address.
Residential proxies are managed by networks, and AstroProxy is just one of them. It handles a huge number of residential IPs in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Germany and France. In other words, you can connect to any residential IP located in these countries.
We use the NAT technology, which allows hundreds and thousands of devices, each one having its own IPv4 address, to connect to one public residential IPv4 address. It is impossible to provide a public IPv4 address to each and every user, so NAT appears to be an excellent solution. A large number of addresses can be hidden behind the public IPv4 address and are invisible for websites, as these users browse. Every time you visit a resource via a residential IP, it is this public residential IP address, which belongs to the owner of the residential proxy (he is just an ordinary user), that the resource will be able to track.
Also, there are backconnect residential proxies, which allow you to change IPs several times a day and make it even harder to track you.
That’s why websites do not ban residential IP-addresses, they just see no reason to suspect ordinary users of nefarious activities. There is no anti-bot or anti-spam system that can distinguish you from a regular user. Also, blocking residential IPs would not be good for websites themselves, because it would harm not only bots, scrapers or account managers, but regular users as well.
Although residential proxies are more expensive than datacenter proxies, most likely, they will pretty much outrun datacenters in popularity. Many savvies consider datacenter proxies obsolete, because they are blocked soon after you connect to them and cannot really perform their functions any more (circumventing bans, search for information, etc.)
If you would like to check your proxy server’s category and ensure that it is reliable, please, check https://proxyleak.com (Extended Version -> IP address). If you realize that it is a datacenter proxy, look for another one, because sites will automatically list your address as suspicious, you will lose access to your favorite websites and eventually waste your money. Instead, you can contact a reliable and reputable network (for example, AstroProxy), connect to a residential proxy, browse without fearing bans and access any relevant information.