The market for proxies has changed hugely over the last decade or so, with the market becoming increasingly sophisticated. No longer can you just scrape the web or buy a proxy list of servers that you can use for months. Well you can, but you’re likely to end up using a virus riddled server or something controlled by a gang of cyber criminals waiting to snag you personal details.
Before investing hundreds or even thousands in buying vast numbers of proxies, it’s best to look carefully at your exact requirements. The vast majority of proxy purchases are made with a single purpose, to protect your anonymity and hide the real IP address that is being used. However throughout that basic requirement there is a vast range of options that could potentially fulfill your need.
It’s important to carefully consider what you need, it’s easy to spend a fortune on proxies and go completely overkill. However if you’ve throwing expensive, dedicated proxy servers with virgin IP addresses into some automated tool like GSA or Scrapebox then you’re simply wasting your money. Equally if you’re trying to buy up sneakers or cultivate 5 year old Instagram accounts using cheap, overused proxies with spammed IP addresses you’ll have little success.
Fortunately most of the decent proxy merchants, appreciate the differences and will split up their servers and IP addresses into specific packages. If you’re unsure about which ones to use, then you should ask them their advice. It can be quite confusing though, and it’s not helped with different people using proxy related terms with different meanings.
Here’s a quick rundown of some basic concepts that you should be aware of –
- Dedicated Servers/IP Addresses – this is usually the most expensive, it means you have exclusive rights to the server or address (or both). Normally the safest option for hiding your identity or making multiple purchases. If budget is no option then go for dedicated however for large numbers the costs means it’s not usually feasible.
- Residential/Commercial Addresses – IP addresses are normally classified into two separate types. Commercial addresses are the most common and cheapest, available in bulk easily and usually housed in datacentres. Residential addresses are assigned by ISPs to normal home users. They are harder to obtain but MUCH less likely to get blocked by e-commerce sites. If you’re trying to buy in demand items, you’re probably going to need residential IP addresses.
- Rotating Proxies – to lower the costs of offering large numbers of IP addresses many firms offer ‘rotating’ proxies. What this means is that they rotate the IP addresses assigned to a proxy server which are shared between lots of users. So you don’t buy a proxy server with x number of specified IP addresses, but rather the addresses are rotated between many different servers.
- Backconnect Proxies – this is a method of rotating the IP addresses used by servers. Basically the proxy will have access to a central pool of IP addresses which it can use to connect through. Normally it will select these at random and use a different address with each connection. The rotating and backconnect terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re essentially the same thing.
- Instagram/Facebook/Twitter – Specific Task Proxies – many people have specific tasks required for their IP addresses and this is all that’s important. Unfortunately if you have a group of people using a pool of proxies it’s likely many will be using them for the same tasks which can mean they get blocked or banned. Some proxy providers divide their IP address pools for use with specific tasks. So for instance they will ensure that Instagram proxies are not overused or blocked by the Instagram site. The IPs are guaranteed for the specific task only.
- Bandwidth – most proxy providers now offer pretty generous bandwidth options by default. Whether this is important depends on your requirements, large scale scraping or research generally will have much higher requirements.
- Virgin Proxies – have fresh, unused IP addresses which have not been allocated to servers previously. They’re less likely to be blocked or blacklisted but are also harder to find and more expensive.
- Location – the country that an IP address is registered too if often important. Many websites use geo-location to check the origin of an IP address. Often you can’t even access a site from a specific country, it’s usually an important metric to consider.
As you can see there is a lot of variety and many of the terms are interchangeable to some extent. Your job is to decide what sort of proxies you actually need – that is the cheapest, most effective option. If you’re using generic, cheap IP addresses to try and snag loads of valuable sneakers you’re not going to be successful. What’s worst you’ll probably end up getting accounts and credit cards blacklisted for future purchases too. Therefore if you have a specific task in mind it’s often best to select proxies specifically designed for that purpose. Spending money on a cheap proxy server that doesn’t do the job is a huge waste of time and money.
If you’re using tools which need loads of different IP addresses then you’re going to have to choose a different option. Indeed, using a private dedicated server with private IP addresses is completely unnecessary for creating hundreds of links with SeNuke or making lots of accounts with SEO tools like GSA SER. Actually what these tools need is volume, you need to switch the IP addresses used often and quickly. Generally if you’re looking a buying cheap bulk proxies for some sort of tool like this then rotating/backconnect proxies will normally be the best option for both price and functionality. It’s the nearest you’ll get to the almost unlimited proxies these tools require for extensive use.
So scale is one important factor when choosing what sort of proxies or IP addresses you are using but classification is important too. Many e-commerce sites for example will simply not work with commercial IP addresses anymore. This is usually a deliberate tactic to restrict the use of tools and mass purchasing bots. It’s much harder to get hold of residential IP addresses as they are normally only assigned to home users. The classification of an IP address is therefore the most accurate method of identifying a standard residential user. There are an increasing number of sites that will now only function properly with residential IP addresses. Even Netflix has blocked access to all commercial addresses in an attempt to stop people switching versions using cheap datacentre proxy accounts.
It’s important to pick the right proxies for the task, not the cheapest. Things generally become more difficult and expensive, the bigger the scale but then again so do the potential profits too. Indeed if you only want one or two different addresses then you can normally reset your own IP address at home fairly easily or use a cheap VPN to switch your IP.
So Where Can I Buy Cheap Bulk Proxies?
If it’s volume or dedicated private addresses then it’s best to visit a specialised proxy reseller. The days of using free proxies that you find online are long gone, despite people still trying to go this route. The best providers will probably know more about your specific needs than you do and will often have the scale to enable cheap proxies that actually do the job. It’s important to let them know your requirements, don’t use Instagram proxies for running multiple Twitter accounts as they’re very likely not going to be suitable.
Most SEO add research tools just need lots of IP addresses and the origin, location and classification are not important. For example Google will block too many repeated requests coming from the same address too quickly however it won’t ban based on other factors like classification. All you need to do is to keep switching your address quickly after each request, it doesn’t need to come from super fast, dedicated proxies.
If you need lots of addresses then you’re normally best to look at investing in backconnect rotating proxies. It’s an innovative way to buy cheap bulk proxies which are both secure and usable. These will also take the onus of you and whatever software you are using to stay anonymous, as the IP addresses will be rotated after each request automatically. Indeed with a small rotating proxy account you can keep SEO tools running pretty much 24/7 with no real issues around addresses.
There are a few specialist providers who will offer the full range of proxy servers and IP addresses. The biggest and more established names should be able to provide anything you need for completing specific tasks. Our recommendation is for one of the oldest providers, who are crucially one of the few that own and control their own hardware.
For the best supplier of IP addresses and proxies, both commercial and residential try Storm.
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