If you make any sort of money online then chances are that you’ve come across a need for using proxy servers. Whether you’re just doing some sort of research, posting a few links to boost your new blog or simply trying to run a sneaker resale business. Then you’ll almost certainly need to use proxies to be successful ! Years gone by you could certainly live without them, but the reality now is that anything that needs any element of repetition then proxies are essential.
The simple fact is that every web service, site or E-commerce server would much prefer that we were restricted to a single digital identity. Facebook have pioneered this, linking a real person to each account yet it leaves the individual in a horrible situation. Not only will everything we do online get tracked, monitored and logged, but we’ll also get blocked and filtered too. A single digital identity is the way companies restrict you to their imposed limits – you can watch one free movies, buy one pair of these sneakers or perform a certain number of searches per minute.
Yet online entrepreneurs can’t function like this, when we find something that makes money we need to be able to scale and you simply can’t do this with one single, solitary digital identity. A very simple example is finding something that’s so in demand online that you can sell off at a profit. Yet you’re restricted to one purchase per customer, which kind of limits your scope. Which is where proxies come in, freeing you up from these restrictions and enabling anyone to maximise their opportunities online.
Using Proxies Breaks these Limits
It’s not only the number of connections that’s the problem, although that is probably the core issue. It’s the fact that you can also be restricted by your physical location too, which sounds kinda funny when using a world wide global network like the internet. The reality is that everything about us is tracked online and sometimes your location is simply deemed ‘unsuitable’. Craigslist for example lock their directories down to local users, meaning that most entrepreneurs from third world countries simply can’t use them. Many individuals also have problems using all sorts of financial websites like payment processors due to a perceived risk of fraud. You try running an online business without access to something like Paypal and see how much harder it is.
A proxy can bypass all these imposed restrictions and let entrepreneurs operate internationally irrespective of their location. Indeed with the right set up, your location is pretty much irrelevant as is the scope of your access. However you can’t just use any old proxy that you find free online, in fact that’s a guaranteed recipe for failure (as well as probably getting infected with malware!). Most web teams or automated web security systems will block these proxies automatically and even many fast, managed services are vulnerable too. The problem with many of these is they are run from commercial servers which are assigned datacentre IP addresses. Most websites will detect the use of commercial IP addresses like this as they are a strong indicator that someone is not an ordinary home user plus is much more likely to be using a proxy.
The secret, is to use proxies which actually don’t look like proxies and make each connection look an individual home user. To do this the proxies need to be assigned with a special type of address called a residential IP address.
Residential IPs Vs Datacenter Proxies
Anything that works online has an IP (Internet Protocol) address, everything from your home computer, mobile phone to an internet enabled TV. Without an IP address a device can’t communicate online and won’t be able to function, what’s more they have to be unique too.
Unfortunately this makes our IP address by far our biggest footprint, it’s pretty much the equivalent of our real home address. Websites carefully analyse every aspect of this address in order to know who’s connecting to their site.
Many websites consider anyone who accesses using a datacenter IP address as having nefarious or suspicious motives. This is not entirely fair as although a datacenter IP address is a strong indicator that someone is hiding their address by using a proxy, lots of people accessing from work will also have the same type of address. Nevertheless, at the very least the connection will be flagged for special scrutiny and often simply blocked.
Quick Fact – you can only stream a Netflix movie from a residential IP address!
Basically the most trusted IP address you can have is a residential address as these are only normally assigned via ISPs to their home users. So they’re implicitly trusted and are allowed full functionality of the vast majority of web sites, what’s more they’re rarely suspected of being proxy users either. For online entrepreneurs this is vital especially if you’re planning on making multiple connections or transactions.
- Residential IP address – like having a the false ID of a ordinary member of the public who buys their shopping online.
- Datacenter IP Address – like having the false ID of a convicted fraudster with overdue library books and a driving license ban.
It really is that stark and is why that so many people now only use residential proxies – i.e. proxy servers which use residential IP addresses. To use anything else is to almost invite attention to your purchase, Instagram account or whatever transaction you’re involved in.
There’s nothing you can do to hide a datacenter IP address and almost all large websites are able to detect their use. There are some situations where they work fine though and on many platforms they’re still effective on a limited scale. It’s important to remember that a datacenter proxy will still hide your real location and address so you still maintain anonymity whichever you use.
The main problem with residential proxies and the reason most don’t want to use them is simple – they’re hard to find and therefore more expensive. It’s very difficult to obtain residential IP addresses for use on a proxy network and only a few firms have these set up properly. Some proxy companies do have innovative features that reduce their need – check out the Waterfall feature available with Luminati. It’s really quite clever starting connections with datacenter IPs then switching to residential ones if needed.