I’m not one to go instantly for the most expensive option, even when everyone says it’s the best. I always suspect there’s a better, cheaper option out there which will work just as well and cost half the price. However often the cheaper option often ends up being a waste of time which if you’ve ever tried a cheap residential proxy network you’ll know this is true.
Residential IP addresses are expensive, yet if want to take real control of your connections online they’re pretty much necessary. Most major websites can now spot a commercial or datacenter IP address a mile off and re flags start waving instantly. Most of my friends who use proxies for commercial or research projects never use them any more. As my very wealthy sneaker head acquaintance pointed out, using a datacenter IP address is the digital equivalent of having ‘I’m Using a Proxy’ tattooed on your forehead!
The problem as we know is that residential IP addresses might work well but they can be very expensive. So when we start to realize that cheap datacenter IPs aren’t really working then trying to find cheap residential IP addresses is the next stage. It’s a mistake though, it’s an illusion of value, a trap for the unwary. It’s just like finding a cheap, ageing Alfa Romeo that you think is the bargain of the century. Only when you find yourself constantly on the hard shoulder or giving all your money to mechanics that you realize why this sports car wasn’t great value!
Most of us who use proxies for a specific business or commercial use just need them to work, which is often why the journey usually ends up with one of the most expensive – the Luminati proxy network.
Making Luminati Cheaper but Not with Discounts
If you’ve balked at the cost of Luminati while testing another crappy residential proxy network, then it’s worth considering that you can actually lower the cost quite substantially. Many people look at the costs of proxies on a per unit basis – but comparing 10,000 fake residential proxies with a hundred real ones is a false comparison. Look at the end result, if you’re doing research or copping sneakers – measure the costs versus your output not the unit cost.
This is where the Luminati Proxy Manager comes into it’s own. If you learn how the Luminati proxy manager works, there are lots of features which allow you to control how you use proxies and substantially lower the costs. One of the very best is something called the Luminati Proxy Waterfall feature.
How the Luminati Waterfall Saves Money
First of all let’s look at the relative prices of different types of proxy types. These are of course mostly related to the type of IP addresses they use –
From cheapest to expensive –
- Datacenter (shared)
- Datacenter (exclusive)
- Residential (shared)
- Residential (exclusive)
As you move down the list though, you’ll find they’re also much more effective and less likely to get blocked. Mobile IP addresses from trusted mobile networks are pretty much undetectable and are never banned. Yet of course, the way to minimize the costs is to use the cheapest proxy that works for a particular task. For example shared datacenter IPs are fine for many scraping and SEO functions, so using expensive residential IPs for these tasks is just a waste of money.
Which is where the waterfall feature comes in, a simple yet innovative method of using the cheapest proxies for any given task which can be configured automatically.
All you do is configure specific proxies ready for use then assign them to different ports. You can then configure Proxy manager to use then in a specific order for any tasks. If the proxies fail to connect or are blocked then it would rotate automatically to use IP addresses from the next range. You don’t have to include all of them, for example my Sneakerhead friend would never waste time and effort with shared datacenter IPs when trying for a new release.
You can also configure the scenarios where this switch is used as well. Obviously a block or fail to connect is an obvious situation but many websites will operate differently. A common action for websites is to put up captchas for suspicious connections especially from commercial IP address ranges. You can actually specify this as a rule, when a captcha request if received make a new request from the next category of IP addresses.
The simple idea behind this clever feature is to ensure that you use the cheapest available resource for any task. If datacenter IP addresses are working then carry on using them instead of paying for more expensive residential or mobile proxies. If you’re using Bots for a task it’s particularly useful as you can select the most efficient method automatically without constantly losing connection and restarting manually