Basically whenever you connect to a website of any size, your IP address is used to profile you. Traditionally if I wanted to hide my location or identity I would use a proxy sitting in some super fast datacentre somewhere. This used to be fine, but now connecting with an IP address registered in a datacentre will often suggest you’re using a proxy to hide your identity. This can lead to a range of actions, ranging from your account simply being flagged as suspicious to outright banned. Whatever happens your connection will stand out from others. It doesn’t matter how secure and ghost like your proxy is configured, the IP address will scream proxy or VPN connection!
If you’re identified like this then for the majority of serious internet tasks this isn’t going to make life easy. Firstly, you’ll start to fit the profile of a spammer or cyber criminal, basically intent on no good. For example anyone using stolen credit cards will probably route through a proxy server to hide their location and identity. Obviously e-commerce stores are very hot on identifying such connections to eliminate fraud. So it’s not ideal if you’re intending to use proxies to buy a few of your favorite sneakers for resale on eBay.
Datacenter IP addresses are fine for some purposes, I have been using them for years to watch UK television when I travel for example. Yet for any online commercial transactions they’re definitely not recommended. Proxies still work for anonymity, yet if you’re trying to operate any sort of business activity online then the IP addresses they are assigned are crucial.
The Rise of the Residential Proxy
This detection of commercially registered IP addresses has long been an issue with all sorts of platforms. It’s now several years since Netflix blocked access from all IP addresses registered with commercial organisations. Which came as a bit of a blow to all those who loved to sneakily stream the latest movies to their desktops instead of working. It didn’t really cause a huge outcry though, and many network administrators were grateful for the reduced impact on their networks!
It was a hugely effective move though for all those who used proxies and VPNs to switch their connections to different regions of Netflix. Suddenly if your proxy or VPN had a datacentre IP (which 99%) of them did, then it could’t be used to switch Netflix regions. Other companies and platforms saw this success and slowly started either blocking or at least monitoring access from these addresses too.
Now for many platforms using a proxy with a datacentre IP is an extremely bad move especially for managing important accounts and transactions. For marketers who run multiple social media accounts on places like Facebook and Instagram for example then it’s likely to lead to those accounts being deleted.
The better proxy companies like Storm have responded though by slowly acquiring lots of residential IP addresses to use with their servers. So people who run businesses online will tend to use these as they’re much safer to use. However even these have their limitations primarily because IP addresses themselves get tagged, mainly through overuse and too many concurrent connections.
Although currently a well run residential proxy with clean IP addresses is a very safe set up for the majority of tasks, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find enough IPs. Also limitations are being increasingly placed on these addresses, for instance you could previously manage a dozen or more Instagram accounts from a single residential address but that’s no longer the case.
The Case for a Mobile Proxy UK Service
The next step in the IP Wars, seems to be heading for another category of IP addresses. When it comes to anonymity and running multiple digital identities, then mobile proxies are probably the very latest development. These are proxy servers of a variety of types but with one thing in common, they are loaded with IP addresses registered for use with mobile devices and gateways.
There are many reasons proxies with mobile IPs are in high demand, but in essence they pretty much mirror the way real people are using the internet in 2019. Also because they’re switched much more often then it’s almost impossible to identify specific IP addresses to block or ban without restricting access to thousands of legitimate mobile users. If you want to read more about how mobile IP gateways work you can check out this post. So if you want to manage lots of accounts and ‘look like a real home user’ then these proxies with mobile IP addresses are an obvious attraction. Certainly many of the more successful marketers are now only using 4g proxies for Instagram marketing for example.
There is an issue though and that’s regarding supply, these mobile IP addresses are arguably even harder to obtain than residential ones. Most of the trailblazers in this sector though have managed to acquire them in places where perhaps commercial control in the telecoms is a little more lax. Many of the current mobile IP addresses that are available originate from places like India, Russia and the Ukraine where it’s simpler and cheaper to obtain multiple Sims to obtain enough mobile IPs.
Currently these work pretty well, but it’s only a matter of time before mobile addresses will be filtered based on their location too. You’ll find that a mobile IP from India won’t be of much use if your Bot is trying to grab a few concert tickets from Ticketmaster or a pair of the latest Supreme sneakers from Los Angeles. This is already starting to happen with some platforms checking geolocation information of mobile IPs from RFID information too and is only likely to increase.
The solution is simple, we’ll need to use legitimate mobile IP addresses from the correct countries. Unless you’re targeting the Indian market, that means Indian mobile addresses will be of limited use. What you’ll need is to get proxies loaded with mobile IP addresses from your target markets usually Europe, UK and USA for many people. So the first tier will be companies who offer things like Mobile proxy UK and US services.
Currently there’s not many of these premium mobile 4g proxies around, most mobile proxy providers are proving IP addresses from slightly more obscure places. There is one company who has Austrian and even UK mobile IP addresses from O2 – you can try them out here. There will probably be more in the future though!