Rotating residential proxies are the minivan of proxies –
low profile, high safety standards, cruise control.. complete with a family decal on the back.
You can kiss traffic infractions goodbye.
In other words, when it comes to web scraping, multiple accounts, sneaker copping…it’s all you really need. (Most of the time.)
- What's an IP address?
- Ways to hide your identity and behavior online
- Problems that rotating residential proxies solve (That other so-called IP scramblers cannot)
But if you’re new to all this..
call me Aladdin.
I can show you the world,
of rotating residential proxies.
What’s an IP address?
All internet-capable devices (like the one you’re using to read this)..have an IP address. It allows you to request information from the web, and then the web sends back the goods. For instance, you asked for information about rotating proxies and the web sent you me. How lucky.
If you didn’t have one, it would be impossible to send you anything.
An IP address says a lot about you – like where you’re from and what you’re doing. But this can be a problem.
- Content may be restricted (geo-blocking)
- Blocks by anti-virus or firewalls (like when you scrape data)
- Restrictions and suspensions on social networks and eCommerce accounts
So it goes without saying, you’re gonna want to hide where you’re from and what you’re doing.
There’s a handful of ways to go about this.
Ways to hide your identity and behavior online
- Data center proxies
- Residential proxies
But they aren’t all equal in the eyes of the internet.
VPN’s are great for privacy and streaming content. But you’re not gonna have a good time creating multiple accounts or automating any tasks. So much for web scraping and sneaker botting.
Tor is noble – I’ll give it that. However, as a tool in covert operations, it is not very sneaky. And it’s slow. (In fact, a sweet nostalgia may flood your senses like morning mist as you long for the purring of dial-up internet)
Then there’s data center proxies. Super fast, always online, bit of a nasty habit for blowing your cover. They’re well known to host the kind of traffic that websites would rather avoid. And unfortunately, anyone can see that you use them.
Trust is key, which brings us to…
Unlike the first three options, residential proxies don’t sacrifice reputation for anonymity. This is only possible because websites can’t tell the difference between a residential proxy and someone’s grandmother fumbling around the net.
And it’s not because websites aren’t clever enough to see through the disguise. There just isn’t a difference – you appear as another real device that has an official residential IP address.
Now you’re cruisin’ in a minivan.
But you’re not in the carpool lane just yet. For that, you need a whole lot of minivans.
Rotating Residential Proxies
A single residential proxy has some tricks up it’s sleeve. Now you can safety maneuver around geo-blocking and mask your real identity.
But things really start to get interesting when you add in a residential proxy network.
Residential Proxy Network
A proxy network is a whole bunch of proxies that connect together through a proxy server. A proxy server is the software and people that manage all of those proxies.
Piece of cake.
Or you could hire a gang of nerds (we prefer wizards).. whose bread-and-butter happens to be the management of millions of residential proxies.
That way you can just get down to business.
Problems that rotating residential proxies solve
(That other so-called IP scramblers cannot)
The problem with any sort of web scraping is that you make way-too-damn-many requests. That’s a big red flag for anti-crawler protection. Upon closer inspection, if it looks like you’re using any kind of automation software – like Octoparse or Beautiful Soup – you get the boot.
One solution is to set request delays to mimic human behavior, but the whole point of automation is efficiency.
Solution: Route each request through a different residential IP address with a proxy rotator. That way, you can make thousands of requests (but be reasonable). No one’s gonna stop you.
Geo-targeted web scraping
Depending on where you’re browsing from, companies will show you a different price for their products or services. It’s no mistake. They simply take advantage of geo-targeting – and price scraping of their own – to optimize profit and stay competitive.
So to find the best prices, you need an IP address in each zip code they target. But to capture a snapshot comparison fast enough to do anything useful or profitable, you’ll need to use web scraping software.
This is where you run into problems. Only residential IP addresses are consistently immune to IP tracking, CAPTCHAS, and other anti-scraping tech.
Solution: Rotation within a local network (or pool) of residential IP addresses. That way it’s possible to quickly aggregate prices (or any other data) from anywhere in the world without any interference.
So uh, how many of these proxy things do I need?
It would be nice to have an easy to read list...wait a minute,
You can use rotating residential proxies for pretty much anything. However, they aren’t the only tool for the job for the following examples.
Create multiple social media accounts
People often create multiple accounts for social networking. It’s one method to attract followers, share ideas, and promote business. That’s all jolly-good until good-natured promotion turns into pollution, which it often does.
Rightfully ticked off, social platforms like Instagram or Reddit now have very low tolerance for abuse.
That being said, if you want to create multiple accounts – and your intentions are somewhat pure – it is possible. But you can’t just use the same IP address all the time, or act like a jerk.
Rotating residential proxies will do the job, but are second place only to mobile proxies. It’s best practice to create social accounts with mobile proxies and then manage each account with a dedicated fresh proxy.
Get Past IP bans on eCommerce sites
Bans and restrictions are common with eCommerce sites like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and Shopify. Sometimes there’s obvious neglect to their terms of service (TOS).
Other times, sellers are left with only a vague idea of what happened. (Perhaps the TOS has a lot of wiggle room)
The way around this kind of vague unfairness is to create stealth accounts.
Simply put, stealth accounts hide your real identity so that in the event of a ban, you don’t lose everything. Rotating residential and fresh proxies are a perfect pair to create and manage stealth accounts.
The Sneaker Proxy Debate
Without a thorough knowledge of the sneaker world, you may just shake your head at this. But it’s pretty neat.
You’re either gonna use a resi, DC, or ISP proxy to hide a sneaker bot.
Resi = residential proxy
DC = datacenter proxy
ISP = A hybird with a resi body and DC soul
‘Footsites’ like Shopify, Nike, Footlocker, and other sneaker retailers use top-class anti-bot security. That’s a problem for DC proxies, but not for residential proxies because it just looks like a regular customer buying some shoes.
Here’s the thing though.
Resis aren’t as ‘quick on the draw’ as DCs or ISPs. Meanwhile DCs and ISPs are way more likely to get burned – in a game where every task counts.
But the day that residential proxies keep up with DC and ISP speeds – there will be no point in using anything else. Until then, the difference between shoeless agony and sneaker bliss depends on skill, experience, bot upgrades, and a lot of luck.
I hope this has been something like a magic carpet ride as promised, and that you understand the subtle sexiness of a minivan.
It can be a little tedious to figure out what tools you need for web scraping, shoe copping, and those other internet tasks that require a mastery of sneakiness.
We’re here to help.
You can also just read more about what software works with our proxies if you don’t like to chat much.
And stay away from free proxies, whether they rotate or not.