With the proxy industry developing rapidly, more and more different types of proxy networks emerge. In this article, we’re covering all the aspects of residential proxies:

  1. What is a proxy in general;
  2. What is a residential proxy
  3. What are the types of residential proxies
  4. Residential vs Datacenter proxies
  5. What are residential proxies used for?
  6. Can you make your own residential proxy?
  7. Do I need to code to use residential proxy network?
  8. Is there a risk-free way to try them?

Let’s get down to it!

What is a Proxy?

A proxy is an intermediary server that routes requests between a client and a destination server.

When a client makes a request to a destination server, the proxy forwards the request to the destination server and returns the response to the client.

To put it simple, here’s how requests go:

  • Without a proxy: You -> Network  -> Destination server. Sees you as the source of the request.
  • With a proxy: You -> Network -> Proxy -> Network -> Destination server. Sees proxy as the source of the request.

Thus, the client’s IP address is hidden by the proxy, which allows for enhanced privacy and anonymity.

What is a Residential Proxy?

A single residential proxy is a device with an IP address that comes from a residential ISP (Internet Service Provider) or an end-user device. They route requests through a private network, making your actions appear to be made by regular internet users.

What is really special about residential proxy networks is that there are real people behind those IP addresses.

Unlike other kinds of proxies, residential ones not only change your IP, but also provide a certain level of credibility to it. This makes residential IPs almost indispensable when you need to hide from all-seeing eyes of advanced websites. They don’t want you to access them through proxies and set up protective algorithms. But if you hide yourself behind real people’s IPs, you can easily bypass these restrictions.

What are the Types of Residential Proxies?

This is an important thing to keep in mind: not all of them are the same. In fact, using the wrong type can result in low success rates.

Rotating Residential Proxies

Also known as Dynamic or P2P, these proxies are gathered in large pools to be able to rotate between each other. These residential IPs usually come from end-user devices and depend on the Wi-Fi connection of the gadget. If it’s turned off, the connection is lost, and so is the availability of the proxy. But that problem is eliminated by the large number of proxies and fast rotation.

Static Residential Proxies

People also call them Static ISP proxies since they come directly from ISPs, and the IPs are hosted on ISP servers, not end-user devices. So, in contrast to the rotating proxies, the static ones can maintain availability and allow for long sessions. As a result, ISP proxies are more stable due to direct ISP connectivity, allowing their repeated use.

Residential vs. Datacenter Proxies

Residential Proxies are often compared with Datacenter proxies. Here are some key differences:

Residential proxies Datacenter Proxies
Rotating Residential Proxies Static Residential Proxies
Sourced from real houses and end-user devices Sourced directly from residential ISPs Sourced from large data centers
Rotation with optional short “sticky sessions” Long, stable sessions Rotation and static options
Dependent on end-user devices Not dependent on end-user devices Not dependent on end-user devices
Unlimited concurrency Limited amount of concurrent requests Unlimited concurrency
Sample use case: Scrape an advanced E-commerce website Sample use case: Manage multiple accounts on Instagram Sample use case: Scrape a simple website


What are Residential Proxies Used for?

The applications of residential proxies differs significantly depending on their type:

What can you use Rotating Residential Proxies for:

  1. Web scraping (collecting public web data)
  2. Market research
  3. SEO monitoring
  4. Price comparison
  5. E-commerce
  6. Travel fare aggregation

Rotating proxies can be especially useful if you have to make a lot of similar requests to the same websites.

What can you use Static Residential Proxies for:

  1. Multiple accounts management
  2. Social media marketing
  3. E-commerce
  4. Website testing
  5. Ad verification

In general, static proxies work best in cases where long sessions are needed as well as high stability.

However, very often the best solution is to combine these two types. With enough residential IPs of the both types and the right architecture, there is no way to distinguish between your actions and those of the IP owner; thus, you can never be blocked.

How to Set Up Residential Proxies?

Although the implementation can differ considerably from one use case to the other, the bottom line is the same. To use proxies, you need:

  1. Proxy IP
  2. Proxy port
  3. Proxy Username and password, that usually can be found in the account settings on your proxy provider’s website
  4. Sometimes you also have an option of whitelisting your IP, which can be used as an alternative to the username:password authentication.

You can find code examples to integrate NetNut proxies here. Also, use our Proxy generator in the Dashboard to create code snippets requests for proxy integration.

Can you make your own residential proxies?

What you can do by yourself is create a regular proxy by hosting it on some unused device or on an online web host. You can even call it a residential proxy, if it’s sourced from an old computer in your basement 😉

What you cannot do though is create a pool of residential IPs large enough to pretend that you’re a regular internet user. The whole point of residential proxy networks is that they provide a large number of IP addresses. For example, NetNut’s network has more than 20 million residential IPs. In order to collect data efficiently, you need amounts of this scale.

In other words, yes, you can create a proxy just to change your IP to another, but if you try to make a lot of requests through that proxy, its IP will very soon be compromised as well. So you won’t achieve success with just two or even ten IPs.

Do I need to code to use residential proxies?

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that it heavily depends on what you’re going to be using them for. However, for some of the use cases there are ready-to-use solutions on the market which just require simple integration with a proxy provider such as NetNut:

  1. Scraping websites with one of the automated scraping tools, such as Scrapy;
  2. Managing multiple accounts with anti-fingerprint browsers, for example Multilogin.

At the same time, very often you would still need a customized solution for your particular task. If you’re hesitant and don’t know where to start, feel free to ask us by emailing at sales@netnut.io – we’d be happy to help.

How to choose a proxy provider?

Now that you know all about residential proxies, choosing will be much easier! Apart from obvious things like speed and pricing, here are some things to look at:

  1. If a provider has the relevant type of proxies for your task
  2. If you’re going to be assigned with an account manager (that’s specifically helpful if you don’t know which proxies do you need for your task)
  3. If there are countries that you need to target in the proxy pools
  4. There’s difference between shared and private proxy pools: see which ones are guaranteed by the provider
  5. Verify if there are any restrictions for target domains – you may be prohibited from accessing certain websites by your provider.

Is there a risk-free way to try residential proxies?

Many proxy providers won’t let you near their proxies until you provide your credit card and purchase a package. We, however, believe that residential proxies must come with a completely free trial. Thus, NetNut’s clients can thus always protect themselves, compare available solutions, and make informed decisions.

With NetNut proxies, you get:

  • Global network of Static and Rotating residential proxies with 20M+ IPs
  • 170+ available countries
  • Dedicated proxy pools combining P2P & ISP proxies
  • Unlimited concurrent requests
  • Help of the account manager throughout the way
  • Flexible pricing

Test it yourself – start a free trial today!

Home-Based IP Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide
Senior Growth Marketing Manager
As NetNut's Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Or Maman applies his marketing proficiency and analytical insights to propel growth, establishing himself as a force within the proxy industry.