When you need to hide your IP address, you have a few options: you can use a residential proxy service, or a datacenter proxy service. But what’s the difference? And which is right for you? In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each type of proxy service, so you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

The source of IP addresses

The first difference between residential proxies and datacenter proxies is their origin.

Residential proxies are sourced from real houses and end-user devices. It means that all your requests are routed through a private network. In the end, it looks like regular people are just casually browsing the internet.

In contrast, datacenter proxies are sourced from large data centers. Servers in data centers host thousands of IP addresses, with the largest ones located in the United States.

Session length

Residential proxy servers are sometimes hosted on end-user devices, which can have some implications concerning session length. For example, rotating residential proxies depend on the Wi-Fi connection of the device that they are linked to. This means that with this kind of residential proxies the sessions can’t be too long (usually up to 20 minutes).

It is not true for static residential proxies, which are intended to remain online for a long time.

Datacenter proxies fall somewhere in the middle: there are usually both rotating and static options present. But in fact, they can’t be compared with static residential proxies in terms of connection longevity. So datacenter proxies are also usually used with rotation.

It is also possible for datacenter proxies to be distributed among a number of clients at the same time. Those are called shared proxies – when not only you but others have access to them. The opposite of this is a private proxy, to which only you have access.

Number of concurrent requests

For residential proxies, it again usually differs:

  • Rotating proxies usually allow for a large number of concurrent requests, sometimes it’s unlimited
  • Static ones, on the contrary, are designated to stay online and not be blocked for a long time. Usually there’s a limit for concurrent requests here.
  • When it comes to datacenter proxies, it can depend on capabilities of data centers that are used. Modern datacenter proxies also allow for unlimited requests, just as rotating residential.

Target countries

Since data centers are large undertakings, not every country can host enough of them to meet the needs of speed and stability. As a result, datacenter proxy servers are usually available in fewer countries, but you get better speed and stability instead.

With residential proxies, especially with rotating ones, it is easier to access many different countries. Since a single proxy equals a single end-user device or a residence, you don’t need large facilities in order to build a proxy network in a given country. However, there’s a downside: you may have fewer IPs available.


People use residential and datacenter proxies for more or less the same purposes, but still there are differences.

  1. Rotating residential proxies are mainly used for collecting data from advanced websites, for example, large e-commerce platforms
  2. Using static residential proxy servers makes sense when you need long sessions, for example, for managing multiple accounts
  3. Datacenter proxies are a great tool for web scraping that doesn’t involve bypassing sophisticated protective algorithms.

Choose the right one for your task

Residential proxies and datacenter proxies offer different benefits depending on your needs. If you’re still not sure which proxy is best for you, our team can help you decide and get set up with the right type of proxy server for your unique requirements. Contact us today to learn more about residential vs datacenter proxies – we would be happy to answer any questions you have!

Residential vs Datacenter proxies - what’s the difference?
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.