Picture this: you’ve just opened your scraping project, and you’re about to make your very first request to a website using your freshly acquired shared proxy server, but all of a sudden, you get a ban. What just happened? Enter private proxies – the ultimate proxy solution that’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.
But what are private proxies, exactly? Do they come in different flavors? Can you benefit, or will you encounter challenges? Are they even suitable in your case, and are there other alternatives? Keep reading as we’ll tackle these questions in detail.
What is a private proxy?
A private proxy server commonly refers to a proxy server IP address that’s completely owned and used by one individual at all times. You don’t share it with others, and you control how, where, and when it’s used. Hence, your projects won’t be affected anymore by previous users using the same proxy IP to enter the same websites. That said, the exclusivity of private proxy servers can also range from full ownership to limited sharing, depending on the private proxy provider.
What are the types of private proxies?
As the name suggests, dedicated proxies give you exclusive rights to the proxy server’s IP address. You can think of it as 1 dedicated IP address – 1 user. When you purchase the amount of IPs you need, you’re the only person in the world that owns and can access these IP addresses.
Now, dedicated proxies can also come from different sources, namely data centers and residential home networks.
Dedicated datacenter proxies
They originate from massive data center facilities or cloud-based infrastructure, where IP addresses aren’t affiliated with internet service providers (ISPs) and are owned by companies that operate these data centers. This factor alone makes private datacenter proxies less reliable as websites can see when web requests aren’t coming from ISP-related addresses, indicating that there isn’t a real internet user behind and likely a bot, like a web scraper.
While that’s true, datacenter proxies are still widely used for various use cases where destination servers allow requests from data center IPs. Hence, with a dedicated datacenter proxy, you get unmatched speeds and bandwidth together with complete control over how, when, and where you use your proxy IPs. To learn more, see this detailed explanation of datacenter proxies.
Dedicated residential proxies
Private residential proxies also exist, commonly called static residential proxies or static ISP proxies. They’re, in a sense, a slightly different breed compared to standard residential proxies (see what are residential proxies), as they have real residential IP addresses assigned by ISPs but are hosted in data centers. This gives superb anonymity, just like residential proxies, and exceptional speeds and bandwidth, just like datacenter proxies.
Standard residential proxies may be just the solution you need; however, their IP pool is shared among multiple users, meaning that you may use a residential IP address to access a website that has already blocked that IP due to prior use. The solution? Static ISP proxies that have IP addresses dedicated to only one user. This way, you have full control over your proxy, enabling even better success rates and reliability.
Semi-dedicated (limitedly shared) private proxies
Now, a semi-dedicated private proxy offers a balance between ownership and price and can also be datacenter or residential. It's shared between users, but there’s a limit to how many users can share an IP. For instance, Webshare’s private proxy can only be shared with at most two users, ensuring there’s less impact on proxy IP reliability from other user’s activities.
It’s a perfect solution in cases where you need to stay within the budget, but your operations demand better reliability and performance.
Free private proxies
You may find a free private proxy that's free of charge, yet free proxies come with unnecessary risks. To begin with, the majority of free proxies use the HTTP protocol instead of the more secure HTTPS. This opens a possibility where data sent through them can be monitored without you even knowing it.
Thus, you should avoid free proxies even when they’re so tempting because:
- Your activities may be monitored with the purpose of selling your data;
- Your device may be accessed by malicious entities through the proxy;
- Your device may be infected with viruses;
- Your login credentials for various websites may be stolen through HTTP cookies;
- You may waste your time with unsuccessful scraping projects due to the low quality and performance of free proxies.
That said, there are free private proxies that guarantee complete security and privacy. Case in point – Webshare’s free premium proxies that you can use securely without the risk of compromising your data or device to unauthorized access. They’ve also been designed for anonymity by preventing common detection techniques like DNS leaks, header leaks, and open port scans.
Pros of using private proxies
Since you don’t have to share network resources with numerous users when using private proxies, your projects can use all the available network bandwidth and speed rates.
In a sense, with private proxies, you get what you buy. In comparison, this isn’t really the case with shared proxies. Proxy providers usually promote the shared proxy’s overall speeds and bandwidth, which are lower for each user when shared between individuals.
Fresh IP addresses
With private proxies, you get fresh IP addresses that haven’t been used before and aren’t shared with other users, or there are limited users. This leads to improved reliability and high IP trust, as each proxy IP has no previous record of website access, reducing the likelihood of being blocked by websites due to prior interactions.
Better success rate
The exclusivity of private proxies ensures that you’re the only one who has control of how and where the proxy IPs are used, directly impacting the success rates of website access. This closely relates to the previous point, yet there are other factors that affect success rates.
For example, websites commonly limit the amount of requests one IP address can make in a certain time frame. Thus, private proxies can help you overcome IP rate limiting as you can decide and control how many requests you’ll make through each proxy server. This is impossible to determine when using shared proxies, as you can’t know how other proxy users used the IPs.
Avoid IP blacklists
Private proxies are, in fact, better at avoiding IP blacklisting since their usage is controlled by one user. Of course, it still depends on whether this user utilizes proxies with potential blacklisting risks in mind.
While a proxy server can’t be technically “used up,” its performance and reliability can fade away depending on which websites block it. This is particularly ramped up when multiple users use the same proxy to enter the same domain, increasing the likelihood of being blacklisted. Hence, with time, you may find a shared proxy incapable of visiting websites that you want to access, especially popular sites like Google or Amazon, as past users may have exhaustively used the proxy on such websites.
Cons of using private proxies
The major disadvantage of private proxy servers is their high cost, which can add up if your goal is to perform large-scale operations that demand a lot of IP addresses. Even if this isn’t the case, their high price can restrain your budget, making private proxies less favorable in such situations where allocated finances are limited.
Yet, this can also turn into a positive, as fewer IP address blocks and significantly faster connections through a private proxy can save you time and money in the long run.
Potentially more difficult configuration
Less tech-savvy users may find it more difficult to set up private proxies. Since private proxy providers usually give you a list of IP addresses for use, their configuration typically involves manual management like IP replacement, health monitoring, and whitelisting. This may be overwhelming if you lack expertise; however, private proxy providers generally have detailed documentation on these processes, making it much easier to get started.
Smaller IP address pool
In short, you get the amount of dedicated IP addresses you buy. In comparison, shared datacenter and residential proxies generally offer access to the entire pool of IP addresses, which can be from thousands to millions, depending on the proxy provider.
Furthermore, the limited number of IPs also directly limits the number of geographic proxy server locations you can access, making it more expensive if you need worldwide coverage. Therefore, you should consider this drawback, as private proxies may restrict your operational needs.
What are the use cases of private proxies?
Private proxies are well-suited in cases where you need great performance, reliability, and stealthiness. They’re great for individual use cases, like:
- Web scraping;
- Content streaming;
And perfect for advanced business operations, such as:
- Web scraping;
- Social media management on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others;
- SEO monitoring on search engines, like Google, Bing, Yandex, and others;
- Pricing and product monitoring;
- Ad verification;
- Lead generation;
- Travel fare aggregation.
How to get a private proxy?
One of the options is to create your own proxy network of private IPs. However, this is a complex project that requires in-depth technical knowledge, time, and resources.
Thus, for a hassle-free approach, we recommend acquiring private proxies from a reputable proxy provider, like Webshare. Buying private proxy servers offer a unique opportunity to get reliable and high-speed proxy IP addresses with unlimited bandwidth for a fraction of the cost. While they’re shared with at most two users, our infrastructure ensures that none of these users are visiting the same websites as you.
What are the alternatives to private proxies?
Use a private proxy if you want more control over your proxy IPs and better performance to access websites with higher success rates. Yet, if you feel like Webshare’s private proxies don’t suit your needs, don’t dwell on it – there are other options to consider. It’s always recommended to know what works for your use case, but if you’re unsure, here are some choices:
We suggest taking a look at fully dedicated proxy servers that aren’t shared between users and offer complete control over proxy IPs:
- Dedicated proxies that come from data centers and enable exceptional performance with no limits to bandwidth;
- Static (ISP) residential proxies that provide the anonymity of residential proxies and the speed of datacenter proxies with unlimited bandwidth.
If you don’t mind sharing proxy server resources and need the most affordable option, then we advise looking into shared proxies:
- Proxy servers that originate from data centers have superb performance with limitless bandwidth and come for as little as $2.99 per month.
Residential proxies that imitate organic user behavior for block-free scraping and have worldwide coverage. All that while on a budget.