How Do Residential Proxies Work? Everything You Need To Know

In the modern eCommerce landscape, web scraping presents something of a double-edged sword. You can use web scraping tools to acquire essential data on spending habits, online pricing, and anything else that will help your company stand out. But there are several pitfalls that may cause bans and downtimes that force you to waste time and resources getting the data you need.

When using your company’s IP address to scrape data from the web, websites can recognize and flag your IP address and block you from further data. But if you use a web proxy, the website will see a proxy IP address instead. This allows you to get around bans and avoid costly delays when scraping the web for data.

You have several kinds of web proxies to choose from to improve your web scraping efficiency. One type of proxy many companies find particularly useful is a “residential proxy.” Rayobyte can show you how residential proxies work, how to determine the best fit for your needs, and how to use them to maximize your web scraping returns.

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Understanding Web Proxies

learn about proxies

The internet contains vast quantities of information that you can use to take your company to the next level. Any company that works in eCommerce or a related field will need to access many different websites to acquire data on pricing, customer profiles, and demographic information. This often requires a web scraping bot.

However, companies often run into two related problems during this process. The online data-gathering process needs to be quick, efficient, and comprehensive to provide an adequate ROI on the resources that go into it. Unfortunately, many websites recognize web scraping requests and take steps to block IP addresses that they have flagged as engaging in web scraping. The more bans and downtimes your company faces, the less useful your web scraping will be.

With web proxies, you will have access to a remote IP address that you can use for web scraping or for any other online work your company needs to do. A web proxy is a type of “middleman” between your web server and the websites you are accessing. The proxy will intercept any data you send to a website and reroute it through the remote IP address so that the website receives none of your information.

Proxies have additional benefits as well. You can avoid collecting annoying cookies when accessing websites, get around geo-locational blocks from certain websites, and add a layer of cybersecurity to your server.

Many web proxies are currently on the market, and many companies offer web proxy solutions. Ultimately, the best proxy for your needs depends on factors specific to your corporate model, customer base, budget, etc. However, many companies that rely on web scraping find residential proxies to be an efficient solution to many of their web scrapping issues. To better understand whether this is the right choice for you, it is important to first learn how residential proxies work.

How Do Residential Proxies Work?

residential proxies work

When you or your company uses a residential proxy to access an outside website, requests from your IP address will go to the remote residential IP address instead of the website directly. The residential server will then send your requests to the website you are sending the request to. When this happens, the website will see the IP address from the residential server rather than yours.

Most residential proxy providers offer several different residential IP locations to their customers. When using a residential proxy service to scrape the web for important data, you can reroute your requests through many cities, states, and countries.

One of the main differentiators between proxies is the kind of remote IP address they offer customers. Residential proxies work by providing you with proxy IP addresses associated with an actual residential server. The residential proxy is linked to a personal computer or mobile device, which will appear on the website’s end when you send the request for data access. These IP addresses usually belong to actual web users with residential addresses who lease them to web proxy providers. This is one of their main advantages. Websites are generally less likely to flag residential IP addresses from real devices, so residential proxies reduce your risk of bans from important websites when web scraping.

Residential proxy providers also often feature a library of rotating residential IP addresses to circulate through when web scraping. This means you can switch between residential IP addresses when accessing numerous websites or gathering large quantities of data. If one residential IP address is flagged and banded by a website, you can quickly and easily switch to a new one without delays. This is especially useful when you need to scrape significant quantities of data from multiple websites.

Any ban or downtime can throw a wrench into the entire process. But with a residential proxy service, you can switch to a new residential IP address and continue your web scraping uninterrupted.

How do residential proxies work for web scraping?

When it comes to web scraping, residential proxies work by obfuscating specific scraping requests that your IP address sends to other websites. For most companies that rely on web scraping, the most important web data comes from high-traffic websites associated with large companies. The information you will be scraping is often highly specific. For example, you might scrape information on the prices of an item sold by major online retailers by sending multiple price information requests to track price changes. Or you might send web scraping requests to a competitor’s website to track price changes, sales, product availability, or site traffic.

However, more popular websites and larger companies tend to be much savvier when it comes to their data security. This is especially true for web scraping requests, which frequently involve access to large quantities of data outside the framework of normal site browsing behavior. If you try to access data from a competitor’s website, the site administrator can block your IP address to stop you.

Residential proxies work hard to keep websites from identifying web scraping requests as coming from a web scraper instead of a human user. Websites cannot effectively block too many residential connections without blocking actual users.

For web scraping to be an effective use of your company’s time and money, it must procure enough information with as little delay as possible so that you stay ahead of your competitors. By removing costly delays and downtimes that come with website bans, residential proxies work to minimize inefficiency in your web scraping and maximize returns.

Other uses of residential proxies

In addition to web scraping, residential proxies work for many other types of online data gathering and cybersecurity, such as understanding the market, building effective customer profiles, and protecting sensitive data.

Price monitoring

Residential proxies work to monitor shifts in prices for products or services relevant to your company’s particular market. With access to multiple residential servers, you can keep track of prices from competing online retailers without worrying about bans and downtime that can cost you additional time and resources.

Social media management

Today, companies often have to establish an intricate social media presence across several social media platforms. However, many social media companies have protocols to prevent running too many profiles and accounts from one IP address. Residential proxies work to manage multiple social media accounts and build your social media presence without expending time and resources dealing with social media bans.

Search engine optimization

Your company might use bots or other tools to optimize your returns on search engines. But most popular search engines prevent single IP addresses from making too many requests per minute. If your IP address gets blocked, your company may quickly fall behind in search engine optimization. Residential proxies work to hide your IP address behind a residential server and get through costly search engine blocks.

Accessing geo-blocked content

Many websites employ geo-blocked tools to prevent access from IP addresses in certain countries. If your IP address cannot access a particular website due to your location being geo-blocked, a residential proxy works to provide you with a remote IP address from a server in an authorized country to help you access websites you would otherwise be locked out of.


Residential proxies also protect your server from cookies, malware, and other cybersecurity threats. When using a residential proxy, the residential server will intercept potential threats from any website you access and keep your server secure.

Brand protection

Bad actors could try to damage your brand’s reputation by launching malicious ads against your website. When using your company’s IP address, you depend on your cybersecurity protocols to verify all ads and keep malicious ones off your page.

But with a high-quality residential proxy, you can add a layer of security and verification to your website. This will help you better verify all ads displayed on your page and block any malicious ones that may damage your brand’s reputation.

Bulk purchasing with bots

Many companies build their profit margins through bulk purchasing of new, limited edition items from major brands. This type of bulk purchasing is common with retail items like sneakers. When major shoe brands release limited edition sneakers, retailers or independent sellers may use bots to bulk purchase many pairs as soon as they come out.

However, retailers often have security protocols to recognize and block bots from one IP address buying more than one exclusive item in a short period. With a residential proxy, your company can get around these restrictions. A residential IP address lets bots access retail websites from multiple servers, allowing you to get around security programs and make the bulk purchases you need.

Types of residential proxies

Different types of residential proxies are available from various proxy providers. If you are considering using a residential proxy, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each residential proxy type. The best kind of residential proxy for your company will depend on specific factors on your end. Understanding how each residential proxy works can help you find the best type of residential proxy for your needs.

Rotating residential proxies

Rotating residential proxies work with a large library of different residential IP servers from actual user devices. Rotating residential proxies allow users to quickly switch between multiple proxies. You will get a new remote IP address each time you make a new connection to a website.

The main benefit of rotating residential proxies is that they are tough to track and block. With rotating residential proxies, the website will see individual data requests from multiple IP addresses across several locations instead of one singular address. Not only do residential proxies work to prevent websites from tracking and blocking your web scraping requests, but they also help keep your server secure from potential malware from different sites.

Static residential proxies

Static residential proxies work by assigning a single remote IP address to each user. When working with a static residential proxy, you can access a website with a remote residential IP address for as long as you need without switching between multiple IP addresses with each new request.

While static IP addresses lack the rotational benefits of rotating residential proxies, that can be useful when you need to access large amounts of data from one website over a longer period. These proxies work particularly well for websites that require logging in and ensure privacy on your end when accessing a single website for an extended period.

Alternatives to Residential Proxies in the USA

other proxies

Industry-leading proxy providers like Rayobyte will offer several types of proxy services in addition to residential proxies.

Mobile proxies

Mobile proxies are a type of residential proxy service that uses proxy IP addresses associated with mobile devices. Mobile proxies can be useful when you need to access data on a mobile site or mobile app. But generally, a standard residential proxy gives you more access options overall. So, a residential proxy will probably be the best option unless you need to focus specifically on mobile data.

Data center proxies

Datacenter proxies use proxy IP addresses associated with large, centralized data center servers rather than individual residential devices. Datacenter proxies usually offer very high data capacities, which can benefit large-scale web scraping or other processes requiring speed and bandwidth.

However, data center proxies only offer one remote server you may share with other users. Residential proxies are often more useful if you need to circulate between several residential servers.

ISP proxies

ISP proxies combine the large IP address pool of residential proxies with the large data capacity of data center proxies. These types of proxies are usually the most expensive proxy service. Unless you need access to large quantities of data very quickly, regular residential proxies will likely be more cost-effective.

How To Set Up Residential Proxies

set up residential proxies

Once you have found the best residential proxy for your needs, the next step is to set your proxy up with your network. Residential proxies work with the specific ports included in your company’s computer network. A “port” is the number that differentiates your IP address from the request recipients in a particular network, allowing multiple users to share network resources on the same device.

Your network’s port information is likely in the “Settings” tab of your browser’s setting page. Most ports are either HTTP, HTTP(S), or SOCKS. While HTTP proxies are the most common, HTTP(S) and SOCKS proxies offer additional security features. Once you have identified your network’s ports, you can start setting up the residential proxy itself.

Each proxy should have a specific protocol for setting it up within your network, and the proxy provider should include comprehensive information on how to set it up. In most cases, however, the setup process requires you to open your web browser and enter the new IP address into the proxy field. Different web browsers may have slightly different procedures for opening new IP addresses, so double-check that your proxy IP address is open in the web browser you are using.

After opening the residential proxy IP address in your web browser, the next step is to enable the proxy with your provider. This process may vary depending on whether you use HTTP, HTTP(S), or SOCKS ports. But most often, you will log in to your proxy’s platform, find your desired authorization on the platform’s dashboard, click on it, enter your IP address, and hit “enable IP.” Your network will likely take about half an hour to enable the change of the system authorization. Once the authorization is complete, you can use your new residential proxy address.

Can You Use Residential Proxies Anywhere?

can you use residential proxies anywhere

Residential proxies work by connecting your devices to residential IP addresses from other parts of the world. Because the IP address is already remote from your devices, you can generally use residential proxies anywhere. As long as you have access to a computer or mobile device on which the residential proxy has been enabled, you can use your rotating or static residential IP address from your device.

Locational issues may arise concerning geo-blocking from the IP address of any residential or static proxy your server may connect with. But, in general, you should not have any difficulties connecting your device to the residential proxy from anywhere in the world with an adequate internet connection.

How Much Do Proxies Cost?

Residential proxies can be a bit more expensive than other types of proxies due to the number of residential IP addresses they offer. High-quality proxy providers must rent their residential proxies from actual users, which factors into the ultimate cost. But this cost comes with numerous benefits regarding access and web scraping efficiency, so the higher upfront investment can pay off in the long term.

Most payment plans for residential proxies work based on a set price per a specific quantity of data. For example, Rayobyte’s start residential proxy plans work up to $15 per gigabyte of data. Other proxy providers may offer different payment plans for different types of customers. Rayobyte features different residential proxy plans for individual, corporate, and professional clients (among others). Each plan is based on each customer’s usage and budgetary needs.

How to get free residential proxies

Free residential proxy services are often lower quality and may offer fewer residential IP addresses than professional proxy providers. The good news is that many residential proxy providers offer free trial periods for new customers. Depending on the provider, free trial periods can last up to one week. Other proxy servers offer free credits for new customers, while others may include money-back guarantees for customers who have already paid for the service.

Residential proxies for sale

When browsing for different residential proxies for sale, it’s a good idea to compare the different features of each provider. Most major providers offer residential proxies in the USA, while bigger ones offer residential proxies in countries worldwide. Look into a provider’s network uptime, IP library size, costs and payment plans, and the types of ports their proxies can integrate with.

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Learn How Residential Proxies Work With Rayobyte

rayobyte is best residential proxy provider

When shopping for a new residential proxy service, it’s important to understand how residential proxies work and how different proxy services can meet your company’s needs. This is especially true if your company relies on proxies for web scraping large quantities of data. Rayobyte understands the importance of speed, convenience, and efficiency when it comes to web scraping with a proxy. That’s why Rayobyte’s residential proxies work to meet all client needs and budgets while never straying from a core focus on ethical proxy usage.

If you are looking for a new residential proxy for your web scraping needs, you can visit Rayobyte’s website for comprehensive information on all proxy offerings and blog for information on how residential proxies work, how to set them up, and how to maximize your results. You can also look at Rayobyte’s residential proxy payment plans to find the best option for you, and get in touch with Rayobyte to start your free trial today!

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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