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What is a Residential Proxy? Short Tutorial on How and Why You Should Use One


Want to better secure your internet connections? Here is everything you should know, including what is a residential proxy.

Each time you surf the internet or you simply go online, you are getting tracked by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and also by the website you are browsing. This means that they will both be aware of your rough location at least because they are able to see your IP address.

This is the reason why proxies exist, but before we reach the main topic of this article, residential proxy, let’s start and discuss some general aspects so you can understand all technical perspectives that will be presented.

What is a Proxy?

So, in order to define the notion of residential proxies, the first thing we need to clarify is the notion of a proxy. The official definition of a proxy is the following: “a proxy is a computer system that facilitates the exchange of data between users on a network.

To translate this definition, a proxy acts as a passing point between the network and your computer.

But why should you consider using one? There are many reasons to do so, but the main one is security.

Proxies – Types and Classes

You need to know that there are multiple classes of proxies, the residential one being just a representative. Smartproxy and Geonode Proxies experts share their deep knowledge on their blog. Just as short classification you also can have, private proxies, shared proxies or data center proxies.

However, their type is another thing and I suggest you check out the table below for more details:

Proxy Types
Forward proxy It passes requests from a private network system to the internet in a secure way
Reverse proxy It passes requests from the web to a private network system in a secure way
Proxy chaining It uses both proxy servers (forward and reverse)
Backconnect proxies It switches between IPs on a regular basis in a short period of time.

To wrap this short presentation up and go to the main subject of the article, you need to understand that each of these 4 types of proxies can “sit” on a residential proxy.

Residential Proxy – Full Details

You know what a proxy is, so it is time to start discussing the main subject of the article – residential proxies.

So, this class of proxy is a mediator that uses an IP address that is provided by an ISP. It is important to understand that every residential proxy address holds a physical location and not only a virtual one.

This means that their IP addresses can specifically spot the position of any device. For a better understanding I will say this, every time somebody connects to the internet from your computer at home, it gives out information about the browser preferences, cookies and gets logged with the real IP address.

As a parenthesis, you should know that a residential IP address is actually an IP address that is attached to a physical device, such as a desktop computer. Usually, online services identify residential IP addresses as actual people, and not as those who use IP addresses from a data center

But why should this be of any interest to you?

Most certainly you have been in the position of browsing the web, trying to get some information on a foreign website but couldn’t access it because you were not from that country. This means that the owners of that website have restricted the access for people that are not accessing from inside the country and this can be done only by reading the IP address of the person trying to connect.

Also, if you’re striving to use bots for social media purposes or scripts for (SEO), you might find out that your IP address was blocked and you can’t access the website that you want anymore.

The good news is that you can use a residential proxy network to bypass these problems.

Residential Proxy Networks

As you can imagine you might need to protect your IP address for several reasons, including to avoid the price increasing of flight tickets after multiple searches (yes, airline companies do this).

But whatever reason you might have, a residential proxy network is one of the best ways to hide your true online “name”. It designates real, residential IPs to you and protects your IP, offering more online anonymity.

However, you should know that search engines will only permit you to obtain a precise number of requests that come from the identical IP address in a minute, so you should not overdo it.

Rotating Residential Proxies

So a regular residential proxy will just hide your real IP and provide a new one. However, there is a better solution called rotating residential proxies that will hide you behind not one but a pool of proxies that switch between themselves from time to time. This means that you will be able to make how many requests you want without being noticed.

So how can you set up your proxy in this way?

Today you can actually find residential proxy services for free, but it is recommended to sign up for a plan that is provided by a trusted proxy provider, so you won’t find yourself in the situation of data leaking or stolen passwords.


This is every basic piece of knowledge that you need to know about residential proxies, unless, of course, you work with servers and IP addresses and in that case, you will need to go deeper into the subject. So, for a fast recap, the biggest advantage offered by residential IPs is anonymity. However, this proxy type is also helpful when harvesting online data and avoiding getting blocked is a must.

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