Proxy servers have of course, been around for a long time. Over 14 years ago I spent a whole Summer, installing Microsoft ISA server in a variety of businesses as slowly the corporate world decided that having internet access was worth the risk. It sounds incredible nowadays that the issue would ever arise, after all what did we all do in our lunch breaks. There are lots of different types of proxies and you’ll likely be using one in work or college if you have any web access.
The proxy in a corporate network is usually there to act as a central gateway to internet access. Not only does it apply some control but it’s easier to protect a single connected device from internet baddies than thousands of directly connected clients. Nowadays though proxies have different roles as well, millions of people use them to provide anonymity and to bypass the geo-blocks that exist all over the web.
The privacy side is fairly straight forward, if you route your web request through a proxy there’s no record of your address on the web server itself. In order to bypass the various geo-blocks, all you usually need is a proxy server in the same country as the resource you’re trying to access. The concept is actually quite straight forward, to watch something on the BBC iPlayer for example you need to have a UK IP address. Now normally you’d have to be in the UK to have one of these, but if you route your internet connection through a proxy server the web site will see the address of the proxy not your real one. So as long as the proxy is in the UK then you’ll get complete access.
Considering the BBC alone has about ten high quality free to air channels then you can see why people pay a few pounds to receive this sort of service. In fact most people subscribe to one of the VPN services which are more secure than proxies and are usually a little faster.
So What about Residential IPs Proxy
Now for watching a TV show online, or accessing a blocked YouTube video a single connection to a single server is normally sufficient. You don’t need a vast list of addresses available to you, and as long as the VPN servers are not overloaded then you should be fine.
However many people require much more than this primarily for using a variety of automated software. There are computer programs which do online research, post multiple adverts or social media posts, buy goods for resale and so on. People generally use these to make money but there’s an issue – all them simulate multiple users and so require multiple connections to run properly.
Take for example a program called a Sneaker bot, these are programs which attempt to buy multiple pairs of limited availability sneakers. These are very difficult to obtain online so these programs run multiple attempts over and over again until they obtain a pair and then recommence. However if you do this from a single internet connection, the website will detect the bot and ban the address instantly. So in order to run properly it needs a selection of IP addresses which it can rotate through to look natural – you’ll sometimes see them referred to as sneaker proxies.
There is another slight complication in that, many web sites now block any IP address that doesn’t come from a home user – i.e. they block commercially classified IP addresses. So these addresses need to be classified as residential rather than commercial too. These are much less likely to get blocked hence most of these programs need multiple proxies with a residential IP addresses to work properly.
The main issue is that residential IP addresses are much harder to obtain than commercial ones. They are normally only assigned by ISPs (internet service providers) to their home customers and even then only individually. So as you can imagine obtaining large numbers of these is actually very difficult and it’s there equally hard to buy residential ips too. It is likely over the next few years they will become increasingly valuable as more and more websites block access based on the IP classification.
If you’re looking for a decent source of residential proxies then there are a few companies who offer the service. Be careful of one option called the Illuminati Network as these are actually addresses from home users who have installed a free VPN program on their computers. Most people are completely unware that they are having other people relayed through their internet connections as the details are explained in the fine print of their agreements (which few read).
One of the oldest established companies who offer residential IPs on their own dedicated hardware is a company called Storm proxies, you can find their site on the link below. They offer a wide range of different options including dedicated rotating proxies and residential backconnect proxies which allow access to thousands of different addresses.
Try the 48 Hour Trial of Storm Proxies