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The Shifter service held a unique place in my heart as a proxy review when I started reviewing. At the time, it was the only residential proxy provider with support for unlimited bandwidth usage that could be used for large-scale projects.

Interestingly, this service has grown, rebranded, got better, and added more products. However, it still does have its cons too and both the pros and cons of this service will be revealed to you in this Shifter review. The focus of the review will be on their residential proxies most especially their rotating residential proxies but will touch on others, too.

Shifter Proxy Overview

An Overview of

The proxy service is one of the oldest surviving proxy providers in the market. It was started as Microleaves and focused only on proxy services. However, it rebranded a few years back to Shifter and has added more products since then. Its most notable product is its rotating residential proxies which are backconnect proxies.

However, it also offers static residential proxies too. The service is also notable for its high success rate in web scraping APIs. Shifter is a Britain company that adheres to the rule of law in the country. The service focuses more on entrepreneurs and enterprises and their pricing mirrors that too.

Parameter Feature
IP Type Residential/Static Residential Proxies
Price Charged Port and GB
Price Sample $199.99/ 5 IPs with 200GB  (Monthly)
Pool Of IPs 31+ Million
Proxy Protocol HTTP(S) and Socks5
IP Rotation
  • Each Session
  • Sticky Session (Time)
Filtering/Targeting Countries
Authentication IP Authentication and Username/Password
Speed Average
Free Trial No
Refund Policy 3 days
Support Contact Form, Social Media, and Detailed FAQ
Jurisdiction Location Britain


Proxy Types

The Shifter service offers proxies in two general proxy categories — rotating residential proxies and static residential proxies. However, there are some other proxy types and offerings in the mix of these two. Let's take a look at them below.

Special Rotating Residential Proxies

The special rotating residential proxies are residential proxies that get assigned a new IP after each rotation time. You are given control over the rotation time, giving you better control over your sessions. Supported rotation time is between 5 minutes to 60 minutes.

What makes these special rotating proxies is that you are able to request IPs from any GEO in the world including tier-one countries and also access high-demand websites such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, Gmail, and their likes. These proxies are best used for web scraping and automation.

Some of the use cases include SEO monitoring, marketing research, sales intelligence, talent sourcing, and comparative intelligence, among others.

Special Rotating Residential Proxies for Shifter

In terms of pricing, the special rotating residential proxies are based on ports, but there is a bandwidth limit to throttle your usage. The smallest plan for this is sold for $200 and comes with 5 ports. However, there is a bandwidth limit of 200GB. For 10 special proxies, the price is $300 and has a bandwidth limit of 400GB.

Generally, the more ports you purchase, the cheaper the price per port and the more bandwidth allocation you get. This pricing suggests they only accommodate enterprise users and entrepreneurs operating on a medium to large scale. This is not something small proxy users can afford.

Basic Rotating Residential Proxies

The basic rotating residential proxies are just like the special rotating residential proxies. However, they have two things that differentiate them from the special ones. First, with the basic type, you don’t have access to GEO targeting as the location for your IP is chosen randomly with tier-one countries excluded from GEOs assigned to your requests.

Secondly, you also can’t use them to access high-demand websites such as Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia, and other popular countries at the world level.  So basically, these are rotating residential proxies with limited GEOs and site support.

Basic Rotating Residential Proxies for Shifter

The perk for you is in the pricing as it costs 50% less. The smallest plan for this is sold for $100 and comes with a 200GB limit too. You can use these proxies for the same use cases as the special rotating residential proxies such as web scraping and other forms of automation. However, they are only useful if your target site is not as popular as the ones mentioned and you don’t need IPs from tier-one countries.

Static Residential Proxies

The static residential proxies give you all of the powers of a residential proxies which is basically being undetectable. However, it is also as fat as datacenter proxies since they are hosted on datacenter infrastructures. For these, IPs are not rotated for you, they are static and remain so for as long as you pay for them.

This means you get unlimited sticky sessions, making them the perfect provider for managing accounts on some of the most difficult sites to access via proxies. They are great for automation too and are quite faster than their rotating residential proxy counterparts.

Static Residential Proxies for Shifter

They also support unlimited bandwidth usage and provide you with only tier-one ISPs. You choose the location for this at the time of purchase. Pricing for this starts from $75 monthly and that comes with 25 proxies, putting the price per IP to be $3. The cost per IP is competitive and affordable considering it is an enterprise-level solution. However, its minimum monetary commitment of $75 makes it not affordable to small proxy users.

Sneaker Proxies

The sneaker proxies have their own special utility. These proxies are used for copping limited edition sneakers and other apparel. They are optimized static residential proxies engineered for sneaker copping. Whether you need proxies for Adidas, Nike, Shopify, Supreme, or Footsites, these proxies will work.

You can use them with your favorite bot for your target sneaker sites and it will work. Aside from using these for Sneaker sites, they can be used on other sites too, since they are still sneaker sites. To get the most out of these proxies, use only one of these per account as sharing IPs can lead to detection and block.

Sneaker Proxies for Shifter

The pricing for their sneaker proxies is the same as their static residential proxies. Pricing for this also starts from $75 for 25 sneaker proxies. You can tell they are the same proxies, the only difference is that these ones are selected into a different pool and offer you more reliability when it comes to sneaker copping while the general static residential proxies are meant for all kinds of tasks.

It might interest you to know that you can also use their static residential proxies to cop sneakers too.

Residential Proxy Features

From this section of the review onward, I will focus more on their special rotating residential proxies. First, let’s take a look at the features you get from these proxies.

Price Charged By Port and GB

If you are used to rotating residential proxies from other providers, what you will find different here is bandwidth is not the sole determinant of price for the provided packages. In fact, the bandwidth limit is just there to get heavy users to pay more. But for most users, the bandwidth limit wouldn’t be an issue and this can even be treated as unlimited. The number of ports is the main determinant of pricing.

Take, for example, for the smallest plan, 5 ports will cost you $100 while 10 ports will cost you $150. Their 25-port plan will cost you $300. As you can see, the price per port reduces as you purchase high plans with more ports.

For each of these plans, the bandwidth limit is 200GB, 400GB, and 1TB respectively. Bandwidth, even though places a role does not seem to be quite as important here as the number of ports as they are just limits set against heavy users. In the past, these bandwidth limits didn’t even exist.

Custom IP Rotation Time

If you read the copy on their website, what you are told is that their proxies rotate IPs for you based on a rotation time and you are given control over this timing. For a second, just wait and read that again. By now, you should only know you are not getting a residential proxy that will rotate IPs for you after every request but based on timing.

If you need a unique IP per request, you can use all of the ports you purchased together and rotate them manually. Your own rotation plus their own automatic rotation based on time will make it efficient and effective.

Shifter give you control over the rotation timing for their residential proxies. The timing is between 5 minutes to 60 minutes but the default is 5 minutes. If you want to maintain sessions for more than 5 minutes, you can set it to your own custom timing but it has to be between 5 – 60 minutes.

This custom timing gives you better control over your sessions and makes even their rotating proxies great for account management aside from being proxies for hiding IP footprints.

Large IP Pool and Good Location Coverage Location and IPs

One of the areas the Shifter team got it right is in the size of their pool but considering their target is on enterprise customers, there is no other way. This service has 31 million IP addresses in its pool, making it one of the largest residential pool providers in the market.

As you will find out later in the performance section of this Shifter review, the don’t have as many dead or inactive IPs as some other providers do which leads to too many duplicate IPs being assigned to you.

Aside from the size of their pool, one other interesting feature is the distribution of these IPs across countries of the world. First, there is hardly any country you want IPs from that Shifter does not support.

Secondly, for some of the popularly demanded countries in the IM world like the tier-one countries, it has at least one million for each, giving you better IP rotation support even when geo-targeting is used. This is one feature, not many providers can boast of.

Highly Scalable & Built for Enterprise Usage

Shifter residential proxies were built from the ground up to be scalable since the target customers are enterprise users. There is no limit to the number of concurrent requests you can send and performance won’t be impacted because you send too many requests all at once.

The success rate as you will find out later is impressive and the speed is also fast. The tool is developed focused and friendly. They offer a developer API to make it easy for you to integrate and access their web service programmatically and there is an easy-to-understand documentation provided for that.

Residential Proxy Performance

On the surface, you can tell the Shifter service already looks great. But what about its actually performance, what should you expect? In this section of the review, I will focus on the performance of their service and reveal our test results.

Proxy IP GEO Test

Shifter is one of the residential proxy services that you can say actually supports a good number of locations from across the globe. For many of the other providers that claim to support all countries, most of their IPs are from a few countries (usually even less than 10). For these providers, if you try using the geo-targeting feature for the other countries, all they will be reassigned to you are IPs they have already assigned to you.

But for Shifter, it can be said to have a good GEO distribution of its over 31 million IPs. This means IP rotation can still be effective and efficient for many countries, most especially tier-one countries. Below is a chart showing the distribution of its IPs across the top supported countries.

Proxy IP GEO Test of Shifter Shifter

From the above, it states that over 15 percent of their IPs are from the United States. This is over 4.7 million IPs. With 4.7 million IPs from the United States, you can tell this provider has the IPs to meet your US IP needs and can be said to have one of the largest US IP pools in the market. Aside from the US, it also has millions of IPs in other countries.

In China, it has 3 million, in Brazil it has 2.8 million, in Russia, it has 2.1 million, in Germany, it has 1.9 million, in Spain and France it has 1.7 million each, In England it has 1.5 million, in Canada and Turkey it has 1.2 million each, and in Italy, it has 1 million IPs. For other popular countries, it has a sizeable IP pool too. With these figures, Shifter is the service for you if you do more geo-targeted tasks and need a provider that can meet that need.

Proxy Success Rate Test

Out of 100 requests you send using the Shifter residential proxy network, how many of them will succeed on average and how many will fail? That is what we seek to present to you in the proxy success rate test. And being a service that claims to be highly scalable, we added a stress test to the mix.

We carried out this test by sending 300 concurrent tests multiple times to popular web targets and recording the success rate. Below is the chart that shows a summary of the results against popularly demanded websites.

Proxy Success Rate Test of Shifter Shifter

The average success rate is 93.2%. This is an excellent success rate considering some of the failures are not attributed to proxy failures or blocks. If you take a look at the chart closely, you will see that the success rates for Amazon and Craigslist are the highest at 96% followed by Booking at 95%, and both Adidas and Bing at 94%.

This suggests their network works at its best for e-commerce scraping. The worst results were LinkedIn at 90% and Google-owned products which are Google Search and YouTube at 91%. Even at 90 – 91%, this is a good number and you can be sure their proxies will be undetectable to any site you want to use them on.

Response Time Test

Another performance metric we tested is the response time test. This is used to determine how long you will wait after sending a request to get a response. Residential proxies normally would reduce your speed. But when you have to wait for 2 seconds or more, then it is bad. How does Shifter stand in this regard?

Response Time Test of Shifter Shifter

The average response time of Shifter residential proxies is 1.08 seconds. This value is not the fastest in the market as there are other providers such as Bright Data, Nimbleway, Smartproxy, Soax, Oxylabs, and Proxy-cheap that offer you a response time of less than one second. However, the response time for Shifter can still be considered to be quite fast and an acceptable speed compared to the average in the market.

Unique IP Test

Web scraping is one of the main use cases of Shifter residential proxies. And when it comes to web scraping, rotating residential proxies need to provide you with more unique IPs to avoid exceeding the request limit that will lead to a block. In theory, a good number of providers will claim to offer you unique IPs for every request.

In reality, many of them don’t meet that. So I needed to test that and see how many of the IPs assigned by their service are duplicate IPs. The below is the result of the unique IP test.

IP Duplication Rate by Proxy Providers

From the chart above, the duplicate IP rate of Shifter is 14.17%. At this rate, it means out of 100 requests you sent, only 14 will have an IP already assigned to you reassigned — the rest will have unique IPs. This is one of the best unique IP rates in the market and with this, you won’t get blocked because of too many requests.

While there are other services that perform better in this regard, the difference is not much enough to really make a change in most cases.

How to Use

The Shifter service is a backconnect residential proxies. This means even though it has millions of IPs in its pool, you regimen just one proxy endpoint. It is this endpoint that the network automatically assigns new IPs to after every rotation period.

There is a user dashboard that you can use to purchase proxies, track your usage and balance, as well as get the proxy credentials (proxy address, port, username, and password).  However, the use of her name and password is not compulsory as you can authenticate via IP whitelisting.

There is something you need to pay attention to when using Shifter rotating residential proxies — site support. From the proxy type section, I mentioned that the basic type does not support accessing the popular websites — make sure you don’t forget this but purchase the one you can use to access your target site.

Also, even though you go for the special backconnect proxies, Amazon is disabled by default. To access Amazon using their network, you will need to speak to their customer support team first to activate Amazon for you — activation is free though you must agree to their term of usage.

Customer Support

Shifter is an enterprise-level proxy provider and so, it does have a dedicated team of agents that cater to customer support. First, it has a knowledge base where you are taught most of the things you need to know about their proxies. There is also easy-to-understand API documentation for developers to utilize.

However, when you have the need to speak to their customer support, you will have to do that mostly via email. There is a live chat feature conspicuously displayed, but for the few times I tried to access it on different occasions, it didn’t work.

Customer Support of Shifter Shifter

I sent them an email on a Sunday morning and got a response in just an hour that same Sunday. Suffix to say, their email support is swift and you won’t be kept waiting for too long before getting a response from them.

Source of IP

The Shifter service does not own the IPs it routes its client requests through. And this is not only unique to Shifter but to every other residential proxy out there. How they get their IPs is simple, they have their app installed on devices of regular Internet users (either mobile or PC) and then with that, they are able to route your requests through, using their IP and bandwidth.

Some providers state the specific apps they use and the model — whether they pay compensation or give an app to be used for free and have their SDK installed. In the case of Shifter, the actual detail is not made known. For this reason, we can’t specifically say whether they follow all the ethical means possible or if there is some element of unethical practices involved.

Do We Recommend

The Shifter service is an enterprise-level proxy provider and its network is built to be highly scalable in other to meet the demands of its enterprise customers. One of its unique selling ports is the way its plans are charged which is based more on a number of ports than bandwidth.

This makes it favorable for tasks that consume a lot of bandwidth. For one, its proxy pool size and location coverage are good and performance great. However, it is not a friendly provider to small proxy users as you need a minimum of either $100 or $300 to use their special or basic backconnect proxies respectively.

Alternatives to

As with other providers, Shifter does have areas that might not be the best for you. If you want it to be good or expensive, then you can make a choice from one of the alternatives below.

Bright Data Bright Data Overview

Recommended for better session control and scraping performance. This provider is our recommended residential proxy network. It gives you full control over your session as you can either get a new IP after every request or configure it to maintain the session for any period from one minute to an hour.

Interestingly, it offers a better performance for web scraping and is affordable because of its pay-as-you-go payment plan. However, it is priced based on bandwidth.


Smartproxy Overview

Remember I mentioned the live chat support does not seem to be functioning as it should? Well, here is a provider that will make customer support a better experience. Smartproxy also has a larger pool and more extensive location support. It does have good session control support and its pricing is affordable.


Soax Overview

Recommended for its granular geo-targeting support. Soax is also an enterprise-level proxy provider. One of its greatest powers is its clean pool which enables it to have a high success rate. It also has support for choosing IPs from specific countries, states, and cities. Currently, it has one of the most accurate geo-targeting support. Its pricing starts from $99 and is a good alternative to Shifter.


Proxy-Cheap Overview

Recommended for a cheaper price. This provider offers one of the cheapest pricing in the residential proxy market and with just $5, you can get 1GB of bandwidth from them. Performance-wise and even in location support and IP pool size, it might not be better than Shifter, however, for small tasks, it is a good alternative and would save you money too.

Our Expert's Review
  • Scaping Performance - 8.6/10
  • Proxy Network - 9/10
  • Proxy Functions - 9/10
  • Customer support - 8.2/10

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