Guide to Residential Proxies: What is a Residential Proxy & How it work?

Are you looking for never getting blacklisted or blocked proxies when you're scraping?! Residential Proxies are the best option for nowadays! Why? We write an in-depth guide for that!

Do you want to learn about residential proxies and residential IP addresses? It is no news that proxies help in IP address concealing so that one can carry out activities such as web scraping and crawling, social automation, and SEO among others without being blocked.

What is news is that websites are becoming increasingly smart at detecting and blocking proxies. This is because as the use of proxy increases, their abuse also increases, making them a target for website blacklisting.

While website IP blacklisting is rampant, there is some type of IP addresses that are not put under scrutiny – residential IP addresses. These types of proxies are linked to home addresses and as such, are trusted compared to their virtual or datacenter proxies. Proxy providers have made them a target and are been used for identity masking.

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Internet Protocol Addresses (IP addresses) are a string of number separated by dots which serves as a form of identification for computers on the Internet.

What is a Residential IP?

Residential IPs are IPs owned by companies like Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Cox, Comcast, Charter or Time Warner. These are seen as IPs that would be used in a home with real people. IP addresses are assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to their subscribers,Those IP addresses tied to home addresses are known as residential IP addresses.

This means that if you browse the Internet using a residential IP address, you are in a way, giving out your precise home address to the website you’re visiting. Because of the location precision, most websites trust residential IP addresses and do not scrutinize them as they do to other forms of IP.

Here is the deal, proxy providers seize this opportunity to sell these IP addresses to people so that they browse the Internet using a confirmed location. How it works is simple. If you are using a residential proxy, when you make an HTTP request to a website, the request is sent to the proxy server which then routes your request through someone else’s residential address to the website.

What is a residential proxy?

A residential proxy is an intermediate server that uses a residential IP given to someone’s device by an ISP to surf the Internet. Because it uses a real IP address given by an ISP, it is trusted. 

The IP address used can be from a personal computer, a router, a printer, or any form of devices that are Internet-enabled like the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Since they are linked to a physical address, residential proxies are very costly and usually out of the reach of testers, small scale automation specialists, and spam lords among others.

How do Rotating Residential Proxies Work?

How residential proxy works

Residential proxy providers have a pool of IP addresses. When you make a web request to a website through residential proxy servers, they choose any of the available IP addresses in their pool and route the request to the website through them.

For rotating residential proxies, they change the IP addresses they use for your connection either per web request or a stipulated period of time.

  • Session

When IP is rotated by session or request, each web request you sent is routed through a different IP address. This is peculiar to web scraping where you send a good number of requests per minute. With this type of rotation, websites won’t even have a reason for suspicion.

  • Time (sticky session)

However, in the case of IP rotation by time, the IP address they give you access to changes after a period of time. This is most important in social media automation bots like IG bots and FollowLiker, as well as sneaker bots, for you have to need more sticky session time with the same IP.

While rotating residential proxies are more reliable because they make use of the Internet connection of others, they are associated with few problems.

Their Internet connection speed lies majorly in the connection speed of the residential IP been used. Also, the connections suffer from occasion dropping when owners of the device switch off their Internet connection.

  • How Do Proxy Providers Acquire Their Residential IPs?

Residential proxy providers have a large number of residential IP addresses in their IP pool. Bright Data has over 72+ million, Smartproxy has over 40 million, and Soax has over 5 million residential IP addresses in their pool. How do they get these IP addresses? Different residential IP providers have their own way of having IPs under their belt.

However, let use Luminati, the market leader as a case study. They have a free VPN service known as Hola VPN. Before one can use the free Hola VPN, one will have to grant them permission to use their IP and Internet connection. This means that they use the Internet connection and IP addresses of Hola VPN users.

They also have a Software Development Kit (SDK) that developers can implement in their application so their users can subscribe to the service and earn them a commission. As you subscribe to their service, you are giving them permission to use your Internet connection and IP.

Why Residential IPs Get More Trust Compared to Datacenter IPs?

Web server security systems place more trust on residential IPs than datacenter IPs because they are linked to home addresses and are providers by Internet Service Providers. This means that residential IPs are regulated and does not provide any form of immunity. This cannot be said of datacenter IPs that you can have a good number of them without any form of regulation.

You as a tech-savvy individual can set-up a datacenter IP with minimal work from your end compared to setting up a residential IP. Websites are aware of this and have used it as a measure of gauging trust they give both residential and datacenter IPs. Some websites classify residential IPs as good IPs and datacenter IPs as bad IPs.

Related: The Difference Between Residential and Datacenter Proxies.

  • Are Residential Proxies Working for Instagram Management?

Yes, residential proxies work perfectly with Instagram Management. In fact, they are the recommended types of proxies for Instagram management. However, if you are choosing a residential proxy provider for Instagram, make sure they offer static proxies and offer city gateways. You can count on Luminati for these.

  • Are Residential Proxies Working for Sneaker Sites?

Yes, they do. In fact, they are some of the best. This is because limited-edition sneaker makers like Nike and Adidas have strict systems in place to detect proxy requests and block them. Since residential proxies make use of residential IPs, their requests are allowed to pass through.

Do Residential proxies ever get blocked?

Yes, it does happen even though residential proxy providers for marketing reasons claim their residential proxies never get blocked. Personally, I find it deceiving for anyone to say that.

Regardless of whether a proxy is residential or datacenter typed, they still get blocked by websites like Amazon, Instagram, Nike, Facebook, and many other websites.

However, if it does happen, your request will be routed through another residential IP. So yes, it happens, residential proxies get blocked but if it happens, your request is routed through another proxy. This might lead to a slower connection before it normalizes.

What Is a Rotating Proxy? Is the Same as Residential Proxies?

Rotating proxies and residential proxies are not the same. Rotating proxy has nothing to do with the type of proxy but an IP rotation system that mainly used for web scraping. Even though over 90 percent of residential proxies function as rotating proxies, that’s not a yardstick for such a statement.

You can have residential proxies that are rotating and some that are static. Just like in the residential proxies, you can also have datacenter proxies that are rotative and some that are static. In fact, Luminati and Stormproxies provide both rotating datacenter proxies and rotating residential proxies.

  • What to use rotating residential proxies for?

Rotating residential proxies can be used for a number of activities. These include web scraping, price comparison, account management, and marketing research among other activities.

They are perfect for these types of activities because they involve sending a good number of web requests and websites block IPs bombarding them with requests.

Related: How Backconnect Proxies Work: Pros & Cons of backconnect proxies.

Where Can I Buy the Best Residential Proxies?

If you have decided it is time to buy residential proxies, then you can get a good number of them from premium residential service providers. You can read our article on the top 10 residential proxy providers. They are all reliable, secured, and quite affordable.

Bright Data: Most Advanced Choice

Smartproxy: Best budget Choice

Shifter: Unlimited bandwidth Choice

NetNut: Static residential IP proxies Choice

Icedoutproxies: Choice for sneaker sites

  • Can I buy Static Residential Proxies?

Yes, you can buy static residential proxies. A residential proxy service provider can set aside residential IPs for customers who do not want to use it from the rotating pool.

You can buy from those dedicated residential IPs. I know Bright Data and NetNut provide static residential proxies.


Indeed, residential proxy addresses are some of the best proxies that can be used to conceal your real IP address as you carry out your marketing research and data collection work online.

Because they use real IP addresses issued to real devices by their ISP and these are tied to a residential address, they have become the tool of choice among advert companies and premium web scraping services.

However, since you are making use of other peoples’ IP addresses without their consent, you might be engaging in an illegal activity even though the real owners won’t detect their IP addresses have been used somewhere without their consent.

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