What is a Residential IP?

The most basic answer: its an IP address provided by an ISP

A lot of times when I’m explaining what I do for a living to someone – more often than not, I find myself explaining what a residential IP is. I don’t blame them; residential IPs are a niche product in the tech industry. There are a lot of people using the internet without general knowledge of what a residential proxy is. They have probably heard of proxies before through the use of VPNs, but residential proxies and VPNs are quite different. Check out Michael’s post on Proxies vs VPN for more info.

Let’s start with the basics, what is an IP address? IP stands for Internet Protocol and the IP address is a unique label that is assigned to a device connected to the internet or a local network. If you are reading this blog post online on your phone or computer, you have one! You can pull it up easily if you Google “what is my IP address”.

Now for the real question – what’s a residential IP proxy?

The direct technical answer is that it is an IP address provided by an ISP, also known as an Internet Service Provider. What this means is that it is a real residential IP with a physical location. It’s easier to visualize this – through an intermediary server, a residential proxy routes your internet traffic. Instead of getting assigned your normal IP address, you are assigned a new and alternative IP address by the proxy server.

Aren’t all proxies residential IPs?

No – datacenter IPs exist. Most VPN services utilize datacenter IPs and although they do a fair job for the average user, residential IPs are superior in anonymity and low block-rate. Even for the average user, they are often faced with lower captcha and blocks. Many websites have taken extra precautions in preventing users using datacenter IPs as it is much easier to spot them. Users using residential IPs have a much easier time navigating their targeted websites.

Where are residential IPs located? Which country should I choose?

We have residential IPs in several major countries but our biggest pool is based in the US. We have millions of proxies at any given moment. With our services you can target by country and by state for our United States proxies. In terms of the country you should use, that answer is up to you. Ask yourself what your goal is with using residential IPs and determine which country is best suited for that goal.

Is a residential IP rotating or static?

Residential IPs are inherently rotating. Internet Service Providers mostly assign IP addresses that are dynamic – meaning that it will change over time without you noticing. There are some companies that talk about “static residential proxies”, but it’s a misnomer. If a proxy is static – it is a datacenter proxy. It is assigned by request to your ISP. It is suited for businesses that have dedicated FTP and web servers.

So what the hell do you guys do?

Well we don’t exactly offer the exact list of IP addresses – we have tens of millions of them. Our services make it much simpler as we are proxy rotating services. Instead of using a list of IP addresses and then rotating it yourselves you can just use our services. This means you can use one of our endpoints and we do the rest of the work for you.

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