Datacenter Proxies vs Residential Proxies: Which is Best?

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Proxy 101

Datacenter and residential proxies are the most common types of proxies on the market. Both reroute user traffic, and mask IPs. That said, they are not the same and they have key differences which would affect their suitability for certain situations. In this article, we explore how residential and datacenter proxies differ from one another, compare them, and show you why Proxy Cheap is the best supplier of both. 


What are Datacenter Proxies

Datacenter proxies are intermediary servers located in data centers or server farms that do the work of proxy servers. In other words, they receive and send online requests on behalf of their users, thus changing the IP address and apparent location of the user. 

How do they work?

Datacenter proxies work like any other traditional proxy. They intercept user requests and reroute them through the datacenter proxy server. The server then sends the request to the destination server of the app or website on behalf of the user. 

After processing the request, the destination server sends a response intended for the user. The proxy server receives this response and routes it to the user’s device. To the user, all of these connections appear straightforward. On the other hand, the destination server sees the IP address of the proxy server as the origin of the request. Thus, the datacenter proxy has effectively mediated the connection, hiding the user’s IP address. 

Benefits of Datacenter Proxies

  1. High Speed. Datacenter proxies have an organized setup in the data centers that host them. The infrastructure of the setup is geared towards efficiency and effectiveness. As a result, these proxies are faster and better performing, making them suitable for tasks that require speed. 
  2. Cost-effective. In addition to the speed facilitated by the infrastructure of a data center, these proxies are also cheaper. They are generally cheaper than residential proxies and much cheaper than mobile proxies. Their affordability makes them scalable, and a smart choice for large-scale operations. 
  3. Scalability. When you combine the fact that data centers can provide blocks of IP addresses with the affordability of their proxies, the prospect of scaling with datacenter proxies becomes an appealing one. 
  4. Reliability. Another advantage of the server farm setup is the relatively stable performance you would get. Datacenter proxies rarely suffer downtimes or network-related interruptions, thus guaranteeing user continuous connectivity.


  1. Higher Detection Risk. Datacenter proxies are reliable but traffic originating from them is easily identifiable as non-residential. This makes users on these proxies easier to detect and block. 
  2. Lower Anonymity. Due to the higher risk of detection, datacenter proxies are less anonymous. While they successfully hide the IP address and location of their user, they make it obvious that the traffic is passing through a proxy. As such, they are less stealthy. 
  3. IP Blacklisiting. Because data centers own their IP addresses in blocks, websites can maintain lists of datacenter IP address ranges. They can then blacklist these addresses, automatically rejecting requests originating from them.

Example Use Cases

Web Scraping

Due to their high speed, reliability, and scalability, datacenter proxies are suitable for data and web scraping operations. Their infrastructure also ensures that they can deal with large data downloads and handle multiple requests and tasks simultaneously without a significant drop in performance. However, their relatively detectable nature means they are best on websites not keeping a datacenter IP blacklist or employ anti-scraping mechanisms. 

SEO Monitoring

SEO professionals can use datacenter proxies to scrape search engine result pages and keyword rankings from various regions. The speed and scalability of these proxies further enhance the process by improving the capacity for data collection and affordability for bigger operations. 

Online Gaming and Streaming

The speed and reliability of these proxies make them perfect for online gaming and streaming tasks that require quick connections and few interruptions. Their relative cheapness also means gamers can buy them in bulk for use in evading doxxing attempts and DDoS attacks. 

What are Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies are also intermediaries to web connections. However, rather than using IPs obtained from data centers and server farms, they use those associated with actual residential locations. As such, when they send requests and receive responses on behalf of a user, the traffic still appears to the website’s server as though it originates from an actual user. 

How do they work?

These proxies work just like the datacenter proxies work. They receive and reroute user requests. Then, they receive the responses to those requests from the destination servers of websites and applications, before sending them back to the user. As stated earlier, though, their IP addresses are associated with residential locations. So, even the proxy still appears to be a user connecting from a residential location; just not a user originating from the actual location of the proxy owner.


  1. Elite Anonymity. Because their IP addresses mimic those of residential locations, these proxies blend in with all the other regular web visitors. Consequently, the user is less detectable and more anonymous. 
  2. Lower Block Risk. thanks to their elite anonymity, they are also less susceptible to blocks and bans. They appear as legitimate users, and websites can’t block what they can’t identify.
  3. Geo-targeting. There are many residential proxies and IP addresses available, offering users granular control of their location in the form of country, state, and city-level targeting.


  1. Higher Cost. due to the complexity and difficulty of ethically acquiring residential proxies, they are more expensive than most other proxy types.
  2. Variable Speed and Performance. Though these proxies offer top-shelf anonymity, they are subject to the performance of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assigning the IP address. A poor ISP would mean a slower and poorer-performing proxy for a user and vice versa. 

Example Use Cases

Web Scraping

Residential proxies are also very suitable for web scraping because their anonymity and relative authenticity reduce the risk of IP bans. Furthermore, users can purchase and employ rotating residential proxies that enhance anonymity by regularly switching IP addresses automatically after a set time interval or number of requests. 

Ad Verification

These proxies allow advertisers to view their ads as they appear to web visitors in various locations. These advertisers can then compare the content, placement, and engagement of their ads with those of other regions. 

Social Media Management

Most social media platforms use IP-based restrictions to prevent users from managing multiple accounts. Residential proxies can allow users to manage multiple accounts by associating each account’s activity with a different residential IP address. Dedicated residential proxies, in particular, are suitable for this.

E-commerce Monitoring

Residential proxies can help online retailers monitor and scrape prices and product information for analysis. These proxies will allow business owners to obtain competitor data without flagging any security measures or getting blocked. 

Comparison – Datacenter Proxies vs Residential Proxies

Block Risk

Datacenter proxies use IP addresses associated with data centers while residential proxies use those associated with ISPs and residential locations. As such, where residential proxies might appear to websites and applications as real users, datacenter proxies almost clearly indicate that the traffic from them is from a proxy. This makes datacenter proxies a higher block risk than residential proxies. 


The setup of a datacenter is an efficient one, usually geared towards productivity and cost-effective performance. These features translate to the activity and functioning of datacenter proxies. They are optimized for speed and the handling of large volumes of data. In this way, they differ from residential proxies which can experience variable speeds depending on the performance of the ISP in the particular location they are connecting from. 

Source of IP Addresses

The IP addresses of datacenter proxies come from data centers, which are commercial facilities that provide network and server infrastructure to businesses. As a result, the proxies are high-performing, but they are not associated with residential locations or ISPs used by regular individual web users. Residential proxies, on the other hand, are provided by residential ISPs to the homes of people. As such a person using a residential proxy appears to be connecting from such a home, thus mimicking legitimate residential connections.


As stated earlier, data centers acquire IP addresses in blocks. They also find it relatively easy to acquire and maintain these blocks of addresses. These two reasons make the entire operation of acquiring and managing datacenter proxies cheaper than residential proxies. It is much more difficult to obtain a residential proxy. Oftentimes, providers lease residential IP addresses, pay homeowners to use them, and painstakingly cultivate a pool of them. This is why residential proxies are expensive and datacenter proxies are cheap. 


Datacenter proxies have lower anonymity than residential proxies. It isn’t that these proxies can’t obscure a user’s identity. Rather, the problem is that datacenter IP addresses are easily identifiable, thus they serve as a beacon and compromise the anonymity they create by hiding user IPs. In contrast, residential proxies utilize IP addresses that blend in with other web visitors from residential areas. Consequently, they are ideal for activities requiring high stealth. 

Reliability and Stability

The robust infrastructure of a data center or server farm makes them a reliable source of proxy performance. The average datacenter proxy will provide consistent high-level performance, high uptimes, and top-shelf network support for their users. Residential proxies, though, are dependent on the performance of their ISPs in the location from which they are connecting. If the ISP quality in the area of the residential IP is poor, the proxy activity is going to be poor, and vice versa. Such variability in performance could create problems when used for certain tasks. 

Geolocation Flexibility

Datacenter proxies are numerous but their geographical diversity might be in doubt because their presence requires a data center or server farm in the location. As such, datacenter proxy providers might not have the proxies in some regions or locations. On the other hand, residential proxies are everywhere because ISPs and residential users of the internet are everywhere. Therefore, residential proxy providers can offer more diversity, thus improving the country, state, and city-level targeting they can offer users.


Datacenter proxies are easy to scale up because they have infrastructure more suitable for guaranteeing performance and they are affordable to boot. Residential proxies, though, already strain their resources and infrastructure catering to users in the locations. They are then harder to ethically acquire and maintain, thus making them expensive and less easy to scale with.

Use Cases

Datacenter proxies are suitable for tasks that require speed, and consistent performance, but not high-grade anonymity. This makes them ideal for some forms of web scraping, online gaming, streaming, automated tasks, bulk data extraction, etc. Residential proxies are, however, more suitable for tasks requiring high anonymity, but not necessarily top speed and reliability. Their users popularly use them to create and manage multiple accounts, aggregate content, etc.

How to find the Best Datacenter Proxies

There are many proxy providers on the market. However, none matches Proxy Cheap premium proxies for value. We offer best-in-class proxies at affordable rates and with pricing flexibility for prospective customers wanting more. The proxies we currently offer are:

  • Proxy Cheap Static Residential Proxies, which offer elite anonymity to users.
  • Proxy Cheap Rotating Residential Proxies, which offer automatic IP rotation and are perfect for scraping because of their improved anonymity on residential proxies.
  • Proxy Cheap Datacenter IPv4 Proxies, which offer unrivaled performance using addresses from the Internet Protocol version 4 communication protocol.
  • Proxy Cheap Datacenter IPv6 Proxies, which utilizes addresses obtained from the Internet Protocol version 6.
  • Proxy Cheap Mobile Proxies, which offers similar anonymity to residential proxies using IP addresses associated with mobile device use in the location of your choice.

When using any of the above Proxy Cheap proxies, users can rest assured that they will enjoy:

  1. Responsive Customer Support. We offer experience-specific onboarding to help prospective buyers facilitate purchases and 24/7 support to help users get the best out of our proxies.
  2. Cost-Effective Proxy Solutions. Proxy Cheap offers quality IP addresses, free from damaging histories, and constantly updated to ensure activity and expanding coverage. Best of all, though, is the affordability of these proxies and the possibility of bulk purchase deals to sweeten things for users. Put simply, with Proxy Cheap, you get market-leading proxies at a reasonable price for the present and long term.
  3. Broad Geographical Coverage. Proxy Cheap proxies provide access to 10M+ IP addresses in over 125 locations. We allow our customers to connect to websites and platforms from almost any country. 
  4. User-Friendly Interface. Our friendly interface allows users to purchase, customize, and manage their proxies easily. This interface includes a proxy dashboard through which users can top up their accounts and view their purchased proxies, among other things.

Frequently asked questions

How do datacenter proxies work?

Datacenter proxies work by rerouting user traffic through proxy servers hosted in datacenters. As such, the traffic of the user receives a new IP address, thus conferring anonymity, online privacy, security, and access (where needed). 

What is the difference between residential and datacenter?

The differences between datacenter and residential proxies are few but important. The first difference is the source of their IP addresses. Datacenter proxies obtain their IP addresses from a server farm, while residential proxies use addresses assigned to residential locations by ISPs. As a result, the anonymity afforded by a residential proxy is less detectable and more authentic, compared to that of datacenter proxies. The financial consequence of these differences is that residential proxies are more expensive than datacenter proxies.  

Can residential proxy be detected?

Yes, residential proxies can be detected. Though these proxies provide elite anonymity, certain security mechanisms can help detect the residential proxy of a poor proxy provider. Two such mechanisms are IP address checking and device fingerprinting. If the proxies are being employed for bot activity, behavioral analysis, and advanced algorithms could detect the bot activity, thus exposing the proxy to consequences. 

What is data center IP?

A datacenter IP is an IP address assigned to a server hosted on a server farm or data center. These IP addresses form part of large blocks of IPs owned by data centers. They are also less authentic-seeming than residential proxies but perform better because of the efficiency of their setup.

Augustas Frost

Support Manager

Augustas Frost is a valued contributor at Proxy-Cheap, specializing in proxy-related content. With a knack for simplifying complex topics, he's your go-to source for understanding the world of proxies.
Outside his work, Augustas explores the latest tech gadgets and embarking on hiking adventures.