Proxies are intermediaries acting on your behalf when you connect to the Internet. They change your IP address and allow you to bypass geo-restrictions. If you already know that the next step is to choose the type that suits your needs.
This is a difficult task for first-time buyers, since proxies not only come in different types, but also in many subtypes. One of these variations is shared and dedicated data center proxies. But which is a better choice?
Datacenter proxies are named after the facilities in which they are created – datacenters. Imagine a place with lots of servers, cables, and professional IT staff. With data center proxies, you can connect to such a facility first and only then visit necessary websites.
Such a setup sets data center proxies apart from others because they have no affiliation with internet service providers (ISP) and physical devices. Instead, they are created using the commercial-grade internet and virtually with cloud technology.
Data center proxies are the fastest and most affordable type of all. Connecting through data centers is much faster than using ordinary homes, while creating IP addresses virtually reduces server maintenance costs.
The downside of data center proxies is that they are relatively easy for websites to notice. The ISP cannot confirm their location and the IP addresses created on a server are similar. Nevertheless, they are probably the most popular type of proxy, especially for tasks that require a high-speed connection.
Since data center proxies are the fastest and most powerful type, it is common to use them concurrently with others. Shared proxies provide access to a pool of IP addresses that you and others can access equally. Some proxies are semi-shared when the number of users with access to them is limited.
The larger the proxy pool, the better – which is why data center proxies are great for sharing. It is cost effective to virtually create a large number of IP addresses and rotate them for set periods to increase security. Moreover, it allows users to establish unlimited simultaneous connections since, for pricing purposes, only web traffic counts.
Such an approach significantly reduces costs, so shared data center proxies are undoubtedly the cheapest option. Dedicated ones can be twice as expensive, and they’re the second cheapest option you can get. Still, many users choose them due to some disadvantages of sharing.
Compared to dedicated proxies, shared proxies may lack performance if there are many users connecting. This is a rare occurrence with good data center proxy providers. Some of lower quality do not limit the number of users accessing IP addresses or do not have a large enough pool of IP addresses to meet demand.
Legitimacy is a concern for some tasks because other users may have the IP addresses already blocked on certain websites you want to visit or scrape. While this is possible with shared data center proxies, the responsibility lies with the vendor. The best ones rotate IP addresses to avoid bans and regularly check their IP address pool.
Dedicated proxies (also called private) are not shared with anyone else and are assigned to only one user. They have unique identifiers to ensure limited access, but cost much more because all costs must be covered by a single user.
However, dedicated data center proxies have some serious advantages. First, they’re faster because you’re not sharing the bandwidth with others and can have it all to yourself. Also, speed fluctuations are minimal because you are the only user.
Dedicated IP addresses are not available for any purpose without your knowledge. If the IP address is banned, it can only be your fault. So by using them with care, the risk of bans is almost non-existent.
The only drawbacks, besides the high price, come from unreliable suppliers. A low-quality dedicated proxy can perform even better than a shared data center proxy from a trusted vendor. So if you don’t have particularly large tasks and want to save some money, shared data center proxies might be a better option.
Price is a clear advantage for shared data center proxies, while speed and legitimacy go hand in hand with dedicated proxies. Of course, this does not mean that shared data center proxies are prohibited or incapable. They are usable in most scenarios, but the dedicated ones are superior in comparison.
Bandwidth allocation is also flexible with both. It is common to allow unlimited concurrent sessions with these proxies since you have a pool of IP addresses and only pay for the web data used.
While shared data center proxies give you thousands of auto-rotating IP addresses, with dedicated addresses you’ll pay extra to expand your pool of private IP addresses. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, since some tasks require many IP addresses, while others only need a few legitimate and well-performing addresses.
For example, a view bot might benefit more from shared data center proxies because a large amount of available IP addresses are crucial. However, when you need to scrape a popular website, the shared IPs may already be blacklisted.
The applicability is similar as both types can perform the same tasks – from anonymous browsing and bypassing geo-restrictions to web scraping. However, dedicated proxies will achieve the same results faster and more consistently. They are best for tasks that you consider very important.
Locations are also diverse between shared and dedicated proxies with most providers. One or two countries may differ, but the most popular regions – North America and Europe, are covered by both types. It’s more of a red flag for vendors if they don’t support those regions.
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Dedicated data center proxies are clearly the best choice when you don’t consider price. If costs are an issue, opt for shared proxies. For some ordinary tasks, the disadvantages of shared data center proxies are not crucial. Upgrading to a more expensive option will remain a possibility, and you have to start somewhere.