In this article, we will take a look at two types of proxies: static and rotating proxies. We will look at their features and how they differ.
What is a proxy?
Each computer that connects to the Internet gets a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address can be used to identify the computer and its geographic location.
So when your computer needs information from the Internet, it sends out a request. The request gets sent to a target computer. The target computer will check what information is being asked for. If it is allowed to give this information to your IP address, it will send the information back.
But there are times when a computer connected to the Internet wants to get information but does not want to be identified. You may want to get information that is normally blocked. To do this and to maintain some measure of anonymity, you can use a proxy.
A proxy is like a link between your computer and the Internet. When you request information, your computer sends this request to the proxy. The proxy will then send the information to the target computer using a different IP address. Thus your IP address remains hidden.
Earlier, proxies were used to protect your computer from being hacked. However, now proxies are used for things like overcoming geo-restrictions or data scraping.
What are geo-restrictions?
Some websites do not permit their content to be accessed by certain countries. For example, there may be websites in the US with content that people in the US can only access. This is an example of geo-restrictions. However, you could use proxies to overcome geo-restrictions.
What is data scraping?
Let us say your company, Company X, wants to keep an eye on your competitor, Company Y. You would like to get as much publicly available information about Company Y from their website, and just like they would be keen to get information about your company.
To stop prying eyes, your company may have put certain measures in place to stop someone from prying or trying to get information from your site. In all probability, your competition has similar measures in place.
Getting as much publicly available information as possible from your competitor’s website is called data scraping and is very common. To do data scraping, you would need to use bots and proxies. Similarly, your competition will use bots and proxies to scrape data from your website.
Residential and datacenter proxies
There are many types of proxies available. Let us first look at the two main proxy types.
Residential proxies are proxies that have actual IP addresses in actual residences. They have unique IP addresses connected to a physical location. Residential proxies are used in data scraping because they seem like genuine computers.
Datacenter proxies, as the name suggests, are proxies generated by a computer in a data center. Datacenter proxies are also used a lot in data scraping, as we will see.
So, residential proxies and datacenter proxies are widely used. But to be effective at data scraping, they need to use one more twist.
Static and rotating proxies
Residential proxies have a fixed IP address. This fixed IP address is called a static IP address or a sticky IP address.
On the other hand, you can get a bunch of IP addresses from a datacenter proxy that is randomly rotated from time to time. Thus, it seems that requests are coming from many different computers and make it difficult to detect. These are rotating proxies.
Differences between static and rotating proxies
There are advantages of each type of proxy. Let us examine the differences between static proxies or sticky IP addresses and rotating proxies using four factors: anonymity, security, stability, and price.
- Static Proxies
- Rotating Proxies
- Since these are sticky IP addresses, they don’t provide much anonymity and are easily traceable.
- Hard to trace because the IP addresses keep rotating. They are more anonymous. However, if the rotating IP addresses from a data center are similar, they will be detected as datacenter proxies and banned.
- Less secure since they can be traced. Open to being hacked.
- More secure since they keep rotating.
- These are highly stable proxies with about 99% uptime. Great for overcoming geo-location restrictions.
- Less stable.
- These are more expensive as they require more resources for their upkeep.
- Much cheaper than residential proxies.
As we can see from the table above, there are advantages and disadvantages of using static or rotating proxies.
You could use many sticky IP addresses with an IP rotator to simulate rotating proxies for data scraping. Or you could use rotating proxies from a data center to do your data scraping.
But to overcome geo-restrictions, you should use static residential proxies.
There are many types of proxies. Two of the main types are residential and data center proxies. Residential proxies usually have a static or sticky IP address. On the other hand, datacenter proxies are mainly used to generate a bunch of proxies that can be used as rotating proxies. Use static proxies to overcome geo-restrictions and rotating proxies for data scraping.
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