Datacenter vs Residential Proxies – Key Features, Principle of Work, Differences

by Dan Goodin
25 May 2022

"Proxy & VPN Virtuoso. With a decade in the trenches of online privacy, Dan is your go-to guru for all things proxy and VPN. His sharp insights and candid reviews cut through the digital fog, guiding you to secure, anonymous browsing."

Your IP address is your web identity that holds information about your location, ISP, and even the history of your browser responses. Such a disastrous leakage of data is inadmissible when dealing with some secret data that is supposed to be perfectly saved from disclosure. To keep your identity secret as well as the information stored on your device, use the proxy server or VPN that allows us to visit websites from a completely different IP address, hiding the real one. 

The most popular proxy types used for different private cases as well as business purposes are residential and datacenter proxies. Each of the servers has particular features that distinguish it from the rest provided on the internet. What are they? How do these servers work? Let’s sort it out!

Datacenter proxies

What are datacenter IPs?

Datacenter IPs are servers based in large data centers. Since they are not connected with ISPs, they ensure privacy and high anonymity: no ISP can directly allot the datacenter address. Besides dc proxies, companies offer different applications that make the user experience more convenient. Among such applications are Dedicated IPs for particular websites, DNS System Management, Cloud CDN, etc.  

What is a datacenter proxy? 

Datacenter proxies are proxies issued from data center IP subnets created on data servers. There are many reasons for dc servers to be used but anonymity is still in the first place. Generally, these servers are used for testing purposes but for everyday human browsing purposes they are not the best fit. 

Take into account that among the datacenter proxies there are private and shared types. When private proxies are issued on one hand, shared ones are used by several users at once, which can lead to address blocking on different services and sites. 

How does a datacenter proxy work?

The principle of datacenter proxy operation is not very complicated. The IP addresses are hosted on dedicated servers in a datacenter. The dedicated server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the target site

To enable the proxy, the user needs to enter the proxy server data (proxy IP address, port, and, if necessary, login and password) into the settings of his browser or another program. From the moment when the proxy is enabled, all incoming and outgoing traffic between the user and the target site will go through an additional node – proxy server.

What are the key features?

The main difference between datacenter proxies and other types of servers is that they:

  • have static IP addresses;
  • are physically located on servers in data centers;
  • are monitored and maintained by professional teams of specialists.

Let’s focus on each feature in detail.

Static IP address

In simple terms, the client receives a datacenter proxy with an address stable for at least 1 month or as long as the client continues to pay for access to the service. It allows clients to use the same IP in long-term projects and helps to avoid additional verification of created accounts and reduces the likelihood of their ban.

Some providers offer a rotating session along with a sticky one. With this session, the proxy IP will change after a certain period set by the user. Such rotating datacenter proxies can be quite useful for the subsequent promotion of accounts on social networks and for avoiding undesired blocks. 

Accommodation in data centers

Unlike other types of servers, datacenter proxies are controlled by a proxy provider. They can be hosted in their data centers or on servers rented in large data centers.

It means that:

  • the proxy will be available at any time;
  • the connection will be consistently fast thanks to the broadband channel;
  • the probability of a sudden shutdown of the server will be minimized due to powerful equipment and daily backups.

Professional technical support

As a rule, there is a whole team of specialists, including programmers, system administrators, and customer service specialists that support such an advanced system round the clock. So, high-quality 24/7 customer support can be guaranteed. 

Backconnect residential proxies

What are residential IPs? 

A residential IP address is an IP adjusted by your ISP for you to run an internet connection. Once you start a new internet connection, you get a personal address to surf online. It is very important to understand that it is the dynamic IP address that has been managed and shared by your ISP. 

What is a residential proxy?

Residential proxies are servers that come from residential IPs issued by your ISP. They can’t keep personal data private because the ISP knows your IP address which means your anonymity can be easily revealed by contacting a network service provider.

Anyhow, these servers have some advantages. It is worth highlighting stable, uninterrupted operation and the legality of usage. Another important point is that residential IPs enjoy a high level of trust among Internet resources. Accordingly, there are almost no chances to get blacklisted by these sites.

How does a backconnect proxy work?

Like the datacenter proxies, residential servers work as an intermediary between a user’s computer and the target site. The key difference is that the middleman is not a dedicated server in a datacenter but a residential DSL or cable provided by internet users. 

Backconnect residential proxies have some peculiarities in their operation: they do not open a service port, but themselves make a connection to the client. The advantage of this approach is the ability to bypass the firewall (which by default prohibits incoming connections, and allows all outgoing) or NAT on the proxy computer.

What are the key features?

The main difference between residential proxies and other types of servers is that they:

  • have unstable IP addresses;
  • function according to a principle of rotation;
  • have geotargeting;
  • provide a breakthrough or an ability to bypass filters. 

Let’s focus on each feature in detail.

Unstable IP address

Unlike servers hosted in data centers, residential proxy service is not highly stable. Since the devices on which they are installed have different performance, connection options, and bandwidth, hence, they can be either ultra-fast, slow, or even go offline.

Rotation of IPs

Once you access a pool of residential proxies, you will not be able to use the same IP from the pool for a long time. Providers limit the access time to one specific address to 3, 5, maximum of 10 minutes. After this time has elapsed, you will receive a new address.

Most likely, you, as a client, will be offered the opportunity to choose one of two options:

  • New IP with every new request or page refresh of the browser. This option is preferred for scraping large amounts of data from websites and search engines and eliminates the risk of IP blocking.
  • Static IP for a fixed period (up to 10 minutes). In this case, you will be able to complete the necessary actions on the landing page through the same address.

Some providers allow you to use both IP rotation methods at the same time.


Geotargeting is the ability to select proxies from certain regions according to your needs. Depending on the size of the pool and the availability of IPs from specific countries, different providers offer different levels of targeting:

  • Default. In some cases, say forum posting, geotargeting doesn’t matter at all. For such tasks, any random IP from the pool is sufficient.
  • Geotargeting by country. To buy limited goods on websites, for example, in Germany, the presence of German IPs and the ability to select them is critical.
  • Geotargeting at the city level. For posting to message boards such as Craigslist, precision is essential. Here the possibility of dividing American IP into San Francisco and New York will come in handy.

Bypassing filters

Many sites restrict access to their resources for visitors, whose address does not belong to ISP, to cut off bots and prevent automatic scrapping of information, thereby reducing the load on their resources.

Since the residential IP address is in the range of private addresses, i.e. allocated for use by mobile operators and companies that provide access to the home Internet, it does not fall under this filter.

This is exactly the feature of residential proxy servers, for which users are ready to endure all their obvious shortcomings.

Datacenter proxies vs backconnect residential proxies

Benefits of using datacenter proxies

  • Great connection speed. Datacenter IPs are faster than residential IPs because almost all proxies of this type are hosted on ultra-fast dedicated servers in data centers around the world. Thus, it is much easier to find a proxy located near our real location and get a faster internet connection.
  • More stable performance. A dedicated server in a data center is up running 99.9% of the time and provides better and more reliable support.
  • Low price and great availability. Compared to the strong market demand and the lack of supply of residential IPs, the datacenter IP address is cheaper.

Benefits of using residential proxies

  • Websites trust them more. Residential IPs cost more than datacenter IPs but at the same time, they are more trustworthy since they are issued by ISP.
  • Guaranteed reliability and safety. These servers have better protection, so they are widely used because of their reliability and security.

Which is better?

Datacenter and residential proxies are anonymous. They are equally useful for those who need to hide their real IP.

The question is, what is the difference between a datacenter and a residential IP?

Residential IPs are issued by an ISP, while the datacenter proxy comes from some cloud service provider.

To obtain a high level of anonymity, it is better to use datacenter IPs that do not have a direct connection between the provider and the user.

Datacenter proxy providers offer access to a huge database of addresses. If residential proxies offer a large number of IPs, the price will skyrocket. 

Some platforms forbid proxy usage when working with them. In this matter, residential IPs win, since they are provided by ISP and can’t be identified as proxies. 

Residential proxies are considered a safer option to use because they are always issued strictly on one hand. If you decide to give preference to data center proxies, we recommend buying private IPs from a trusted provider that will help you to eliminate the risk of possible blocking.


The datacenter proxy is the IP of the secondary collaboration, usually, the provider is the cloud server, while the residential proxy is the IP of the standard internet service provider (ISP) and is associated with a real geographic location or, in simple terms, a regular home IP.

If we need fast and reliable addresses to improve our work efficiency, there is no doubt that datacenter proxies should be our first choice. If we need dozens of addresses to perform various tasks such as creating an account, surfing the web, etc., residential proxies are the best fit.

In most cases, datacenter IP addresses are stable. However, on some sites, the IP detection system may immediately send a red flag to a visitor coming from the datacenter’s IPs. In this situation, residential IPs would be a pretty reasonable choice.

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