Mobile Proxies Ultimate Guide: Everything You Need To Know Before Using 4G Proxies

by Dan Goodin
19 Feb 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."

Nowadays, cellular phones have become the most commonly used devices for accessing the internet, leaving far behind tablet and desktop devices. If you are a constant internet user, you most probably might have already needed to use a proxy in some cases.  

As you are likely aware, there are various types of proxies at your disposal. The decision on the type to pick depends on what you plan to browse and how you intend to do it. Yet, in this article, we are going to focus on portable 4G proxies in particular. We will provide you with the ultimate guide to what it is and how to use it. So, read on.

What are Mobile 4G Proxies?

While browsing the internet, a proxy acts as the go-between, separating you from the internet. 

Browsing without a proxy means that all requests of yours are dispatched directly from your device to the websites you target. This straight connection implies that your IP address, as well as other sensitive information, are detectable for people who are not assumed to see it.

A proxy protects you by retaining your address and other data secure and private. This server hides your actual IP address by collecting your browsing requests and directing them using theirs instead of yours. And, in its turn, all the responses from the websites are first sent to the proxy and afterward, are forwarded to your device. This is the way such services provide you with online anonymity and security.

A 4G proxy is a portable device, like a smartphone or a tablet, with access to the internet using cellular data. This type of proxies hides your real IP address and replaces it with that of the device once you connect to it.

Phone proxy networks work by rotating IPs and forward traffic using multiple portable devices that are connected to a cellular network, be it 3G or 4G. The composition of phone services contains real 3G or 4G connections that the provider distributes to particular portable devices. This structure makes it quite complicated to identify hidden addresses. Thus, it results in improved security, anonymity, and privacy. 

4G proxies are unfailingly authentic. Every 4G address has a real physical device behind it. Using an actual, local IP and, hence, looking like a resident of the particular region makes your internet activities untraceable.

As a rule, phone proxies are used as pools of residential ones. It makes them capable of toggling the cellular addresses and spreading traffic over different devices. In such a way, detecting a masked address becomes extremely difficult. The ultimate result entails a more secure and anonymous connection. Let alone the fact that it is as convenient and accessible as a regular one.

Using a 4G phone proxy implies that they will refresh on every website request during your browsing. Although using the same IP extension during a prolonged period is permissible, it typically restricts this to several minutes. In case a website blocks you, no matter the reason, refreshing the address enables you to get around any blocks. And finally, refreshing the address eliminates most internet connection glitches and issues. Depending on your needs and the type of service, automatic replacing of the IPs can be set at various intervals, like every 25, 45, or 60 minutes.

Main Definitions

What Differs Mobile Proxies from Regular ones?

Here, we are going to dwell on the differences between a portable and a regular proxy as there are several factors to point out. However, if put in brief, the most important distinction is the trust level. Web servers and websites trust a cellular proxy more than a regular one.

For example, take at least social media platforms. Once you are logged in to your account on a desktop, and in case you make continuous IP switching, if you use a regular proxy, then you will be required to confirm that you are human and pass a CAPTCHA.

Meanwhile, your social accounts stay logged in on your cellular phone for years if you do not log out. It remains so regardless of how long the ISP modifies your address. It is the actual proof of how high the trust level of social media websites is to phone IPs.

The thing is that the social media platforms are unable to flag any of your phone IPs because, technically, they are not yours. Any other users can get them the next minute. And in case the address is blocked, they will be the first to suffer when you are given an unblocked address intended for another user. More than that, a block strikes all customers of that ISP.

Whereas a regular proxy does not operate that way. With a regular proxy, you are assigned a list of IP addresses to be employed statically. You can either set them to change by default or rotate the addresses according to your wishes. 

Given that a bounded number of people, which use the same service, employ the IP addresses, websites have a right to block them once they discover any irregularities. Besides, data center proxies apply virtual IPs connected to cloud servers instead of ISPs. Therefore, as soon as they are noticed, they get blocked.

Even though standard residential proxies are sourced from ISPs, they still are rented. They are actually indeed yet linked to locations. It means that there might be thousands (or even millions) of browsing devices – among them desktops, tablets, and phones – from a specific location. The same goes for portable 4G proxies which, on the contrary, are connected to cellular devices.

How are 3G and 4G Mobile Proxies Made and What About 5G altogether?

There are two ways to produce a portable proxy: adopt IP addresses from other people or create SIM card farms.

Adopting IPs from other people operates the same as with residential IP addresses. A provider embeds a piece of code (known as SDK) into famous apps, and customers who download those apps turn into proxy nodes. This approach enables the creation and development of diverse and huge cellular networks. However, the proxy from these networks appears unpredictable as the IP source can be offline at any time.

Whereas SIM card farms utilize USB dongles as well as specific software to build cellular proxy networks. As a rule, these networks are more localized, significantly smaller, and conforming for restricted-scale use. The latter means that you receive access to one IP at once instead of the whole IP pool. On the other hand, this proxy guarantees predictable performance and rotation periods.

And as for 5G, it sounds nice and promises faster speeds and lower latency. Whereas in fact, we are years away from accurate 5G adoption so far. It can take some time until we will be able to experience its benefits.

However, some providers are already trading admission to 5G-only proxy pools. And while they may function a little better, beware of the cost.

Main Descriptions

What Makes IPv4 Proxies So Special?

So, now we know that a proxy mobile IP has the best reputation, given that websites are mostly reluctant to block them. But what are the reasons for that altogether?

The point is the IPv4 shortage. IPv4 is the prevailing protocol of IP address that only maintains over 4 billion original IPs for anyone in the world. More than that, governmental institutions freeze multiple addresses and make them unavailable to the wide public.

Cellular operators have reached the market somewhat belatedly, with most IPv4 combinations being already distributed. Given these constraints, they were forced to service fastly swelling numbers of phone units. Therefore, they have invented something now known as CGNAT technology. It implies that every public IP address embodies hundreds of users behind it.

And now imagine that you are a website and face a dilemma. You either let a phone IP carry out automated actions or you ban it and, thus, jeopardize taking down a hundred other customers? Not an easy decision to make, is it? Thus, it is difficult to get portable IP proxies blocked, meaning they can get away with much more than any other kind of proxy.

Speaking about the price, given that it is not easy to get addresses on cellular connections, their bandwidth is higher-priced compared to broadband. Thus, you most likely will have to pay double in comparison to standard residential IPs.

When Using a 4G IP Address will be of help?

If you are reading this article, you most probably have a particular task in mind that a mobile proxy 4G could help with. Still, being aware of other cases of use could either confirm your choice of service or encourage you to search for better options.

As a rule, a phone proxy is used with the most refined websites. In other words, domains with very strong security mechanisms.

Social media platforms could be considered such an example, especially if you are to manage several Instagram and Facebook accounts. A proxy mobile IP outperforms other alternative options, suffers from fewer blocks and validation prompts. If IP rotation is not too frequent and the following IP appears from the same location, then it is not an issue either. 

Moreover, app developers apply them to check and test phone apps and websites. Whereas ad verification providers control phone campaigns.

Yet, portable proxies are not so popular with regard to web scraping. You are not required to use them for accessing search engines, e-commerce stores, or any other websites. You might want them though in case of a need to collect information from a mobile point of view.

In fact, there are a plethora of other use cases we might not know of yet, and yours can appear as one of them.

Do you remember a situation of encountering a CAPTCHA while trying to access Google with your device being connected to the mobile network? It happens due to a new IP address you are assigned with every time you connect to the 4G or 3G network. As soon as you connect to the network through a portable device, you receive a new IP. And after you disconnect from the internet, your IP gets back to the base of all the addresses and is given to the next user.

If the user, who had your current IP before you, was doing something distrustful online, then Google would flag this IP. And when someone with the same address browses something the next time, Google will make them complete the CAPTCHA.

A mobile proxy will help you escape this predicament. It will hide your actual current IP with another one being clean and not flagged as leery by Google. In case you would like to be sure of never encountering CAPTCHA or getting any other issues because of the 4G IP address you have, then adhere to an individual mobile proxy. A unique proxy will belong only to you, thus you will be the only one who uses it.

When it comes to mobile proxies for managing several social media accounts, managers will definitely find them useful. Since you log out of one account and log into another one, your IP stays the same in case you are connected straight to the wireless or mobile network. You will face problems with that regard as long as social media websites do their best to prevent users from creating several accounts.

That is why those of the profiles that you use for social media marketing will likely get blocked since you log into them using the same IP address. It will signify that these accounts relate to the same person, and social media platforms will block them.

However, using proxies will help you avoid this situation. Given that the IPs will change simultaneously with accounts, the social media system will not consider your activity suspicious. It is even more important for those who work with their clients’ accounts. Getting them blocked because of you is probably the last thing you are striving for. 

Keep in mind one simple rule: stick to the same country for each separate profile. It will look weird if one account logs in from Australia in the morning, from Europe in the afternoon, and from the US in the evening. This, too, will grant social media websites a hint that something is suspicious about this profile.

Another reason for social media managers to use mobile proxies is the need to avoid ad fraud. It enables you to verify that you have targeted ads duly and to control the ads of your competitors being posted. For this purpose, connect to a proxy from a needed country, and the platform will show you the content intended for its audience.

Key Points about a Mobile Proxy Network, in Brief

Here is a brief overview of what to expect from a mobile proxy network: 

  1. It guarantees the lowest number of interruptions and blocks currently available. A 4G IP address will give you the fewest possible problems with websites. It concerns any activities, be it scraping results of Google Search or endeavoring to automate Instagram.
  2. The exclusive IP rotation. Meaning that mobile IPs will inevitably rotate. Those from real users will rotate less predictably and more often. Yet, even with a dongle farm, you will not be able to keep the same IP for a long period of time. Keep in mind that, from time to time, mobile carriers rotate addresses on their end. 
  3. Reasonably high price. Although other alternatives (like residential or datacenter proxies) might cost less, they will not be able to provide proper quality. Not even close.

What about Free Mobile Proxies?

Finding mobile proxies offered for free is easy. However, we do not recommend using them because your needs will not be met whatsoever. 

It is hard to build a mobile proxy network. A provider has to obtain the devices somehow and ensure they stay within a network. They need to set up the system in such a way that a gadget is used only as a proxy once it is linked to mobile data. It is also important to manage proxies properly so that all provider’s customers could always have a sufficient number of IPs they might need. It is a lot of work actually.

With consideration of all the above, a mobile proxy of high quality can not be free. Most probably, free proxy providers are not ethical. If you meet such a service, which charges nothing, then something is wrong with it. Perhaps most of their IPs are already blocked. Or maybe those are not quite mobile proxies yet some cheap datacenter ones. Either way, it is impossible to get quality products or services for free.

Other arguments to stay away from free proxies include the following: they often appear loaded with add-ons, ads, and in some cases, may contain malware that puts your potentially sensitive information at risk.

The Bottom Line

More and more people these days browse the internet via mobile devices. Modern smartphones and tablets provide us with an excellent opportunity to work on the go. The growing importance and employment of mobile devices on a daily basis further supports the necessity to secure those devices and the information we exchange with the world.

Mobile 4G proxies ensure an exceptional solution to current and future data security and confidentiality threats. Just avoid free options, pick the best provider according to your needs, and rest assured to stay safe.

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