The Complete Guide To The Best Proxy Providers

Scraping Robot
August 9, 2023

Whether tracking your competitor’s price changes or doing market research before your next product rollout, you need data to drive successful business strategies. While this has always been the case, there has never been as much data available as there is now. Over 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years.

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Although we’re swimming in an ocean of data, most of it has to be extracted from the internet and parsed into a readable format to be usable. Companies can use web scraping to get there. Web scraping is the process of using automated programs to find and extract data on websites and export it into a form that can be used in data analytics.

Unfortunately, many websites have anti-bot measures, which makes web scraping difficult. Proxies allow you to bypass anti-bot programs to get the data you need, but not all proxy providers are the same. Choosing the wrong proxy provider can bring your project to a screeching halt before it starts, so you’ll need to know how to choose a high-quality, ethical proxy provider.

What Is a Proxy Provider?

know about proxy provider

A proxy IP provider is a company that offers you the use of its proxy servers. Proxies act as intermediaries between you and the website you want to visit. When you use a proxy, you send a request from your device to the proxy server. The proxy server disguises your IP address and then sends your request to the target server. The target server sends a response to the proxy server, which forwards it to you. This process hides your IP address and makes it appear as if your request is coming directly from the proxy server.

There are many types of proxies and proxy providers. Some proxy providers only offer one type of proxy, while others offer many.

Data center proxy providers

Data center proxies are fast, widely available, and cheap. As the name implies, they’re hosted in data centers, making them easy to source. They provide high levels of performance and speed.

Data centers are located worldwide, so if you’re targeting a specific geographic location, there’s a good chance you can find one nearby.

These proxies are great for gaming, anonymous web surfing, and bypassing location restrictions. Unfortunately, they’re easily identified as data center proxies. Because most authentic internet users don’t access the internet with a data center IP address, many websites automatically block them.

Residential proxy providers

Residential proxy providers give you access to residential IP addresses associated with physical locations. This is probably the type of IP address you use at home. You sign up for service with an internet service provider (ISP), and they provide you with an IP address. Residential proxies look authentic because they are. They’re less likely to be blocked by websites, so they’re ideal for scraping — as long as you rotate them regularly.

ISP proxies providers

ISP proxies are a blend of residential and data center proxies. They’re located in data centers, so they have the advantage of data center proxies, such as being fast, reliable, and easy to source. However, they’re registered under the name of legitimate ISPs, so they aren’t as likely to be blocked as data center proxies, making them an excellent option for web scraping.

Mobile proxy providers

Mobile proxies use IP addresses assigned to smartphones and tablets by mobile ISPs. While mobile proxies provide a high level of anonymity, they’re difficult to source, so they’re often the most expensive proxy type. Although they’ll work well for web scraping, there are more efficient choices.

Qualities To Look For in the Best Proxy Providers

qualities in best proxy provider

There’s no shortage of proxy providers on the internet. Proxies are used by Fortune 500 companies, government organizations, researchers, and modern businesses of all sizes. But despite the wide range of legitimate uses, proxies have historically been associated with black-hat uses such as hacking.

Because of this, it’s imperative that you choose an ethical, reliable, and reputable proxy provider. Some factors you should consider when choosing a proxy provider are discussed below.


Look for a provider that has the resources to provide the proxies you need, including:

  • IP pool size: The size of a proxy provider’s IP pool can directly affect its versatility and efficacy. A large IP pool means more unique IP addresses that you can use, which can be particularly beneficial for tasks like web scraping. Providers with small IP pools may be less effective since they must recycle the same IP addresses more frequently.
  • Geographic diversity: If you’re scraping localized data, testing geo-targeted ads, or trying to bypass geo-restrictions, you’ll need a provider that offers IP addresses from specific regions or countries. So, the more diverse a provider’s geographic offering, the more options you have.
  • IP type: As mentioned earlier, there are different types of proxies, such as residential, data center, ISP, and mobile. You may need different types of proxies for certain tasks.
  • Server infrastructure: A proxy provider with robust, well-maintained infrastructure can offer better reliability, speed, and security. Server infrastructure includes physical servers, network hardware, and the software they use to manage and distribute their proxy services.
  • Bandwidth availability: If you have high data requirements, you’ll want to opt for a provider with high or unlimited bandwidth.

Performance and availability

If your proxy provider’s servers are sluggish and overloaded, they won’t be very effective. Consider the following factors when comparing providers:

  • Speed: The speed of a proxy server can determine how quickly you can complete your tasks, which is vitally important for activities like web scraping. Speed can depend on several factors, such as server load, the proxy’s physical location relative to your location or the target server, and the quality of the provider’s infrastructure.
  • Uptime: Uptime refers to the time a service is up and operational. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the total time. A high uptime — think 99.9% — indicates that the service is reliable and rarely experiences outages. A provider with low uptime can disrupt your activities with interrupted services.
  • Load balancing: Load balancing is the practice of distributing network traffic across multiple servers to ensure no single server becomes overwhelmed with traffic. Good proxy providers will have efficient load-balancing mechanisms to ensure optimal performance even during peak times.
  • Concurrent connections: If you have high-volume data operations, you’ll need a provider that can handle many simultaneous connections without slowing down.


The features a proxy provider offers can significantly affect how effectively and efficiently you can complete your tasks. Here are some of the key features the best proxy providers offer:

  • IP rotation: Sending multiple requests concurrently from the same IP address will get you blocked faster than anything else, so automatic IP rotation is a must for web scraping.
  • Dashboard: A user-friendly interface can make managing your proxies much easier. Some providers offer advanced dashboards where you can control settings, view usage statistics, and handle other management tasks.
  • API access: Some proxy providers offer API access, which allows you to integrate their services into your applications and automate tasks. For example, Scraping Robot exposes a single API endpoint that effortlessly allows you to get the data you need — and eliminates the need to manage proxies.


Your reputation is one of your most important assets. Don’t compromise it by associating with unethical or illegal proxy providers. Top proxy providers will be upfront about the following issues:

  • Resource acquisition: Some disreputable proxy providers may use unethical means to acquire their resources, such as using malware that takes control of unsuspecting users’ devices and uses them as part of their proxy network. The best residential proxy providers will happily tell you how they source proxies, including their compensation policies.
  • Usage policies: Ethical proxy providers will also enforce strict usage policies that prohibit illegal activities and restrict activities that could harm other internet users or the network’s performance, such as sending too many requests to a specific server in a short period.
  • Respect for privacy: Ethical providers respect their users’ privacy by anonymizing user data. They also avoid logging user activity and sharing user data with third parties.

Proxy Providers To Avoid

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Doing business is expensive, so it makes sense to save money whenever you can. A quick internet search turns up over 43 million results for “free proxy provider.” Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to proxies, you get what you pay for.

At best, free proxies are overloaded and sluggish. Because they’re so crowded, you’re more likely to get booted out than be able to successfully submit your request.

Even if you get through with a free proxy provider, you’ll likely get blocked because of the bad neighbor effect. If the previous user violated a website’s policies, the IP address will be useless because of a previous block.

At worst, free or cheap residential proxy providers can expose you to threats such as cyberattacks, malware, and identity theft. Some free proxy providers have a careless lack of effective security protocols, but others are deliberate scams to steal your data.

Final Thoughts on Proxy Providers

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Proxies can be complicated, even for the tech-savvy. As you’ve seen, much research goes into choosing a good proxy provider. At Scraping Robot, we understand that even experienced development teams can get frustrated dealing with the hassles of web scraping. After all, when you just need the data, you don’t want to put in the time and effort to keep up with every new anti-bot protection.

Scraping Robot can handle blocks, CAPTCHAs, proxy management, and browser scaling so you can focus on getting valuable metadata and moving your business forward. Sign up today to learn how we can help you succeed.

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