Awareness of the need for cyber security today has led to hundreds of millions of VPNs being downloaded, and proxies are being used far more in business, and by some individuals than ever before.
There are somewhere in the region of 27 million websites using reverse proxies to increase security and stop cyberattacks today. But, it is forward proxies that are most likely to be used to make business processes more efficient and to simply make browsing more fun.
Forward proxies include data centers, mobile proxies, and residential options also. And it is the latter that appears to have the most benefits, but how exactly can residential proxies help you?
Who needs to use residential proxies?
Anyone who goes online regularly, shares personal information over the net, conducts business digitally, or just surfs casually, should have some form of cyber security. Normally this would mean anti-virus software, firewalls, and perhaps a VPN for home users. For businesses, cyber security is a little more complex.
However, both individuals and businesses can benefit from the use of residential proxies, the only hindrance to the home user is the cost involved, which is why most people use VPNs as a cheaper alternative.
Using a rotating residential proxy network to access the net means that you will be anonymous, and can browse privately. A residential proxy will provide you with an IP address that is assigned to a genuine physical device, making it look as if you are that user.
Generally speaking, residential proxies are used when higher levels of security are required, and to access content that would otherwise be blocked. Below is a little more explanation of these areas, and some other ways that residential proxies could help you.
Buying, collecting, trading, and auctioning sneakers is big business today, but the limited edition and early release shoes can be difficult to get hold of. This is why buying sneakers with bots has become such a big thing now.
Big brands such as Nike and Adidas release limited edition and new sneakers to their loyal fanbase, but getting picked is something of a lottery. And some sneakers are only available in particular regions.
So, sneaker proxies can be used to make multiple accounts to increase the chances of being selected for first pick at limited edition shoes, and bots can help to automate the process.
Access any website anywhere
While sneaker proxies are aimed more at small traders and collectors, one aspect of proxies can benefit both the individual and many businesses.
Residential proxies can allow you to access almost any website anywhere in the world. Ok, there are places that even proxies might not help with such as Russia, China, and of course, North Korea. But, by and large, a proxy will let you into many restricted websites.
Uses for businesses
Being able to access geo-restricted content means that businesses can conduct more thorough market research, advert verification, and pricing comparison analysis in other markets.
Uses for individuals
Individuals wishing to view region-restricted websites are far more likely to be doing so to either save money or increase their entertainment options.
You can use a proxy to get access to special offers that are restricted to certain regions, buy products before the release date in your own country, and watch different libraries on streaming platforms.
Speed up your internet access
This benefit is slightly contentious because proxies like VPNs can sometimes slow down your internet speeds. However, a residential proxy can help you to avoid throttling by masking your IP, and many come with unlimited bandwidth.
Surf the net in private
Online privacy is a concern to everyone these days, and proxies can provide a shield between you and other internet users, especially hackers.
A residential proxy will let you perform online banking, shopping, and conducting other financial transactions while hiding your real location and identity.
When it comes to internet security it can be difficult to understand the differences between VPNs, SOCKS5, and HTTPS, let alone DNS and TOR. But, proxies can take away much of the concern here as they add an extra layer between you and the internet.
Your data will be routed through the residential proxy with your real IP address hidden, and very often, these types of proxies will come with added malware protection too.
Anyone attempting to track your data will be unable to find your real location also as your IP is masked, making it difficult for hackers to cause any damage or data breaches.
Collect data from any website
Data collection can help businesses in numerous ways from lead generation to pricing comparison analysis. It can help with SEO improvements, and scraping data can also give insights into possible future trends.
All manner of public data can be scraped with proxies including hotel prices, flight prices and times, and stock market data. Indeed, one quick Google search for scraping stock market data shows just how many tools are available for this activity which indicates that it is highly popular now, and effective at providing traders with a good ROI.
SEO enhancements can be given a boost through the use of proxies too. Scraping for SEO data can mean you get a great insight into what your competitors are using for keywords and content, and this can give you something of an advantage. Just remember though, your rivals might be doing the same to your site too.
As mentioned under data collection, lead generation can be conducted with proxies. You can scrape social media for profiles, and email marketing lists can be generated by scraping websites for contact details en-masse.
Residential proxies allow huge swathes of data to be extracted from sites at once and then downloaded into spreadsheets or other methods of data capture for future use. When you consider that the average cost per lead in most industries is over $100, it makes perfect financial sense to use residential proxies to generate more.
Use proxies ethically
Something that needs to be taken into account when using proxies is ethics. There are plenty of bad actors in the online world, and proxies can be abused, sometimes accidentally.
A bad actor is someone who attempts to breach security measures to steal data, generally for financial gain. This can mean taking valuable research or intellectual property for instance. Normally, this involves hacking websites, but scraping can be used too.
Data that is in the public eye is fair game as far as data scraping goes. And several court cases have shown the law is on the side of data scrapers, as long as they follow certain rules.
If you are going to use proxies to enhance your business, and data collection is one of your goals, then you have to take into account that you can only use publicly available data from websites.
Residential proxies are often out of the price range for individuals, and data centers or VPNs might provide a more affordable option. Yet, when you consider the price of some limited edition sneakers, there is definitely potential for collectors to make use of proxies there.
Businesses will largely be the biggest winners when using residential proxies, and market research, data collection, and lead generation can all be done with the help of a proxy service.