ISP Proxies vs Residential Proxies — A Quick Guide

The Social Proxy
4 min readFeb 8, 2024

ISP proxies and residential proxies are two kinds of proxies that hide your online identity, but they have some differences.

The first one, ISP proxies, come from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in data centers and usually have dedicated connections. On the other hand, residential proxies come from real people’s devices worldwide, and their IP addresses are linked to actual locations.

While both types of proxies can be useful in different scenarios, they each have their own pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more about ISP and residential proxies.

ISP Proxies: Overview

As mentioned earlier, ISP proxies are a kind of middleman server that directs your internet activity through an IP address given by an ISP. They’re sometimes called static residential proxies because they remain static.

ISP proxies are not as anonymous as real residential proxies because of fixed IP addresses and being based in data centers. However, their dedicated datacenter connection makes them quicker and more reliable than most residential proxies.

Moreover, ISP proxies blend features of both residential and datacenter proxies. While datacenter servers host them, the servers they connect to look at them as authentic residential proxies.

Strengths

  • ISP proxies, tied to legitimate ISPs, draw less attention and are less likely to be marked as suspicious traffic.
  • ISP proxies, equipped with dedicated data center connections, generally deliver faster and more consistent speeds. In contrast, residential proxies may suffer from slower speeds due to the varied internet connections of individual users.
  • Some ISP proxies may offer basic filtering capabilities, potentially blocking malware or suspicious traffic before it reaches your device.

Weaknesses

  • Unlike real residential proxies with changing IP addresses, ISP proxies typically use static IPs linked to data centers. This simplifies tracing and connecting them to you, especially if you engage in suspicious activities.
  • ISP proxies usually have limited subnet (IPs of ISP proxies) diversity and involve smaller ISPs, which makes them easier to block if not regularly refreshed. If one IP is blocked, the same goes for other IPs.

Residential Proxies: Overview

Residential proxies serve as intermediaries between your device and the internet, hiding your online identity using the IP addresses of real individuals. Unlike datacenter proxies, these proxies come from people’s home internet connections, seamlessly integrating your traffic with real internet users.

With dynamic IP addresses and connections to real devices, residential proxies make it much harder to trace your online actions. Additionally, they provide extensive pools of IPs from various locations. You can select specific countries, cities, or even mobile networks to customize your online presence to any location you prefer.

By masking your IP address and utilizing authentic user connections, residential proxies offer significantly enhanced security compared to data center proxies.

Strengths

  • Residential proxies, with their dynamic IP addresses and connection to actual devices, are extremely hard for websites to detect and trace. This makes them perfect for tasks needing maximum discretion, such as market research or getting around geo-restrictions.
  • They help you bypass regional restrictions and reach content that’s not accessible in your area.

Weaknesses

  • Residential proxies might not offer the consistently high performance of dedicated data center servers.
  • Keeping a large pool of real IPs is complex and costly, which makes residential proxies much more expensive than data center options.

ISP Proxies vs Residential Proxies: Comparison

ISP proxies offer fast and stable connections by linking directly to data centers. They provide basic anonymity by masking your true IP address with one from a legitimate internet service provider. This helps you bypass simple geo-restrictions and access websites that might block standard data center IPs. However, their static IP addresses and ties to data centers make them easier to detect and expose by advanced tracking systems. Their limited IP pool also limits the range of locations you can visit.

Residential proxies prioritize stealth and adaptability. Each IP address originates from real people’s devices worldwide, offering high anonymity and precise geo-targeting. You can tailor your online presence to specific countries, cities, or even mobile networks, ideal for accessing region-locked content or participating in geographically restricted events. However, residential proxies may have slower speeds and occasional instability. Their higher price reflects the complexity of maintaining a pool of real user IPs.

Final Words

Both ISP and residential proxies hide your IP address, yet they possess distinct advantages and disadvantages.

If your main concerns are speed and security, an ISP proxy is the better choice. However, if you seek nearly undetectable browsing and the capability to navigate accurately online, a residential proxy proves to be the preferable option.

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The Social Proxy

High-Quality 5G & 4G Mobile Private Proxies in the USA (New York & Texas), United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, and Israel.