A proxy is a computer or software located either remotely or integrated into your device through a configuration that functions as an intermediary. It routes all outgoing requests as well as incoming responses through itself. In addition, it hides the requests’ real IP address(es) and instead assigns a new IP address. There are different types of proxies, which differ based on how they assign these new IP addresses or the type of addresses they assign. In this article, we shall focus on static and dynamic proxies.
Static and Dynamic Proxies
A static proxy is any proxy that does not change the assigned IP address throughout the entire service period. Such proxies are problematic in use cases such as large-scale web scraping, where there is a high likelihood of getting banned. This is because once the assigned IP address is blocked, you cannot proceed with the process you were initially undertaken. And once the identifier or pool gets blocked, you have to purchase another.
In that regard, static proxies are used for suchlike applications as light and anonymous web browsing and accessing geo-restricted content on streaming platforms. In addition, they are preferred when accessing websites that require logging in or creating an account. This is because they ensure continuous sessions as they will not interrupt the browsing experience prompting the website to require you to re-enter your credentials.
On the other hand, a dynamic proxy periodically changes the assigned IP address or pool of IP addresses throughout the period stipulated in the client-provider contract. Dynamic proxies are preferred in instances where IP blocking is common. Web scraping is one such case. They help prevent the banning of addresses, which may affect an entire pool or subnet.
Given the dynamic proxy regularly changes the assigned IP address, it is also known as a rotating proxy. It is noteworthy that the interval between the changes varies from proxy to proxy. Some are configured to assign a different address after a fixed period elapses. On the other hand, others are designed to change the IP address at random intervals, for instance, once a request has been made via the address.
Similarities between Static and Dynamic Proxies
The similarities between these proxies include the following:
- They mask the real IP address by assigning a different one
- They can be used to bypass geo-restrictions
- Static and dynamic proxies can be used in web scraping
- There are several types of both static and dynamic proxies, including static residential proxies, static datacenter proxies, dynamic residential proxies, and dynamic datacenter proxies
Differences between Static and Dynamic Proxies
Static and dynamic proxies differ in the following ways:
|Static Proxies||Dynamic Proxies|
|They maintain the same IP address throughout the lifetime of the service||They periodically change the assigned IP address during the contractual period|
|Static proxies are ideal for light web scraping||Dynamic proxies are suitable for large-scale web scraping|
|They are cheaper||They are more expensive|
Residential and Datacenter Proxies
As stated, there are different types of static proxies. These include static residential proxies and static datacenter proxies. But first, what is a residential proxy? What is a data center proxy?
A residential proxy is an intermediary that assigns real IP addresses that are linked to real users’ devices. These IP addresses are registered and provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to their customers. Residential proxies offer a buffer against IP blocking. This is because they assign IP addresses that belong to real and existing customers. So, blocking such identifiers would affect these customers. And because it is difficult for web servers to distinguish between residential proxy users and ISPs’ customers, they do not block such IP addresses. It is this reason that makes residential proxies ideal for large-scale web scraping.
In contrast, a datacenter proxy is an intermediary that assigns virtual datacenter IP addresses that are generated by powerful datacenter servers. These servers are located in datacenters and belong to large corporations. Given that they are not associated with any actual device, these datacenter proxies are easily flagged and blocked. It is, however, important to note that while some proxy providers offer datacenter proxies, they do not assign these virtual IP addresses. Instead, they assign real IP addresses that are obtained from the ISPs’ datacenters.
Static Residential Proxies
Based on our discussion above, both static residential proxies and static datacenter proxies do not change the assigned IP addresses. Instead, they maintain the assigned identifiers throughout the browsing session. Therefore, to change these IP addresses, the user must contact the service provider and purchase a new IP address or pool of IP addresses.
Static residential proxies, which are reliable and fast, are used in the following instances:
- Social media management
- Anonymous Browsing
- Accessing geo-blocked content
- Ad verification
- Brand monitoring to identify entities that are illegitimately profiting off a brand
The differences between static and dynamic proxies are stark. While static proxies maintain the assigned IP address throughout the service life, dynamic proxies change the assigned address periodically. For this reason, the former type is cheaper than the latter, as you only pay for a single IP address rather than an entire pool.