A Brief Overview and Practical Applications of Data Centre Proxies

Shahzad Masood

Data Centre Proxies

Datacenter proxies are one of the most popular proxy types, standing out in their speed and affordability. Even though they are widely used, datacenter proxies aren’t optimal for every situation. Knowing how they work, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, will allow you to achieve their full potential.

What are datacenter proxies?

Datacenter proxies act as intermediaries, routing your connection requests through third-party data centers. Such centers are often used for running servers to host websites, store data, run applications or cloud services. That’s why they use ultra-fast commercial internet connection and highest-tier equipment.

A data center proxy is created on such servers virtually. One device runs multiple virtual machines that connect to the internet on their own and, as a result, get an IP address. Access to such virtual machines is then sold to customers as datacenter proxies.

This process of creating proxies has a considerable price advantage. Data centers are optimized to transfer large amounts of data cost-effectively. That’s why most datacenter proxies have unlimited bandwidth. Customers only pay for IPs, which are also produced at low costs.

Unlike other types of proxies, there is no need to run a physical device for each IP address. Powerful servers can run hundreds or even thousands of IP addresses simultaneously with little change to performance. Such a result is not just because of equipment but also because of commercial internet connection.

Residential internet plans are more expensive and aren’t optimized for speed. Data centers, on the other hand, use connections unlimited by many of their restraints. However, business connections (internet plans and equipment) have one significant drawback when it comes to proxies – legitimacy.

Datacenter vs residential proxies

Each time you connect to the internet, your device sends a request with your IP address. The characters in your IP are unique and tell a lot about how you connect to the internet. Most notably, each web server can see the name of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and your approximate location.

Residential internet connections have locations that are common for households or other private users. A residential IPS verifies this and can be checked by each web server when you connect. The bulk of online traffic comes from these visitors. A business center server would rarely connect to Amazon and check prices.

That’s why you’ll have difficulty blending in with the crowd with datacenter proxies. Even worse, they are often used by bots or bad actors to overload the servers, so you are likely to face CAPATCHAs or other restrictions. Proxies that use residential IPs avoid all of these issues.

Residential proxies are verified by ordinary ISPs with physical devices running for each IP address. Using these proxies ensures the highest likelihood that you won’t be noticed as a proxy user by the web server. However, compared to datacenter proxies, this option is slow and expensive.

Residential connections and network equipment can’t handle big loads. Often, it’s just a simple laptop running software allowing it to be used as a proxy server. Naturally, you can’t expect high performance from such a setup, but it isn’t cheap as well.

Most residential ISPs don’t allow their customers to use home internet for running proxies. So, finding suitable candidates is difficult, and they need to be compensated for their efforts. That’s why residential proxies can be two or even three times as expensive as datacenter proxies.

If your project doesn’t require extraordinary security and anonymity, you will save money and be more productive with datacenter proxies. However, it all depends on the exact practical application you are planning.

Applying datacenter proxies for web scraping

The internet is full of useful and freely available data. The problem nowadays is to collect and analyse it effectively. That’s where web scraping comes in. It’s the process of automatically collecting online data with bots.

A bot first visits a website to scan it and index everything available, a process called web crawling. Once you know everything available, you can start to extract it. 

A scraper bot then visits the website, loads elements of HTML, Javascript, or CSS, and downloads them to its memory. At first, the data is “raw,” and the user must specify what exactly is needed so that the scraper can convert it to a convenient format (CSV or JSON, for example).

If it seems complicated, don’t worry. From the user’s side, this whole process happens very quickly. The website can receive hundreds of requests from the same bot simultaneously, so most of them limit access to suspicious IPs while trying to prevent the server from overloading.

Datacenter proxies are invaluable for avoiding IP blocks. Only with a large pool of rotating datacenter proxies can a web scraper remain unnoticed and complete the process quickly. Here are the top three practical datacenter proxy applications in web scraping.

Market research

Prices, trends, product specifications, and many other data points are needed for successful business decisions. Collecting it manually is impossible or would take unreasonable time. Scraping such data with datacenter proxies is the best option, especially when you need a lot of data fast.

Online brand protection

While researching your competitors and the market in general is important, businesses must also protect their own image. Scraping the internet for data about misleading reviews, negative comments, counterfeit products, or other damage is the fastest way to react. 

Lead generation

Generating leads with web scraping tools involves finding all the possible information about a potential customer. Their website, social media profiles, press releases about them, and other sources are invaluable for generating leads. Web scraping with datacenter proxies will allow you to collect everything you need to close that sale quickly.


Datacenter proxies are fast, affordable, and reliable intermediaries for many business and personal use cases. Other types of proxies might be more legitimate, but they are no match in practical applications for web scraping. Datacenter proxies supplement this process by helping to avoid IP address restrictions. 

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