Proxy servers, or proxies for short, are hardware or software that act as a man-in-the-middle. They route network traffic through themselves and, in the process, mask the traffic’s real IP address by assigning a new address. As intermediaries, proxies are the first point of contact for outgoing requests and incoming server responses. In this regard, they act on behalf of a user such that the requests appear to be originating from the proxy rather than the user’s computer. There are different types of proxies, but this article will focus on datacenter proxies.
What is a Datacenter Proxy?
A datacenter proxy is a proxy that is based on the cloud and is technically virtual. It assigns datacenter IP addresses that are affiliated with and registered to the company operating the datacenter. More often than not, these datacenter IP addresses are generated by and linked to powerful datacenter servers. This means that datacenter proxies are powered by high-performance computers and are, therefore, fast.
In addition to being fast, datacenter proxies are cheap. This is because datacenter IP addresses are abundant, given that cloud providers purchase the IP addresses in bulk. But paradoxically, the cheapness comes at a cost. It is easy for web servers to track the datacenter proxies and IP addresses to the cloud provider. This linkage means that datacenter proxies are far easier to detect and flag. To get around this problem, reliable service providers engage certified datacenters and upstream providers with a reputation that precedes them. These are providers who uphold the highest standards of security, reliability, and safety.
Types of Datacenter Proxies
There are two main types of datacenter proxies:
Shared Datacenter Proxies
Shared datacenter proxies assign the available datacenter IP addresses among multiple users simultaneously. Accordingly, users who use a shared datacenter proxy from a given country or region are assigned the same IP address. But in order to prevent the chances of IP bans, some service providers integrate proxy rotation software into the datacenter proxies. These rotators periodically change the assigned IP address.
Shared datacenter proxies are cheaper because the users share the same servers. This allows the proxy service providers to reduce the server maintenance costs because they now only operate fewer. Furthermore, shared datacenter proxies are billed per traffic usage.
At the same time, however, the fact that multiple users get to share the bandwidth and computing infrastructure poses a security and privacy risk. Some users with technical know-how may breach the built-in security and monitor other users’ activities. Users also risk getting IP blocks for the behavior of other users rather than their own.
Dedicated or Private Datacenter Proxies
Dedicated or private datacenter proxies assign every user a unique datacenter IP address. This means that each user uses their own unique datacenter proxy. In this regard, dedicated datacenter proxies offer more privacy and security than shared datacenter proxies. They are also more reliable because the IP address cannot be blocked because of the behavior of another user – the IP address is not shared.
But these benefits are costly – private datacenter proxies are more expensive than shared datacenter proxies because of the associated maintenance cost. Want to learn even more about datacenter proxies? Click here.
Uses of Datacenter Proxies
Datacenter proxies are used for the following use cases:
You can use datacenter proxies to collect data from and about any market. This data can include the number of companies in a particular market, the market size (from industry reports), and perhaps the number of customers. Dedicated datacenter proxies are better suited for this function. This is because the proxy service providers’ pool contains millions of datacenter IPs from multiple countries and regions.
This is a form of web scraping that entails collecting pricing information from other companies’ websites and e-commerce sites. Dedicated datacenter proxies are the better option as they are not prone to IP blocks.
Review and reputation monitoring
You can use shared datacenter proxies alongside web scrapers to gather customer sentiment data from social media sites and feedback from review sites and pages on e-commerce sites. You can also collect data on how news websites cover your products.
Search engine results page (SERPs) monitoring
Both shared and dedicated proxies can be used to collect data from SERPs. You can then utilize this data to craft a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Website change monitoring
You can use shared datacenter proxies to monitor web pages in order to identify changes in prices or available stock. These proxies also enable you to monitor websites whose content is geo-restricted.
Alternative data collection
Alternative data is any data you can use to gain insights that can then enhance your decision-making in business or investment. You can use shared datacenter proxies to collect data on your competitors, including their recently published press releases, open job postings, and more.
Datacenter proxies can be a great addition to your business. This is because you can use them to undertake different forms of web scraping, including market research, price monitoring, review monitoring, and SERP monitoring. You can also deploy them whenever you want to monitor changes in order to identify changes.