People tend to get used to tools that work for them. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – as the saying goes. But proxy servers are different from other tools, so it’s not wise to follow such folk wisdom blindly. If one proxy server performs well for an Amazon server, it does not mean it will be great elsewhere.

Checking every possible proxy configuration will take time and money. Consulting with the providers isn’t also very effective as they tend to offer the most expensive options first. I looked into the best providers and listed the most popular proxy configurations. It’s a good starting point if you are facing roadblocks.

Most popular proxies by type of access and protocol used

  1. Shared residential SOCKS5 proxies

Shared residential proxies might not seem a good idea at first. Residential proxies are run on home devices connected to the Internet through networks verified by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Such connections are highly legitimate, as most websites will treat you as an ordinary visitor. However, they used to be slow, but not anymore.

Home internet connections have become much faster in recent years, and many people are now willing to share part of their bandwidth for compensation. Providers have used this opportunity to offer a large selection of residential proxy types.

Shared residential proxies are a great option to lower the costs of acquiring expensive yet legitimate IPs. They are slower than commercial options, but you will compensate for the speed by avoiding IP bans and other restrictions.

The speed is also significantly increased with the right choice of proxy protocol. I recommend choosing a shared residential proxy that supports the SOCKS5 protocol. This protocol uses Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which ensures faster speeds when transferring large data packets. It’s also very versatile, supporting FTP, IPV4, UDP, and other protocols.

A shared residential proxy SOCKS5 protocol might not be the most popular proxy server type. However, it deserves first place on this list because it’s an often overlooked option among those who struggle with proxy configurations. It’s an economical option that works well with most websites if you choose the location well.

  1. Private datacenter HTTP(S) proxies

While shared residential proxies lower the cost of an already expensive product, a pool of private datacenter proxies will increase the reliability of a budget option. Datacenter proxies are created in bulk when running multiple virtual machines on powerful servers. These proxies are fast and use commercial internet connections.

Most such proxies are shared, and while performance-wise, you won’t feel much difference, avoiding IP blocks and having a low downtime rate is only possible with private access. Most serious proxy users have a private pool of at least ten datacenter proxies. Then, you can rotate or assign them for different concurrent tasks.

HTTP or HTTPS protocol proxies are most popular for such proxy pool builds. Datacenter proxies are already fast, so there’s no need to spend extra for a provider that supports SOCKS5 too. Except, of course, when there is no price difference. Then, it doesn’t hurt to have a more versatile SOCKS5 option.

  1. Mobile SOCKS5 proxies

More than half of internet users browse with smartphones. If you are having trouble to avoid detection or if there are any compatibility issues, you should try mobile proxies. They run devices with cellular data, so their IPs are verified by data providers.

Mobile IPs also rotate by default, as cellular towers are always ready to adapt to user movement. Up until 3G, this used to be an issue for the speed of mobile proxies. These days, mobile internet is as fast as residential landline one. So,  you can expect mobile proxies, on average, to perform as well as residential proxies.

Most mobile proxies support both SOCKS5 and HTTP protocols. I suggest looking for providers with the first option available as it generally means that the quality of mobile connections is better. Besides, you’ll have fewer compatibility issues with various software tools.

  1. Private residential proxies

If you really have some budget to spare, go with a private residential proxy. These proxies are often labeled as premium because providers don’t hold anything back with them. You simply purchase exclusive access to an IP address, which ensures you can surf the web with the highest legitimacy.

Be warned that the performance of private residential proxies highly depends on the provider. Some of them sell IPs that have already been heavily used and possibly flagged as proxies. Read some Trustpilot reviews before you spend money.

  1. Shared rotating datacenter proxies

Conversely, if you want the cheapest option available – go with shared rotating datacenter proxies. I recommend using such proxies only for websites that you know don’t have any anti-scraping or bot detection measures. They are also commonly recommended with CAPTCHA solver software or services.

It might be cheaper to purchase such a service and some shared rotating proxies than to purchase premium residential ones. Such an economy of scale becomes more important with the more IP addresses you need.

  1. Private ISP proxies with SOCKS5 support

ISP, also called static residential, proxies aim to strike a balance between residential and datacenter options. They use connections verified by ordinary ISPs but are run on commercial-tier data center servers. Not every provider is able to pull this off, and such proxies are very expensive.

They are popular in some niche web scraping circles where the main problem is to balance speed and legitimacy. Otherwise, I recommend choosing them only when you have lots of money to spare.

Final words

Be sure to consider the proxy server location before trying these proxy types. Generally, you should choose a location closest to your target server. But if you want to maximize your proxy performance with the most popular configurations, look for options that have all of them available.

Proxies from India, the United States, and Germany are usually the ones that most providers have available for all the types listed above.

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