Any project that involves proxies gets expensive quite fast. Each IP address you purchase will require you to pay monthly. And as the project scales, you will need multiple IPs. Those who are looking to save on proxies may turn to datacenter proxies.
These proxies are housed in specialized data centers and hosted on powerful servers virtually. It reduces the prices quite effectively, but you must know what you are sacrificing before rushing to purchase the cheapest option.
Why are proxies so expensive?
To get internet access in your house, you must first contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The provider has different plans based on your region, which mostly depends on the physical network infrastructure they have available. As a rule, more remote locations have costlier internet plans.
After ordering the plan, you will likely need to pay a fee for setting up the internet. The provider must install wires, routers, and other hardware for the connection to work. You will likely need to buy additional routers if you want a wifi connection, for example. Not to mention, the costs of devices that are connecting to the internet.
All these expenses are just for establishing a connection for one or two residential IP addresses. Now, imagine how much a proxy provider must pay to establish and maintain a worldwide network of proxy services. Most providers have locations in hundreds of countries and dozens of different types.
All the hardware and internet access costs add up as the needs of customers scale. We also must add the need for various software solutions, such as browser add-ons and payment systems. Customer support and cybersecurity measures cost a lot of money as well. Yet, I wouldn’t recommend a provider that doesn’t take good care of their customers or networks.
However, these are just general factors of proxy pricing. We get to know a lot more when we consider different types of proxy servers. Private residential proxies, for example, are the most expensive proxies as they require a household user to allow their connection to be used as a proxy.
The person must keep a physical device running for the connection to work, and he must make a profit. It’s only natural that network and electricity prices raise the costs more as they have to be covered by the provider.
The same applies to other types of proxies, such as mobile proxies, which share the connection of mobile internet users. Usually, it involves apps that can create such connections, but the person who gives access to his connection must also be compensated.
How do datacenter proxies reduce costs?
It’s best to steer away from cheap residential and mobile proxies. Not only are they running on sub-optimal software and hardware, but they can be illegal or, at least, unethical. Often, such proxies are sourced by tricking customers of other apps or services to share their internet access.
While the user might have agreed to the terms and conditions, it’s not the most honest way to source IP addresses. The alternative, obviously, is paying those who share their connection and increasing proxy prices for customers. So, how can proxies be affordable and still be sourced ethically?
The answer is datacenter proxies. These proxies reduce the costs for three main reasons – scalability, performance optimization, and avoiding the need for third-party services.
Datacenter proxies are created virtually. Simply put, one powerful device (usually a server) runs software to create hundreds or even thousands of instances that connect to the internet separately. Each such virtual device has its IP address, and that’s why datacenter IPs are created and sold in bulk.
If you purchased a few datacenter IPs, you can be sure your provider can create a lot more than you need now. They can scale or reduce their operation as needed to optimize their costs. It’s why datacenter proxies, unlike other types, are priced per IP address but not per bandwidth used. They are meant to be used on a large scale.
It might seem that datacenter proxies cheap out on performance this way, but actually, the opposite is true. Data centers, where such proxies are created, host professional equipment, which specialists oversee to ensure that everything is as fast as possible. Compare this to a common household, and you’ll understand why datacenter proxies are the fastest type.
Optimizing performance allows datacenter proxy providers to provide cheaper options for customers. It’s common to have shared datacenter proxies, for example, which is way cheaper than purchasing an IP that will belong exclusively to you. Other proxy types lose a lot of performance when shared, but it has little effect on datacenter proxies.
It has much to do with the fact that no third parties are running devices in their home. The providers can choose what equipment to use and optimize it to the extent that the bandwidth cost is insignificant. Datacenter proxies are also not bound by the restrictions of household ISPs.
They frequently cap the data one can send and receive, while commercial internet plans do not have such limitations. However, they have a few drawbacks affecting their efficiency on the web.
Are there any drawbacks?
No one could doubt that datacenter proxies are the most cost-effective type. In many cases, you can purchase a pool of a dozen datacenter proxies for the price of one residential IP. Yet, in some cases, it makes more sense to purchase residential IPs.
Since datacenter proxies are created virtually and use commercial internet, websites see that these IPs are not verified by residential ISPs. They can relatively easily differentiate datacenter IPs if they want to restrict access for proxy users. More delicate tasks might require you to rotate datacenter IPs or use residential or mobile proxies instead.
Despite a drawback of legitimacy, datacenter proxies remain the most cost-effective type. This is especially true if you choose shared datacenter proxies and use them on rotation. The speed and price of datacenter proxies are unmatched.