What to Consider When Choosing a Proxy Service Provider
If you want to be sure that your proxies won’t get blocked, you have to pick a right proxy service provider. Choosing a good one takes a bit of time as there are many things you need to take into account. However, the most important ones are the following six:
- Buy proxies only from legitimate businesses
- Choose paid proxies instead of free ones
- Consider the size of a provider’s IP pool
- Check the pricing
- Have a look at a dashboard
- Bear in mind the scope of your project
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper.
1. Buy Proxies Only From Legitimate Businesses
It’s pretty obvious, but we feel that we have to stress it once again: don’t buy proxies from random people on the internet. Make sure that a proxy service provider is a legitimate company because as a legal entity, they will be responsible for any legal issues you might encounter while using proxies.
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If you’re not sure whether a certain provider is legit or not, check out their reviews, and see what other proxy users are talking about them. A great source is BlackHatWorld or Proxyway.com.
2. Choose Paid Proxies Instead of Free Ones
When it comes to paying for proxies, we recommend you to buy your proxies. Using free ones might be tempting, but they are nowhere near as reliable and anonymous as paid proxies. Also, most of the free proxies are shared, and there are a lot of scammers who are willing to use your IP address for their own needs.
If for some reason you still decide to go with free proxies, we recommend using online checkers that let you check which IP addresses are working. You don’t have to do this with paid proxies because they come from legitimate providers, and these providers usually give only working proxies. Moreover, you can always ask for a replacement.
3. Consider the Size of a Provider’s IP Pool
If your project requires the use of proxies from specific locations, it’s always better to go with a provider that has a bigger IP pool. Usually, if a company has more proxies, it can also offer country and city-level targeting. Moreover, with a bigger IP pool comes a smaller number of IP blocks.
As for geo-location coverage, residential proxy providers usually offer a wide variety of locations. If you need proxies in less popular countries, you should always get a list of supported countries and cities before making any purchases.
Bear in mind that a list of supported countries on a provider’s website does not necessarily mean that you’ll be able to pick a required location. Some smaller providers don’t let customers choose the location of a proxy and assign it randomly.
4. Check the Pricing
The other important thing is the price. Shared proxies are usually cheaper than semi-dedicated or dedicated ones. So, if you stumble on suspiciously cheap dedicated proxies, make sure it’s not because they are actually shared ones.
When it comes to pricing, most residential proxy providers charge per GB. The more traffic goes through proxies, the more you pay. If a provider offers unlimited traffic, it might mean that proxies are slow and unstable. You can expect many timeouts and server errors. However, if that’s something that you can deal with or if speed is not that important to you, you can still use unlimited traffic proxies as they are typically less expensive.
5. Have a Look at a Dashboard
Without a dashboard, you’re risk wasting your time and money. Being able to change your credentials, see usage statistics or buy more proxies without contacting customer support gives an advantage for any proxy provider.
Keep in mind that various additional dashboard features add extra value to the service, but they can increase the price. Also, some proxy providers that use whitelisted IPs as the main authorization method increase the price of the proxies if a customer wants to have more than one whitelisted IP.
6. Bear in Mind the Scope of Your Project
When it comes to comparing different proxy providers, it all depends on your project. That’s why some experts, writing reviews on proxy services, choose to go through a bunch of different factors. This way, you can hand-pick criteria that fit your needs. For example, if you’re planning on using proxies for purchasing limited-edition shoes, speed is basically the only important factor. However, if you want to use proxies to access geo-blocked content, the size of the provider’s IP pool will be the most crucial criteria.
Different proxy providers offer a different set of features and benefits. You have to dig a bit deeper and compare various offers to see which proxy provider offers the best value to quality.
As we’ve already mentioned, some factors rely on your project. For example, you might need to filter IPs by country, city, provider, mobile carrier or postcode. If that’s the case, a proxy provider offering various proxy filters should definitely be on top of your list.
Sometimes, choosing one proxy provider over another is simply the question of how much money you want to spend. Of course, expensive proxies are not necessarily better than cheaper ones, but when it comes to dedicated proxies, the price usually reflects their quality.
As for customer support, some proxy users say that it is more important than price. We absolutely agree with this, so make sure that your proxy provider offers 24/7 customer support.