What Is the Difference Between Static and Rotating Proxies?

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Choosing the right proxy for a specific use is very important. The decision to use rotating or static residential proxies has to be based on whether you want to use a proxy for business or individual use. Why? Because every proxy type offers a unique set of advantages. 

Knowing the difference between proxy types can be a lifesaver.

Today we are going to take you through the key differences between static and rotating proxies. 

What are static proxies? 

A proxy acts as a gateway between you and the rest of the internet. It assigns you an IP address from the pool of IP addresses that you use to request data from websites or use online services indirectly. The IP address can be real, tied to a physical location, or fake, a generic one. 

Static proxies are also called static residential proxies. Static proxy servers assign you a datacenter IP. The static residential ones assign you a unique IP address attached to a real physical location enabling you to appear as an organic user online.

What are rotating proxies? 

Rotating proxies also provide you with access to a pool of IP addresses. Rotating proxies won’t assign you one unique IP address. Instead, they will assign you a different IP address after a specified amount of time elapses or at random time intervals. You can set these proxies to change your IP address for every new request you make or change it after an IP address has been 5 minutes in use.

The fact that rotating proxies enable you to send requests to servers from different IP addresses translates into enhanced security and online anonymity. Let’s see how these two proxy types are used.

How they are used 

Rotating and static residential proxies are a popular solution across industries, especially in eCommerce. In highly saturated and volatile markets, a key piece of information can mean a difference between success or failure. This is why many businesses use data scraping solutions.

Thanks to data scraping, businesses can:

  • Have an instant insight into pricing policies of their competitors;
  • Identify which keywords the competitors target to rank on the first page of search engine results;
  • Gauge the customer sentiment from online reviews, forums, and social media platforms;
  • Save a lot of time because they don’t need to copy/paste the data into spreadsheets manually.

The problem lies in the servers hosting all these websites that need to be scrapped. 

Data scraping can result in a lot of bandwidth, thus slowing targeted websites. To deliver the ultimate browsing experience, webmasters and server admins deploy various anti-scraping measures. It helps them keep bots or so-called scrappers away. How do they do it? They simply ban the IP addresses from which data scraping requests originate. 

Scraping bots are easy to identify. They generate frequent requests, a high quantity of requests, or both. Plus, they all come from a single IP address. 

This is where proxies come in. Businesses can mask their true IP and enable scraping bots to appear as organic users, thanks to proxies, such as the ones provided by Oxylabs. Using different IP addresses for every request can also help bots pass by as organic users, avoid detection, and complete scraping tasks.

There are not two websites that have the exact same anti-scraping measures. For some, you will need to keep a static IP address for a given amount of time. If this is the case and you have to run a large-scale scraping operation, you will need more than a couple of static proxies. You also might need unique IP addresses which only static residential proxies can deliver.

For others, you will need to change IP addresses frequently. This is where rotating proxies come in. Don’t confuse rotating proxies with proxy rotator, a piece of software that uses static proxies but rotates them to help scrapers avoid detection. Setting up and using proxy rotators can be challenging, especially if you don’t have previous experience.

If you cannot tell which anti-scraping measures a particular website deploys, you have the best chances to avoid detection with rotating proxies.

How are they different? 

There are a couple of key differences between static and rotating proxies. First, static proxies such as static residential proxies will assign you an actual IP address and help your bots appear as organic users. Rotating proxies use generic IP addresses from a big pool. 

The second key difference is that static proxies will assign you one unique IP address. All your requests will originate from this IP address. Rotating proxies will assign you a new IP address, and you get to choose what triggers IP address change. It can be time interval or new request-based.

Conclusion 

Although both rotating and static residential proxies are used for the same purposes, these two proxy types are quite different. Fortunately, it’s easy to understand and remember their differences. Static proxies will assign you one IP address which you’ll use until you disconnect from a proxy, and rotating will change your IP address at random times or for every new request.

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