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The Best Residential Proxies: Top 9 Providers of 2020

Residential proxies are IP addresses assigned to households. In other words, these are IPs that belong to someone’s computer, phone, or even smart TV. Such proxies are very hard to block, and they often rotate. That’s why, they have become a popular choice for not only hiding your IP address or accessing geo-restricted content, but also scraping protected websites, automating social media, and buying limited edition items, such as sneakers.

There are dozens of residential proxy providers out there. With so many options, it can be hard to choose a service that would meet your needs best. This page was made for just that. We tested and ranked the best cheap, premium, backconnect, and other residential proxy services to help you.

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Best Residential Proxy Service #1 – Smartproxy
Rating
9.2

Best Residential Proxy Service – Smartproxy

Smartproxy offers 10 million IPv4 residential proxies. They cover 195 locations, use backconnect servers, and perform very well with most websites. The proxies are easy to set up, making Smartproxy a good choice for beginners and pros alike. And somehow, the company manages to offer all this at below-average prices.

PROS

+ Fast and reliable proxies
+ Great value for the price
+ Many locations
+ Easy setup
+ Chrome extension
+ 24/7 customer support
+ Money-back guarantee

CONS

No SOCKS5 proxies

Oxylabs
2
Rating
9.0/10
Oxylabs

Oxylabs ranks a very close second. With 32 million residential proxies, easy integration, and a dedicated account manager, the company provides a very compelling package that few can equal. The proxies are not just for show, too – we’ve tested them to be great performers. That said, Oxylabs mainly targets customers with bigger needs, which is reflected in the pricing plans.

PROS

+ Many proxies
+ Best overall performance
+ All countries and cities
+ Dedicated account manager
+ Free trial, money-back guarantee

CONS

Expensive
Higher entry threshold

Luminati
3
Rating
8.9/10
Luminati

The largest proxy provider Luminati has much to offer: over 35M fast residential proxies, professional support, and all the features you could want. But the quality of its residential IPs has fallen behind the other leaders, and the pricing plans might cause confusion. As a result, we’ve placed the company third despite its overall strengths. 

PROS

+ Huge number of proxies
+ Very customizable
+ All countries and cities
+ 3G/4G mobile proxies
+ Chrome extension
+ 7-day free trial

CONS

 Expensive
 Confusing pricing plans
– Hard to use for beginners

4
Geosurf
Rating
8.7/10
Geosurf

The fourth in the list Geosurf is all about quality over quantity. The company has 2.5M residential IPs – which is less than some of the other providers – but all of them are really good. The proxies are advertised to cover every country and city in the world. You can also expect a dedicated customer support agent. 

PROS

Reliable workhorse proxies
Many countries and cities
+ Dedicated support agent
+ Browser extensions
+ Free live session

CONS

 Expensive
Only HTTP(S) available

5
Netnut
Rating
8.6/10
Netnut

NetNut takes pride in a special proxy technology that should make its IPs FAST (that’s the main selling point) and hard to block. The feat is achieved by routing traffic directly through ISPs instead of end users’ devices. In reality, our tests show that both the speed and performance are decent, but not the best.

PROS

+ Static residential proxies
+ Good speed & performance
+ In-house infrastructure
+ 24/7 customer support
7-day free trial

CONS

 Only 50 locations
Can’t target cities outside the US
 Risk of subnet bans

6
The Proxy Store
Rating
8.4/10
PacketStream

PacketStream has quickly built a network of around 7M residential IPs. The proxies are located all over the world and come at impressively low prices thanks to the provider’s unusual business model. However, PacketStream is still lacking in some areas to compete with the market leaders.

PROS

+ Performant proxies
+ Very low price
Most countries
+ Free trial

CONS

No city targeting
No SOCKS5
Lackluster customer support

7
Storm Proxies
Rating
7.7/10

Storm Proxies

Storm Proxies used to be a speed king, but other proxies have since caught up. The company’s backconnect residential proxiers are decent for smaller tasks, but take a big hit under more load. They also cover only US and EU IPs. (Which countries? Who knows.) However, the affordable pricing and low entry threshold can entice newcomers of those with smaller needs.

PROS

Unlimited traffic
+ Cheap
+ Free trial
+ Money-back guarantee

CONS

Small proxy pool
No location targeting
Limited for large tasks

8
Microleaves
Rating
7.6/10
Shifter

On the bright side: a huge proxy pool with 26M IPs and unlimited traffic to make use of it. On the not-so-bright side: slow speeds, inability to tolerate high loads, and customer support that takes over 24 hours to respond. We’re on the fence about Shifter, but it still is a respectable choice.

PROS

Large proxy pool
+ Many countries and cities
+ Unlimited traffic
+ Money-back guarantee

CONS

Unimpressive performance
Need to whitelist websites
Geo-targeting costs extra

 

9
Rsocks
Rating
6.8/10
Rsocks

Rsocks offers over 1M residential proxies. They are feature-rich and fast but unfortunately very unreliable. What distinguishes the company is its great customer support and pricing model: instead of charging per traffic used, the packages are time-based. That means you get very cheap residential IPs – but only for short tasks. 

PROS

+ SOCKS5
+ Cheap for short tasks
+ Unlimited traffic
+ Great support

CONS

 Unimpressive performance
 Limited connections
 Plan-based locations
 Expensive for longer tasks

How We Chose the Best Residential Proxy Providers

At the beginning of the year, we ran a proxy market research. There, we consulted 191 experts across 6 verticals. Then, we tested the 9 largest residential proxy providers for 2 months. We looked at their performance metrics (such as speed, connection success rate, performance under load), features, and customer service experience. The rankings above are based on our findings. 

How to Get Residential Proxies

You can buy residential proxies from any of the providers on our list. Many of them offer a free trial or at least a money-back guarantee, so you can try out the residential proxy network without any risk. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use Free Residential Proxies

Free proxies might seem like a good bargain, especially if your needs are small. But are you ready to face the risks? Consider this:

If a proxy network is free, it’s likely that many other people are using it. This will make the proxies slow and crowded, and your experience is unlikely to be good. Free stuff is also prone to abuse, and your IP addresses may quickly become useless. If a network is not crowded, either it’s very new, relatively unknown or – let’s be realistic here – terrible for the task.

Also, and this is very important, by using a proxy you open yourself up for potential abuse. In the best-case scenario, free proxies can embed data into sites you visit, such as ads that wouldn’t normally be there. In the worst case, they can fully log your internet usage or even infect your computer with malware. After all, they need to make money somehow; and if you’re not the customer, then you’re the product.

I’m not trying to scaremonger you, but always be very careful when using a free proxy. We recommend to read: 2 Reasons You Should Never Use a Free Proxy Again.

Frequently Asked Questions About Residential Proxies

What Is a Residential IP Proxy?

A residential proxy is a type of proxy that gives you an IP address issued by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). It not only hides your IP from websites but also makes it look like a real private user is accessing them. This is where the name ‘residential’ comes from. Since traffic from residential proxies looks organic, it hardly causes any suspicion.

How Do They Work?

Residential proxy networks get their IP addresses from real users. This is usually done via various apps: instead of paying for them or watching ads, users are given the choice to share their internet with others. There are full-on dedicated products whose main purpose is to borrow bandwidth in exchange for money, such as Packity. Reputable providers make sure to get their residential proxies through a legitimate channel, with users’ knowledge and consent; this is what separates them from botnet software.

Why Do I Need Them?

Whenever you send a request to a website, it gets routed through another user’s IP address in the process. Let’s say you want to post some classifieds on Craigslist. Without residential proxies, you’ll soon run into limits and won’t be able to add any more things. Multiple residential proxies will allow you to efficiently multiply the number of your listings – and all of them will look as if they came from real users.

How Can I Use Residential Proxies?

  • Online anonymity – a residential proxy hides your real IP addresses from the websites or services you’re accessing.
  • Market research – residential proxy networks allow companies to efficiently gather large amounts of public data, usually via web scraping.
  • Travel fare aggregation – aggregation websites use proxies to collecting pricing information from multiple airlines.
  • Avoiding ad fraud – digital advertisers use residential proxies to check ads in various locales, avoid fraud and malicious activities.
  • SEO – most of the large SEO tools need proxies to efficiently track ranks, audit websites, and research keywords.
  • Limited item copping – sneakerheads from all over the world buy limited edition shoes with the help of residential proxies.
  • Multiple account management – companies and individuals create and manage multiple Instagram, Facebook, and other social media accounts to expand their social presence.

What Are Static Residential Proxies?

Static residential proxies are datacenter proxies in disguise. They come from a server but are registered with an ISP. As a result, websites see such IPs as if they belong to a person’s device and not a data center. Static residential proxies combine the strengths of datacenter and residential IPs. On the downside, they are relatively hard to find and still come in subnets.

What’s the Difference Between Residential and Datacenter Proxies?

Datacenter proxies come from servers stored in powerful data centers. They’re cheap, stable, and fast, but at the same time very easy to detect. Residential proxies borrow IP addresses for real users. This makes them slower and more expensive, but also much harder to spot. That’s why people often use datacenter IPs to scrape simple targets and residential proxies for challenging tasks, such as sneaker copping, search engines, and social media accounts.

How to Check if a Proxy Is Datacenter or Residential?

An IP address give away a lot of info, such as your region, country, and sometimes even city. Using it, you can easily check if you have a residential proxy. Simply go to a website like What Is My IP Address and check the ‘ISP’ field; it will show the Internet Service Provider that issued the proxy. If the name doesn’t sound familiar or you can’t find it on Google — you’re most likely using a datacenter proxy.