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The Best Rotating Proxies: Scrape Successfully in 2021

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A rotating proxy server automatically fetches you IPs from a pool of addresses. This lets you avoid CAPTCHAs, rate limiting, and blocks while web scraping. Rotating proxies can be datacenter, residential, or mobile IP addresses.

This page will help you learn about and then choose the best rotating proxy network for your needs. It features only top providers that can handle big loads, offer great performance, and flexible rotation settings. This ensures you’ll get everything you need to scrape successfully, no matter how large or hard your project is.

A list of the overall best providers offering rotating IPs.

  1. Smartproxy – the best balance between features and price.
  2. Oxylabs – the best premium rotating proxy provider.
  3. Bright Data – every kind of rotating proxies with many features.
  4. NetNut – rotating ISP proxies for high-volume scraping.
  5. Zyte (formerly Crawlera) – smart rotating proxies that charge by requests.
  6. SOAX – very flexible rotating residential & mobile IPs.
  7. Infatica – reasonably priced rotating residential proxies for business.
  8. Storm Proxies – cheap rotating proxies with limited features.

Providers that cost below $100 and have more favorable prices per GB/IP.

  1. Smartproxy – an affordable rotating proxy provider with premium features.
  2. Storm Proxies – a cheap but barebones rotating proxy network.
  3. Zyte (formerly Crawlera) – a smart rotating proxy API with low-cost entry plans.
  4. SOAX – affordable proxies with flexible targeting & rotation settings.

Providers that cost above $100 and focus on features & service.

  1. Oxylabs – the best premium option for business.
  2. Bright Data –the most feature-rich rotating proxy provider.
  3. NetNut – the largest ISP proxy provider for scraping in bulk.
  4. Infatica – affordable rotating residential proxies with less flexibility.

How Do Rotating Proxies Work?

Rotating proxies don’t give you a list of IP addresses. Instead, you get one address called a backconnect server. This server functions as a gateway to a provider’s proxy pool: it automatically fetches you new IP addresses, without you needing to do anything. You can get a new proxy every connection request or after some time, usually 1 to 30 minutes.

A backconnect gateway address looks like this: en.proxyprovider.net:10000. You can enter this one address into your web scraping software and forget about it. If you want to use multiple proxies at once, simply change the port number. Some providers allow making further customizations, such as to only draw IPs from a particular country.

Why Use a Rotating Proxy Server?

Like every proxy server, rotating proxies change your IP address and location, effectively giving you a new identity. However, they’re especially useful when you need to make many connection requests in a short period of time. That’s because most websites limit the number of requests you can make from the same IP address: cross the line, and you’ll get rate limiting, CAPTCHAs, or outright blocks.

A rotating proxy server simply swaps out your IP address with a new one. And then again. And again. This way, you never reach the imposed limit, and your web scraper can work uninterrupted.

Which Rotating IP Type to Choose?

Your should consider your project’s scale and how well the target domain is protected.

  • Rotating datacenter proxies. While infrequent, datacenter addresses can rotate. This lets you avoid dealing with lists but also makes you share IPs with others. Their speed and cheap price make rotating datacenter proxies a good choice for scraping unprotected websites or running small one-off projects.
  • Rotating residential proxies. Slower, more expensive, but also much harder to detect. This type is best for accessing well-protected websites or doing tasks that require precise location targeting. Residential IPs are usually the type people refer to when talking about rotating proxy servers.
  • Rotating mobile proxies. The slowest and most expensive option but also one that’s hardest to detect. You can use mobile IPs with almost any target without fear of blocks thanks to the IPv4 shortage. They’re usually too expensive for web scraping tasks and are reserved for social media management.

Comparing Rotating vs Static Proxies

The obvious difference between rotating and static IP addresses is that the former rotate and the latter don’t. This implies that rotating IPs are better when you need to constantly change IP addresses. So, you’d want them for something like web scraping, while a static proxy server would be preferable for managing social media accounts.

It’s a good rule of thumb to follow, but the reality is more nuanced.

For example, it can make sense to get static datacenter proxies if you know what you’re doing and don’t mind setting up rotation by yourself. This will give you fast and dedicated IPs for a significantly lower price.

In the same way, rotating proxies with sticky sessions are actually preferred for things like social media automation. That’s because they require a high level of anonymity, and the residential or mobile proxies that provide it have to rotate by design. Thus, while generalizations are good, the devil always lies in the details.

Main Criteria to Consider

We gave particular attention to the following criteria to make sure the provider’s service is fit for scraping the web:

  • Number of IPs. A large pool will likely have cleaner IP addresses. 
  • Rotation settings. You should be able to select rotation every request or create sticky sessions. 
  • Targeting options. Being able to choose a particular country, city, or even ASN really helps with location-sensitive tasks.
  • Concurrent connections. The more parallel connection requests you can make, the faster you’ll scrape. Rotating proxies are best for high-volume scraping.
  • HTTP(S) proxies. You don’t really need SOCKS5 unless you’re extracting images or video files.

The Best Rotating Proxy Services of 2021

1. Smartproxy

The best balance between features and price. 

smartproxy home page

Smartproxy is a rare provider that combines worldwide locations (which you can target), fast and reliable proxies, and affordable pricing plans. You can choose from rotating residential or shared datacenter IPs. Either option gives you access to the full proxy pool with any plan. Smartproxy lets you make unlimited connections, has an API and extensive help docs for major integrations. We’ve awarded its customer support as the best in 2020. 

On the downside, location targeting boils down to countries, with few city options. And, of course, the traffic-based pricing plans always remind you to mind your expenses. 

  • Proxy types: residential & shared datacenter
  • Number of IPs: 40M residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: every request, 1, 10, 30 mins
  • Targeting options: every country, US states, 8 cities
  • Concurrent connections: unlimited

Pricing:

Residential proxy plans start from $75/5GB ($15/GB). 3-day refund available.

Smartproxy Coupon

Use the code Proxyway to get a 20% discount.

Grab the Offer

Read the Smartproxy review for more information and performance tests.


 

2. Oxylabs

The best premium rotating proxy provider.

Oxylabs primarily sells rotating residential proxies. It also has a large pool of datacenter IPs – they don’t rotate by default, but the company offers a special add-on called Proxy Rotator. Oxylabs positions itself as a business proxy provider, meaning that it assigns dedicated account managers to clients, has extensive know-how about web scraping, and takes care of its proxy pool (which, as we’ve confirmed, works very well). 

It also means that Oxylabs might be a little pricey for individuals or those who have small needs. 

  • Proxy types: residential & private datacenter (with an add-on)
  • Number of IPs: 102M residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: every request, 10, 30 mins
  • Targeting options: every country & city, ASN
  • Concurrent connections: unlimited

Pricing:

Starts from $300/20GB ($15/GB). Business can take a 7-day free trial, others get a 3-day refund. 

Oxylabs Coupon

Use the code Proxyway15 to get a 15% discount.

Grab the Offer

Read the Oxylabs review for more information and performance tests.


 

3. Bright Data

Every kind of rotating proxies with many features.

bright data home page

Bright Data is a market leader with many features and tools. Besides regular residential proxies, you can static residential IPs, rotating datacenter proxies, and even mobile proxies. Bright Data offers powerful control tools like the open source Proxy Manager. Overall, it’s a fine choice for businesses that want all the bells and whistles they can get. You can pay as you go or fine-tune a pricing plan for your needs – some like it, others find it confusing. 

Bright Data has very strict proxy usage and KYC policies, so you might need to defend your use case. It’s not the easiest provider to use, and extra features cost a premium. 

  • Proxy types: shared datacenter, residential, mobile
  • Number of IPs: 70M residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: highly customizable
  • Targeting options: every country & city, carrier, ASN
  • Concurrent connections: unlimited

Pricing: 

Residential proxies start from $500/40GB ($12.5/GB). Businesses get a 7-day trial, others a 3-day refund.

Visit Bright Data
Read the Bright Data review for more information and performance tests.


 

4. NetNut

Rotating ISP proxies for high-volume scraping.

netnut home page

NetNut offers datacenter & residential proxies for search intelligence, price comparison, and general web scraping. The provider recently introduced peer-to-peer residential IPs and a wider variety of pricing plans. Still, it primarily targets clients that really need to scrape at scale. To illustrate: the pricing plans have a request-based option, which starts from $7,500. 

NetNut isn’t an easy squirrel to tame, owing to an absence of documentation and a lacking dashboard (good for stats, no good for everything else). Another downside is that the smaller plans lack features, such as a dedicated account manager or IP whitelisting. 

  • Proxy types: residential & shared datacenter
  • Number of IPs: 20M residential proxies
  • Targeting options: 150+ countries
  • Concurrent connections: unlimited

Pricing:

Starts from $20/1 GB ($20/GB), with an option for a 7-day free trial.

Visit NetNut
Read the NetNut review for more information and performance tests.


5. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera)

 Smart rotating proxies that charge by requests.

crawlera home page

Crawlera’s proxies might be datacenter, but you won’t even notice it. The service works like an API via proxy integration: it takes care of things like headers, cookies, and auto retries to retrieve data with a 100% success rate. We’ve found these proxies to perform very well, especially with e-commerce sites. You can learn a lot about them from the provider’s extensive documentation. 

That said, while smart, the service is also opinionated. It dictates when to rotate and how long to wait before trying again. The proxies have limited locations (though you can order more), and cheaper plans lock features (capped concurrent requests, no support on weekends).

  • Proxy types: shared datacenter
  • Number of IPs: ?
  • Rotation settings: automatic rotation
  • Targeting options: 12 countries + more on demand
  • Concurrent connections: 50-200 based on the plan.

Pricing:

Starts from $29 for 50k requests. 14-day free trial available (10,000 requests).

Visit Crawlera
Read the Crawlera review for more information and performance tests.


6. SOAX

Very flexible rotating residential & mobile IPs.

soax website home page

SOAX offers residential and mobile proxies for small to medium businesses. They cover most of the world and form a respectable pool of IPs. What we liked about this provider the most is that you can specify locations up to a city & ASN level; and that you have many rotation settings to choose from. The lowest is 90 seconds, but you can increase the frequency by paying extra. The highest lets you keep the IP until it becomes unavailable.

What we didn’t like is that the pricing plans give you limited ports; that you have to whitelist IPs to use them; and that the user experience is still incomplete. The actual performance is okay, though the response time could be faster.

  • Proxy types: shared residential and mobile
  • Number of IPs: 5M residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: 90 seconds to as long as available
  • Targeting options: 100+ countries, city & ASN targeting
  • Concurrent connections: 300-600 ports

Pricing:

The residential plans start from $75 for 5GB ($15/GB). 3-day trial available for $1.99.

Visit SOAX
Read the SOAX review for more information and performance tests.


 

7. Infatica

Reasonably priced rotating residential proxies for business.

infatica residential page

Infatica sells rotating residential proxies, which are pretty affordable for its target clients – businesses. The IPs have good location coverage, and the proxy server is pretty robust as far as we’ve tried it. Infatica also tries hard to ensure ethical IP sourcing and use. 

As a relatively new provider, Infatica has made some eyebrow-raising decisions. The IPs use SOCKS5 but only work with website traffic, and the rotation time is fixed at 1 hour, which is a bit too long for our liking. But if you can swallow this and some UX issues, Infatica can get you premium proxies for less. 

  • Proxy types: residential
  • Number of IPs: 10M residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: 1 hour (+ manual rotation)
  • Targeting options: 100+ countries, city targeting (custom)
  • Concurrent connections: unlimited

Pricing:

Starts from $360/40GB ($9/GB). 7-day free trial available.

Visit Infatica
Read the Infatica review for more information and performance tests.


 

8. Storm Proxies

Cheap rotating proxies with limited features.

storm proxies residential page

Storm Proxies sells rotating datacenter and residential proxies. It’s been long known as an affordable option for personal or small business use, which remains true to this day. By going with Storm Proxies, you can expect a simple service at prices starting from $14. Another drawing point is that every plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, even for the residential IPs. 

For the benefits, you’ll be paying in features and performance. The targeting options are very broad, the proxy pool limited, and the plans cap how many connections you can make. The IPs perform okay, though they can’t always keep up with those of premium providers. 

  • Proxy types: shared datacenter and residential
  • Number of IPs: 200,000 residential proxies
  • Rotation settings: every request, 3, 15 mins
  • Targeting options: US, EU, worldwide
  • Concurrent connections: up to 400 ports

Pricing:

Residential proxies start from $19 for 1 port. 24-hour refund available.

Visit Storm Proxies
Read the Storm Proxies review for more information and performance tests.

10 comments

  1. Eman on December 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    When should you try to use rotating proxies instead of lists? Great content, by the way!

    • Chris Becker on December 3, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Eman, rotating proxies are great when you need to make a lot of connection requests. So, for example, in web scraping. They simplify things a lot. Also, if you buy residential or mobile IPs, they’ll likely be rotating, whether you want it or not. That’s just the way they work.

  2. Zacj Jr. on December 15, 2020 at 11:51 am

    cheapest rotating proxy that works well with google?

    • Chris Becker on December 16, 2020 at 8:29 am

      It depends on your experience and the number of requests you’ll be making. Crawlera is great for scraping Google due to its proxy management features; Smartproxy is among the cheaper resi providers to help you avoid blocks; Blazing SEO is very inexpensive in general, but it sells datacenter IPs.

  3. 12345654321 on December 29, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Is it better to use sticky or rotating proxies, if the website is not really protected? I don’t get captchas or blocks.

    • Chris Becker on December 29, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      For web scraping, rotating proxies are better because even weakly protected websites will start rate limiting you if you make too many requests from the same IP.

  4. Dominic on February 17, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Maybe you can suggest decent budget-friendly rotating proxies for cracking?

    • Chris Becker on February 18, 2021 at 8:26 am

      Hi Dominic. Sorry, cracking isn’t really a use case we condone.

  5. Mxdvs on February 17, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Hi, Adam. Thank you for a very informative article.
    I have one questionnaire. You may know which of the proxy providers you has ipv6 rotating proxy in its pool?

    • Adam Dubois on February 19, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Hi there. Do you mean IPv6 proxies in their pool or separate pools for IPv6? If it’s the former, then all providers have some IPv6 proxies, usually a small ratio compared to IPv4.

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