Oxylabs vs. Bright Data: Which Is the Best?
Oxylabs and Bright Data are the largest (and probably most advanced) proxy providers today. They target well-off business clients and constantly compete for the top dog position. Each has advantages over the other, but which one is the overall better provider? Let’s find out.
Oxylabs and Bright Data are both excellent choices. Their proxy networks are large, full of features, and exhibit similar market-leading performance. In addition, you can get multiple proxy-based products to simplify your web scraping.
Overall, choosing Oxylabs would give you the same or better performance, proxy pool, and lower price. Going with Bright Data would give you more customizability and access to services that Oxylabs doesn’t have: namely, a Web Scraper IDE and data sets.
Here’s a quick table of the aspects we compared:
|Variety of services||★★★★☆||★★★★★|
|Proxy pool size||★★★★★||★★★★★|
|Visit Oxylabs||Visit Bright Data|
Oxylabs vs Bright Data (Luminati): Overview
|Target audience||Mid to large businesses||Small to large businesses|
|Awards||Best Overall Provider (2019, 2020, 2022)|
Best Premium Provider (2021)
|Best Proxy Ecosystem (2020, 2021)|
Best Tools for Data Collection (2022)
|Trustpilot score |
Oxylabs and Bright Data both were founded at similar times; Oxylabs hails from Lithuania, while Bright Data’s home is Israel. It’s curious how many residential proxy providers come from the latter region: it’s also the HQ of GeoSurf and NetNut.
The providers mainly sell proxy networks. But for these past few years, they’ve been giving increasing attention to proxy-based web scraping tools, such as APIs. Bright Data has gone a step further in this direction with a Web Scraper IDE and data sets.
Oxylabs targets mid to large businesses and is very clear about this. Bright Data, on the other hand, tries to cover the whole spectrum by offering a credit-based pricing model that scales into monthly plans. In reality, the Israeli provider favors larger businesses too – otherwise, it’s simply too expensive.
Both providers show great care to their business practices – they screen customers and have mechanisms to ensure ethical proxy acquisition and use. You can read (or watch) our interviews with Oxylabs and Bright Data to learn more. At the same time, they’re fighting in court against one another, which may impact their position in the future.
We’ve awarded Oxylabs four years in a row for its exceptional service and performance. Bright Data has received several awards as well, mostly celebrating its stack of proxy management tools.
What Exactly Can These Providers Offer You?
|Proxy networks||Web scraping tools|
Oxylabs can offer you every type of proxy network available. You can get IPs from a data center, peer-to-peer proxies connected to Wi-Fi routers or SIM cards, and datacenter addresses registered under consumer internet services (ISP proxies).
Where possible, you can choose proxies in multiple formats. If you need datacenter or ISP proxies, the providers let you buy lists of static addresses; or, you can access a pool of rotating IPs instead. This brings a lot of flexibility.
You can also get four proxy-based APIs for web scraping. Web Scraper API returns the HTML of any website, but it doesn’t parse results. SERP Scraper API, E-Commerce Scraper API, and Real Estate Scraper API can structure their namesake website groups in JSON (and sometimes CSV) for easier processing.
Finally, Web Unblocker is a proxy network with a web scraping layer on top. It functions as a remote web scraper that integrates as a proxy server. It can overcome website protection mechanisms, CAPTCHAs, and retry failed requests to return data with a 100% success rate. The difference from the web scraping APIs is that this service integrates only as a proxy server.
|Proxy networks||Web scraping tools||Other services|
Like Oxylabs, Bright Data can provide you with any type of proxy server available. Once again, you can choose from several formats like static IP lists or a rotating proxy pool.
Bright Data also has its share of proxy-based APIs. Web Unlocker is a counterpart of Oxylabs Web Unblocker, in that it comes as a proxy server and is able to access any protected website. Another tool, Scraper API is specifically designed for work with search engines – it can scrape and structure data from all major search platforms like Google and Bing.
And even if that’s too much work, you can go ahead and buy pre-scraped data sets.
Which Provider Controls a Larger Proxy Network?
It’s a close call but Oxylabs takes the crown.
Looking at advertised numbers alone, Oxylabs controls three largest proxy networks in the world. It has 2 million datacenter addresses, 20 million mobile IPs, and over 100 million monthly residential IPs. These numbers are no joke.
That said, Bright Data is no slouch either. With 72 million monthly addresses, its residential proxy network is the second largest in the market, and the provider controls respectable amounts of mobile and datacenter proxies.
When we tested their residential and mobile proxy networks in practice, both providers had hundreds of thousands unique IPs, beating smaller competitors in countries like the US ten times or more. Compared to one another, Bright Data returned slightly more residential proxies but was convincingly beat in terms of mobile IPs.
Whose Proxies Have More Features?
Bright Data’s, though both providers are stacked.
As premium providers, Oxylabs and Bright Data are very generous in the feature department. With either option, you’ll be able to:
- Use proxies in any country or city in world.
- Target individual countries, cities, and sometimes internet service providers (ASNs).
- Rotate each proxy type on every connection request or create sticky sessions.
- Establish as many parallel connection requests as you like.
- Use the HTTP(S) or SOCKS5 protocols.
Of course, you won’t always have access to all these features at once – it depends on the service. For example, Oxylabs only allows using SOCKS5 with its static proxy networks, and some of its services don’t support city or ASN-level filtering. Overall, Bright Data makes more of the functionality consistently available, so it takes a slight edge.
Here’s a comparison table:
|IPs||2 million (100k rotating)||Unknown||100 million||20 million||1.6 million (20k rotating)||600k||72 million||7 million|
|Type||Shared, dedicated||Shared||Shared, dedicated|
|Locations||78 countries||US & Europe||All countries||~100 countries||~50 countries||All countries|
|Filtering||Country; state & city dedicated only||Country||Country, state, city, ASN||Country, state, ASN||Country, city||Country, state, city, ASN|
|Rotation||Every request, indefinite sessions||Every request, 5 hours||Every request, 30 mins||Every request, as long as available (customizable with Proxy Manager)|
|Protocols||HTTP(S), SOCKS5||HTTP(S)||HTTP(S), SOCKS5|
|Authorization||Credentials, IP whitelisting|
Which Provider Performs Better?
Both are excellent and rarely fail. That said, Oxylabs’ proxies run faster.
We mostly benchmarked the providers’ residential and mobile proxies. When connecting to Cloudflare’s server (small size, low distance, no blocks), over 97% of the requests completed successfully. This shows that the providers have excellent infrastructure that rarely fails.
The response time was also great with both competitors. Oxylabs was particularly fast – its proxies from various countries took less than 1 second to connect on average, and 0.5 seconds in Western Europe. Bright Data was slightly slower but also among the fastest providers we’ve tested.
One area where Oxylabs took a clear lead was mobile proxy response time. There, its proxy servers connected nearly twice as fast as Bright Data.
Which Has Better Management Tools?
Oxylabs is simpler to use, though it does lack quality-of-life features and Bright Data’s unified approach.
We’re comparing premium providers and market leaders, so it’s safe to assume they’ve invested into tooling. And the assumption is generally true.
Let’s begin with the dashboards. Both providers have one, but their approach differs. Oxylabs takes the regular route: each of its services is compartmentalized into separate tabs where you can authorize access, view usage stats, and reach documentation. The only places that combine them are the Overview window and invoices. That said, the overall experience is neat and relatively straightforward, and the usage graphs give detailed enough statistics.
Bright Data, on the other hand, has designed a unified system for its services. It gives a better view of your interactions with the provider but also brings a lot of complexity. For example, the provider introduces a concept of Zones, which combine plans and sub-users. You can create multiple zones for the same or different service and have them all on the same page. It takes a while to get used to.
When it comes to actually managing proxies, neither option is perfect. Oxylabs has no widget, meaning that you’ll need to construct the gateway servers by yourself, using its detailed documentation. Bright Data does have one, though it’s very technically-minded, with dynamic code samples and technical terms. What’s more, Bright Data basically requires you to use extra software (its Proxy Manager) to enable important functionality, such as custom rotation options or SOCKS5.
The same goes for proxy management APIs. Bright Data’s approach tries to be all-encompassing, which looks impressive but also makes the API highly complex to understand. Oxylabs has separate APIs for its residential and datacenter services.
One area where Bright Data clearly leads is subscription management. Its platform both has wallet functionality and supports self-service for all products. Oxylabs requires you to make separate transactions for each purchase, and you can only buy two services – residential proxies and rotating datacenter proxies – by yourself. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on customer service.
And the Customer Service?
Both providers will treat you well.
Oxylabs has a live chat that works 24/7 and responds to all enquiries. Whenever we tried it, we received replies within several minutes with generally competent answers. Then, there’s a dedicated account manager which gets assigned to all customers who buy anything above the cheapest plans. This combination ensures a personalized experience and a fall-back mechanism once the account managers are offline.
The help materials are excellent as well. Oxylabs provides FAQs for each product, detailed documentation with integration instructions, and webinars for general education about web scraping topics.
Bright Data has no live chat, though it does offer a ticket system which usually ensures under-hour replies. Naturally, there’s an account manager too to help during business hours. The other contact methods include WeChat and even phoning in. We’ve heard multiple anecdotes that the interactions can be less than stellar, but we haven’t experienced issues ourselves.
Bright Data’s help docs are also very comprehensive, with answers and instructions both in text and video formats. You can find an FAQ, webinars, integration instructions, and video tutorials covering various topics.
What about the Price?
Bright Data is more expensive, especially if you enable premium features (that other providers offer out of the box).
Let’s not kid ourselves: these are premium providers. So whichever choice you make, the privilege will cost you.
The providers charge for their services either by IP address, traffic, or requests. The static proxy networks are priced by IP, the rotating proxy networks use traffic, and the APIs base their pricing on successful requests.
The rates of Oxylabs are generally in line with other premium providers like GeoSurf and NetNut. Most of its services use a subscription-based model; you can buy access for a month, or get a yearly subscription at a discount. The plans start between $99 and $500 depending on the service, so they can be out of range for clients with minimal needs. The residential proxy service is an exception – it allows paying as you go.
The majority of Bright Data’s plans offer the option to pay as you go. This lets you start using them without a big initial investment. After easing in, you can transition to monthly or yearly plans which start from $300.
However, while Oxylabs’ pricing structure is straightforward, Bright Data is deceptively complex. For example, its static datacenter proxies have limited bandwidth out of the box and are able to access only one domain. In the same vein, enabling city or ASN targeting for the residential addresses doubles the price. The silver lining is that you can disable unnecessary features to make the pricing relatively palatable (but still expensive).
Here’s a table to show how much residential traffic different amounts of money would give you:
|Oxylabs||Bright Data||Bright Data |
|$15||1 GB||1 GB||–|
|$100||6.7 GB||6.7 GB||3.3 GB|
|$300||25 GB||20 GB||10 GB|
|$500||41.66 GB||39.22 GB||19.61 GB|
|$1,000||111 GB||88.9 GB||44.4 GB|