Smartproxy vs. Bright Data (Luminati): A Comparison

smartproxy vs bright data thumbnail

Smartproxy and Bright Data are some of the largest proxy providers in the market. Bright Data remains a market leader with a variety of features and proxy types. Smartproxy, on the other hand, focuses on delivering value with its rotating proxies. Let’s see how the two compare, and which would be a better choice for you.  

Smartproxy vs Bright Data (Luminati): General Information

SmartproxyBright Data
JurisdictionInternationalIsrael
Founded20182014
Target audienceSmall to mid businessesSmall to large businesses
Awards Editor’s Choice (2019, 2020) Best Customer Support (2020) Best Value Provider (2021)Best Proxy Ecosystem (2020, 2021)
Trustpilot score4.44.7

Smartproxy is a relatively young provider, with a team spread across the globe. Bright Data has been in business longer, though still not as long as companies like GeoSurf. 

Smartproxy’s target audience is hustlers and small businesses. This is evident from its focus on use cases like sneakers and Instagram, as well as approachable pricing plans. Bright Data, on the other hand, tries to cover a wide range of customers. But in the end, it focuses on a highly technical audience working at enterprises. 

We like Smartproxy and don’t hide it: it’s won an award every year, either for value services or great customer support. Bright Data excels in its proxy management and data collection tools. 

Smartproxy vs Bright Data (Luminati): Services

Bright Data offers more IP types and data collection tools.

SmartproxyBright Data
Datacenter proxiesSharedShared, dedicated
Residential proxiesRotatingRotating, static
Mobile proxiesRotating
Proxy APIsSearch Engine ProxiesData Unblocker, Search Engine Crawler
Web scraping toolsData Collector
OtherX Browser, browser extension, proxy generatorProxy Manager, chrome extension

Considering purely proxies, Smartproxy offers two types: shared datacenter and peer-to-peer residential IPs. Bright Data has more options, including dedicated datacenter, static residential proxies, and a separate pool of mobile IPs. 

Proxies aside, both providers have proxy APIs. These are proxy networks equipped with web scraping logic that return data with a 100% success rate. Smartproxy’s tool targets Google, while Bright Data covers not only search engines but also other websites. 

They also offer extensions for simplifying proxy use on a browser. Smartproxy’s supports Firefox as well as Chrome; Bright Data’s is exclusively Chrome.

Unlike Smartproxy, Bright Data has a web scraping tool. Data Collector is a customizable web scraping framework with web scraping templates, a visual interface for building the parsing logic, and the ability to edit the underlying code by hand. 

Finally, Smartproxy’s products include an anonymous browser. It plays around the provider’s strengths by allowing its audience to create multiple browser profiles. The main use case here is probably account management. 

Pricing

Smartproxy is much cheaper than Bright Data, no matter which option you choose.

SmartproxyBright Data
Model
  • Traffic (datacenter, residential)
  • Requests (Search Engine Proxies)
  • Traffic (rotating residential, mobile)
  • Traffic + IPs (datacenter, static residential)
  • Requests (Data Unblocker, Search Engine Crawler)
PeriodMonthlyCredit/monthly
UnlockablesMore sub-users, whitelisted IPsCity/ASN targeting, IP cooldown, exclusive proxies
Trial/refund3-day refund7-day trial, 3-day refund

Smartproxy’s pricing model charges by bandwidth, unless you’re scraping Google. Bright Data is also bandwidth-first for the same proxy types, as usual for rotating IPs. 

Smartproxy offers recurring monthly plans: in other words, you buy traffic in advance. If you run out but don’t want to upgrade the plan, there’s an option to buy extra gigabytes for the same rate. Bright Data bases its pricing on a pay-as-you-go model that becomes more affordable after reaching a certain commitment level. 

Comparing the prices, Smartproxy is significantly cheaper. It doesn’t matter if you buy the datacenter or residential IPs – you’ll still be paying less. The difference becomes especially painful if you need advanced features like city-level targeting, or if you’re buying in small quantities. Here’s a comparison table for the residential IPs:

SmartproxyBright DataBright Data (city targeting)
5 GB$15/GB$17.5/GB$35/GB
20 GB$10/GB$15/GB$30/GB
50 GB$8/GB$12.50/GB$24/GB
100 GB$7/GB$10/GB$24/GB
500 GB$5/GB$8.5/GB$15/GB
1,000 GB$4/GB$6/GB$15/GB

Rotating Residential Proxies

Both providers are pretty stacked, perform amazingly well, and have a great uptime. 

Rotating residential proxies are Smartproxy’s main product. They used to headline Bright Data as well, but lately it’s been moving toward proxy-based data collection tools instead.

Features

SmartproxyBright Data
Advertised monthly IPs40,000,00072,000,000
LocationsEvery country & most citiesEvery country & city
Filtering
  • Global
  • Country
  • State
  • City
  • Global
  • Country
  • State
  • City
  • ASN
Session control
  • Every request
  • Sticky sessions (up to 30 min.)
  • Every request
  • Sticky sessions (customizable)
Parallel requestsUnlimitedUnlimited
ProtocolsHTTP(S)HTTP(S), SOCKS5
Authentication
  • Credentials
  • IP whitelisting
  • Credentials
  • IP whitelisting
Sub-users

Feature-wise, both Smartproxy and Bright Data are pretty stacked. You’ll have a wide choice of locations, flexible rotation settings, and unlimited connection requests. The only difference is that Smartproxy can’t give you ASN targeting and the SOCKS5 protocol.

A few words about sub-users: Bright Data allows creating hundreds of them (called Zones) out of the box. However, you’re officially not allowed to resell, so this limits their usefulness. Smartproxy’s sub-user count is limited, even if you buy extra slots. To remove the limit, you’ll have to get different, reseller plans. 

Pool Size

We made 100,000 connection requests per day for three weeks. We used a high rotation setting and a global endpoint.

SmartproxyBright Data
Connection requests1,924,2162,121,022
Unique IPs1,224,255 (63.62%)1,082,528 (51.04%)

Smartproxy gave us more unique IPs, though both providers evidently have large proxy pools. 

Pool Quality

We checked the proxies we received in an IP database.

SmartproxyBright Data
Landline or mobile93.33%92.55%
Datacenter2.40%3.83%
Other4.27%3.62%

Both providers had a similar share of IPs from residential devices. These are no doubt good quality proxies – or at least residential, as advertised.

SmartproxyBright Data
IPv486.98%99.9%
IPv613.02%0.01%

Bright Data strictly filters out IPv4 addresses, while Smartproxy is more lenient in this regard.

Success Rate

We targeted Cloudflare’s US server. It’s an unbiased target that shows how well the proxy server works.

SmartproxyBright DataOther providers
Success rate99.26%99.49%89.17%

Both Smartproxy and Bright Data had over 99% success rate. With a well-configured web scraper, you should have very few issues using either proxies.  Here are some results with real targets, using our own web scraping script. We ran 6,000 requests each:

SmartproxyBright DataOther providers
Amazon89.97%88.74%71.88%
Booking98.08%98.38%88.40%
Craigslist95.82%97.72%85.73%
Facebook97.13%98.19%82.29%
Instagram98.62%99.42%84.84%

Response Time

Once again, our target was located in the US.

SmartproxyBright DataOther providers
Response time (avg.)0.97 s1.18 s2.21 s
Response time (median)0.57 s0.66 s1.34 s

Smartproxy’s IPs are exceptionally fast, both compared to Bright Data and the market average. Results with other locations might differ, depending on the providers’ load balancing servers there. 

Load Test

We ran 500 connection requests per second to see how well the proxy servers handle load.

SmartproxyBright Data
Success rate 95.67%98.87%
Response time (avg.)1.10 s1.40 s

Neither Smartproxy, nor Bright Data had issues dealing with this much load. Smartproxy’s success rate decreased more, but it remained notably faster.

Server Stability

Bright Data has publicly available uptime statistics. Smartproxy, unfortunately, doesn’t.

bright data uptime

Bright Data’s uptime over a one month period.

According to the image, Bright Data’s residential proxies are functional nearly 100% of the time. It took a highly hyped sneaker release (April 28) to impact their performance. 

We also did our own tests to measure stability. The table below shows how much the proxy servers fluctuate during regular use (standard deviation), and how often they were above the instability threshold (3 x standard deviation) throughout three weeks of constant monitoring:

SmartproxyBright Data
Standard deviation1.02%0.62%
Stability98.48%97.01%

Smartproxy’s success rate fluctuates a bit more, though at 1% it’s barely noticeable. Overall, both providers were extremely stable. 

User Experience

Bright Data is more customizable but also much harder to use. 

SmartproxyBright Data
KYC
Self-service
Setup difficultyEasyHard
Dashboard
  • Usage stats
  • Authentication
  • Renew plans
  • Contact support
  • Usage stats
  • Authentication
  • Renew plans
  • Contact support
API
Management toolsBrowser extension, proxy generatorChrome extension, Proxy Manager

Smartproxy and Bright Data vet new customers, so they require passing a KYC check. Bright Data’s is very conspicuous: for residential proxies, you have to give away your personal information, proof of employment, and sometimes hop on a video call. Smartproxy vets clients during the registration process. It’s possible to buy and start using proxies without being disturbed. 

Both providers support self-service and have the dashboards to support it. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to authenticate, buy a plan, and monitor your usage statistics. 

That said, Smartproxy is significantly easier to use in general. To set up the proxies, there’s a simple widget that lets you filter the IPs and then export them in multiple formats. This includes location and rotation settings. The whole process takes a few minutes tops. 

Bright Data has a widget too, but it’s tailored for developers. And while you can choose a country, city, or where DNS is resolved – and get dynamic code examples – even basic things like rotation intervals require installing Bright Data’s Proxy Manager software. 

Once you do, Bright Data becomes significantly more flexible. But to unlock that flexibility, there’ll be a steep learning curve to go through.

Customer Support

Great documentation on both sides, better live support by Smartproxy.

SmartproxyBright Data
24/7
Languages
  • English
  • Chinese
  • English
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
Live chat
Account manager
Response timeLess than 1 min. via chat25 min. via chat
DocumentationExtensiveExtensive

Both providers have excellent documentation. It covers general questions, the services, configuration and integration instructions. Smartproxy and Bright Data even provide tips for optimal use of their proxy networks. Naturally, Bright Data has a bigger need for documentation, as its infrastructure is so complex.

If you need live support, it’s available 24/7 and reachable via live chat. We prefer Smartproxy, as its agents respond almost instantly and are generally competent at what they do. 

As a premium provider, Bright Data assigns its customers with an account manager. Smartproxy does so as well, but only if you buy one of the larger plans.  

Overall, we give Smartproxy the upper hand in this area – it’s not without reason that this provider is famous for its customer service. 

Smartproxy vs Bright Data (Luminati): Conclusion

Right, so which proxy provider is better? As always, it depends.

Bright Data is much more flexible, both talking about features and proxy types. But it’s also significantly more expensive and complex to use. 

So, what should you do? The best approach would be to look at Smartproxy and see if it has the features you need for your use case. The performance difference is negligible, but the savings will be big. 

If not, go with Bright Data instead. You will pay more, but you’ll certainly get what you want. 

4 comments

  1. zakynthos on March 12, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I’ve found out till now.

    But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive about the source?

  2. Novoline on April 17, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Actually i would have to disagree with the success rate on Google you stated above. We tried both Luminati and Smartproxy, and luminati always came out on top when it comes to google. I don’t have exact percentages but what i can say is that the difference was considerable.

    One thing i would like to ask. You stated that Smartproxy came in as third and Luminati as forth. Then who are the first and second best residential proxy providers? You didn’t mention them in this article.

    • Adam Dubois on April 17, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Hey, that’s interesting. Could you maybe share how you performed your tests? We have used our standard 300 concurrent connections benchmark with Luminati’s residential proxies and only got a success rate of 31.28% as you can see here. Meanwhile, Smartproxy achieved %73.52. All of the blocks from Google while using Luminati were 503 errors (RECAPTCHAs).

  3. Not Really Me on October 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Hi, great article.

    I am looking for a proxy provider to use with Ghost Browser to create and cultivate a number of Facebook profiles to be used in running ads. I am not scraping any content, and my major concern is that my profiles have the highest possible chance of being accepted by FB.

    Luminati has a good reputation in this regard, but their pricing is inflexible and there is a high entry threshold for residential IPs ($500/month). Smart Proxy’s pricing is much more flexible and residential IPs start at $75/month.

    So my question is, which provider is most likely to enable me to maintain FB profiles without getting them blocked?

    Thanks in advance.

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