Storm Proxies vs. Smartproxy: Performance & Feature Comparison
Storm Proxies and Smartproxy are two popular vendors of rotating proxies. They both target hustlers and small businesses, offering simple services for an affordable price. But which would be a better pick for you?
The quick answer is: unless you’re running very simple projects and absolutely need unlimited traffic, it’s probably Smartproxy. Why? Let’s find out.
Storm Proxies vs Smartproxy: General Information
|Target audience||Small businesses||Small to mid businesses|
|Awards||Fastest proxies (2019)||Editor’s Choice (2019, 2020)|
Best Customer Support (2020)
Best Value Provider (2021)
Storm Proxies and Smartproxy provide little company information, such as their country of origin. Despite this, we know that Storm Proxies was established a few years earlier and that it’s a popular provider in the US. Smartproxy claims to be a collection of international professionals. Might be so.
Both providers target hustlers and small businesses. So, if you’re a sneaker cook, Instagram account manager, or small-time scraper, they should be right up your alley. Smartproxy has the ability to supply bigger customers as well, even if it doesn’t advertise this too much.
We like Smartproxy, which is obvious looking at the awards we’ve given it. Storm Proxies has won one too, but that was in 2019. Since then, it’s had a hard time competing with other top residential proxy providers.
Storm Proxies vs Smartproxy: Services
Several options for rotating proxies on both sides.
|Datacenter proxies||Shared, dedicated||Shared|
|Proxy APIs||✖||Search Engine Proxies|
|Web scraping tools||✖||✖|
|Other tools||✖||X browser, browser extension, proxy generator|
|Special plans||Sneakers, social media, tickets||✖|
Storm Proxies sells three kinds of proxies: dedicated datacenter, rotating residential, and a mix of datacenter & residential IPs called backconnect proxies. The third type supports rotation every request, so it’s best for web scraping. There are also specialized plans for sneaker cooks, social media managers, and ticket scalpers. Just note that the sneaker proxies rotate every 5 minutes (too often) while the social media proxies use datacenter IPs (not working well these days).
Smartproxy has no specialized plans. Its datacenter and residential proxies are shared and rotate. What it does have is a special proxy type for scraping Google with a 100% success rate. It can even parse the data for you.
Smartproxy can also offer more supporting tools. It’s browser extension simplifies work with proxies on a browser, and X Browser works as a multi-profile web browser for managing multiple accounts (Instagram, eBay, etc.). Both add value to the proxies at no additional cost.
Both providers are affordable. But Storm Proxies costs less for low-scale use and doesn’t limit traffic.
|Trial/refund||24-hr refund||3-day refund|
|Starts from||$14 for 10 threads||$50 for 100 GBs|
Storm Proxies and Smartproxy can be both considered value providers. However: while Smartproxy is very affordable compared to premium proxy sellers, it can’t really compare with Storm Proxies for small, one-off tasks. This stands especially true if you’re doing low-intensity web scraping that requires a lot of traffic – or simply browsing via proxies.
We’d normally include a price comparison table here, but it’s impossible when the providers have different pricing models. Unless you get the search proxies, Smartproxy always charges by traffic. Storm Proxies, on the other hand, uses threads, ports, or IPs. By getting a smaller plan, you’ll be mostly sacrificing scalability.
Rotating Residential Proxies
Smartproxy performs better, has a much larger and higher quality IP pool.
Rotating residential proxies are Smartproxy’s main product. Storm Proxies highlights its backconnect proxies which combine datacenter and residential IPs. That’s what we had the chance to test.
|Advertised monthly IPs||200,000||40,000,000|
|Locations||Global mix||Every country & most cities|
|Parallel requests||Limited by plan||Unlimited|
|Authentication||Whitelisted IPs||Credentials, whitelisted IPs|
Smartproxy beats Storm Proxies in features by a fair margin. You not only get a much bigger IP pool, but also more locations which you can actually target. Storm Proxies isn’t very good for working with hyper-localized content – continent level filtering just isn’t enough.
Storm Proxies also supports fewer authentication methods, and no sub-users. This makes sense considering that the plans target individual hustlers. Smartproxy limits sub-users, unless you buy a specialized and more expensive plan for resellers.
We made 100,000 connection requests per day for three weeks. We used a high rotation setting and a global endpoint.
|Unique IPs||84,563 (5.82%)||1,224,255 (63.62%)|
Smartproxy gave us a lot more unique IP addresses. And even though Storm Proxies claims to refresh the IP pool every week, its proxy network is still pretty small.
We checked the proxies we received in an IP database.
|Landline or mobile||81.94%||93.33%|
Storm Proxies had a sizable share of datacenter addresses. Smartproxy’s pool was cleaner – or rather, more residential.
Storm Proxies tries hard to keep its pool IPv4 only. Smartproxy is less strict.
We targeted Cloudflare’s US server. It’s an unbiased target that shows how well the proxy server works.
|Storm Proxies||Smartproxy||Other providers|
Smartproxy had an amazing success rate, which shows that its proxy server works very well. On the other hand, nearly every third request made using Storm Proxies’ IPs failed.
Here are some results with real targets, using our own web scraping script. We ran 6,000 requests each:
|Storm Proxies||Smartproxy||Other providers|
Smartproxy had few issues accessing the targets. Storm Proxies struggled. It seems that the combination of a small IP pool, unlimited bandwidth, and mediocre proxy server performance doesn’t work well against protected websites.
Once again, our target was located in the US.
|Storm Proxies||Smartproxy||Other providers|
|Response time (avg.)||2.66 s||0.97 s||2.21 s|
|Response time (median)||1.88 s||0.57 s||1.34 s|
Smartproxy’s IPs were super fast in the US – more than twice as fast as Storm Proxies. Performance in other locations might differ, depending on where the providers have their load balancing servers.
We ran 500 connection requests per second to see how well the proxy servers handle load.
|Response time (avg.)||2.8 s||1.10 s|
Smartproxy had no issues dealing with this much load. We had to limit the number of requests to Storm Proxies due to plan limits (400 requests/s). But even then, it killed the proxy server.
We ran a test 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:
Even though Storm Proxies looks very stable, its success rate during regular use fluctuates by around 6%. That’s a lot. Smartproxy is both more consistent and predictable.
Both providers are easy to use. Smartproxy has extra tools for resellers and controlling proxies on a browser.
|Management tools||✖||Browser extension, Proxy Generator|
These are proxy providers for the average Joe, so they’re easy to pick up. There are no complicated doo-dahs and hoops that you’d get with Bright Data. Here, you tick a few boxes, copy a list of gateway addresses, and that’s that.
The dashboards are easy to understand, as well. Smartproxy provides helpful tutorials to get around the dashboard, and Storm Proxies is simple enough as is. The latter won’t give you usage stats, but why bother when your traffic’s not getting metered?
Smartproxy has some more tricks up its sleeve. You can use its extension to quickly set up proxies on the web browser. Or, if you’re managing multiple sub-users, there’s a neat API to save you from going to the dashboard every time. More options, more possibilities.
Slow support and conflicting documentation don’t reflect very well on Storm Proxies, while customer service is Smartproxy’s forte.
|Response time||4 hours||Less than 1 min via chat|
This is where Storm Proxies hurts. You only get email support, and it’s pretty slow. Our experience is roughly four hours for a reply; Storm Proxies advertises two and a half hours as the average – as if that was something to brag about.
Now Smartproxy – that’s a completely different category. Its support agents answer within several minutes at most, via live chat, all day round. Bigger clients get their own dedicated account manager, too.
Storm Proxies does a better job with documentation. Things are explained well, and most frequent issues covered. However, it lacks configuration instructions, and many articles are pretty outdated: when the website says one thing, and the documentation another, which one should you believe? Now there’s a dilemma you (or at least we) didn’t want to have.
Once again, Smarproxy one-ups its opponent. You’ll find a detailed FAQ, configuration instructions, tech documentation, and even tips to help you use the proxies more efficiently.
Storm Proxies vs Smartproxy: Conclusion
So, which proxy provider should you choose?
Storm Proxies can be a good choice if you need the unlimited traffic to scrape unprotected websites. It isn’t the best provider for sneakers, social media, or tasks that require precise location targeting. Still, if you don’t need much, Storm Proxies can be a fine entry-level provider.
Smartproxy is better at every aspect, save for the price. If paying $50 or more for limited traffic isn’t a deal-breaker, go with this provider. You won’t be disappointed.