Backconnect Proxies: Definition & Comparison to Proxy Lists

Learn more about backconnect proxy servers and their uses.

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Backconnect proxies simplify proxy management for any large scale project. They also make an inseparable part of any rotating proxy network. This article will teach you more about backconnect proxy servers: their features, working principles, and how they compare to regular proxy lists.


What Is a Backconnect Proxy?

A backconnect proxy is a gateway address that gives you access to a pool of proxy IPs. Instead of getting a list of IPs directly, you rather connect to a proxy server and it fetches the IPs for you. This extra step makes backconnect proxy servers managed, while regular proxy lists are unmanaged by the provider. 

How Backconnect Proxies Work

A backconnect proxy address connects you to a proxy provider’s server. The server then selects an IP that meets your requirements from a pool of available proxies. As a result, you can use multiple IPs through one address, without managing them yourself – everything is done in the backend. 

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Backconnect proxies usually come in the hostname:port format. The hostname looks like a regular URL, for example: It’s effectively an IP address in disguise, to make it more readable. The port gives the proxy server further instructions. It can be any number depending on the provider’s configuration. The full format would look something like this:

Some providers let you modify the backonnect address to filter IPs based on location or rotation frequency: make them last for some time or change every connection request. Proxy services like Crawlera and Oxylabs offer services with even more advanced features: request throttling, intelligent proxy rotation, and so on. 

Due to the logistics involved, most backconnect proxy pools are shared between users. That said, it may be possible for demanding clients to receive dedicated backconnect proxy pools. 

Backconnect Proxy Types

While backconnect proxies are typically associated with residential IPs, they can also involve other proxy types

Backconnect Residential Proxies

The classic backconnect proxy type, one you’ll find in marketing pages when Googling the term. And for good reasons: the way residential proxies work, it’s simply unfeasible to provide them in any other format. Residential IPs use devices of real people – with unstable connections and availability – so it would be impossible to work with them in the form of direct proxy lists. It’s much more reasonable to rotate residentials IPs on the provider’s end than leave this burden to you. 

Backconnect Mobile Proxies

Many of the mobile proxies come from real users as well, so they follow the same logic as residential proxies. An exception would be providers that have set up their own dedicated phone farms – but even then backconnect servers reign supreme. 

Backconnect Datacenter Proxies

Traditionally, datacenter proxies come in proxy lists. This is partly to save work on infrastructure and because there’s no necessity to have them backconnect – a datacenter IP can be available for as long as you need. However, some providers have introduced backconnect shared proxy pools for less experienced users or those targeting unsophisticated websites. Some notable examples would be Smartproxy and Luminati

Rotating Backconnect Proxies vs Proxy Lists

Let’s see how backconnect proxy servers compare to proxy lists.

  • Backconnect proxies enable the use of residential IPs.
  • They make proxy management easier with automatic rotation and extra features.
  • They give you access to a much bigger proxy pool. This means more locations, better scaling, and if you get a bad IP, you can simply rotate it away.
  • Backconnect proxy pools are usually shared, so you don’t know what IP you’ll get.
  • They often charge by traffic. In other words, you’re paying for the bandwidth you use and not individual IPs. This can rack up quite a bill. 
  • They tend to rotate. And while many providers let you create sticky sessions, 10 or even 30 minutes may not be enough for certain use cases. 


So, that was backconnect proxies. With simpler proxy management, better scaling, and value-added features, backconnect proxy servers can be called an evolutionary step over the tired proxy lists. Not quite perfect, but one that was necessary to move the proxy industry forward.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Backconnect Proxies

Can Only Residential Proxies Be Backconnect?

No. Datacenter proxies can use backconnect servers as well. Smartproxy and Luminati are a few examples of providers offering backconnect datacenter IPs.

How Can I Switch Backconnect Proxies?

Usually, these proxies have automatic rotation set up. Most major providers let you modify rotation settings: make it every request or after some period of time (5-30 minutes).

Do I Need to Use Backconnect Proxy IPs?

Not necessarily. But they make proxy management easier and let you use proxies at a larger scale.