What Are Backconnect Proxies? A Practical Guide

Learn about backconnect proxy servers and their uses.

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By giving you access to a pool of IP addresses, backconnect proxies simplify proxy management for any large scale project. They also make an inseparable part of rotating proxy networks. 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 receiving a list of IPs directly, you rather connect to a proxy server and it fetches them 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: en.proxyprovider.com. 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: en.proxyprovider.com:10000.

Some providers let you modify the backconnect address to filter IPs based on location or rotation frequency. Proxy providers like Crawlera and Oxylabs outfit their servers 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

  • Residential – 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 they need to be able to rotate without changing the proxy address. 
  • Mobile – 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.
  • Datacenter – while it’s unusual, datacenter proxies can also be backconnect. Some providers have introduced backconnect shared proxy pools for less experienced users or those targeting unsophisticated websites. 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 tend to 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 necessarily rotate. While many providers let you create sticky sessions, 10 or even 30 minutes may not be enough for certain use cases.


So, these were 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.

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.

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