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Datacenter Proxies for Sneakers: A Good Idea in 2024?

Sometimes, but they’re not what they used to be.

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Let me guess. You want to up your sneaker game and are trying to figure out how sneaker proxies come into play. If you’ve done your research right, you probably already know that there are several types of proxies. One of those types – datacenter proxy – can look particularly tempting to use on sneaker sites. So, why are sneakerheads against them? We’ve all had this question before.

In the past, datacenter proxies were the go-to solution. They were cheap and very fast. Datacenter proxies could complete the checkout at the speed of light. It’s no secret that these sneaker proxies helped sneaker botters make a fortune in the resale market. But that’s only because sneaker sites didn’t care much that you were using bots back in the day.

Nowadays, things are different. Sneaker sites upped their security to keep botters at bay. Only the most cunning and resourceful sneakerheads can get their holy grail. It’s true they aren’t using datacenter proxies anymore. Instead, they power sneaker bots with residential and ISP IPs. So, does it mean that it’s the end for datacenter proxies? Not quite.

Datacenter proxies are still used in the sneaker botting community. How? Continue reading the article to find out!

A Brief Intro to Datacenter IP Addresses

Let’s start with the basics: what are datacenter proxies?

Datacenter or DC proxies are basically servers you connect to. They’re used when you need to mask your IP address. In other words, they make you anonymous. To some degree, at least.

Keep in mind that you’ll be sharing the server with other people. It means that somebody will be using the same IP address for who knows what. If you don’t feel like sharing, look into dedicated DC proxies. However, shared ones are more common and… much cheaper.

By the way, DC proxies usually come from web hosting companies. Unlike residential or ISP proxies, they’re not associated with Internet Service Providers (ISP). And that’s the main difference between them.

Though they aren’t very effective anymore, it’s hard to deny that DC proxies have some advantages. Let’s dive right into those, and then I’ll explain exactly how you can use DC proxies.

Here are the main benefits:

  • Datacenter proxies are relatively cheap. To maximize your profits, you need to minimize your expenses and initial investment. Well, duh! Getting the best tools on the market can get expensive, and with a business so unstable, you can’t always afford the risk. That’s why datacenter proxies are so tempting – they’re much cheaper compared to the other options.
  • Who doesn’t like unlimited traffic? That right, DC proxies offer unlimited traffic. Have you ever run out of traffic during an important cop? Then you know how precious this feature is.
  • The speed is outstanding. Back in the day, there were barely any raffles. Most releases were dropping on a first-come-first-served (FCFS) basis. Unlike raffles, FCFS mode requires nothing else but speed. That’s where DC proxies excel. They’re the fastest proxy type there is.

Why DC Proxies No Longer Work with Most Sneaker Websites

Let’s recap: DC proxies are fast, cheap, and usually run on unlimited traffic plans. Sounds perfect for copping sneakers, doesn’t it? But there’s a catch: they’re very easy to detect and block. That’s why sneakerheads rarely use them to power their sneaker bots.

How does that work exactly? Let me explain.

1. Web hosting companies. As I’ve mentioned before, datacenter proxies come from web hosting companies. Each IP address publicly shows who owns it – and regular people don’t use IP from these companies to buy shoes. That’s one red flag.

2. Subnets. Second, these companies offer IP addresses in related blocks, also known as subnets. As you probably know, an IP address consists of four numbers separated by periods. These numbers aren’t random. To put it simply, if you receive a block of IPs, most numbers in it, except for one, will likely overlap.

Now imagine a dozen sneakerheads buying proxies from the same provider and using them to access the same shoe store. It’s plain as day that these visitors aren’t here to play nice. Getting rid of DC proxies is the first thing most stores do to deter every sneaker bot. This change made botters move on to other proxy types.

3. Raffles. Following the amazing success rates of residential and ISP sneaker proxies, sneaker sites had to tighten their security measures even more. So, they decided to forgo FCFS. Instead, most stores now use a raffle mode. Everyone who enters the raffle (also known as a draw) gets a chance to win an opportunity to buy sneakers. While ISP and residential proxies can at least help you pretend to be a hundred different users during a raffle, datacenter proxies have no advantage whatsoever.

I’m not gonna lie. Getting your holy grail is not what it’s used to be. So you might be wondering: is sneaker botting still worth it? Check our article to find out more about the current situation in the sneaker resale market.

What They’re Used for These Days

Here’s the thing – you’re not going to cop Adidas or Yeezy Supply with datacenter sneaker proxies. Been there, done that, and failed miserably. Don’t repeat my mistake. But I’m not saying datacenter proxies are useless. They have several important use cases you should know and, of course, take advantage of.

1. Copping speed-oriented drops, mostly from some Shopify stores. But don’t get right into it – do some research beforehand to know what you’re dealing with.

2. Powering up your CAPTCHA harvester. What’s that? A CAPTCHA harvester is a piece of software – usually implemented into your sneaker bot – that solves Google ReCAPTCHAs. It does so with the help of seasoned Google accounts. But each of these accounts has to have a different IP or they’ll get banned. Now, you can use reliable residential proxies and pay through your nose – or you can get datacenter CAPTCHA proxies and save.

3. Monitoring. After each drop, numerous pairs are put back to the stock since many purchases are canceled. That’s why sneakerheads use bots and other tools to monitor restocks. The same goes for drops. When you don’t know exactly when the drop should happen, it’s a smart idea to run a monitor. Once again, residential IPs aren’t the best option because they will eat up all of your traffic. On the other hand, datacenter or ISP proxies are the obvious choice.

Alternatives to Datacenter Proxies for Sneaker Bots

So, you should realize by now that DC IPs are no longer an option to cop your holy grail. What can you use instead? I already introduced some of the options in the article: residential and ISP proxies. Let’s take a closer look at them.

  • Residential sneaker proxies that borrows IPs from real people. That’s their biggest advantage – they allow to assume somebody’s virtual ‘identity’. This way, your bot will look like a real person to any anti-bot security system. What’s more, residential IPs rarely share a subnet, which ensures a lower risk of getting banned.
  • ISP sneaker proxies, also known as static residential proxies, are datacenter proxies on steroids – they’re registered with real ISPs but hosted on servers. That’s how these proxies stay anonymous while retaining speed at the same time. Like datacenter proxies, you buy them in limited amounts but don’t have to worry about traffic.

If you’re struggling to pick one between the two, my best advice is to use a combination of both. Not because it would save you from making the decision, but simply because it will maximize your chances of copping. Let’s say the infrastructure of your residential proxy service provider goes down during drop (and it happens during the largest releases). In this case, ISPs will be able to carry the load and probably will drag your tasks right to the checkout!

If you’re not sure where to buy your proxies, so can find some great sneaker proxy providers in our list of the best sneaker proxies.

Picture of Isabel Rivera
Isabel Rivera
Caffeine-powered sneaker enthusiast

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