Dedicated Proxies: All You Need to Know
If you're tired of slow or abused IPs, dedicated proxies might be what you need. These addresses have only one owner (you!), with all the pros and cons that entails. By the end of this article, you'll know everything important about dedicated proxy servers, and whether getting one makes sense for your use case.
What Are Dedicated Proxies?
At the heart, dedicated proxies are the same as any other proxy server. They connect you to websites via a middleman computer, with its own IP address and location. This lets you mask your identity and access content limited to specific countries.
The middlemen computers are often powerful servers in data centers. So, it makes technical – and financial – sense for several people to share the same proxy. Such proxy IPs are called shared proxies or semi-dedicated proxies (if only 2-3 people control them at once).
A dedicated proxy, on the other hand, is an exclusive proxy IP that you don’t have to share. No one else will be able to access the same IP address for the duration you’ll be using it, or for the same domains.
Side-Note: On the Difference between Private and Dedicated Proxies
You might have encountered another term called private proxy. Both dedicated and private proxies appear in very similar contexts. Are there any differences between them?
Short answer: no. Most providers treat these terms exactly the same – as proxy IPs that are in your exclusive control while you use them. I’m not sure which was first, but nowadays, both names have search demand on Google, so marketers are obliged to use them.
If you want to be completely thorough, it’s possible to find a difference: a dedicated IP may mean that it’s tailored to particular websites. Some providers like MyPrivateProxy follow this convention, offering social media proxies, Craigslist proxies, and so on. Most don’t.
Can There Be Dedicated Residential Proxies?
When people speak of dedicated proxies, they usually mean datacenter IPs. Residential proxies can’t be dedicated by design, as they live on borrowed time. The people who lend the IP addresses can turn off their devices at any point, forcing the proxy provider to give you another IP.
Still, it is possible to get a dedicated proxy server that has the anonymity of residential addresses. Such IPs are called ISP proxies, or static residential proxies. They run on servers but are registered with consumer internet service providers, letting them get away with much more than datacenter IPs.
Why Would You Want a Dedicated Proxy Server?
Let’s get back on topic. If it’s cheaper to share proxies, and they run on such powerful hardware, why would you want a dedicated proxy server?
There are four compelling reasons:
- Predictable usage history.
- No sharing of the proxy server’s resources with others.
- Full control over the IP address.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
Predictable usage history means that you’ll know exactly which websites the proxy server accesses. There’ll be no surprises where one day your proxy can no longer open Google because someone else has blacklisted it there. If you block something, that’s on you. Of course, you still won’t know what had happened with the dedicated proxy before you received it, but that’s as good as you can get.
About the second point, it’s true that proxy servers run on powerful hardware: 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, sometimes even 10 Gbps lines. But you might not know that hundreds of IPs share the same server. With dedicated proxies, there are fewer chances that your connection speed will slow down because of others.
Thirdly, a dedicated proxy server gives you direct access, and so, full control over the IP address. This contrasts with rotating proxies that put a gateway between you and IPs, and then rotate them in the backend. Sometimes, you don’t want that.
Finally, if you decide to get a dedicated proxy service, you’ll most likely be paying per IP address and not the bandwidth you use. This can save much money if you’re consistently using large amounts of data.
Why Would You Not Want One?
Alright, so what would make you stop and think before going for dedicated proxies? Three reasons:
- Higher price.
- No IP rotation.
- Limited proxy pool.
Running a proxy server costs money. And if there’s no one else to share the expenses, you’ll be the one shouldering most of them. In general, a dedicated datacenter IP costs 2-4 times more compared to a shared one.
The second drawback was actually touted as a benefit a few paragraphs ago. What gives? It all depends on the context: some use cases require a static IP address – go dedicated proxies! – while others need IP rotation to succeed. Rotating proxies by yourself requires work and constant maintenance, so sometimes it’s easier to get a service that already does that for you.
Even if you set up rotation, you’ll have a finite proxy pool to work with. This means fewer requests from the same IP and higher losses if a proxy address gets blocked. Experienced users or those who buy in bulk have few issues with this. But if you’re an unexperienced web scraper, a rotating proxy network might server you better.
When Should You Use Private Dedicated Proxies?
The first obvious use for dedicated proxies relies on their stability and predictability: the IPs don’t change, and no one can block them but you. This works very well when you want to tie an IP address with a stable identity: manage multiple social media or e-commerce accounts, buy limited edition shoes, or simply browse the web from a different location.
Another use case is web scraping websites that shared proxies can’t reliably handle. This includes the majority of e-commerce stores, non-Google search engines, and many other domains. IP-based pricing allows collecting large volumes of data much cheaper compared to residential addresses.
Where to Buy Dedicated Proxies?
If you’ve made up your mind and know that dedicated proxies are the way to go, you’re probably wondering where to get them. Several providers are offering fast and reliable dedicated proxies, yet there are also plenty of those who don’t deliver the quality of services you may need. Figuring out which one is best suited for you may be a tough nut to crack – that’s why we’ve done it for you. Feel free to use our list of the best private proxy providers.
Forget about Free Dedicated Addresses
It’s hard to find free proxies that work well, and it’s a pipe dream to find free dedicated proxies at all. Don’t get hooked on false promises. You can read more about why we’re so against free proxies here.