Proxy Service Awards 2022
Proxies have become an indispensable tool for those seeking anonymity, security and business growth. But behind a good proxy server, there’s always a reliable provider. And what a year it has been for the providers: some can’t seem to end their legal battles, while others were busy releasing new bandwidth-sharing apps and investing in proxy performance.
It’s been a bustling year for Proxyway as well, as we followed every development. While compiling our annual market research, we couldn’t help but notice that some companies excelled among their peers: whether in performance, provided value, or grit. And now it’s time to celebrate their efforts with the fourth annual Proxy Service Awards.
Here are this year’s awards:
- Best Overall Proxy Provider
- Best Data Collection Tools
- Best Value Provider
- Best Starter Package
- Contender of the Year
Each year we test nearly a dozen proxy providers, and every time we come to the same conclusion – Oxylabs is darn good. So good, in fact, that we can’t help but give it the Best Proxy Provider award. Again.
It’s not like there isn’t any competition. Oxylabs’ biggest rival Bright Data provides many reasons why it should take the crown. And the reasons are compelling indeed (we acknowledge them by giving Bright Data another award). But when it comes to proxy networks, Oxylabs inevitably prevails.
Who else can boast about having not one but three largest proxy pools, one of which reaches 100 million month IPs? Or having proxy servers that are several times faster than most competitors… while reaching over a 99% success rate? Vanishingly few. And it’s not only a numbers’ game: Oxylabs’ customer-facing teams do a great job keeping their clients happy – and plugging some of the usability holes, which is one of the few weaknesses aside from price.
All in all, Oxylabs has become a sort-of stamp of guarantee: if you buy its proxy services, you won’t regret it.
We are incredibly grateful for being selected as the best overall proxy provider for 2022. Oxylabs is graced with employees who show true dedication and determination to deliver great products and exceptional experiences to our customers daily. On behalf of Oxylabs, we would like to extend our appreciation to Proxyway’s team for their in-depth yearly research and endeavors to shine a light on the industry.
Bright Data is another perpetual nominee in our awards. There’s simply no way around it: the service is too good – and too complete – not to include it. Doing so would be nothing less than a crime.
And while Bright Data can, and does, compete with Oxylabs with its proxy networks, the company has broader aims. It wants to become your one and only point of contact for all data collection activities. And so far, its products present a very compelling case for it.
It takes one glance at Bright Data’s webpage to understand what we’re talking about: proxy networks comprise only a third – the smallest third – of its services. The focus has shifted, or rather expanded, to proxy-based tools and data sets. We’ve had a chance to try several of them – all were polished and robust. And while the scope of our research didn’t include Data Collector, we’re not sure if there currently would even be an alternative on the market to compare it with.
That’s not to mention the tools that had already existed for a while, like Bright Data’s Proxy Manager or its interactive developer documentation. There really are very few competitors that can weigh up against them.
We would like to thank Proxyway for the market recognition and are delighted with the Proxy Service Award. The entire team at Bright Data will continue attaining its mission of delivering the best possible, reliable, and quality-driven proxy and web data solutions to take this domain to new heights. Web data is the only vehicle in which to drive an openly free market forward. We are honored to be leading this important mission with industry-leading tech innovation and responsibility.
– Bright Data
Smartproxy is the third provider that can’t seem to leave the podium. It’s been our darling for bringing top-notch products at lower-than-premium price points, all the while weaving admirable user experience around them.
This part hasn’t changed. Smartproxy is still among the few companies that can keep pace with Oxylabs’ and Bright Data’s performance while charging less. And it still puts customer interactions at the forefront. These qualities seem to extend to the provider’s new products as well, such as its dedicated datacenter proxies or the still-awkward search engine scraping API.
What has changed is the price. Smartproxy can no longer be positioned among the cheapest providers, especially in the context of RSocks or PacketStream. But this award is about value. And, when you combine Smartproxy’s quality, user experience, and supplementary tools (like the somehow free X-Browser), you’d be hard-pressed to find a provider that has more to offer for the price you pay.
Customer obsession is what we preach here at Smartproxy. With such complex technologies as proxies and scrapers, making products easy-to-use, pocket-friendly, and still highly scalable is a tough challenge. At the same time, it’s an open space for innovation and creativity which our tech geeks are so much hyped about. Getting recognized for what we believe in brings strong motivation to push the market limits further.
We first tested SOAX last year, and we were impressed with what we found: the provider’s proxy network worked well, but more importantly, it came with advanced targeting and rotation features out of the box. Some of them would cost you twice or even thrice as much with premium providers like Bright Data. It was enough to net SOAX the Newcomer of the Year Award.
A year went round, and we can’t really call SOAX a newcomer anymore. The company has firmly established itself among mid-tier proxy providers, with an eye for more. But did it manage to retain what made it special?
Short answer – yes. SOAX’s proxies still reach their target most of the time; they even managed to speed up significantly over the year. And the features like ASN targeting or flexible rotation increments remain available for all, while other providers struggle or choose not to implement them. We think this is something worth acknowledging.
In a world where data is power, SOAX’s mission was simple: to give our customers from different cultures and backgrounds access to public data worldwide through our proxy packages. We are confident in our mission, which is why it’s so important to continue on this path. We are super excited and will strive to keep being the best and innovating for everyone who needs data for their businesses.
– Maria Kazarez, Head of Content, SOAX
Blazing SEO never made it into our previous market researches. That’s because the provider only sold datacenter addresses while we focused on testing residential proxy services. Things changed this year.
And it’s not only because we decided to include datacenter proxies – though that would’ve been a reason enough. It’s also because Blazing SEO decided to step outside its comfort zone and leap into the unfamiliar. On a short notice, it introduced three more proxy types. And more importantly, it let us test the services, even though they were still in beta.
We won’t lie: neither its residential nor mobile proxies are particularly impressive. But we have to consider two things: 1) it’s still very early, and 2) we’re comparing them with the best this market can offer. While Blazing SEO is currently experiencing difficulties due to unfortunate circumstances, we believe it has the will to push through. And for this will, we’d like to hand it the Contender of the Year award.
On behalf of the entire team at Blazing SEO, I am honored to accept this award for our proxy services. Our people are our greatest asset, and this would not be possible without them. Our team is pushing day in and out to help change the image of the proxy industry by ‘shining a light on the darkness’ with high legal and ethical standards. Over the years, we have migrated away from the ‘SEO’ part of our name, so keep an eye out in the year ahead for our new brand announcement!
Thank you to the team at Proxyway for providing this service to the market.
– Neil Emeigh, Founder and CEO, Blazing SEO