Residential proxies have been getting cheaper, but they’re still expensive. With providers like PacketStream going to the dogs and IPRoyal raising prices, there’s been a lack of a truly affordable but still decent service. Dataimpulse has stepped in to fill in that gap.
At $1 per gigabyte, Dataimpulse is currently the cheapest residential proxy service out there. But is this provider worth your money, given its price and young age? Let’s find out.
Dataimpulse is a residential proxy provider started in late 2022. The company is registered in Estonia, but it belongs to the Ukrainian development agency Softoria. Some of their other products include DataforSEO and ZoogVPN.
The provider doesn’t disclose its IP sources – only that they were acquired ethically. After doing some light digging, I found links to the Traffmonetizer bandwidth sharing app. That’d mean Dataimpulse is building its own proxy pool and not simply reselling, which is good news if you’re looking for IP diversity.
Otherwise, the provider is still new, and there’s little information about it on public sources: no social media profiles and a fledgling thread on the Blackhatworld forum.
Dataimpulse Residential Proxies
A basic service with broad location coverage.
Dataimpulse’s residential proxies are fully-featured for any task that doesn’t require precise location filtering. They let you target IPs on a country level and rotate them with every connection request or keep the same proxy for multiple requests in a row. It’s possible to specify a custom rotation duration using Dataimpulse’s proxy management API.
There’s no city targeting for now, but Dataimpulse does offer proxies in some hard-to-get countries. For example, you can select Vanuatu or Gabon if needed. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll actually find any IPs there. The provider includes a table on its dashboard with IP counts in various locations; multiple African countries are listed to have as few as one IP available.
You also can’t select an ASN. However, Dataimpulse’s API lets you do the opposite – remove AS numbers you don’t like. This isn’t ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Another thing to note is that Dataimpulse limits the number of threads you can establish at once. 1,500 isn’t a low number, and with a proxy pool this big, you shouldn’t stress the infrastructure more anyway. And while there is an ability to use SOCKS5, it doesn’t support the UDP protocol – just like with most residential proxy providers.
Extremely affordable rates per GB with $50 minimum spend.
Dataimpulse’s service is based on the pay as you go model – you buy some traffic, and it stays there until used.
The rates are very affordable – at $1, Dataimpulse challenges PacketStream for the position of the undisputed price king. Unfortunately, you’ll encounter the same caveat: the minimum transaction amount is $50, whether you buy or top-up a plan. The latter can only be done manually for now.
To try out the service, Dataimpulse offers a paid trial for $5. You get 5 GB of data for the price, which is generous.
The small proxy pool and mediocre infrastructure performance fail to impress.
We tested Dataimpulse’s residential proxies in August 2023.
#1: Pool size & composition
We ran 1M requests over 21 days using the unfiltered pool, 500,000 requests over 14 days using the country pools, and 140,000 connection requests over 7 days using the Australian pool. We enriched IP data with the IP2Location database.
Dataimpulse had one of the smaller proxy pools among the providers we’ve tested. Still, it managed to beat IPRoyal and PacketStream, which is nothing to scoff at considering how new this business is.
One problem we encountered was that our IP database identified a significant portion of the proxies as non-residential addresses. This was especially prevalent in Australia – only one in five proxies we received came outside of a data center! It’s hard to treat Dataimpulse’s Australian pool as residential at all.
#2: Infrastructure performance
This benchmark shared the same parameters as the pool test. Our computer was located in Germany. We targeted a global CDN – it pinged a server nearest to the proxy IP and had a response size of several kilobytes.
Dataimpulse’s infrastructure did okay – around 95% of our requests were completed successfully, which is on par with IPRoyal. Some of the more common errors were timeouts and bad requests (error code 400). Both can and hopefully will be improved with time.
The response time metrics put Dataimpulse among the slower providers. For context, the leaders returned a response nearly five times faster in general and three times quicker in the US.
#3: Performance with popular targets
We made ~2,600 connection requests to each target using US-filtered proxies and a non-headless Python scraper. Our computer was located in Germany. Note that your results may differ based on your web scraping setup.
The results weren’t great – around 30% of the requests failed on average, with every second query to Google returning an error code. Quite a few failures had the 407 error; this could imply misconfiguration of Dataimpulse’s end. Else, it could’ve meant problems with the IP source in case the provider was reselling some of the proxies.
How to Use Dataimpulse
To register with Dataimpulse, you have to fill in a four-step form. It asks for an email address, name and surname, use case, and your contact details on one of several platforms (such as Skype or Viber). I entered a Skype ID but received no message, which raises questions about the necessity of this step.
Dataimpulse has built a functional dashboard for managing access to its service. It allows buying a plan, configuring proxy gateways, tracking usage statistics using several metrics, accessing help docs and information about IP availability in various locations.
There’s not much more to ask for other than the ability to have multiple users with different permissions. For now, the only way to achieve something similar is by getting a new plan.
Dataimpulse offers full self-service, meaning that you can buy and start using its proxies without human interaction.
To get a plan, you need to select a product (only residential proxies were available in August 2023), name the plan, choose the amount of traffic you need, and then pay. The supported methods are card and PayPal (both through Stripe) or cryptocurrencies. There’s no wallet functionality, so each purchase will require a new transaction.
Of course, the term plan isn’t completely accurate, as Dataimpulse uses a pay-as-you-go based model. Instead, you should treat plans more like workspaces. It’s possible to create multiple plans for the same product.
Afterwards, you can view and download the generated invoices in the dashboard. This page is tucked away under user preferences and doesn’t appear in the main navigation bar.
Dataimpulse has a dashboard widget for generating proxy lists, as well as an API for doing the same programmatically.
The widget lets you choose a country, rotation type (every request or session), connection protocol, output format, and how many proxies you’d like to generate. It then produces a list on the fly. There’s also a dynamic cURL string for quickly trying out the proxy connection. Simple and functional.
That said, there were some things that caught my eye:
- There’s no way to change the assigned username and password. The default is a combination of letters and numbers that may be hard to remember.
- You can select any number of countries to target, which are then reflected in the username.
- There’s no button to easily copy or export the generated proxy list – a minor inconvenience that grows with the number of lines you generate.
- Finally, some providers have also implemented live code snippets with popular programming languages. It’s a nice-to-have feature, but it could improve the user experience.
Dataimpulse’s API endpoint has more functionality than the widget. In addition to the above options, you can use it to specify session duration and exclude specific ASNs you don’t like.
Dataimpulse provides a graph for tracking data use. You can freely filter it by date range and plan. The three available metrics are money spend, traffic, and requests.
In addition, there’s a table for usage details. It shows which websites you accessed with a plan, how many requests you made, and how much traffic you spent each minute in one minute intervals. For example, on July 24, at 7:28 AM, we made 20 requests to Amazon and spent 5 MB.
The table is highly customizable, and it can show some (though definitely not all) connection errors. But if you work with proxies all day, getting information about what happened each minute quickly becomes spammy, especially when there’s no way to get a broader view. This reduces the tool’s utility.
Dataimpulse’s documentation includes API instructions on the dashboard, as well as integration tutorials with various operating systems, antidetect browsers, and other tools.
It’s definitely not barebones, but also not perfect: I found only one integration tutorial with a programming library, Requests. If your web scraper is based on Puppeteer or basically anything else, you’ll have to rely on external sources for information.
Dataimpulse’s customer service works 24/7 over live chat. We contacted the support representatives several times throughout multiple days, asking general questions about the product’s features and integration. The replies came within several minutes and were able to provide satisfactory answers. Overall, we were happy with the help we received.
Dataimpulse is by no means perfect. Its proxy pool isn’t very large, nor does it perform flawlessly. More importantly, a significant number of the IPs we tested weren’t residential at all. In addition, you may miss certain features that you’ve come to expect from more expensive providers, such as city-level targeting.
On the other hand, Dataimpulse is already big enough to sustain larger operations in major locales. If we’re right about its IP sourcing, you can get your hands on a unique proxy pool, which is always a bonus. And, of course, there’s the matter of price – very few providers can give you the rates to match.
Can Dataimpulse compare to market leaders like Oxylabs and Bright Data? For now – certainly not. But it can definitely put up a fight against PacketStream, which is a direct competitor, and other similar services. Not bad for a company that’s been in business for less than a year.
So if your target doesn’t require advanced IP filtering, or the very best infrastructure performance, you can surely give Dataimpulse a try.