IPRoyal offers a wide variety of products for sneakerheads and web scrapers on a budget. They’re priced aggressively enough to cause serious headaches for IPRoyal’s competitors, and for you to consider the company as your provider of choice. $7 for 1 GB of residential proxies and no monthly commitments? That’s a pretty good deal.
But low prices always carry compromises. What will IPRoyal’s be? And will its products pack enough punch to justify the provider over PacketStream, Smartproxy, or even premium competitors like Bright Data? Let’s find out.
If you’ve come from Google, you may be interested in IPRoyal’s Pawns.app. We compare it with similar services here.
IPRoyal started out in late 2020. It initially focused on renting IP space to other companies, but the attention quickly shifted to selling proxies directly to customers. Today, the provider offers four different proxy networks that cover all IP types.
IPRoyal runs its own residential proxy pool via a bandwidth-sharing app called Pawns. Despite facing serious setbacks early on, the provider has managed to grow the network to several million IPs. This is an impressive feat, and it also lets IPRoyal claim that the proxies are sourced ethically.
IPRoyal used to be among the most affordable services, in line with Storm Proxies and PacketStream. It also put much focus on sneakerheads, with special datacenter plans and residential proxy endpoints for stores like Nike.
After a price hike in 2022, IPRoyal nears closer to mid-range providers like Smartproxy. Still, small users remain the company’s main audience, even if it wouldn’t mind selling you terabytes of residential traffic for a large project or reselling.
According to the CEO Karolis Toleikis, IPRoyal’s ambition is to grow into a top three provider in the near future. Considering that its traffic use grew 10 times comparing 2021 and 2022, the company is on the right track.
IProyal Datacenter Proxies
Static proxies with very few limitations.
IPRoyal’s datacenter proxies are pretty much unlimited: you can establish as many threads or send as much traffic as you like. Furthermore, they support SOCKS5 for traffic-intensive use cases, streaming, or games.
The number of locations is also impressive, with 30 countries to choose from. There are only two issues: you can select one country per plan, and some countries may have few or no IPs available at times. For example, IPRoyal had no Canadian or Singapore proxies in stock when I checked.
The format is a simple IP list assigned randomly. You can refresh it for free once per month or keep the same proxies during the whole subscription period.
IPRoyal’s sneaker-optimized addresses have identical features – the single difference is that you’ll need to specify your target website during purchase.
Attractive rates that don’t scale much.
IPRoyal’s datacenter proxies use a subscription-based pricing model. You can get a monthly plan, pay every two months (5% off) or three months (10% off). With sneaker-optimized proxies, it’s also possible to get one-day’s access.
The provider charges only for the number of IPs you get. Unlike some alternatives, the pricing isn’t impacted by location, traffic, or target.
You can choose any number of proxies you want, starting from five IPs. IPRoyal doesn’t show in advance how many addresses are available, but it’ll inform you if you try to buy too many. The pricing stops scaling at 100 proxies – but even then, IPRoyal remains among the cheaper providers until 300-500 IPs.
Compared to the regular datacenter proxies, IPRoyal’s sneaker-optimized servers cost more. The difference ranges between 10-20%, which isn’t significant.
Decent speed and IP quality.
We last benchmarked IPRoyal’s 100 US datacenter proxies in March 2023. The provider assigned them based on our specifications.
#1: Download speed
We tested 10 IPs using DigitalOcean’s 100 MB NYC benchmark.
Though we experienced a significant performance hit with proxies, the download speed was still fast enough for most uses, including video streaming. They shouldn’t hold you back too much.
#2: Performance with popular targets
We made ~2,600 connection requests to each target using US 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 datacenter proxies accessed all three targets with a high success rate. Around one fifth of the requests to Amazon faced blocks; this isn’t perfect considering that IPRoyal hand-picked the IPs for us. Otherwise, it’s luck of the draw.
IPRoyal Residential Proxies
Flexible filtering options, SOCKS5.
IPRoyal’s residential proxies check most of the boxes.
First, you get flexible location targeting options. This includes not only countries (which you cna target up to two at a time) but also states and cities. IPRoyal offers additional filters as well, namely regions (like Europe) and even shoe websites (for example, Zalando). ASN targeting is technically available but only to customers with thousands of dollars in spending.
The rotation options are generous, too. It’s possible to get a new proxy with every connection request, or you can freely specify a sticky session between one second and seven days. Of course, you’re very unlikely to actually keep the same IP for that long.
IPRoyal has one more interesting feature – high-end pool. It should cut off slower and less stable proxies at the expense of fewer available IPs.
No-commitment, no expiration, affordable rates.
IPRoyal uses a pay-as-you-go based pricing model for its residential proxies. You can buy any number of gigabytes you wish, and they’ll stay there until used.
Getting more traffic gives an increasing discount (an order of 2 GB costs 15% less/GB than 1 GB). So, it makes sense to buy as much as you need in one go to save money.
Compared to premium and most mid-range competitors, IPRoyal’s prices are cheap. Even after a significant price hike in 2022, the service costs less than SOAX, Rayobyte, or Smartproxy. IPRoyal also scales well and encourages bulk purchases, providing public rates for up to 10 TB of data.
We last tested IPRoyal’s residential proxies in March 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.
While not large, IPRoyal’s proxy network had a respectable number of IPs in major locations. Furthermore, an IP database identified most of the proxies as coming from landline or mobile connections.
In the context of other providers, however, IPRoyal’s residential network was second to last in size. Only PacketStream returned fewer unique IPs.
#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.
IPRoyal’s success rate was mediocre overall and especially low in Australia. Roughly one in 10 requests failed under ideal conditions, which was the worst result among the providers we tested.
The same applied to connection latency – IPRoyal came dead last, with a response time that was over seven times slower compared to market leaders.
#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.
These residential proxies failed to impress when targeting real websites, as well. Even Walmart, which our scraper could handle without issues using other providers, failed to open one in five times.
How to Use IPRoyal
Satisfactory user experience with lacking usage statistics.
This section covers IPRoyal’s registration procedure, dashboard, proxy and subscription management, and customer service.
To start using IPRoyal, you must first fill in a registration form. It requires entering your name, surname, and phone number as personal details, and you might need to confirm the registration via your phone. Once done, you get to enter the dashboard, where you can buy and manage access to IPRoyal’s proxy networks.
With the exception of static residential proxies, KYC isn’t obligatory. But without it your use of proxies will be limited. In the case of residential IPs, you’ll be able to access only 40% of the pool. In addition, IPRoyal will block Facebook, LinkedIn, and several other websites.
The identity verification process involves sending an ID to a third-party service called Idenfy.
IPRoyal’s dashboard is divided into self-contained sections for each product. They let you buy proxies, authenticate them, and track use where possible. They even have separate order histories – almost as if you were using five different dashboards instead of one.
So, you only need to leave your tab to change the account settings – or deposit money if you opt to use the dashboard’s wallet functionality.
If you add at least $200, IPRoyal enables its reseller tools: a separate tab for managing sub-users and an API for doing the same tasks programmatically. The API documentation is well maintained and supports major programming languages.
IPRoyal lets you buy proxies using two methods. One is to deposit money onto the platform; the second is to create orders directly. The difference is that the former option lets you pay with Bitcoin. You can also use it to extend monthly subscriptions or top-up residential traffic without making additional money transfers.
You can track orders and generate invoices under separate proxy types. It’s possible to add a note to an order and then search by note, which is a nice touch for usability.
Once you’ve bought a plan, the proxy setup procedure depends on which proxy type you get.
For example, IPRoyal’s residential proxies give you a widget with multiple options. You can choose a location (or multiple locations), rotation duration, and connection protocol. There are some extra options as well: selecting between several proxy formats, IP or DNS hostname. Once done, you can copy or download the generated list of endpoints.
With datacenter or ISP proxies, IPRoyal simply displays a list of assigned IPs.
The dashboard has an ability to show your remaining traffic, but only as a number: there are no visualizations whatsoever. This is quite funny knowing that the section for affiliates provides visual stats for earnings and clicks.
Alternatively, you can generate a data usage report by entering a username, date range, and your preferred data measurement unit. IPRoyal creates a CSV file that shows daily traffic use per target. It’s not the most convenient reporting format but still better than nothing.
Finally, you can opt to get automated traffic reminders by email.
IPRoyal offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. They function like any other similar tool, letting you use proxy servers without altering your browser or operating system settings.
There’s also a proxy tester that lets you check and filter lists of proxy IPs.
Though IPRoyal has improved, it still has issues with providing information. The APIs are reasonably well documented, and the product pages do a decent job answering main concerns. However, you’ll find very few configuration instructions, troubleshooting guides, and other helpful information that providers like Smartproxy and Bright Data have in spades.
IPRoyal answers queries 24/7 via live chat, email, and Discord. We tried contacting the support via live chat; an agent responded within a minute and competently answered as many questions as we threw at them. Color me impressed.
Like many other new proxy providers, IPRoyal is very much an exercise in compromise. You give up some features, encounter rough edges in user experience – and in this case, have to make do with a smaller proxy pool. In return, you pay less, hoping that the product that is there will be able to meet your needs.
Well, will it?
Once again, it depends: the residential proxy pool should be just fine for small-time use, with varying performance and IP numbers for different locations. It can’t hold a candle to the premium providers yet, but the service is improving fast. And the upsides make a compelling case: $7/GB, non-expiring traffic, and some of the most flexible IP rotation settings I’ve seen.
I’m afraid to think what an enterprise whale would do to the pool now, but IPRoyal’s growth is promising. So, you can surely try it for most tasks today – after all, the price is right, – just be aware of the limitations.
Smartproxy costs slightly more. But for that price, you get a significantly larger proxy pool, better performance, and great user experience.
Rayobyte is a strong provider of datacenter and ISP proxies. It also sells residential proxies that never expire and scale very well past 50 GB of data.