NetNet is a major provider of rotating proxy servers. It’s less popular than something like Smartproxy or Bright Data but still a well-known option among businesses. Since early 2021, when NetNut introduced cheaper entry plans, it’s also become an affordable choice for customers with smaller requirements (one-off web scraping projects, sneaker copping, or social media management).
In this review, I’ll take a close look at NetNut and especially its residential proxy service. We’ll see how it compares with other premium providers and whether NetNut really controls the fastest residential proxy network, as it likes to claim.
Here we go.
NetNut is an Israeli proxy provider established in 2017. It belongs to Safe-T Group, which provides cybersec and privacy services. NetNut’s products include rotating datacenter, residential, and ISP proxy networks. There’s also a web scraping API – it comes bundled with the proxy plans if you pay enough.
NetNut can safely be considered a premium provider with an eye to businesses with big needs. This reflects throughout the whole service: from customer support to pricing. That doesn’t mean NetNut is completely inaccessible to entry-level clients: the plans start from $20. But you’ll get better experience – and much better rates – paying $500 and up.
Aside from businesses, resellers are another focus. NetNut tries to lure them in with dedicated pools, very elaborate usage statistics, and, of course, functionality like proxy management API and sub-users, which are locked from regular customers. NetNut has been a popular choice among sneaker proxy providers thanks to its large network of ISP proxies.
Speaking of, ISP proxies are (or at least were) NetNut’s highlight. NetNut sources them via DiviNetworks, where the company pays internet service providers for sharing their unused bandwidth. This carries extra benefits compared to other ISP proxy services, namely that the IPs have real browsing history, and you might even use them in parallel with residential users.
The other two proxy networks came relatively recently. We believe that NetNut sources some of the residential IPs via its free VPN, but the provider isn’t very open about this topic. In any case, they balance out the services and make NetNut a viable choice for most web scraping professionals.
NetNut Proxy Networks
NetNut controls three proxy networks: shared datacenter IPs, peer-to-peer residential proxies, and its signature static residential proxies. NetNut also has a proxy-based web scraping API but does very little to advertise it, so neither will we.
As things usually go with these proxy types, datacenter IPs are best for running small-scale projects with unprotected websites. Rotating residential proxies support more locations and are harder to detect. Static residential IPs work well with protected targets when you need a consistent identity.
|Proxy pool||110,000||10 million||1 million|
(US only: state & city)
|Rotation||Every request, indefinite sessions||Every request, as long as available||Every request, indefinite sessions|
|Authorization||Credentials, IP whitelisting|
|Sub-users||Available for resellers|
|Other features||99.9% uptime||99.9% uptime|
Barebones service for simple web scraping.
NetNut’s most approachable service is its network of datacenter proxies. They rotate automatically and give you full access to the proxy network. With 100k+ IPs, it’s among the largest of its kind, which should allow for some large-scale data collection. However, the only available location is the US, and you can’t filter for states or cities.
ISP Proxies (Static Residential Proxies)
Limited locations, unlimited session time.
NetNut advertises around 1 million static residential proxies. While their number has actually decreased throughout the years, NetNut remains among the largest vendors of such IPs.
The static residential proxies cover a little over 30 locations, primarily the US and Europe. This is okay for most use cases, though if you want IPs in Africa or smaller South American countries, we recommend NetNut’s rotating residential proxies. You can target cities and states, but only in the US. Otherwise, you’re left with country-level precision.
The proxies use backconnect gateway servers. Because they’re static, they don’t have to rely on end-users and their devices. Instead, the server can hold the same IP indefinitely. Rotation every request is available, though if you need custom sessions, you’ll have to set them up manually.
If you have a particular target in mind, like Google or sneaker stores, you can ask NetNut for dedicated proxies to use with that website.
Rotating Residential Proxies
Many locations to choose from.
NetNut’s rotating residential proxy network includes between 10-20 million monthly IPs. We can’t know precisely as such IPs come and go – and because NetNut provides conflicting information in different sources.
In any case, the residential proxies cover more than 150 countries, and we had a chance to verify it ourselves. You can target the countries individually. Identical to the other services, the rotation options are either on every connection request or as long as available. The difference in this case is that residential proxies rely on end users, so they can go offline at any time.
All in all, the service is pretty basic in features and resembles cheaper providers like PacketStream than NetNut’s premium alternatives.
|Format||Traffic / requests (enterprise plans)|
|Upsells||Dedicated account manager, whitelisted IPs, city selection|
|Starting price||$20 for 20 GB ($1/GB)||$20 for 1 GB ($20/GB)||$25 for 1 GB ($25/GB)|
NetNut uses a traffic-based pricing model. You can choose from a wide variety of plans, each having a set amount of gigabytes assigned to it. Custom plans are also available if the options on display aren’t enough for you.
Compared to other residential proxy providers, NetNut leans toward the expensive end of the pricing scale. This is especially true for the entry plans, which start from $25 (static) or $20 (rotating) for 1 GB of data. Even Bright Data charges less at this level. That said, the plans do scale well and start getting increasingly attractive from 250 GBs and up.
The datacenter proxies are much more affordable, but only relative to NetNut’s residential proxies. They start from $20 for 20 GBs of traffic ($1/GB) and reach $500 for 1 TB ($0.5/GB). Competitors like Smartproxy and Bright Data offer better rates; the one thing that helps NetNut is a relatively low entry threshold.
Funnily enough, NetNut only shows its smallest plans after you log into the dashboard; on the website, the pricing starts from $300.
The plans differ not only by traffic but also features. For instance, the smallest option won’t give you Skype support, IP whitelisting, or API access. You can unlock them by shelling out more money.
You can also opt to pay by requests. This model targets customers with very big needs, and it starts from $7,500 per month. Paying for successful requests makes the most sense when you’re scraping heavy web pages.
Overall, NetNut’s pricing scheme works in your favor if you have larger needs, but it faces tough competition for smaller projects and tasks. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the company devotes so much space to resellers on its homepage.
NetNut Performance Benchmarks
We last tested NetNut for 2022 Proxy Market Research. The benchmarks are based on a custom script and target Cloudflare’s Trace webpage. It doesn’t block requests and connects to the nearest Cloudflare data center, making the page ideal for testing proxy infrastructure. Our requests came from a server in Germany.
How to Use NetNut
To create an account with NetNut, you no longer have to fill in forms and wait to be contacted on Skype. After a recent update, you can simply complete a 3-step process and register by yourself.
In the process, you’ll need to enter your full name, username, email address, password, and use case.
NetNut imposes a KYC check based on the proxy type. The datacenter IPs have no KYC, meaning that you can start using them almost immediately and without contact. To activate the residential proxies, you’ll have to fill in a form with your use case and some identifying information. This is to prevent abuse and protect the proxy peers.
NetNut’s dashboard is a mixed bag. Some parts are very fleshed out, while others are lacking or missing altogether.
In the dashboard, you’ll be able to track your usage stats, invoices, see active plans and buy new ones. You’ll also be able to set up a proxy server, even if the process is somewhat convoluted and unintuitive. Finally, there are some links to integration instructions, a list of available countries, and a form to contact support.
NetNut seems to pay particular attention to statistics: you’ll find several pages dedicated to tracking your proxy use visually and even an API for programmatic access. They are able to show your proxy use by sub-user, domain, country, and even display the encountered error codes.
The dashboard also includes instructions for proxy setup. They showcase some basic hostname:port configurations and API code samples for popular programming languages. However, the examples are all static, so they’re not very comfortable to use. Some information, like the list of available cities, is missing altogether, making you play a guessing game. NetNut could learn a thing or two from Smartproxy or PacketStream in this regard.
NetNut’s proxies use backconnect servers. This means that instead of a proxy list, you get one address that accesses the provider’s proxy pool and automatically rotates IPs in the back end. NetNut has special addresses for Google, Instagram, and sneaker sites.
To specify a particular location, you simply add a string to the username with the country code. Sticky sessions have their own string where you assign a session ID. There’s no option to select gateways that would rotate the IPs automatically after some time.
All in all, I found NetNut to be very stingy when it comes to information, and the user experience could really be improved with better documentation. Maybe I’m saying this just because I’m so used to self-service, but I found myself grasping for information more than I would’ve liked to.
NetNut has historically had issues with presenting information. Despite the provider’s best efforts, many of them remain unsolved.
That’s not to say that NetNut has no documentation: there is a rather lengthy FAQ and integration guidelines with major tools. However, if you want to find out if non-resellers can create sub-users, how to target cities, the rotation options of the residential IPs, or how the scraping API works, you’ll have to dig deep or give up and write to NetNut directly. At times this can be frustrating.
That said, NetNut seems to have finally started prioritizing user experience, so hopefully things will change soon.
Customers with smaller plans can reach NetNut by email only. If you have bought a larger plan, NetNut will give you a dedicated account manager. This way, most of the communication is done via Skype.
When I registered for a free trial, one of NetNut’s managers messaged me after 15 minutes or so. He immediately enabled my test account and provided me with instructions. They usually create a separate chat for active users and respond quite quickly.
However, that’s only during the working hours. I found the email support to be significantly slower: on average, it took them more than an hour to respond. This isn’t ideal for emergencies.
The little squirrel packs a punch. Its residential proxies are stable and perform well. The speeds, while not quite as fast as advertised, still manage to compete with the market leaders. It’s also one of the larger residential proxy networks we’ve tried – at least when NetNut smuggles in ISP proxies to boost its size.
Proxies aside, improvements are needed. This applies especially to the user experience side of things: documentation is lacking, setup instructions unfriendly, and customer support limited to Skype. That’s not to say the support is bad – quite the opposite, actually. But the whole interaction with NetNut feels like it hasn’t been perfected yet.
Of course, NetNut is still a young provider. It’s only a matter of time until it streamlines things. Even now, it’s a terrific choice for scraping, market research, even social media automation – especially if you use thousands of gigabytes of data. Scale and flexibility are NetNut’s strong points, and they’re not to be underestimated.
All in all, NetNut is not quite the highest tier provider just yet, but it’s surely getting there.
A strong NetNut alternative for web scraping. You get a larger IP pool, better performance, and optional web scraping APIs that take care of proxy management from you.
Smartproxy offers two rotating proxy pools, a Google scraping API, and several free tools for data collection and anonymity. A strong performer and overall value choice.