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Rating
9.3

Oxylabs Review

Oxylabs helps companies get business intelligence data, offers premium proxies and enterprise-level support. Its team has decades of personal experience in web scraping, so the provider knows what works best.

Recommended for: Anyone considering a premium provider for serious proxy use.

Proxyway best provider award 2020

Introduction

Everything about Oxylabs screams business. From a prim and tidy website, to a list of certifications on the homepage, to a dedicated account manager. Heck, its products even have insurance! – that’s a first for a proxy company.

Here you’ll be hard pressed to find any of the usual proxy targets like sneakers, Instagram, or Twitter. I’m sure that the company would be happy to cater to these use cases (if your needs are big enough) but they simply don’t seem to be the focus.

Instead, you’ll be reading about things like ad verification, brand protection, market research, and business intelligence – like I said, business.

In short, Oxylabs positions itself as a proxy service with a tie.

Well, is that bad? Considering that the company is the second largest player in the proxy market – and still growing – I’d argue the opposite. Having a clear focus really helps to offer the right features to the right customers.

If you’re not convinced, simply look at Smartproxy – it’s been using the same approach for small & medium businesses with great success.

I suppose it’s all about expectations: If you fall within the target audience, you can rest assured you’ll get the service you need. Reliable proxies, SLAs, enterprise-level support? You got it. Or perhaps a tool that does all the scraping for you? There’s Real-Time Crawler for that. Sure, you might need to pay a little more, but good service comes at a price, and Oxylabs delivers.

There’s something beautiful about this simplicity – or I might just be getting old.

Oxylabs Residential Proxies

Oxylabs has an impressive network of over 30M residential proxies. I believe it might be the second largest out of all the proxy providers I’ve reviewed. Aside from Luminati, few other companies come close.

Features: 5/5

The proxies cover all countries in the world. Oxylabs claims that it extends to every city as well. Such claims are often exaggerated, but the list of supported cities is indeed impressive. In addition to country and city targeting, you’ll also be able to filter the residential proxies by ASN.

These are P2P residential IPs, so they inevitably rotate. Oxylabs gives you very flexible rotation options: you can choose to rotate the IPs anywhere from every request to 30 mins. The default is 10 mins for sticky sessions.

Unfortunately, Oxylabs residential proxies don’t support the SOCKS5 protocol; you’ll have to make do with HTTP & HTTPS only. This rules out a few use cases like gaming or torrents; but you can try using the company’s datacenter proxies for those.

Both user:pass and whitelisted IP authorization are available. You can create as many users as you like, and the traffic will be counted separately for each – a small but convenient touch.

We recommend: 9 Best Residential Proxies Providers of 2020.

  • Protocols: HTTP, HTTPS
  • Locations: Global
  • Targeting: Country, city, ASN
  • Authorization: User:pass, whitelisted IPs
  • Rotation: Up to 30 mins

PRICING: 2/5

Just like love don’t come easy, the provider’s IPs don’t come cheap. You’ll be looking at paying above the industry average. The entry threshold is also not the lowest.

That said, considering how much you get for the cost, I really think the prices are reasonable. Sure, it might be a little too much for a regular small-time scraper; but it’s another matter for businesses.

If you’re not convinced, simply look at what the competition has to offer. You’ll find either fewer features, worse service, or otherwise the price will be similar, perhaps even higher. It all boils down to your needs.

oxylabs residential proxy pricing plans

Residential proxy plans.

  • Model: Bandwidth-based
  • Duration: Monthly
  • Smallest plan: $300 for 20GB ($15/GB)
  • Payment methods: Credit card, wire transfer, AliPay, PayPal, Stripe
  • Free trial: 7 days for businesses, 3 days money-back

PERFORMANCE: 5/5

The results of this year’s Proxy Market Research echo what we found back in 2019: Oxylabs still has the one of the best residential proxies in the market. They excelled both in our general tests and for particular use cases. The proxies are especially suitable for data scraping and SEO tasks.

More data below:

Oxylabs residential success rate

Why it matters: Success rate shows if the proxies have been blocked by target websites.

Oxylabs residential speed

Why it matters: Faster proxies can accomplish more during a given period of time.

Oxylabs residential multiple connections success rate

Why it matters: High success rate with multiple connections indicates good infrastructure and ability to withstand loads.

Among top 9 residential proxy providers:

  • Data aggregation: 1st
  • Data scraping: 1st
  • Ad verification: 2nd
  • Market research: 3rd
  • SEO: 1st
  • App dev & localization: 3rd
  • Sneakers: 2nd

More information here.

Oxylabs Datacenter Proxies

Datacenter proxies is an area where Oxylabs really manages to impress. With the most datacenter IPs among all proxy providers and unlimited concurrent connections, the company is ready even for largest-scale data extraction tasks. This makes sense, since it is primarily a B2B provider. Having a deep pool is a tremendous competitive advantage when dealing with large enterprises.

FEATURES: 5/5

To give you hard numbers, Oxylabs has over 2 million datacenter IPs. They come from 7,850 subnets. What’s especially nice is that you can choose how many subnets you need: For 1,000 IPs you can get from 1 to as many as 1,000 subnets. The proxies aren’t shared, meaning they’re dedicated for your exclusive use.

The datacenter proxies cover 82 locations around the world. This is a lot. The targeting options are also generous. This makes the datacenter proxies an attractive choice for scraping tasks in various locales – as long as the target isn’t trying very hard to block you.

Unlike the provider’s residential proxies, these IPs support all three main protocols, including SOCKS5. The proxies come in a simple list. There’s no in-built proxy rotation, but you can set it up using a special tool called Proxy Rotator.

Both user:pass and whitelisted IP authorization methods are supported. There is no limit on the number of IPs you can whitelist, simply do it via the dashboard.

  • Protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS
  • Locations: Global
  • Targeting: Country, city, ASN
  • Authorization: User:pass, whitelisted IPs

PRICING: 2/5

Once again, the proxies are expensive. If you choose the cheapest plan, you’ll be looking at paying $1.80/IP. Don’t go to Oxylabs looking for a bargain, especially if you need proxies outside the US. This will raise the price to $4/IP.

On the other hand, if you’re serious about scraping and want to dip your toe into the proxy waters first, even the smallest plan might do. There’s enough added value here to compensate for the premium price.

Things change as you buy up. The pricing scales well into thousands of IPs and even becomes relatively affordable. At this point, more factors come into play, such as long-term contracts and domains, so you might get it down even lower than advertised.

Note that you won’t be able to buy special plans for particular use cases. But if you need proxies that are guaranteed to work for, say, Amazon, don’t be afraid to inform your account manager. With a huge proxy network, Oxylabs is very flexible about this.

  • Model: IP based
  • Duration: Monthly
  • Smallest plan: $180 for 100 IPs ($1.8/IP)
  • Payment methods: PayPal, Credit card, AliPay, wire transfer, Stripe
  • Free trial: 7 days for businesses, 3 days money-back

Scraping Tools

In recent years, Oxylabs has introduced several specialized tools for web scraping. The idea behind them is to simplify data collection tasks by turning proxies into a service. Put simply, all you have to do is enter your crawling or scraping target, and Oxylabs will return the data for you in HTML or JSON format. If something fails – you don’t pay.

Such tools keep much of the work in-house – which makes sense when you consider that Oxylabs lives and breathes proxies, so it can make the best use of them. It also gives a way for the provider to differentiate itself. Proxies by themselves are hardly exciting. Next-gen resi proxies, on the other hand? Now we’re talking!

For businesses, this removes the need for proxy management. Simplifying the process to input-output should also reduce accounting headaches and labor costs. Plug in the API, get data, pay. Simple. I’m not sure if the tools can replace proxies altogether, but they should work well alongside them. Just mind your expenses.

There are three tools to choose from. They work on the same principle but have subtle differences. Here’s what I’ve made of them:

WEB SCRAPER

An all-purpose scraping tool. It’s marketed for use with all except the most challenging targets (read: Google). Put simply, if you’re scraping multiple smaller websites, go for this one.

NEXT-GEN RESIDENTIAL PROXIES

The name’s somewhat misleading, as this tool isn’t really proxies. They might be on Oxylabs’ end, but you’ll be seeing APIs and cURL requests. I’m not sure how exactly they differ from Web Scraper, but you’ll find all the trendy buzzwords here like AI, machine learning, and anti-captcha.

REAL-TIME CRAWLER

This one’s more straightforward. Real-Time Crawler was specifically made for scraping the most challenging targets, to be more specific: Google and large e-commerce sites (so, perhaps Amazon)? Again, it has anti-captcha mechanisms, ensures 100% delivery, and does everything for you except your laundry.

How to Use Oxylabs

REGISTRATION

You can start using Oxylabs in two ways.

First, there’s the usual route: fill in a registration form, confirm your email, and you’re done.

The second one is aimed at businesses: instead of simply creating an account, you can choose to Contact sales. This will require entering your full name, business email, phone number, and industry. Afterwards, a salesman will get in touch and discuss the options with you.

It’s a painless experience, and nothing to write home about. I’m just not very fond about that you’re locked out of the dashboard until you speak with someone. Thankfully, my account manager (everyone gets one here) responded really quickly and was very helpful in setting the whole thing up.

oxylabs_dashboard_overview

Need to contact the account manager first.

 

DASHBOARD

At first sight, the Oxylabs dashboard looks deceptively simple: there are barely four sections in the navigation bar and an option to contact the account manager.

However, once I started playing around, I saw that there’s more to it than it seemed. Each of the sections expands into smaller sub-sections, which include more options for managing your proxies.

You can track your proxy usage, create sub-users and whitelist IPs, and see your billing information. There are also links to the knowledge base and API documentation. You’re going to need the latter because there’s no way set up proxies directly in the dashboard.

Finally, if you need help, there’s a button to contact your account manager. It will go in handy when you’ll be renewing your plan – once again, can’t do it by yourself.

Overall, I found the Oxylabs dashboard pleasant to use. It’s really one of the better implementations around.

oxylabs_dashboard_expanded

The dashboard fully expanded.

 

PROXY SETUP

The setup process depends on the proxy type. For datacenter proxies, it’s very simple:

1) Authenticate your proxies in the dashboard (either with credentials or your IP)
2) Download a proxy list. You’ll also need to add a port to the IPs depending on your authentication method. All of this is provided in the documentation.

The residential proxies use backconnect servers, so the process looks something like this:

1) Authenticate your proxies in the dashboard.
2) Select a gateway IP and port.

Rotating sessions use one port, while sticky sessions need a range of ports. If you’re using user:pass authentication, you’ll need to add those credentials as well. For example, this is the configuration for rotating proxies in the US:

us-pr.oxylabs.io:10000

You can simply put in the above address into your scraping/automation software. Or you can create cURL requests. They enable more granular controls, such as state, city, and ASN. This way, our example would transform into:

curl -x us-pr.oxylabs.io:10000 -U "customer-USERNAME:PASSWORD" https://ipinfo.io

Either way, the proxies are simple work with, and Oxylabs has prepared extensive user docs to help you make the process as painless as possible.

Customer Support

EXPERIENCE: 5/5

Oxylabs gives each client a dedicated support manager who answers all of your questions via email or call. That’s why the dashboard lacks the usual features, such as support tickets or live chat. (There is live chat on the webpage, though.)

To be honest, when I first learned that Oxylabs doesn’t use tickets, I was ready to lower the rating. However, after trying out how the support works in real life, I was pleasantly surprised.

Since you always speak with the same person, they know which problems you had in the past, so you don’t have to explain everything from the beginning. Communication is smooth and professional. Even when we asked technical questions, we got fast and well-explained answers.

I also tested how fast their support is and asked a question via email. The reply came in about 20 minutes and, from my experience, this is as good as it gets.

Conclusion

Like I said: expectations. If you fall into Oxylabs’ target audience, you can be sure you won’t be disappointed.

It’s not the kind of service where you put something into a cart, pay for it, walk through the door with some flimsy instruction manual, and that’s that. 

We’re talking business here: subtle, polished, and no-nonsense. You’ll be making relationships with real people who will remember your name, needs, and proactively try to keep you content. You’ll receive good service, and even more importantly – one that’s reliable. The proxies really are top-notch, and so are the scraping tools. 

In a nutshell, you’ll be in good hands. 

In return, you will be paying more. The entry threshold is also quite high – for Oxylabs, 50GB of residential proxies means “basic”. The pricing becomes much more attractive with advanced plans, but at that point we’re dealing with 1TB of data or 5,000 IPs. 

It all boils down to two questions: do you need the best proxy service available and will you make full use of it? If yes, then you might have just found yourself a proxy provider.

PROS

+ Best proxy performance
+ Flexible proxy controls
+ Global locations
+ Premium customer service

CONS

Non-instant setup
Expensive smaller plans

Oxylabs Alternatives

Before committing to a proxy provider, it’s a good idea to look around and see how it compares to other proxy services.

You may also want to learn how Oxylabs fares against its top competitors: https://proxyway.com/comparisons