PacketStream Review

Cheap residential proxies on life support.

PacketStream’s proxy pool is small and plagued with technical issues that make the provider much more expensive than advertised.

Rating 6 / 10
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$1 per gigabyte and no need to buy a subscription plan? Sounds like one heck of a deal. It sure was in 2020, when I first reviewed the provider.

Three years later, I’m no longer as optimistic. PacketStream has changed very little in a market that’s moving at a breakneck pace. I’d be hard pressed to find a difference between the provider then and now.

If it works, don’t fix it? Maybe, but the PacketStream of yore had real issues with user experience and the size of its proxy network. In this review, we’ll see where the price king stands compared to other residential proxy services, and if it’s managed to address the shortcomings. 

If you’ve come from Google to read about the PacketStream bandwidth-sharing app, we compare it with similar services here.

General Information

Proxy networksResidential
Web scrapers
Price rangeAffordable
Starting price$50 (minimum deposit)
Pricing modelPay as you go
Payment methodsPayPal, credit card

PacketStream is an American proxy provider. It was established in 2018 by Ronald Bell. The founder and team initially marketed the project on various channels, but their active marketing efforts seem to have ended in 2019. 

PacketStream created one of the first bandwidth sharing marketplaces. Where other proxy services would bury SDKs into popular apps, the provider offered people to straight up sell their bandwidth for money, turning them into proxy servers. By now, it’s become a popular method for sourcing residential IPs. 

This straightforward business model has allowed PacketStream to collect a respectable number of residential IPs in short notice. It’s also dumped the prices to impressive lows. But at the same time, PacketStream is extremely reliant on the so-called ‘packeters’, or bandwidth sellers – their whims can make or break the whole network.

As a general-purpose provider, PacketStream is used for various purposes, ranging from one-off web scraping projects to sneaker copping. It’s also a popular option for reselling, so you may be using PacketStream’s proxies without knowing it.

PacketStream Residential Proxies

Residential proxies are PacketStream’s only product. These IPs come from people who voluntarily share their bandwidth. According to the website, their network includes around 7 million monthly addresses, but the number hasn’t changed for a few years. 


A basic but competent service. 

Format: Proxy pool with 7 million IPs

Locations: 100+ countries

Filtering: Country

Rotation: Every request, as long as available

Threads: Unlimited

Traffic: Plan based


Authentication: Credentials

PacketStream’s residential proxy network isn’t heavy on features, but the essentials are all there.

The proxies cover over 100 countries in the world. Their locations are listed on the dashboard, though there’s no way to know how many IPs each has, so you’ll have to rely on the provider. You can get IPs randomly or target particular countries.

These residential proxies are peer-to-peer, so they inevitably rotate. You can choose rotation on every connection request or to keep the same IP until the source goes offline. The PacketStream app is available only for desktop OSes, so in theory the sessions should remain alive for quite a while.

The two supported protocols are HTTP and HTTPS. Unfortunately, SOCKS proxies aren’t on the table, so this rules out torrents or streaming sites. PacketStream also lacks the option to whitelist IPs, meaning that you’ll have to make do with user:pass authentication.

PacketStream advertises that you can use the proxies anyhow you like, but in reality the terms of service prohibit some use cases, specifically advertisement spam.

Pricing Plans

Model: Pay as you go

Format: Traffic

Starting price: $50 for 50 GB


Compared to some other larger providers, PacketStream sells proxies for peanuts. The pricing model is very simple: 1 GB of traffic costs $1. That’s it.

You pay for the traffic as you go, so first, you have to add some credit to your account. Then, your use of bandwidth will simply eat into this money until there’s no more left. If you want, you can hook up your credit card to auto-recharge the balance. Otherwise, top-up amounts are $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1000.

There’s one gotcha: Even though a gig costs merely $1, you have to buy at least 50 GB at a time.

During our tests, we experienced one more serious issue: PacketStream’s system overcounted traffic use by eight to ten times. Users first identified it in December 2022, and it still wasn’t fixed months later. Quite the opposite – the provider’s customer support repeatedly told people that everything was in order.

Performance Benchmarks

We last tested PacketStream in March 2023 for the annual Proxy Market Research.

#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.

GatewayUnique IPsResidential %

Don’t be fooled by those 99,000 IPs in the unfiltered gateway – PacketStream’s proxy pool is small. In fact, it’s the smallest of the residential providers we’ve tested. With under than 6,000 unique US proxies throughout weeks of testing, we can only recommend it for minor tasks.

It doesn’t help that PacketStream freely resells its residential network – many users and few proxies spells bad news for IP quality. 

#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.

GatewayAvg. success
Avg. response time
Random97.77%1.15 s
US96.94%0.85 s
UK97.67%0.91 s
Germany98.79%0.92 s
France98.30%0.88 s
India97.93%1.47 s
Australia98.25%1.49 s

On the brighter side, PacketStream’s proxy infrastructure worked well. Between two and three percent of our requests failed – it’s not the best result in the market but still respectable considering the price. In addition, PacketStream was among the faster providers in the US. This makes sense considering where it’s based.

#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.

WebsiteAvg. success rateAvg. response time
Amazon89.08%3.60 s
Google78.71%1.72 s
Social Media85.38%1.49 s
Walmart93.28%2.18 s
Total86.60%2.25 s

PacketStream’s results with real websites were just average. Google hit these proxies the hardest, which is understandable. But over 10% failed requests to Amazon are more than we’d have liked.

How to Use PacketStream


Creating an account with PacketStream is a simple affair:

  1. Enter your username, email, and password
  2. Choose whether you want to sell traffic or buy proxies

Then, you end up in the dashboard. You don’t even need to confirm your email address.


Packetstream has a simple dashboard that tries to serve both sides of its business at once. One half is dedicated for traffic sellers, and the other half for proxy users. This doesn’t affect the user experience too much, as the dashboard is not yet overloaded with features.

Using it, you’ll be able to see your traffic stats, invoices, and buy bandwidth. There’s a button for contacting support as well, but it merely returns you to the FAQ page. Of course, there’s also a page for setting up proxies. Other options, such as downloading the PacketStream app or managing referrals, aren’t really relevant for proxy users.

Finally, you’ll find a form to request access to the Reseller API, if you partake in such activities. What about an API for your own proxy use? The provider says nothing about it.

All in all, the dashboard provides all that is needed to get you going. It’s light on documentation and missing quick access to customer service, but all the essentials are there.

packetstream dashboard main page

PacketStream dashboard’s main page.

Proxy Setup

To set up proxies on PacketStream, you can use the provided widget. This involves selecting items from several drop-down lists: proxy type (HTTP or SSL), whether you want the IPs to rotate, and a country. A nice touch is that you can change between DNS hostname (so, and IP hostname ( at will.

packetstream proxy setup widget

PacketStream proxy setup widget.

Once you’re done, PacketStream generates a proxy list with up to 10,000 IPs in several formats:

packetstream formatted proxy list

The formatted proxy list.

PacketStream also provides a cURL proxy string for testing the proxy server, as well as dynamic code samples for multiple programming languages: Golang, node.JS, Python, and more. 

packetstream dashboard code sample

The code samples automatically fill in your credentials.

All in all, the proxy setup procedure is simple and pleasant

Usage Tracking

The only way regular users can track traffic expenditure is via the dashboard. On the home page, there’s a graph that shows consumed bandwidth during the last two weeks. There’s no way to change the timeframe or select custom dates.

Subscription Management

PacketStream doesn’t use a subscription-based pricing model. You simply add money via a credit card or Paypal and use proxies at a rate of 1GB for $1. 

If you pay by card, PacketStream has the option to automatically recharge the balance once it falls below $1. You can choose the top-up amount. PayPal, on the other hand, supports only one-time purchases.

The dashboard generates basic invoices for your traffic purchases.

packetstream dashboard invoices

Our invoices.


PacketStream’s documentation is pretty spartan. Aside from code samples, you get a basic FAQ, as well as and setup instructions with web browsers and operating systems. 

There’s no start guide, configuration instructions for popular tools, or troubleshooting. Instead, PacketStream asks you to contact its customer support if you need help. 

Hands-On Support

The problem is that customer support is PacketStream’s weakest point. You can reach it by email only, and help doesn’t come fast. 

I contacted the provider multiple times and received a reply in 12 hours on average. However, not all customers are that lucky: I found out that in general tickets receive responses within 24 hours

So, while PacketStream does claim to have 24/7 support, you can hardly call it so in reality. This is better than nothing, but it might not be enough for enterprise clients.

I also managed to reach the provider by Skype but was unceremoniously shooed away after being told that it’s for sales only.

PacketStream Conclusion

So, that was Packetstream. What can you take away from this review?

If I had to put it in one sentence, it would sound something like this: PacketStream is lean and its pricing impressive enough to attract, but the company seems to be on life support.

If your proxy needs are simple – I’d consider PacketStream as an option. Once it manages to fix the traffic overcounting issue, the provider will once again become the best entry option to try out residential proxies, save for perhaps Smartproxy and IPRoyal. Just make sure you don’t need SOCKS5 or city targeting first.

If you’re an enterprise… I would hold off on PacketStream. The provider’s proxy pool is too small and its customer service too inefficient to ensure a satisfactory experience. Today, I’d go for Oxylabs or Bright Data.


  1. Cook on April 15, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    srsly how are they keeping their prices so low. anyway when it comes to buying kicks, what would be their biggest disadvantage? Need to know if I should reconsider

    • Chris Becker on April 16, 2020 at 7:19 am

      Cook, one drawback would be no city-level targeting. Your copping may be slower if you get an IP on the other side of the US.

  2. Jeremy on August 24, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Is packetstream legit? That part about selling bandwidth kinda makes me wonder, whether everything is ok and stable over there. I mean, on one hand it’s cool, it allows people to earn extra money, but I havent heard of this model of gaining IPs

  3. Chris Becker on August 26, 2020 at 6:08 am

    If you mean legit in the legal sense, then yes, I would think so. As for how the model works in reality: we’ve had a good experience with the proxies, but people online aren’t very happy with the stability and proxy pool. So, I’m a little conflicted about PacketStream.

  4. 3332211 on September 7, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    how much bandwith do you need to sell to withdraw packetstream? I mean is it possible for a regular user to make money?

  5. Chris Becker on September 7, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    The rate may vary depending on your location. Assuming it’s $0.10/GB (as stated on PacketStream’s website), you’d need 50 GBs to withdraw the minimum $5 payment.

    The amount of traffic you can sell once again depends on your location and PacketStream’s clients. One week it can be tens of gigabytes, and the other barely anything.

    So, PacketStream won’t be able to replace your day job. But it can earn you a few beer bucks if you’re willing to keep your computer on all the time.

  6. Jim on September 8, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I’ve just tried Packetstream and used Proxifier to monitor traffic. With total 1MB(up+down) on Proxifier, Packetstream showed I used 3MB of date. So basically they charge 3$/1GB.
    I think you guys should review their bandwidth counter too.

    • Chris Becker on September 13, 2021 at 7:31 am

      Hi Jim, thanks for the comment. We noticed that something was off with traffic use when we tested PacketStream earlier this year. Definitely something to look into.

  7. Carlson on August 2, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the review, very informative. Could you please review HydraProxy? Thought you’d have done it, but I browsed through your entire site and didn’t find it, so I guess you’re yet to have made a HydraProxy review

  8. Frank Jensen on November 7, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Unfortunately they appear to be fraudulent. If you read their terms of service nowhere does it state that you can’t run more than one instance, and if you have the bandwidth available why wouldn’t you. They will let you run it like that until you make enough money that they ban your account to prevent paying out.

    Look for other options.

  9. kevin on December 3, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    got up went to pc looked at dashboard got a white screen so tried going to website and got black screen i contacted them and found out i had been ip banned for apparently not being a residential ip which i was a residential ip address and was told there was nothing they could do as it was a third party that deals with that and that was where they left it no other options they took all the bandwidth and didnt pay just got banned my advice is avoid at all cost nothing but a scam from a very dodgy company

  10. J on December 5, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Frank Jensen — how does that make it fraudulent?

  11. Addi on July 19, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    The consumption for 6 searches and clicks (bot) is around 700MB. This is pure scam.

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