Static vs. dynamic proxies
- Jun 25, 2023, 12:23 AM
- 8 minutes
There are different ways to change your IP address. Most often, specialists use proxies when working with social networks, ads managers and other services. But what proxies are more effective and where can they be useful? We have already described different types of proxies – mobile, server, resident and others. But we've only been looking at static IP addresses. Now it's time to compare static and dynamic proxies and discuss their fields of application.
What is a proxy?
A proxy server is an intermediate server between the user and the target server with a specific IP address. It is an intermediary between you and the data on the Internet. It takes a request from the user and sends it to the appropriate resource, from which it sends the data back to the user.
When a customer rents a proxy server, he/she uses a substitute IP address instead of his/her own when surfing the Internet. We have described the mechanism in detail in our blog.
According to various estimates, about a third of the world's 5 billion Internet users use proxies or similar technologies. Judging by the data from Atlas VPN, users have downloaded relevant applications almost 430 million times in 2022. And it appears from the the plot that the market will continue to grow:
So why is that intermediary needed?
- Parsing or scraping. Proxies are used to quickly obtain necessary data from the Internet with dedicated programs or bots. This can be collection of information, its analysis, conversion and/or export into the required format while bypassing APIs and site restrictions.
- Maintaining privacy. The proxy changes the user's real IP address and location, making it harder to trace who's making the request. But changing the IP address is no guarantee of anonymity: you can still be tracked with the "browser fingerprint" that we wrote about in our blog.
- Bypassing access restrictions. Some websites and onlines services are blocked to users from certain countries – think of Netflix as an example. Changing the user’s IP address through a proxy server helps to open access to such resources. Every month, more than 56% of all proxy and VPN users access Netflix (Global Web Index, 2020).
- Faster online access. Some proxies can be used to speed up Internet access. There are two technologies for this: traffic compression (the proxy cuts and optimizes some content) and caching (ensures that copies of pages open faster).
- Access restrictions. Some employers use corporate proxies to control staff members’ network traffic and restrict access to certain online resources, such as social networks.
- Security enhancement. Proxies can be used to block access to malicious websites.
- Bypassing an IP ban in case your IP address has fallen under access restrictions or for many other purposes.
Regular users use proxies to access restricted sites and enhance anonymity. So it doesn't make much difference to them which proxy to use – simply changing the IP address does the job.
Professionals often use proxies for parsing, scraping, checking the functionality of services from different countries, multi-accounting, bypassing websites’ anti-bot protection and so on.
Now let's look at the difference between static and dynamic proxies. In the first case, you use a permanent IP address, so the service may block it for some reason, for example, to fight bots or multiple accounts. In the second case, your IP address changes regularly. Blocking it will not affect you, as it takes time, and your IP address will have changed by the time of the block.
A static proxy is a proxy with a fixed IP address which does not change during use. Let's say your real IP address is 192.168.123.132. When you rent a proxy, the server can assign a new IP address to you automatically, or you can choose it from the available ones. That way, you get a substitute IP address, let’s say it’s 18.104.22.168.
Let’s break down this process into separate steps:
- The user enters a URL or clicks a link. At this point, a request is sent to connect to the site via the IP address.
- The proxy server receives the user's request and assigns a substitute IP address instead of the real one.
- The proxy server redirects the user's request to the desired site via a substitute IP address.
- The site provides information that the user sees to the substitute IP address.
The IP address of the static proxy will be permanent. That is, it will be the same as it was at the time of purchase. It is best used where the risk of blocking is low and speed and stability are important, for example, to manage accounts in social networks.
Dynamic (aka rotating) proxies are those with IP addresses that are not fixed and change during use.
Dynamic IP addresses have different usage scenarios – they are suitable where the risk of blocking is high, for example where hundreds or even thousands of requests from a single IP address are planned. If one IP address gets blocked, the server will issue a new one.
The IP address can be set to change for every new request or over a certain time period, e.g. every five minutes. This means that during a session, your real IP address may first be 192.168.123.132, then it changes to 22.214.171.124, and after a while to 126.96.36.199, and so on. The IP address can also change by user request, during reconnections, or according to other scenarios.
How does this work? The user gains access to one node – the gateway server. The node uses a static address to connect to other proxy servers. User requests go through the gateway server and random IP addresses, and only then reach websites.
On the downside, dynamic proxies are slower than static proxies. The gateway server must assign new IP addresses every now and then. A pool of IP addresses typically offers a lower bandwidth. At the same time, dynamic proxies are often more expensive because the provider must maintain millions of IP addresses.
Why use a proxy?
Static proxies are best suited to:
- Manage social media accounts. The user uses the same IP address for his/her account – this raises no suspicions. If a user has several accounts, he/she must use a separate IP address for each account.
- Check advertisements in different countries and/or cities. To see how advertisements work in a different location, the user needs to use an IP address associated with that location which will not be changing all the time.
- Research markets, collect data on a company’s image.
- Shop online. If a website detects a change in your IP address, it will block your IP addresses and may even block your account.
- Manage classifieds on dedicated websites.
Dynamic proxies will work best to do the following:
- Data parsing, including automation of parsing using bots. Each request is assigned a unique IP address, which makes the web server "think" that the requests come from different devices. For example, you can collect your competitors’ price lists.
- SEO audit. You will be able to get information about current SERP results in different geographic locations using bots and proxies. This will improve your future view of content strategy.
- Penetration testing. Changing addresses can help you test servers. You can simulate bursts of traffic to websites and see how spam or bot protection systems react.
- Data cleansing and aggregation. Aggregators using proxies can scan search engines for the best deals on prices, shopping and travel.
- Anonymity enhancement.
Tips on choosing between static and dynamic proxies
Procedure of assignment
You are given a specific address or you choose your desired IP from a list and use it each time you connect
You connect to a load-balancing server that directs connection requests to different IP addresses
Probability of blocking
Depends on the type of proxy hosting. Server-based proxies have a high probability of blocking, while mobile-based proxies have a low probability of blocking. The IP address does not change with every connection request
Low. The IP address changes with every connection request. Because of the rotation, the IP addresses are difficult to detect
Speed and stability
Depends on the hosting. High if proxies are hosted on virtual servers with fast connections (up to 10 Gb/sec). Low for mobile proxies.
Depends on proxy type
Low. You can use only those IP addresses that you were assigned to you
High. You can use a huge number of IP addresses. You can also set how often you’d like the IP addresses to change, their locations, etc.
Depends on the proxy hosting type (mobile proxies are more expensive) and the IP address
Depends on the number of IP addresses and the amount of traffic
In practice, proxies also differ in their ownership.
- Static proxies typically belong to hosting providers and cloud servers,
- Dynamic proxies often belong to mobile operators.
Why is this important to know? If there are many requests coming from an IP address belonging to a hosting provider, a website or application server may suspect that they are not comping from a regular user and block that IP address. That will not damage or hamper other users in any way.
Thus, it’s a better idea to use mobile IP addresses for dynamic proxies. Mobile operators have limited ranges of IP addresses, and each IP address is used by hundreds or thousands of users. Providers are aware of that, so many requests from a single IP address would not raise suspicions. Also, blocking a single IP address would close the access for a multitude of users, and this is another reason not to do so. Please refer to our detailed article about mobile proxies.
As we have demonstrated, different types of proxies serve different purposes. Static proxies are best to check advertisement, manage accounts, do research, shop online and manage classifieds, while dynamic proxies are best suited to collect and parse data, do SEO tasks, run tests or enhance anonymity. Thus, your choice depends solely on your purposes.
In OnlineProxy you will find mobile proxies from all over the world with daily billing from $0.7 and IP rotation. Proxies are great for work tasks. We guarantee quality or refund money.