A beginner Guide to Shared Proxies: What is a shared proxy & Why is it cheap?

Have you been blocked by a website in the past because you were using an automated bot to access its contents? Really, using web scrapers and automation bots is against the terms and conditions of most websites.

However, Internet marketers need to automate their tasks because of the repetitive nature of the tasks and how slow they can be. To avoid being blocked, you need to hide your IP address and make use of other IP addresses. There are different ways of hiding your IP address and one of the most common ways to do that is by using a proxy.

Our focus on this article is a type of proxy known as shared proxies. Take this post to be an ultimate guide for shared proxies or some kind of shared proxy 101 discussions. You will be learning about what shared proxies are, why people use them, their advantages and disadvantages over other types of proxies, and how to use them.


What Does a Dedicated IP Mean?

Your means of identification on the Internet is your device IP address. This is assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). With your IP address, one can find out information such as your geographical location and system data.

When an IP address is meant to be used by one person, such an IP is a dedicated IP. For example, the IP address assigned to your internet-enabled device by your ISP is a dedicated IP.


What Does a Shared IP Mean?

There’s no much difference between a shared IP and a dedicated IP address. The only difference between them is just the number of people using them. In the case of dedicated IPs, as discussed above, they are used by one person.

However, shared IPs are used by more than one individual. If you’re using a shared IP, you are liable to offenses committed by anyone using the shared IP – that’s how websites see it.


What Is a Shared Proxy?

Shared proxy means the proxy server shared by more than one user to access this shared IP. Based on the number of people using a proxy server, we have 3 types of proxy servers. These include private, shared and public proxies. When a proxy server or IP address is used by a limited number of people, such proxy is said to be a shared proxy.

Shared Proxies and Private Proxies

This is different from a private proxy that is used only by one person or a public proxy that has no restriction what so ever regarding the people using it. Shared proxies are also known as semi-dedicated IP addresses because they are restrictive as to who use them just like in the case of a private proxy. The only difference is that while private proxies are meant for one person, shared proxies are meant for a group of people usually in their several or even dozens.

How Shared proxy work

Because they are shared, they are usually cheaper compared to dedicated IP addresses. However, the actions of other people using the IP addresses you’re using might hurt your reputation online. If someone on the network uses the IP address for spamming, all of you using that same IP address will be regarded as spammers. Since you share the same bandwidth, they are also slower compared to dedicated IP addresses. One problem many users had about using shared hosting is the appearance of captcha.


Shared Proxies Vs Semi-dedicated Proxies

If you have been reading articles about proxies for a while, you must have come to believe that shared proxies are synonymous to semi-dedicated proxies. This is because the two terms have been used interchangeably. However, there’s a subtle difference between the two. For shared proxies, the number of people using the same proxies is large. This then means that performance, speed, and reliability is compromised a bit.

However, in the case of semi-dedicated proxies, a limited number of people usually less than 5 shared the same proxy. For example, Buyproxies is a shared proxy service provider that offers semi-dedicated proxies where only 3 users are paired to use the same proxy. Because of the few numbers of people using the same proxy, it performs better in terms of speed and reliability. In comparing shared proxies with semi-dedicated proxies, semi-dedicated proxies are a subset of shared proxies.


Advantages of Shared Proxies

Shared proxies are a different type of proxies compared to private proxies. While their performance does not meet the challenge when paired with private proxies, they also have their own advantages.

  • Cheaply Priced

The major advantage of shared proxies has over private proxies is their cost. They are less expensive and sometimes free. I, however, won’t advise you to use any free proxy service as that will put you in a cyber danger.

However, the paid shared proxies are cheaper compared to their private counterparts. This is because the cost of maintaining the proxy is shared among users of the proxy unlike in private proxies where an individual bare the full cost. Because they are cheaper, they are perfect for experimental exercises. However, because they are cheaper does not mean they aren’t efficient. In fact, I know a lot of web scrapers that depend solely on shared proxies to get their scrapers to work.

  • Highly Anonymous

Since a large number of people use the same IP address, it creates a chaos situation that makes it difficult to pinpoint a user that used it for an activity unlike in the case of private proxies that the company can easily point at the user of a particular proxy.


Disadvantages of Shared Proxies

Because shared proxies are used by many users, some problems have been associated with them.

  • Bad Neighborhood Effects

One of such problems is the bad neighborhood effect. You might be sharing a proxy with a spammer or worse still, a fraudster or hacker and you wouldn’t know. This makes you vulnerable to either attack from others using the IP or their actions affect you.

Take for example, if a user of an IP you use bombard Amazon with web requests and they block the IP you won’t be able to use it on Amazon again – courtesy of that user.

  • Captchas block

Also, shared proxies are more associated with captchas compared to private proxies, for more users to access, the IP address may be easily flagged.

  • Slower Speed

The Internet speed of shared proxy is also greatly reduced since the connection is shared between users of the proxy.


FAQ about the shared proxy

Why Shared Proxies are Cheap?

Shared proxies are cheap because they are shared among a group of people. The people using the proxy share the cost of maintaining the proxy. They also share the bandwidth. Also, since they are less reliable and slower in speed compared to private proxies, it is logical that their prices are cheap.

Do Cheap Shared Proxies Worth the Buy?

Yes, especially if you plan using proxies on a website with less security check in place to prevent the use of proxies. Most websites on the Internet are not built to deny requests coming from proxies. Like I stated earlier, a lot of web scrapers use shared proxies. They are cheaper and get the job done. You only run into problems when you share the proxy with spammers and inexperience scrapers. If you use a lot of it and rotate them per request, you shouldn’t have any problem.

While people will ask you to go for private proxies, in some cases, it is not worth it. In those cases, the only options you have are the shared proxies.

Where to Buy Cheap Shared Proxies?

You do not necessarily have to empty your wallet before you buy proxies. Already, shared proxies are quite cheap. And you can buy a whole lot of them for your web scraping and social media automation exercises. Read our article on the top 5 cheap shared proxy providers. You can choose from either of the 5 depending on your unique use case.

  • Instantproxies | 50 shared proxies cost $50 | 7-days refund policy
  • Proxybonanza | 100 shared proxies cost $21 | share to 10 Users
  • Myprivateproxy | 50 shared proxies cost $50 | share to 3 Users
  • Buyproxies | 50 Semi-dedicated proxies cost $ 40 | share to 3 Users
  • Highproxies | 50shared proxies cost $ 48 | 3-days refund policy

Conclusion

After going through the above, it is expected you now have a good understanding of what shared proxies are, what they are used for, their advantages and disadvantages as well as where to buy them.

With the knowledge acquired above, it is wise to say this ultimate guide to shared proxies has opened your eyes to the world of remaining anonymous using proxies. You can now explore more about it to learn more.