Are you trying to get some data or verify some data online? Chances are there that you will be fed with incorrect data by some websites without you knowing it. Websites are increasingly personalizing what they display to their visitors based on their IP addresses, geographical locations, demographic data, and behaviors online.
This means you should not base your decision on what you see browsing your competitors’ websites using your computer – it might just be a personalized content. Sadly, there’s nothing you can do about this without using a proxy.
Never heard of residential proxy? Easily read our previous post, about What is the residential proxy?
It is increasingly becoming important for businesses to use residential proxies in order to trick websites to get what they want. Different business has what they use residential proxies for.
However, the top uses of residential proxies are price comparison, ads verification, account management, data collection, fraud protection, brand protection, application performance check, talent sourcing, and cybersecurity to some extent.
Usually, businesses that engage in the above-mentioned tasks need to use a lot of proxies and rotate them so as to avoid been marked as a data collector or competitor.
At any moment a website noticed you’re not a regular user but a data collector or competitor, access to their site will be blocked or you will be feed with the wrong information.
Sending many requests by rotating the IP addresses will get you off the radar and the requests will appear to be coming from different locations. Let take a look at the use cases in detail.
Price comparison is the number one reason why people use residential proxies. In case you do not know, a product you buy in your region from an online store at a price of $500 might be available to people living in another region at a discounted price of $300. Because geographical locations vary in terms of wealth and the demography of its inhabitants, businesses are increasingly fine-tuning their prices to suit such differences. Take, for instance, sneaker sites are notorious for selling their products at different prices. This had led to the development of sneaker bots that uses residential proxies to buy sneakers at cheaper prices.
Also, businesses in the same industry are fond of deceiving their competitors. It is not uncommon to see online stores marking their competitor's IP addresses in other to feed them with wrong information. On such online stores, the prices their competitors see are different from the prices their customers see. This helps them keep their competitors in the dark and keep them competitive. Let’s face it, businesses need to know how much their competitors charge for products. Quoting prices out of mere economic theories do not help these days.
Because they are aware of the cunny habit, they resort to using residential proxies. With proxies, they appear to their competitors as a regular visitor trying to buy their products. Through IP rotation, they can discover how their competitors price their goods based on their users’ locations without getting blocked. With the data get, they can make adjustments to theirs where needed.
If you aren’t using ads blocker on your browser, you must have noticed how Google ads change on blogs and websites you visit as your activities changes online. What you probably do not know is that the ads been shown to you as someone in the United States is different from the ads been shown to someone in India.
How then can you as a Google competitor know the types of ads been displayed to the United Kingdom audience so that you can lure their advert partners? The solution is through the use of residential proxies.
No doubt, the level of trust enjoyed by residential proxies cannot be matched with the one enjoyed by datacenter proxies. While a company can still use datacenter proxies, it is highly likely that Google can tell if you’re behind a datacenter and get your expectations distorted.
However, there’s no way Google will know you’re using a residential proxy. This is because the requests are routed through residential IP addresses linked to home addresses. I mentioned Google here because it is the market leader.
The online advert industry is full of businesses and their advert partners each with their own bag of tricks. Advert partners are full of gimmicks, they can claim revenue for ads they never displayed to their users. Some of them are notorious for having a system in place to detect their business partners' IP addresses and display ads to them as agreed.
However, regular visitors get served something entirely different. Because businesses are aware of this, they have consistently employed the service of residential proxy service providers to verify how their ads are been displayed. These two scenarios are just a few ways residential proxies are used for ads verification.
Also, high on the list of reasons why people use proxies is for account management on account-based websites.
For example, Do you know that despite the fact that PayPal restricts some countries from opening a full account that they can use to send and receive, some people in those countries have devised a means of creating US PayPal accounts – courtesy of residential proxy services!
Take note this just a sample! If you plan to do this, you have to be extra careful because any day you forget to use the proxy and you are discovered, luck should definitely be on your side else, you will lose your hard-earned money.
Okay, PayPal is so strict, for account management, Internet social media marketers are fond of having multiple accounts on social media sites. However, social networking sites frown at the act of one person maintaining many active accounts.
Interestingly, because of the number of accounts and the responsiveness expected by social media users, the only way to maintain such accounts is by using automation tools. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp are very strict in terms of allowing bots. They each have their own laid down rules and bot APIs.
However, because of the nature of actions these Internet marketers want to perform, they shy away from these official APIs and use unofficial means. The unofficial means need residential proxies to work because many datacenter proxies aren’t smart enough to evade these websites' strict proxy detecting techniques.
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The Internet is a huge library of data. Every single second, data is continually being added to the Internet. This makes it one of the biggest sources of information. Businesses and researchers are continually collecting data from the Internet for their decision-making processes.
This is because we live in an analytical world that needs data to function. With history sales data, a business can better understand its customers in other to better serve them. Take for instance sellers on Amazon. Some sellers have products that have gotten over 20,000 reviews.
You’ll agree with me that that’s a whole lot of data which contains helpful information about how customers perceive your products. To collect this data, you need a web scraper to help you get the required data.
However, no sane website will allow you to bombard their server with bots’ requests. If you try it, you’ll be blocked and be asked to start solving captchas. If you make those requests through a rotating residential proxy service that changes residential IP addresses per request, you won’t be denied access because Amazon will not notice the requests are coming from one source.
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How important is your brand to you? If it means more than just a name then you’re doing your brand a disservice if you’re using your office computer to surf the Internet without a proxy.
While you might be thinking just visiting your competitors’ websites isn’t a problem, they might have developed a system in place to capture IP addresses and run them through some sort of algorithms to see if it belongs to a competitor. What then do you think they can do with such information?
A lot but let me tell you two of the scariest things they can do. They can launch targeted attacks on your systems or steal your identity.
In case you are not aware, your IP address can be stolen and used. Imagine someone using your IP address to defraud someone online. Your brand will be associated with fraud and until forensic research is carried out which in most cases won’t be, such fraudulent activities would be tagged to your name.
It is because of this that many brands use proxies in other to hide their real IP addresses. Without knowing their IP addresses, you cannot use it, this cannot be done.
Application Performance Check
This reason is peculiar to software developers that develop server-client based apps. These include websites and web apps developers, desktops programmers, and mobile app developers. Most software developers have a presence in only one country.
However, its target market encompasses more than one country. Take for instance Xender, a mobile app that utilizes the Hotspot and WiFi technology for sharing files. This application is one of the most popular free apps on the Google Play Store. People all over the world know the app and you’ll hear things like, “let Xender it”.
Do you know this application is made in China and does not have offices in countries that have people using the service? Not only Xender, most software companies only have one office but people outside their headquarters use their applications.
How then do they measure the performance of their applications in locations they do not have a presence? There are two ways to do this. It is either they outsource the testing to people in those countries or make use of a residential proxy. Using residential proxies is the cheaper option here and that’s what most software developers use.
Researching staffing requirements and jobs is also one of the reasons why people use residential proxies. Companies are always on the lookout to employ staff that will make them more efficient and increase their productivity.
Unlike in the past, location is no longer a barrier to getting good talents to move your business to the next level. However, some geolocation filters set by some job sites had made it difficult for businesses to connect to the talents they need. If this happens, the only option left for these companies and businesses is to make use of a residential proxy.
Unlike the other reasons above, a few people actually use residential proxies for the purpose of internet security. Most people make use of VPN services. This is because VPN services provide better security compared to proxies.
Unlike in the case of a proxy service, VPN encrypts your Internet data and makes them practically useless to an eavesdropper on the network. This is not the case in residential proxies where data is never encrypted and eavesdroppers can make sense out of it when they get hold of the data you transmit over the Internet.
However, there are still a few people that use residential proxies for the purpose of masking their identity and IP addresses online. If you’re one of such persons, it is time to port to VPN, they are the tool for the job.
Looking at the above, you will agree with me that residential proxies are a rare gem. However, because of their expensive subscription, they might not be a good fit for you. You can still enjoy some of the benefits discussed above from datacenter proxies and shared proxies.
You only need to do your research well to avoid falling into the hands of dubious providers because seriously, the proxy market is dominated by hackers – just in case you do not know!