Did you ever get blocked from accessing a website outside your country?
That’s where your research for a proxy starts. Even though some of you might know what a proxy is, this article aims at beginners. So if you are a beginner, read it till the end. For experienced proxy users, I expect nothing less than a small share.
What is a shared proxy?
I came up with a Shared proxy guide as shared proxies are cheap and best for those with a low budget. But Shared proxies might not work on every site. Let us learn more about shared proxies along with their use cases.
As the name implies, a shared proxy is shared between multiple users. This causes hindrances while accessing large websites. Shared proxies are nothing but mostly datacenter proxies.
The datacenter proxies are fast but not real device IPs and represent server hosting companies. It’s not that shared proxies aren’t available as residential & mobile IPs. But when it comes to “shared”, we often refer to it as cheap proxies and residential/mobile IPs aren’t cheap.
Types of Shared Proxies
Static or Listing: These proxies come in the form of a list. You cannot modify many settings and have to use it mostly for scraping purposes. You only pay for the IP you use.
Rotating: Rotating shared proxies is very useful as you automatically get connected to a new IP address. After every time slot (approx. 30 minutes), a new IP is assigned to you. Unlike Listing shared proxy, you pay for the traffic you use.
Why & When Should You Choose Shared Proxies?
Newbie: You don’t know where to start from and which proxy to choose for your scraping project. A shared proxy is the best investment when you have no clue how a proxy works.
Lack of Funds: A “shared” as I mentioned earlier mostly refers to cheap proxies. These are mostly shared datacenter proxies which are affordable and best for low-key projects. If you do not have enough funds to buy a dedicated datacenter IP, residential or mobile IP, a shared proxy is a great option to start with.
Accessing small websites: Shared proxies cannot be used to access websites that have strict IP bans and CAPTCHAS. But if you want to access websites with low-security firewalls, then shared proxies are the best.
Note: Shared proxies cannot be used for multiple social media account creation & management. If you are a sneaker lover, then for sneaker copping, you will have to choose a residential or mobile proxy.
Use Cases of Shared Proxies
Shared proxies work well on most of the websites but with some uncertainty. In all, shared proxies can be used for:
Anonymity: If you want to secretly browse the internet without revealing your original IP address, getting a shared proxy can do that.
Access Geo-restricted content: There are certain websites that are geo-restricted. This means you can access the website content only if you belong to that country or region. In such cases, shared proxies can overcome the barrier and you can access the content by changing IP to a particular location.
Web Scraping: You can scrape data from websites that are not so protected. Scraping data from less protected websites doesn’t block your IP because of too many connections.
Shared Proxies vs Other Proxies
Shared vs Dedicated Datacenter Proxies
Datacenter proxies are available as shared, and dedicated proxies. Since shared proxies are cheaper but cannot be used for specific tasks, dedicated proxies are a better alternative.
You can use dedicated datacenter proxies for sneaker copping, travel fare aggregation, social media account management, etc.
Shared vs Private Proxies
Clearly, private proxies are owned by only one user which is why such proxies are more secure & fast. When it comes to cost, private proxies are priced high as they are more anonymous.
Pros and Cons of Shared Proxies
- They are cheap in cost as you are sharing IPs with other users.
- It’s a great option to start and learn how proxies work for different sites.
- Just like any other proxy, a shared proxy also changes your IP & location.
- Rotating proxies allow you to change your IPs automatically.
- Since many users share the IP, speed may fluctuate a lot.
- Chances of IPs getting flagged or spam affected.
- You do not know which IP is fresh and which one was injected with vulnerabilities.
Top 3 Shared Proxy Providers
I only recommend proxies after signing up and testing their performance. The top 3 shared proxies that I recommend would be:
1. Netnut – 7-day free trial
2. Smartproxy – Fastest proxies
3. Bright Data – A Large pool of IPs
At the end of my shared proxy guide, I would like to mention that it is best to buy a shared proxy rather than look for a free proxy.
Is Dedicated proxy better than shared?
Of course, dedicated proxies are better than shared as dedicated IPs are owned only by a single person. Whereas shared IPs are owned by multiple people and the chances of getting blocked are higher.
Can I rotate shared proxies?
You can optionally rotate shared proxies if the proxy provider allows you to rotate proxies or keep sticky sessions and rotate proxies manually.
Can I use shared proxies for social media?
Social media platforms look for authentic IPs and shared IPs are not authentic as they are used by many people. A better option is to use residential proxies, mobile proxies, or ISP proxies.
Are free shared proxies safe?
Free proxies of any kind are never safe to use, especially if they are shared proxies. You don’t know who all are using shared IPs and if one IP gets flagged, the whole subnet gets in the red line.