Our software, Hidemium, masks all common browser fingerprints, such as screen size, operating system, and others that websites use to track and identify you. Using the same browser fingerprint across your accounts can lead to account suspension.
But ultimately, the most extensive fingerprint of all is your IP address. Using the same IP address with multiple accounts is a big red flag that can and often does. It leads to account suspension.
Many users login to their accounts through proxy servers to change their IP addresses and avoid triggering the red flag. But every IP address isn’t the same. When connecting through a proxy server, you will use either a residential IP proxy or a datacenter IP proxy. Note that there are many ways to mask your IP address other than using a proxy server, like a VPN or a separate internet connection. With those different types of relationships, you can end up with either a residential IP or a data center IP. But for the sake of simplicity, in this article, we will group the types of connections with the general terms “residential IP proxy” and “data center IP proxy.”
You have to understand the difference between the two and use the correct type if you want to keep your accounts safe. This unbiased guide will detail the similarities and differences between residential IPs and data center proxies from A to Z. If you use proxies to control multiple accounts (whether through Hidemium or not), please continue.
What is a residential IP and data center proxy?
– Think of a residential IP as a connection assigned from an ISP to a homeowner.
+ When you move to a new house or apartment and set up internet, your relationship is given an IP address. Go to the website: What Is My IP, and the world will see your IP address. It will look like 22.214.171.124.
+ You’ll also see the details associated with your IP address, like your ISP name and even your rough location. Suppose you connect using a different residential IP address as a proxy when browsing. In that case, your public IP information will appear to be for whatever particular residence the IP is used at.
– A datacenter proxy is different because it is not owned by an ISP.
+ It can function like a “wall” between you and anyone. Who will try to look at your IP through the web? Instead of seeing your home IP address and all its associated identifying information, the person trying to look at your IP address only sees the data center proxy address and the information associated with the company that owns the data center.
+ You can think of a datacenter proxy as a way to hide your actual IP address and its associated identifying information – but not as a complete replacement for a residential IP.
What’s the difference between Datacenter and Residential IP Proxies?
If you are using a new connection for the simple purpose of masking your IP address, then you may wonder what the point of using a residential IP as a proxy is. After all, you just need a different IP address to mislead websites into thinking you’re someone else – right?
Sort of. The problem is that people are trying to spam popular sites every day. Because they know they need different IP addresses to get around website filters, they usually turn to data center IPs because data center IPs are more accessible to acquire in bulk than residential IPs are (explained further down the page).
So, almost all users with nefarious intentions are using data center IPs. There are also legitimate users using data center IPs. For example, many companies make their employees use them. But overall, a tiny percentage of legitimate users are using datacenter IPs over residential IPs – and almost all nefarious users are using datacenter IPs. This combination means many users with datacenter IPs will try to access a website for spammy or malicious purposes. So, while you can certainly use a datacenter IP to browse the web when you do, you will very likely be held to extra scrutiny by website security systems.
Rest assured that security systems can tell whether or not you are using a data center IP. To start, they will grab the info for the IP and see if you are using a data center gateway (either a VPN or proxy). If you are, you will right away be placed into a small subset of users that are held to extra scrutiny.
Specific security systems may determine if you are using a VPN or a data center IP proxy by checking which ports are open. Most VPNs have just port 80 open, whereas datacenter IP proxies have multiple ports open.
In general, users choose a VPN for privacy reasons because using a VPN will encrypt traffic and protect the user from attacks. But datacenter IP proxies serve the sole purpose of hiding your IP address. Datacenter IPs do nothing for encryption. And they are usually much cheaper to buy in bulk.
So, most nefarious users choose datacenter IPs, and website security systems can and will scrutinize them more than they do for residential IPs or VPN datacenter IPs. That’s the most significant difference between the two.
You can perform a similar test yourself with a tool like WhatIsMyIP.com. Go to that link, and if you are using a data center IP with open ports, the security system will be able to tell that you are – though it will not be able to tell what the real IP behind the proxy is, assuming you have taken the proper precautions and disabled browser extensions that may leak your real IP.
There are a few other differences between residential and data center IP proxies, too:
Residential IP Proxies
- More legitimate. Creating hundreds of data center proxies yourself isn’t particularly difficult, and we will even detail how to do it a bit further down the page. But getting hundreds of residential IP proxies is extremely difficult – because residential IPs are assigned only to residents. Security systems generally deem residential IPs more genuine and legitimate than data center proxies. The reasoning goes along the lines of “if you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide” (you have no reason to use a proxy).
- More expensive with fewer providers. Because using residential IPs as the proxy is difficult, how difficult it is to collect residential IPs that can be used as proxy connections, fewer providers offer them.
- Sometimes blocklisted. Residential IPs are more trusted, but they are still likely to use wrong. Some will still be blocklisted by specific security systems and databases. Having a residential proxy connection is better – but not perfect.
- Less legitimate, but still protective. As we covered, websites can detect you using a proxy connection. Because of spammers and other nefarious users out there, you are immediately held to scrutiny when logging into an account with one. But, all the website can tell is that you are generally using a data center proxy. Most proxies will completely shield your primary IP address. So, using a clean data center proxy for each account is better than using your real IP for each account – though it’s clear you are on a proxy, assuming you are using different proxies, your accounts aren’t directly connected.
- Less expensive with lots of providers. Because of how easy it is to get data center proxies, there are plenty of providers to pick from. As such, private data center proxies generally cost a fraction of what residential IP “proxies” do.
Which proxy should you use?
We aren’t trying to sell you proxies of either type, so you can take this as unbiased analysis of when to use each. (Be careful taking advice from a proxy or VPN company that profits from your decision.)
Datacenter proxies will be acceptable for most users, assuming you cover your tracks using a browser fingerprint mask like the one included in Hidemium. Remember that seeing a data center proxy is just one trigger in a security system. If you have a clean data center proxy and the rest of your fingerprint is credible, most websites will let you pass without scrutiny. Keep in mind that legitimate users do use data center IP connections.
But, if your browser fingerprint is leaving a footprint (you are logging in with different data center proxies but using the same browser fingerprint for each login), the security system will likely take action against you.
Many users think that just using a proxy is enough – but these days, it’s not. You need simultaneous fingerprint masking and your datacenter proxy masking to fly under the radar.
There are also some unique cases where using a data center proxy is always a dead end, even if proper fingerprint masking techniques are utilized. The most mainstream example is Craigslist. Craigslist is used as a local person-to-person classified ad board. Letting users post across the country is asking for spam. So, the developers tend not to allow datacenter proxy usage, and residential IPs are restricted to posting to wherever the IP information shows they are located. You might be able to get by with residential IP proxies on Craigslist if you are an extremely skilled poster, but if you are buying regular data center proxies and trying to post with those, even if your fingerprints are masked, and even if the data center proxies show a location close to where you are posting, you still will likely not have success.
Overall, assuming you are masking your fingerprints, most will be able to get them by using data center proxies. But, specific proxy applications will require residential IPs. Connecting a website through a residential IP will throw fewer red flags than clicking through a datacenter proxy.
Your options to utilize either type of connection
- Buy from a provider. There are countless companies offering data center IPs at a monthly rate. You can buy private proxies, which are used only by you, or shared proxies, which are shared between you and multiple other customers. Shared proxies are cheaper, but most Hidemium users will want to control their accounts with private proxies to ensure that others do not abuse the proxies and put their accounts at risk.
- Set up your own proxy pool. The process is easier than you think, and if you put the effort in, you can guarantee that you are using fresh data center proxies – instead of ones that have potentially been abused over and over for years.
- Buy from a known provider.
- Create your own “gateway” of residential IPs in a particular location through the usage of smartphones and mobile connections.
Is your head spinning? Below, we will recap everything we just covered. As we mentioned at the start of this guide, ensure you understand the information in full before using proxies with your accounts – or else they might be at risk.
- Datacenter proxies and connecting to a residential IP to use as a proxy will accomplish the same task: hiding your real IP from the internet.
- However, website security systems can detect whether you are using a data center proxy or if you are coming from a standard residential IP
- Using a data center proxy won’t necessarily suspend your accounts, but it is a red flag to many major web platforms.
- When using proper fingerprint masking techniques (like the ones included in Hidemium), most users can successfully control multiple accounts safely with datacenter proxies, despite the red flag.
- However, certain websites will restrict data center proxies in general – here, you will have to use residential IP connections.
- Because they do not show you are using a proxy connection, residential IP connections are generally more secure (keeping your account safe). However, some residential IP connections can still become blocklisted through abuse.
- Overall, determine which type of connection you need for your purposes, buy from a provider or set up your own network to obtain IPs, then combine your new relationships with unique browser fingerprints from software like Hidemium to ensure you pass by all of the security systems features on the websites you wish to use multiple accounts on
If you are looking for an easy way to run different accounts with proxy management and bulletproof fingerprint masking, check out Hidemium. It’s the most effective way to control an army of online accounts and ensure their safety whenever you log in – no matter which type of proxy connection you ultimately choose.