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Shared proxies: all you need to know

You probably already know that exist various types of proxies. The most known ones are residential proxies and datacenter proxies and apart from their own specific differences, they are also divided into rotating proxies, elite proxies, forward proxies, etc. What you might know less is that there are 2 special types of proxies that have great importance — private proxies and shared proxies. If it’s pretty clear what private proxies stand for, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to shared proxies and why they are used. In this article, I will try to explain what shared proxies are and how to use them.

What are the shared proxies?
Shared proxies are IP addresses that are used by multiple users at the same time. Also, these proxies are the cheapest in the market so it’s a great choice for business as well as for individuals managing tasks that require using proxy services.
When it comes to shared proxies, mostly they are used by people who want to browse the web anonymously and bypass existing filters and firewalls. You may also use them to connect to websites from a specific location and access content that is not available in your current location. Nevertheless, there is much more to know.

Why does a business need shared proxies?
Shared proxies are great when you have to work on SEO or web scraping/web crawling. You need to create backlinks to improve your company’s Google rank. Creating many backlinks from the same domain will lead to Google marking you. It will flag and even block your company for spam. But this can be avoided with proxies since you can use many different IP addresses for such tasks and avoid detection.
When it comes to scraping, the website you intend to send your bot to could have some restrictions on web crawling. Such websites monitor the number of requests originating from a specific IP. If your company needs bulk content, shared proxies, which host several IPs can help you. Through the many IP addresses possible, you can hit the same website many times with different IPs without getting flagged. Proxies also help to avoid geo-restrictions that are a huge issue when scraping websites for data you need, since some content can be accessed only in specific regions/countries. And if you need such data, but you can’t access it yourself, shared proxies can be a great solution.

Best shared proxy providers
The proxy market is pretty big with various companies offering you such services. However, not every provider has what you need for an affordable price, would it be residential or datacenter proxies. This is why I strongly recommend checking these providers:

  • Smartproxy. A huge proxy pool of over 40 million IP addresses all over the world. They have both, residential and datacenter shared proxies, so you can choose what’s best for yourself. The prices are also pretty low compared to many other proxy providers. What is great, you are paying for used traffic and not per IP address, so that means that you have access to all 40 million IPs and can use them for any business case or for private use. You can also get a great 20% discount for their services with the code SMARTPRO.

  • Oxylabs. This is the provider with the biggest proxy pool in the world — 100 million IP from every location and great location targeting feature. You can also choose between the datacenter and residential proxies and even use their Real-Time Crawler if web scraping is the task you need those proxies.

  • Proxyall. They sell you a number of IPs with unlimited bandwidth, you only need to choose what kind of IPs you want/need — IPV4, IPV6, or both. The prices are pretty low and this provider can be a great choice for business as well as for individuals to deal with various tasks where proxies are needed.

Some advantages of shared proxies

-Shared proxy service supports several protocols including HTTP. No doubt you’re concerned about the security of such a connection for your business. It should be a relief that the requirement of authentication provides safety online for your business.

-Shared proxies offer high anonymity because with multiple users sharing the same IP address it’s almost impossible to identify a single user.

-Shared proxies cost less because of its many users who share its maintenance cost. Their low cost makes them apt for trial purposes. It’s another pro that they also work remarkably well for scraping. It helps when you need a geo-unblocking advantage for web crawling for your business. Using it you can access information restricted to some countries.

-In some cases, shared proxies can be a viable option for the beginners to experiment until realizing the exact needs for their project while keeping the starting costs on the lower side.

-On staff management, a shared proxy enables corporates to control the websites accessible to their employees during work hours. You can configure your proxy settings to filter out and block sites that cause distractions such as movie streaming sites and gaming sites.

First published on Medium, 17th of September

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