Proxies are important for many reasons, including web scraping. They are best applied when a user needs to hide their internet protocol (IP) address, keep their sensitive activities anonymous, or access restricted contents.
But there are several types of proxies, each of them with its unique way of operation. Generally, the way all proxies function can be broadly classified into 2 – do they have static proxies or rotating proxies? – knowing this is important to help brands and individuals pick what fits them best.
Choosing a proxy is not the easiest of tasks, and while the final decision should be hinged on your target website and what type of content you are aiming for, we believe a brief comparison of these two proxies will give you a better understanding.
What Is A Static Proxy?
Some proxies are equipped with a single proxy address, also known as a sticky IP address which a user can use for as long as he or she wants. In contrast, other proxies come with multiple IP addresses, which are constantly and regularly rotated.
A static proxy is an intermediary tool or software which stands between a client and the internet and helps to send and receive connections but with a unique IP address. This unique IP is always used repeatedly until its internet service provider (ISP) changes it. The IP is a residential IP address which makes it resemble a regular internet user and harder for websites to ban it.
There are two common reasons why brands opt for a static proxy with a sticky IP address:
- When rotating proxies are not a viable option
Websites such as e-commerce sites or social media platforms will only grant access and permit you to use a consistent IP. In most cases changing IPs too regularly could result in a ban or complete inability to access those platforms.
In instances like this, brands can only use and stay with static proxies to enjoy the full benefits of these services.
- A cheap option for combining data center and residential proxies
Small businesses need every opportunity to save while still carrying out necessary operations and static proxies provide just the thing. A sticky proxy delivers connections at very great speeds while still reducing the chances of ever getting blocked. Most servers identify consistent addresses and usually do not block them, but a changing IP can easily appear suspicious and be banned.
However, static proxies may not be ideal for conducting large scale operations or collecting a large amount of data regularly.
Some of the benefits enjoyed by static proxy users include:
- In many cases, they are more reliable than rotating proxies as many websites do not block them
- They provide very fast connections
- They support anonymity and data privacy
- They have high legitimacy, which makes internet activities more legit
- They usually support limitless connections with zero restrictions
- Reliable static proxies can guarantee an uptime of up to 99%
How Does A Static Proxy Work?
A static proxy works just like any other type of proxy but except for retaining a unique IP in subsequent connections. The process is as described below:
- The user initiates a connection that is routed via the proxy as it stands in the middle
- The static proxy accepts the connection and transfers it using its IP and location, thereby protecting the user
- The request reaches the target destination, and data is extracted and returned to the sender via the proxy
- The static proxy accepts the returning data, scrutinizes it to ensure it does not contain any harmful connect before delivering it to the user
- The user then initiates subsequent requests and routes them via the static, which works as described above still using one unique IP address
- The user can request for the IP address to be changed at any time.
Comparing Static vs. Rotating Proxies
Even from their names, it is obvious that static and rotating proxies differ greatly; however, it is still good that we highlight these differences. Below is a table showing their most obvious differences:
|Features||Static Proxies||Rotating Proxies|
|Reliability||Static proxies are more reliable in most cases as they are usually assigned residential IPs, which are harder to block||Rotating proxies are more likely to be banned in some instances, especially with social media or e-commerce platforms|
|Speed||Static proxies are essentially data center proxies and are therefore very fast||They are more likely to be slower|
|Best Use Cases||Useful for smaller operations, social media platforms, and scraping contents on digital marketplaces||Applied in large scale and intensive online operations|
|Vulnerability||The constant use of one IP makes it a likely target for data breach and other forms of online attacks||A changing IP makes it impossible for the user to be identified or attacked|
The primary responsibility of a proper proxy is to provide anonymity and grant access to contents, and different proxies do this in different ways.
A proxy could have a static IP or a rotating one, and neither is outrightly bad as they both serve certain purposes well. The differences have been discussed above, but the decision of which of these tools to use should be based on the type of data you need and where you collect them from.