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ISP Proxies vs. Residential Proxies: Main Differences in 2024

ISP and residential proxies are both types of proxy servers providing anonymity and enabling data collection. However, they differ in terms of how they function, the benefits they provide, and their reliability and speed. Understanding the differences between residential and ISP proxies is important in selecting the right proxy server for your specific application.

ISP proxies are directly sourced from ISPs and hosted in data centers. On the other hand, residential proxies use IP addresses assigned by ISPs to residential devices.

This article will compare the features of ISP and residential proxies, highlighting their advantages, potential disadvantages, and typical use cases.

ISP vs. Residential Proxies: Choosing the Right One for You

Some residential proxy providers offer rotating residential proxy features. The proxy server changes the IP address either after each request or after a set interval of time. A proxy provider can provide ISP proxies and also use a rotating setup.

Various factors can impact differences between residential and ISP proxies, such as the size and diversity of IP pool, or pricing structure. The table below provides a comprehensive overview of ISP and residential proxies based on typical characteristics.

FactorsISP ProxiesResidential Proxies
Definition
Use IP addresses provided directly by ISPs, which are located in data centers
Use IP addresses assigned to homeowners by ISPs
Source of IPs Internet Service ProvidersInternet Service Providers, but traffic is routed through residential devices
Rotating/StaticStatic, but some providers offer rotating setupRotating
SpeedUsually fasterMedium
AdvantagesFaster and lower chance of being blockedHigh anonymity and more diverse IP pool
StabilityHigh
Can vary depending on the internet connection of the device used
Ideal forTasks requiring high speed and reliabilityTasks requiring high anonymity and geo-targeting
locationsWide coverageA broad global coverage
PriceMedium-high due to speed and direct sourcing from ISPsMedium can vary depending on the provider

Top ISP & residential proxy providers of 2024

The proxy providers indicated in the table below offer both residential and ISP proxy services. We filtered proxy providers based on these verifiable criteria:

  • Number of B2B reviews: 5+ reviews on review platforms, including G2, Trustradius, and Capterra. 
  • Number of employees on LinkedIn: We included vendors with  10+ employees on LinkedIn.
ProvidersNumber of IPsGlobal CoverageStarting Price/GB/moFree TrialAdditional Features
Bright DataISP: 72M+
Residential: 700,000+
ISP: 49
Residential:195
ISP: $9
Residential: $6.3
7-dayCity targeting
Extended session
Dedicated IPs
SOCKS5 protocol
SmartproxyISP: 10M+
Residential: 40M+
ISP: US-level
Residential: 195
ISP:$14
Residential: $12.5
3-day 100MB trial for $1HTTP(s) & SOCKS5 protocol
Static sessions
OxylabsISP: 360K+
Residential: 100M+
ISP: 20
Residential: 195
ISP: $17
Residential: $9
7-daySOCKS5 protocol
Auto IP rotation
City & ZIP targeting

NetNutISP: 1M+
Residential: 52M+
ISP: 30+
Residential: 150
ISP: $17.5
Residential: $15
7-dayAuto IP rotation
Dedicated IPs
IPRoyalISP: N/A
Residential: 2M+
ISP: 21+
Residential: 195+
ISP: $1.75
Residential: $7
N/ACity/state targeting
SOCKS5 support
Dedicated IPs

SOAXISP: N/A
Residential: 5M+
ISP: US
Residential: 150+ countries
ISP:$16.5
Residential: $12
3-day Trial for $1.99Optional rotation for ISP proxies
HTTP(s) & SOCKS5 support
OxylabsISP: N/A
Residential: 100M+
ISP: N/A
Residential: 195
ISP:$17
Residential: $15
7-dayUp to 5h extended sessions
HTTP/HTTPS/SOCKS protocols
Automatic proxy rotating

Understanding the features: 

  • Number of IPs: A larger number of IPs reduces the likelihood of getting detected and blocked by the target website. 
  • Global coverage: Check whether the provider offers proxies from different locations if you need to collect data from particular regions. 
  • Price: Pricing can vary based on different factors, such as the number of IPs and additional features. 
  • Free trial: Enables proxy users to test the service without any financial commitment. You can test the performance of the proxy server, speed, and other features provided by the vendor. 
  • Additional features: Includes features like automatic IP rotation, extended static sessions, and dedicated or shared proxy pool

What are ISP proxies?

ISP proxies, or static residential proxies, are combinations of both datacenter and residential proxies. ISP proxies are hosted on servers in data centers (such as datacenter proxies), but are associated with Internet Service Providers (such as residential proxies).

The benefits and drawbacks of ISP proxies

Benefits:

  • Lower detection risk: Since ISP proxy IPs are provided by an Internet Service Provider, they appear to be residential IPs. This makes them ideal for web scraping tasks and social media management.
  • High speed and stability: Since ISP IPs are hosted on servers in data centers, they have a higher bandwidth connection to Internet services than residential proxies. This makes them useful for activities requiring high-speed data transmission, like streaming services.
  • Long-lasting sessions: ISP proxies are static, meaning the same IP address is maintained over a long period of time. It is ideal for tasks that require a consistent connection, like downloading or uploading large files.

Drawbacks:

  • Limited location coverage: Depending on the proxy provider, the coverage of ISP proxy networks may be limited in certain regions. There are several factors that influence the availability of ISP proxies. For instance, the demand for ISP proxy servers in a specific region might be limited.

Common use cases for ISP proxies

  • Web scraping over extended periods: If you scrape large volumes of data from a website, changing IPs frequently can increase the likelihood of being detected as an automated tool by the website. ISP proxies keep the same IP address over a prolonged period.
  • Traffic-intensive tasks: ISP proxies provide high-speed internet connection and generally come with unlimited bandwidth. This makes them suited for traffic-intensive tasks, including uploading or downloading large files, video conferencing, and streaming services. It is recommended to verify this with your proxy provider, as their offerings might vary.

What Are Residential Proxies?

Residential proxies are IP addresses provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to home users. Residential proxy IPs are associated with a physical location, making them appear as a regular home user.

The benefits and drawbacks of residential proxies

Benefits:

  • High anonymity: Residential proxies use real households’ IP addresses to mask the actual IP address of the user. They are seen as more legitimate by websites, making them useful for activities like accessing geo-restricted content and web scraping.
  • Diverse IP addresses: Residential proxy services generally operate larger pools of IP addresses than ISP proxies. The large geographical distribution of residential IP addresses reduces the possibility of using the same IP address twice. Each time you make a request to the target website, the request can be routed through a different residential IP address.

Drawbacks:

  • Unstable connections: Residential proxies route clients’ requests through real devices. This can result in slower data retrieval compared to datacenter proxies.

Common use cases for residential proxies

For guidance to choose the right tool, check out  our sortable/filterable list of proxy service/server. and reach out to us:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Gulbahar Karatas
Gülbahar is an AIMultiple industry analyst focused on web data collections and applications of web data.

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