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Top 7 Proxy Providers of 2024: Pricing & Features Compared

Proxy servers make it simple and easy to secure clients’ online identities, monitor data flow within a network, and extract publicly available web data. For instance, businesses integrate proxies into web scrapers and scraping APIs to achieve secure and efficient web scraping.

The world of proxies is varied and wild. Such a complex landscape can make the decision making process quite challenging. You must first understand the proxy server vendor landscape to select the most effective proxy service provider for your organization.

This article will review the top proxy providers and explains the proxy landscape to help you choose the best proxy service to meet your specific requirements.

Quick summary of the best proxy server providers in 2024

Proxy providersProxy typesStarting price/GBFree trialPAYG
Bright DataResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$6.37-dayFor all proxy types
OxylabsResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$97-dayResidential
Mobile
SmartproxyResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$73-dayResidential
Mobile
NimbleResidential$87-day
NetNutResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$157-day
IPRoyalResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$724-hr refundN/A
SOAXResidential
ISP
Mobile
Datacenter
$6.63-day trial for $1.99

Starting Plan/GB: The most basic monthly subscription option offered by the provider for residential proxies.

The best proxy providers of 2024

According to employee and reviews data we’ve gathered from public sources, the following vendors outlined fit these criteria.

1. Bright Data

Bright Data is a web data platform that offers proxies, web scrapers and ready-to-use datasets for data collection purposes. It is one of the largest premium proxy service providers, residential proxies, datacenter proxies, and mobile proxies.

Bright Data's proxy services support HTTP/HTTPS protocols to ensure incoming and outgoing data over a network.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Residential, datacenter, ISP, and mobile proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: Provides dedicated proxy IPs in 195 countries
  • Protocol Support: Proxies support HTTP/HTTPS, and SOCKS5 protocols. Bright Data’s proxy manager allows you to use SOCKS5 protocol with you proxy service
  • Geographic coverage: Allows you to target specific cities and select proxies based on their specific ASN
  • Additional proxy services: Proxy manager, proxy browser extension, and proxy API

Pricing:

  • Starting price/month:
    • Residential proxies: $6.3/GB
    • Datacenter proxies: $0.066/GB
    • ISP proxies: $9/GB
    • Mobile proxies: $14.4/GB
  • Free trial: 7-day trial

2. Oxylabs

Oxylabs is a premium proxy provider and web scraping solution provider. The proxy server provider offers an extensive proxy network in 195 countries worldwide.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Residential (static and rotating), mobile, datacenter (shared and dedicated), ISP (rotating), SOCKS5 proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: Offers automatic proxy rotation for residential and datacenter proxies
  • Protocol Support: HTTP and HTTPS protocols
  • Geographic coverage: City-level targeting
  • Additional proxy services: Dedicated account manager

Pricing:

  • Starting price/month:
    • Residential proxies: $15.00/GB
    • Datacenter proxies: $50/GB (shared), $180/GB (dedicated)
    • ISP proxies: $340/GB
    • Mobile proxies: $30.00/GB
  • Free trial: 7-day trial

3. Smartproxy

Smartproxy is a web data collection platform, offering different proxy server types in 195+ places. Dedicated datacenter proxies have limited location coverage (only in the US).

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Shared and dedicated datacenter proxies, mobile, residential and static residential (ISP) proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: Provides private IPs for datacenter proxies
  • Protocol support: HTTP(s) and SOCKS5 protocols
  • Geographic coverage: Supports country and city level targeting
  • Additional proxy services: Dedicated account manager

Pricing:

4.Nimble

Nimble provides residential proxies that can rotate and target specific geolocations, including countries, states, or cities, for web scraping purposes. These proxies support both HTTP and SOCKS5 protocols.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Rotating residential
  • Dedicated IPs: Residential proxies
  • Protocol Support: HTTP and SOCKS5
  • Geographic coverage: City and state proxy selection
  • Additional proxy services: Rotating and sticky sessions, optional IPV6 IPs, auto-scaling infrastructure.

Pricing:

  • Starting price:
    • Rotating residential proxies: $8/GB
  • Free trial: 7-day trial

5. NetNut

NetNut offers proxy services for web data collection purposes. The proxy service providers provides 52M+ rotating residential IPs and 1M+ static residential proxies. Rotating residential proxies reduces the risk of getting blacklisted by the website you are interacting with, making it ideal for data extraction projects especially for large-scale web scraping tasks.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Datacenter, rotating residential, static residential and mobile proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: Residential proxies
  • Protocol Support: HTTPS
  • Geographic coverage: City & state proxy selection
  • Additional proxy services: Dedicated account support, API for proxy management

Pricing:

  • Starting price:
    • Rotating residential proxies: $15/GB
    • Static residential proxies: $17.5/GB
    • Datacenter proxies: $1/GB
    • Mobile proxies: $19/GB
  • Free trial: 7-day trial

6. IPRoyal

IPRoyal is a proxy provider for various use cases such as web scraping, sneaker shopping, website testing and social media management. The proxy provider has a smaller proxy pool than Bright Data, Oxylabs, and Smartproxy. They offer affordable dedicated datacenter, ISP, and mobile proxies.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Datacenter, sneaker, residential and mobile proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: Offers private IPs for datacenter and residential proxies
  • Protocol support: HTTPS and SOCKS5 protocols
  • Geographic coverage: City/state targeting
  • Additional proxy services: API access, proxy extension for Chrome and Firefox

Pricing:

  • Starting price/month:
    • Residential proxies: $1.75/GB
    • Datacenter proxies: $1.39/GB
    • Mobile proxies: $81/GB
    • Sneaker proxies: $1.00/GB
  • Free trial: 1-day for mobile proxies

7. SOAX

SOAX has 8.5M+ proxy IP pool, which includes mobile and residential proxies as well as rotating ISP proxies. ISP proxies are only available in the US.

Features:

  • Proxy server types: Residential, mobile and ISP proxies
  • Dedicated IPs: N/A
  • Protocol Support: HTTP(S), SOCKS5
  • Geographic coverage: Granular targeting options, including city and ASN
  • Additional proxy services: Dedicated account manager

Pricing:

  • Starting price/month:
    • Residential proxies: $12/GB
    • Mobile proxies: $33/GB
    • ISP proxies: $16.5/GB
  • Free trial: 3-day trial for $1.99

Choosing the right proxy provider

  • Geo-targeting: Many websites restrict access to their content based on the user’s geographic location due to legal requirements, local censorship, or content personalization. You may need to collect location-specific data, such as localized pricing, serve localized content, or verify your ads are displayed correctly in different regions. Geo-targeted proxies enable users to access localized content or bypass geo-restrictions. It is crucial to choose a proxy provider that offers IP addresses from the desired locations. 
  • Speed and response time: Speed refers to the data transfer rate between the client, the proxy server, and between the proxy server and the target website. High-speed proxies provide faster data transfers, which is essential for large-scale web scraping tasks. Response time, or latency, is the time it takes for a request to travel from a client to a server. Low response times are essential for time-sensitive web scraping tasks like live event streaming. It is important to select a proxy provider that offers high-speed proxies with low response times.
  • Number of available IP addresses: When you collect a significant amount of data from a large website or collect data from numerous smaller websites simultaneously, you need to change your IP addresses more frequently. A large pool of IP addresses increases the level of anonymity by switching between different IPs when accessing target servers. This enables clients to bypass rate limits and anti-scraping measures imposed by websites. When choosing a proxy provider, consider the number of available IP addresses in a proxy pool and the diversity of the available IP addresses (e.g., residential and datacenter).
  • Cost: When selecting a proxy provider, cost is an important factor to consider. However, note that the cheapest option may not always be the best fit for your specific requirements. When choosing a proxy provider, it’s crucial to consider your particular scraping requirements and needs.When evaluating the cost of proxy services, consider the following factors:
    • Type of proxies: Different proxy types incur different costs. For instance, datacenter proxies are often a cost-effective choice but can be easier to detect and block, whereas residential and mobile proxies provide higher anonymity at a higher cost.
    • Pricing plans: Proxy service providers offer various pricing plans based on variables such as geo-targeting options, the number of IP addresses, etc. Compare plans based on your data collection requirements to ensure you select the most cost-effective plan for your scraping project.
    • Extra features and support: Some advanced options, such as city-level targeting and dedicated IP addresses, may be available at an additional cost. 
    • Pay-as-you-go: Some proxy providers offer pay-as-you-go plans that charge based on proxy usage rather than a fixed monthly or annual fee. This model enables users to adjust their proxy usage in response to fluctuating needs without committing to a long-term contract. Pay-as-you-go plans may not be the most cost-effective option if your scraping project requires high-volume proxy usage. Consider your project requirements and budget constraints to determine which pricing model best suits your needs.
  • IP rotation: Websites employ anti-scraping measures and tracking techniques to differentiate between human users and automated bots like a web scraper.  Automated bots send requests at a much faster rate than a human user, making them easily detected and blocked by websites. IP rotation allows scrapers to simulate human-like behavior while scraping or crawling a website. It distributes requests across multiple sources to  reduce the likelihood of an IP being flagged as a bot.
  • Legal and ethical considerations: Choose a proxy provider that sources IP addresses ethically and transparently to ensure compliance with the law and regulations governing data privacy and protection.

5 reasons why your business needs a proxy server

You may require more anonymity, speed, or data privacy, in which case open proxy services would not meet your need. Open proxies are terrible in terms of data security, quality, and speed. Here are 5 reasons why your business should use paid proxies:

1. Bypass geo-blocking

Geo-blocking is the act of blocking or restricting access to specific content on the Internet based on the user’s geographical location for a variety of reasons such as licensing agreements and internet censorship.

Users’ IP address is identified through using tracking technologies. For example, when a client requests a web server the proxy service forwards the client’s connection request to the target server. The HTTP header provides the server with additional context regarding the client’s request, such as the user’s IP address, user agent, time zone, preferred language, etc. This information is only accessible to the client and server in the network and is, therefore, invisible to third-party users. The proxy service allows users to bypass geo-blocking by masking clients’ IP addresses.

2. Load balancing

When a web server receives a large number of connection requests from clients, it becomes overloaded and unable to respond to incoming requests (Figure 1). This is referred to as a server overload. Websites employ backup servers, load balancing, and network security systems like firewalls to prevent malicious bot traffic and manage incoming traffic.

Load balancing distributes incoming network traffic across multiple servers to ensure no single server is getting overloaded. Proxy servers can be used for load balancing. Reverse proxies, for instance, can act as load balancers between web servers and incoming traffic.

Figure 1: Representation of the process of a reverse proxy server

A reverse proxy is a server that is positioned in front of web servers to safeguard data from third parties.

3. Caching

Paid proxies, such as reverse proxies, use server-side web caching to relieve backend resource load and serve data faster. Users can use reverse proxies to reuse previously retrieved data such as images, HTML documents, video, etc.

Proxy server stores a copy of previously retrieved data in a data storage for future requests (Figure 2). If a client requests for the data that is available on web cache, the proxy server will retrieve it from its own storage instead of forwarding the request to the target web server.

Figure 2: HTTP caching

Source: MDN1

4. Improved response time

Paid proxy services offer faster speeds than free proxy services. For example, private/dedicated proxy servers are the best option if you need to complete a task quickly. Since multiple clients share your IP address and bandwidth, public proxies would not suffice for your needs (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Proxy service comparison based on the number of users who share an IP address

Proxy servers are divided into three groups based on the number of users who share an IP address: dedicated, shared, and public proxies.

5. Security

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the network layer communications protocol that defines the rules between two or more entities to transmit data from the source host to the destination. Proxies by internet protocols include:

Most proxy services only mask your real IP address and prevent your identity from being exposed on the Internet. HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies encrypt incoming and outgoing network traffic while masking the IP addresses of clients.

If security is your main concern, you can also use residential and ISP proxies. Residential proxies provide clients with real IP addresses provided by their ISP (Internet Service Providers).

5 reasons why you shouldn’t use free/open proxies

Public proxy services are free to use, with only some features costing a fee. Open proxies suffice if your aim is anonymously browsing the web. 

You may wonder why I should pay for a proxy service when so many open proxy servers are available. We compiled a list of five reasons why you should avoid using a open proxy server:

1. Free proxies are not able to handle web tracking technologies

Websites use various web tracking techniques to collect user behavior data such as:

  • Pageviews
  • URL visits
  • Where users click
  • Session duration

The collected data is used in marketing and sales strategies. And web servers can easily identify and monitor open proxies. User behavior data can be collected through:

Heatmap is one of the methods for monitoring and tracking users’ activities on a website. The following image shows the user behavior on specific web pages, such as where users have clicked on a page ( Figure 4).

Figure 4: A graphical representation of data that employs a color-coding system to show user behavior.

Source: Smartlook

2. The IP source of free proxies is unknown

Public proxies can be operated and offered by anyone, including cybercriminals. Even if a public proxy service masks your IP address, the IP service provider can easily track your activities.

3. The majority of free proxies don’t support HTTPS

HTTPS proxies add an extra layer of security between the user and the web server. It employs cryptography to ensure secure communication and encrypts data in transit (Figure 5).

A study found that only 21% of open proxy servers supported HTTPS traffic. 2 Most open proxies do not use HTTPS, so they can monitor your activities and steal or sell your information.

Figure 5:  Explanation of how an HTTPS proxy server encrypts incoming/outgoing data

HTTPS proxies encrypt incoming and outgoing data in transit.

4. The uptime of free proxies is poor & unstable

When a client makes a connection request to a web server to access and display the target site’s content, a proxy server forwards the request on the client’s behalf to conceal the client’s identity. The target server responds to the proxy’s request and provides the information requested (Figure 6).

Public proxy services are slow to receive a response from the target website. Multiple users may share the same IP address simultaneously. Data transfer and browsing speed will be slowed when requesting a connection to a website using shared open IP addresses.

Figure 6: Detailed simplified representation of a proxy server process

The image describes each step of the proxy server process.

5. It is easy to be blocked by free proxies

Free proxy services do not rotate IP addresses for each request to the target website. Websites employ anti-scraping techniques to detect scraping bots and block them in order to restrict and prevent scraping activities.

For example, if you frequently make multiple requests with the same IP address, the website from which you scrape data will identify your activity as “non-human activity” and ban your IP address.

To learn how to circumvent web scraping obstacles, check out top 7 best practices for web scraping.

Transparency statement

AIMultiple serves numerous tech companies including Bright Data, Oxylabs, and Smartproxy.

More on proxies

For guidance to choose the right tool, go through data-driven list of proxy services, 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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