The Ultimate Guide to Rotating Proxies vs. Static Proxies in '24
A proxy server protects individuals’ or businesses’ identities when they go online, provides anonymity, and allows access to geo-restricted content. However, determining which type of proxy server is appropriate for which applications and how to utilize proxy servers fully are challenging. Understanding rotating and static proxies, and the main differences between them, will help you make a decision more quickly.
This article covers the main differences between rotating and static proxies, how they work, and when you should use them.
What is the definition of rotating and static proxies?
A rotating proxy is an IP address constantly changing with each new request to the destination website. Rotation proxies assign new IP addresses to users each time they make a request to the target website.
Unlike rotating proxies, static proxies assign users a fixed IP address for each request to the target website. Static proxy servers select IP addresses from a pool of datacenter and Internet Service Providers (ISP) IP addresses. Only datacenter and ISP proxies can be static. Other proxies, such as backconnect and residential, do not fall under static proxies since they rotate IP addresses.
How does a rotating proxy work?
Your device’s IP address is communicated directly with other web servers to connect to the websites. In both rotating and static proxies, a general proxy server working process is as follows:
- The user sends a connection request to the target website using their IP address.
- The proxy server receives the user’s request.
- The proxy server assigns a new IP address to the user to hide their real IP address.
- The proxy server forwards the user’s request to the target website via a masked IP address.
- The website provides requested information to the user.
Rotating proxies change your current IP address and assign you a new IP address when you make a new connection request to the same or a different website (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Representation of how a rotating proxy server works
Bright Data Rotating Proxies assign different IP addresses to users for each new connection request (see Figure 2). For example, when you scrape a massive amount of data from various websites, you must make multiple requests to the same website. The website will likely detect you as a bot if you make many connection requests from the same IP address. Rotating proxies are the best option when you need to change your IP address frequently.
Figure 2: Bright Data’s Rotating Proxy Network
How does a static proxy work?
From steps 1 to 5, the entire process works exactly the same in a static proxy server. Unlike rotating proxies, your current IP address remains constant when you make another connection request (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Representation of how a static proxy server works
Comparing Static and Rotating Proxies
Both static and rotating proxies hide and mask users’ real IP addresses. However, there are many critical differences between them (see Figure 6). Understanding how rotating proxies differ from static proxies will help you to determine which one you need.
Figure 6: Comparison of static proxies and rotating proxies
Web scraping applications that you should use rotating proxies
Scrape product data from eCommerce websites with rotating proxies
Web scraping allows businesses to scrape product data information from eCommerce websites such as eBay and Amazon or supplier websites like Walmart.
- Enter the URL you would like to extract data from. It could be a specific product page on the website. For example, enter a specific product name into the search box like “printer,” then copy the URL that appears and paste it into the search on your web scraping bot (see Figure 5).
- When the scraping is complete, the web scraping bot will provide you with all available product information, including:
- Price ranges.
- Stock availability.
- Product images/descriptions.
- The scraping result can then be downloaded in the format of your choice.
Figure 5: Searching for a specific product to extract data from product pages
A quick tip: If you want to scrape more than one product, your web scraper will need to scrape hundreds of product pages. Collecting product data on a schedule prevents you from being detected and blocked. Using proxies is the most effective way to avoid any security issues that may arise when scraping websites. Proxies add an extra layer of privacy between users’ machine IP addresses and target websites by masking their real IP addresses.
Most eCommerce websites use anti-scraping techniques such as CAPTCHAs to set crawl rates to limit scraping. IP bans are one of the anti-scraping techniques used by websites. Suppose you frequently make connection requests to the same website using the same IP address. The website will quickly identify you as a bot and block your IP address to prevent scraping.
How rotating proxies help
Rotating IP addresses are the best solution when you need to change your IP addresses for each connection request. Rotating proxies send access requests to websites using different IP addresses each time.
Smartproxy offers 55M+ rotating residential proxies for data collection projects. Since they rotate IP addresses periodically, they are less likely to be detected and blocked by the target website. You can change your IP address after a certain period of time or after each connection request.
Gather travel data with rotating proxies
Web scraping bots help travel agencies collect data from multiple websites automatically. However, businesses are still struggling to collect massive amounts of travel data from different websites. They face many technical challenges while scraping data from websites, such as dynamic content, geo-restricted content, and IP bans. Proxy servers enable businesses to avoid such technical problems and extract data from websites on a large scale.
You can use a proxy server to:
- Scrape competitor data from various data sources: You can check out your competitors’ social media accounts to better understand their online presence and see what customers said and how they mentioned that brand. For example, you can extract customer reviews. Analyzing your competitors’ customer reviews help you understand why they are successful and what separates them from other companies.
- Know your customer: Changes in the travel industry impact your customers’ preferences and expectations regarding your services and products. Web scraping helps companies to keep up with the latest travel industry trends. You can collect current market data to improve your strategies and better understand customers’ preferences.
Challenges you may face
Restricted geo-locations: Most travel websites detect and track their visitors’ location to offer localized products. They restrict or block certain areas to prevent access to their services or products. You might be in one of these restricted areas and cannot access geo-restricted data if you use your real IP address. You must use a proxy server to gain access to these geo-restricted contents.
Dynamic content: Dynamic IPs are temporary IP addresses that are constantly changing. Most travel websites use dynamic content to provide a more personalized customer experience. For example, if you try to book a hotel at a random website, you will receive multiple offers from websites (see Figure 4). Websites collect publicly available data from their visitors, including cookies, forms, or subscriptions, and then change the website content based on visitor behavior and preferences.
Figure 4: An example of personalized product recommendation
How rotating proxies help
Rotating proxies constantly change users’ IP addresses for each request. They help users extract dynamic content from various websites. The most common types of rotating proxies are datacenter, residential and mobile proxies.
Prices and outcomes differ depending on their features. For example, if your task requires speed, you do not have enough budget, and you do not scrape a well-protected website. A rotating datacenter proxy is a good option. The disadvantage of rotating datacenter proxies is that they are more likely to be detected and blocked than residential and mobile proxies.
On the other hand, residential and mobile proxies are preferable if security is your primary concern and you believe the cost is worth it. They are the best option for accessing well-protected websites without being blocked. The disadvantage of rotating residential and mobile proxies is that they are slower and more expensive than rotating datacenter proxies.
Oxylabs provides rotating ISP proxies that allow users to circumvent anti-scraping measures such as rate limiting, IP blocking, and CAPTCHAs. You can access and extract public travel data from airline websites, travel agencies, and review platforms.
Web scraping applications that you should use static proxies
Automate SEO tasks with static proxies
Crawling your website is required to perform technical SEO tasks. This way, you can identify which parts of your website need to be optimized and which issues need to be fixed. Low-quality pages, page speed, and metadata all harm your overall SEO performance.
Some of your pages, for example, may have 404 errors or missing metadata. You must crawl your website regularly. You can schedule and choose crawl frequency based on your needs, such as monthly, weekly, or daily. On the other hand, crawling your entire website at once is complex and inefficient. You need to prioritize the most important pages for your overall traffic. Then you can gradually crawl pages.
Challenge you may face
To detect issues, a web scraping bot browses your target pages like an average user. Your bot, for example, is supposed to crawl your articles or blogs. The web crawler will look at all article pages, follow all internal and external links, check meta tags and titles, and check all subtitles, URLs, image alt text, etc.
After crawling is complete, the web crawling bot gives you all extracted data. You can review the crawl report to identify any technical issues. However, if your website has crawlability issues, web crawlers will be unable to access and crawl it. Most likely, your web crawler will be blocked by your website.
How static proxies help
Both static and rotation proxies can be used for SEO tasks if the website is crawlable. When crawling web pages, a fast and stable connection is essential. The performance of static proxies is superior to that of rotation residential and mobile proxies.
More on Proxies
If you want to learn more about web scraping and how it can benefit your business, feel free to read our articles on the topic:
- The Ultimate Guide to Proxy vs. VPN: Which One Is Better?
- Shared Proxies: How It Works, Use Cases & Best Practices
- The Ultimate Guide to Proxy Server Types
- Backconnect Proxies: overview, how-to, use cases, pros & cons
Also, don’t forget to check out our sortable/filterable list of proxy service / server.
For guidance to choose the right tool, reach out to us:
Next to Read
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.