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Choosing Your Proxy Provider: Smartproxy vs. Bright Data in '24

Gulbahar Karatas
Updated on Jan 31
6 min read

Among the top contenders in the proxy service industry, Bright Data and Smartproxy are distinguished by their comprehensive range of web scraping solutions and capabilities. They are leading web data platform, offering web scraping API, no-code data collection tools, a variety of proxy types with extensive proxy pools.

Both Smartproxy and Bright Data have their unique strengths and applications. In this article, we will compare these two web data services across different criteria, including pricing, features, and user experience.

About the providers & market positioning

CriteriaSmartproxyBright Data
Total number of user reviews40222
Average score4.44.7
Total number of employees127913

We evaluated the market positioning of the vendors considering the total number of customer reviews, the average rating given by these customers, and the number of employees at each company.

The total count of customer reviews and the rating data were sourced from B2B review platforms such as G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius, with the information being up-to-date as of November 23, 2023.

Smartproxy

Smartproxy offers a balance of performance and cost-effectiveness. Compared to other proxy service providers targeting enterprise-level clients, Smartproxy offers competitive pricing. This makes it a viable option for individuals users and smaller businesses.

Bright Data

Bright Data is a web data platform, offering an extensive range of features and one of the largest IP pools in the proxy market. Bright Data serves predominantly enterprise-scale users that require detailed and location-specific web data.

Feature comparison

Websites, such as social media platforms and online retail stores, often employ adcanced systems for detecting bots. To effectively scrape data from these sites, an alternative proxy solution, such as web unblocker, is necessary. Both Bright Data and Smartproxy provide web unblocker services to address this need.

The price range for a proxy service per GB includes the cost per GB in the starter package and the cost per GB in the largest package. This range helps to provide an understanding of how pricing varies from the most basic to the most comprehensive offerings.

Both providers offer customizable proxy packages tailored to your specific needs and use cases. If your requirements exceed the number of IP addresses included in their largest standard package, you have the option to tailor a package that includes more IP addresses to suit your particular application.

Residential proxies

Below is a comparison table for residential proxies offered by Smartproxy and Bright Data.

CriteriaSmartproxyBright Data
Proxy pool55 million72 million
Filtering levelCity and zip code levelCity, ASN and zip code level
Rotating optionsCustomizable with proxy managerEach new request
Price range/GB$4-$8.5$7.35-$10.5
Free trial14-day money-back7-day for companies
Pay-as-you-go$8.5/GB$10.5/GB

Note: The specific details regarding the proxy pool size, rotation options, free trial availability, and price range are sourced from the official websites of Bright Data and Smartproxy. These details may vary and change over time.

Datacenter (DC) proxies

CriteriaSmartproxyBright Data
Proxy pool100K shared DC IPs
400K dedicated DC IPs
1.6 million*
LocationsShared DC: US & Europe
Dedicated DC: US
98 countries
Session typesRotating & staticRotating & static
Filtering levelCountry-levelCountry, city, zip code, carrier, & ASN level
Price range/GB$0.7**
$1.60-$2.50***
$0.066-$0.075
Free trial14-day money-back7-day for companies
Pay-as-you-goUnavailable$0.11/GB

*Comprising 1.6 million datacenter proxies, out of which 20,000 are shared datacenter proxies.

**Smartproxy sets a fixed price of $0.7 per GB for its Datacenter proxies, and they offer a bulk discount for purchases of larger amounts of GBs. 

*** Price for Smartproxy’s dedicated datacenter proxies, and pricing for these proxies is per IP. 

ISP (Static Residential Proxies) proxies

CriteriaSmartproxyBright Data
Proxy poolN/A770K
LocationsUS & Europe35 countries
Session typesStatic and rotatingStatic
Filtering levelCountry-levelCity, Zip code, or ASN level
SOCKS5 support
Price range$6.5-$14$9-$10
Free trial14-day money-back7-day for companies
Pay-as-you-goUnavailable$15/GB

Mobile proxies

CriteriaSmartproxyBright Data
Proxy pool10 million7 million
Locations130 countries195 countries
Session typesRotatingRotating
Filtering levelOS, city & ASN-levelCountry, city, zip code, carrier & ASN level
Price range$17-$19$14-$16
Free trial14-day money-back7-day for companies
Pay-as-you-go$21/GB$24
Pay-as-you-goUnavailable$15/GB

The image below evaluates Smartproxy and Bright Data on various performance parameters. Both web scraping service providers closely match user requirements, with Bright Data leading with a 9.2 rating based on 115 customer responses, compared to Smartproxy’s 9.1 score based on 36 users’ feedback.

Figure 1: A quick snapshot of client feedback regarding the web scraping services provided by Bright Data and Smartproxy.

Source: G21

Pros and Cons

To assess the strengths and weaknesses of Bright Data and Smartproxy, we obtained user reviews from G2 and synthesized them to offer insights into their data scraping services. The focus on reviews from 2023 to ensure the customer reviews present potential buyers with the most current insights.

Bright Data pros:

Summarized feedback on Bright Data’s services from 2023 customer reviews:

  • Customers highly regard Bright Data for its dependable proxy services, speed, and technical proficiency.
  • Positive experiences with customer support and account management are common, including personal contacts like account managers.
  • Users acknowledge numerous beneficial features that they look forward to exploring further.
  • Users find integrating Bright Data’s tools into their pipelines easy, even with high-volume daily requests.
  • The well-structured datasets facilitate easy data retrieval.
  • The large IP pool is a significant advantage, enabling data access from various sources while avoiding IP blocks.

Bright Data cons:

Summarized feedback on Bright Data’s web scraping services from 2023 user reviews:

  • Some users find security configurations for proxy zones challenging, particularly when IP whitelisting isn’t practical due to VPN use, which complicates integration and use of the cloud proxy manager.
  • There is limited IDE help and documentation for developing custom data collectors, with templates only catering to specific sites.
  • Suggestions for improvements focus on enhancing security, user experience, and DevOps to ensure reliable uptime and to better evade bot detection by websites.
  • Documentation for integration with tools like Selenium is found to be somewhat lacking, although the proxy products perform well with Python requests.
  • Recent updates to the documentation page have made it harder to find sample code.

Smartproxy pros:

Summarized feedback on Smartproxy’s services from 2023 customer review data:

  • Users appreciate Smartproxy’s vast and diverse range of proxy servers.
  • Smartproxy’s residential proxies are particularly useful for gathering Search Engine Results Page (SERP) data.
  • The customer support team is highly praised for effectively resolving issues.
  • The onboarding process, payment options, browser extension and the proxy management dashboard are noted for their ease of use.
  • For SEO app developers, Smartproxy’s SERP scraping API is a significant asset. Low fail rate, speed responsive support and minimal API downtime.
  • Smartproxy is recognized for its high-quality proxies at competitive prices, with customizable subscription options offering optimal between price and traffic.

Smartproxy cons:

Summarized feedback on Smartproxy’s data collection services from 2023 user reviews:

  • A user with a custom plan finds the manual payment of invoices challenging, demanding for more automated payment options.
  • While Smartproxy’s functionality is praised, there is a desire for more granular control in development and enhanced integration capabilities with other tools, such as Zapier.
  • Using city-specific proxies has a learning curve.
  • Users currently need to log into their account to track remaining requests, wishing a a feature to programmatically check this.
  • A user expresses the need for longer session durations, finding the current 30-minute maximum restrictive.

Pricing and plans

When comparing the proxy packages of Smartproxy and Bright Data, Smartproxy provides a wider range of options, including packages with smaller GB/IP allocations. This makes them more suitable for individual users and small-scale projects. On the other hand, Bright Data specializes in custom plans tailored to specific needs, for which you would need to contact their sales team.

Smartproxy

  • Free trial: For their scraping APIs and No-Code Scraper, they offer a one-month free trial that includes 3,000 requests. For residential, datacenter, and dedicated datacenter proxies, custom trials are available, but they require information about your company.
  • Refund: Smartproxy offers refunds to customers who have used less than 20% of their proxy plan’s data traffic or 1 GB. In the case of scraping tools, the refund is applicable if no more than 20% of the plan has been utilized.
  • Pay-As-You-Go: Available for residential and mobile proxies.
  • Auto-renewable subscription: Smartproxy utilizes a pricing structure that involves automatic monthly renewals with added VAT, making payments each month at the start of the billing cycle. Rotating proxy plans are billed based on traffic usage, static proxies are charged per IP, and web scraping APIs are charged based on the number of successful requests.

Bright Data

  • Free trial: Bright Data provides a free trial exclusively for registered companies. This trial is applicable to all proxy networks, Web Unlocker, SERP API, and the Web Scraper IDE.
  • Every plan needs a minimum monthly payment: You have to pay a set amount each month as long as your account is “active.” This payment decides your basic usage limit: if you use more than this amount, you must add more money to continue using our service.
  • Pay-As-You-Go: Allows you to use datacenter, ISP, residential, and mobile networks without a monthly commitment. However, if you choose pay-per-IP/dedicated type or GIPs, you’ll be billed for the IPs assigned to your zone.

Transparency statement

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

More on proxy server

For guidance to choose the right residential proxy service, check out data-driven list of proxy providers, 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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