Shared and private proxies only differ in one regard. They have no technical or other differences and any type can be a shared or private proxy. That one difference lies in the amount of people that can use the intermediary server at the same time. A private proxy can only be used by a single person at a time. A shared one can be used by many.
It may seem like a minor difference that has no impact on the IP addresses, geolocation, legitimacy, etc., of a shared or private proxy. There are, however, major differences in how they may perform in some niche scenarios and the best use cases between shared and private proxies.
What is a private proxy?
A private proxy is an intermediary server that forwards connection requests to the intended destination. In doing so, the proxy server hides the original IP address as it pretends to be the originator of the request.
As such, a private proxy performs the same primary function as any of its other counterparts. The primary difference lies between the amount of people who can access the IP address at the same time.
A shared proxy server generally does not impose any limit on the number of people that can access the IP addresses. Private proxies (also sometimes called dedicated proxies) only allow a single person to use the IP address at the same time. As such, a dedicated proxy will nearly always have better performance than a shared one.
Due to these differences, a proxy provider will always sell private proxies at a much higher price than shared ones. Getting a sizable number of premium proxies is hard as it is. Dedicating them to a single person or business raises the costs up even more.
As a result of these aspects, dedicated private proxies nearly always have better performance but worse pricing. A shared proxy server will have better prices but is more prone to random slowdowns or even out-of-the-box blocks on websites.
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Where are private proxies used?
Since there are no technical differences between shared and private proxies, most of the use cases overlap. They might be, however, much more useful in those business cases where real-time data and a constant flow of information is necessary as they’re less likely to get blocked.
Many other use cases rely on web scraping (or automated online data collection), including even entire business models. Web scraping, in turn, is reliant on proxies for its existence.
While automated online data collection is possible with shared proxies, in many cases they won’t be sufficient. Due to the enormous amount of data that needs to be extracted, any potential block or even small slowdown can cause significant issues.
As such, dedicated IP addresses are often the preferred choice by many professionals in the industry. Private proxies simply perform better than their shared counterparts, allowing companies to focus on producing value instead of working out the issues with proxies.
Additionally, a private proxy may last significantly longer until a block occurs. As only the user is in charge of the IP, they can employ various strategies to extend the lifetime of a private proxy.
Intellectual property and copyright infringements online are a common occurrence. Catching all of them manually, however, is nearly impossible due to the sheer number of pages and websites available online.
Companies use automated data collection methods to scour through tens of thousands of pages per day to discover potential infringers. These companies can then take action against potential infringers by pursuing legal means. All of these processes are enabled by private proxies and web scraping.
Additionally, since all proxies provide a pool of IPs, they also grant access to multiple locations. Even if a website were to limit its content to a specific geographical location, shared and private proxies would be able to bypass such restrictions.
Phishing and other malicious attacks through the use of emails is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, companies cannot expect that every person employed will be tech-savvy and able to avoid such attacks.
Proxies are often used when scanning all emails for potential malware or phishing links. Attackers, however, are savvy to the fact that companies will use automation to attempt to prevent phishing. As such, they will often ban IPs that visit their links too often without leaving information.
However, since proxies can provide as many IPs as needed, these bans have essentially no effect. As such, both shared and private proxies are a necessary part of email protection.
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Benefits of private proxies
Private proxies, as mentioned previously, have the primary benefit of allowing only a single person to employ the allotted IPs. They derive the rest of their benefits from the technical specifications.
For example, there are two other distinct types called residential and datacenter proxies. The former are IPs created through household devices. Datacenter proxies, on the other hand, are created in servers through the usage of virtual machines.
Datacenter proxies are often significantly faster than their counterparts as they are created in servers. They, by virtue of being much more powerful machines than household devices, generally have better performance.
As such, datacenter proxies can “afford” more connections to them, making them the better choice for being shared. They still, however, will have some performance issues if too many people connect to them, making private proxies the better option, even if just slightly.
For residential proxies, private ones are significantly better. These have much slower connections than datacenter proxies, making each user have a much larger impact on overall performance.
Additionally, private proxies greatly reduce the block rates for any type, whether they’re residential or datacenter proxies. As only a single person can use them at the same time, they’re the only ones that can get the IP banned. As a result, private proxies are more efficient per IP address. With proper usage, they are definitely the best proxies for nearly any use case.
Finally, there can be pricing differences between a shared and private proxy. All shared IPs will always be priced per GB. Private proxies, on the other hand, can be priced both per GB and per IP. As such, private proxies can sometimes be priced per IP instead of going by traffic.
Private proxies vs shared proxies
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