Residential proxy choice guide

27 March 2020

On Astro, a trusted proxy website, anyone can buy the best residential, mobile and datacenter IPs or try them for free. We offer geo targeted proxies as well as static, rotating, anonymous, etc. 

A proxy server is an intermediary element between a user’s device and the end server, which lets through data that streams between the two in both directions. Proxies are used as tools for anonymity purposes, as they help to mask IP addresses. There are different types of proxy servers, and a rapidly growing number of proxy networks. Residential proxies are increasingly popular thanks to the high level of anonymity. Although they are a little less speedy and less common than datacenter proxies, they tend to be safer and more trustworthy.

What is a residential proxy?

Residential proxies are provided by commercial consumer-level ISPs, which are located in residential areas. These providers operate for homeowners. In fact, a residential proxy is a homeowner’s device (a PC, smartphone, etc.), which uses a kind of application with the functionality of a proxy server and is operated by a local commercial ISP. In turn, a proxy server is part of a globally operating proxy server network, such as Astro. Every server has its own IP address, which you will be allowed to use once you connect to a residential proxy.

Why use a residential proxy network?

Astro is a residential proxy network, which can help you avoid the limitations that may be imposed by main servers. Once a user buys a residential IP and connects via it, the public IP is no longer visible to a website he or she is visiting: it will be hidden behind the new residential IP address. People buy IPs both for personal and business needs:

  • Ad verification: advertisers want to be sure that their ads are visible and displayed correctly in different parts of the world. Likewise, IT users can verify that ads, which they see, are legitimate.
  • Accessing geo-restricted content: it is possible to buy geo-targeted proxies and connect to a residential IP to view websites, which are accessible to citizens of the country where this residential IP is located, but are not accessible in your country.
  • Avoiding price discrimination: some booking offices, hotels, etc., set higher prices for residents of some countries. Astro will help you pick out an IP located in a country, whose residents are not discriminated against by these companies, and buy a ticket or service at a fair price.
  • Web scraping: as developers collect information, they have to visit a website many times a day and get red-flagged as suspicious users. Once connected to a residential IP address, one can visit a website many times from different IPs, as if those were different users.
  • Social media marketing: marketers often create and use several accounts when promoting their brands via social networks, and get banned. When you buy residential IPs from a trusted proxy website, your activity looks normal to these websites, so you avoid red flags.

Where to look for a decent residential proxy?

One thing to be remembered is that buying residential proxies is more expensive than even the best datacenter ones. However, the advantages of the former outweigh, and you are sure to get a better experience for a fair cost. The high price is because resident server requires special technical means which is quite expensive to maintain.

There are lots of announcements and posts about cheap and even free residential IPs claiming to be able to make wonders. Most such proxies are low quality and not secure at all. Be careful when choosing where to buy proxies as it should be a trusted website. Check user reviews and feedback prior to paying a service.

Make sure that your residential proxy operates on a legal basis. Residential IPs are less widely spread, less attractive to scams and therefore are more trusted by websites than datacenter proxies. Whoever uses a residential IP, websites see them as real users, because they do belong to real users. Oftentimes, those so-called cheap residential IPs may actually be scammed datacenter IPs. As a result, you may end up paying more than you should, getting scammed and falling into disrepute with your ISP.

It is imperative that you pay attention to the speed of your connection. Residential proxies tend to be a little slower than datacenter ones. Slowdowns occur because it may take a provider some time to switch between IPs and finally choose a relevant one. We recommend reading users’ comments before buying this service. The feedback from real people should help you understand how to minimize or avoid technical issues.

The best proxies are found on a trusted proxy website. Pick a platform which has been around for a while and has made a name. Although our network is pretty new, we have become a trustworthy service for millions of users worldwide. 

Creating your residential IP

One way to do that is to randomly pick an IP provided by a legitimate service (like Astro) and test it with:

  1. RIPE: a European network coordination center, which distributes IPs in Europe;
  2. ARIN: a center similar to RIPE, except it distributes IPs in the USA;
  3. MaxMind, which provides a spectrum of IP intelligence services and tools, including geo-location and fraud detection.

Once you have checked your IP and find it in these registers, you can go further. Just like other reputable residential proxy providers, Astro does not actually own residential IPs or inventories of these; therefore, it cannot sell them to anyone. What we do is address homeowners and rent their IPs, which are assigned to their devices.

The number of these rented IPs determines the range of a residential proxy network. By now, Astro has received thousands of permissions from homeowners in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, France, Germany, to use their devices as residential IP servers.

Astro: our network and its benefits

Astro stimulates homeowners by advertising an app that facilitates connection. It does not take a lot of effort for a developer to come up with an app: all they need to do is add the company’s code. Developers get a sum every time a homeowner downloads and installs the app. Traffic can be routed via these devices when homeowners are not using them. Since there are crowds of such residents, there is always one not using his or her device, so the system will switch to a free device almost instantly. 

Some may think that switching between IPs like this can make target websites feel suspicious. That is not the case with Astro, because all residential IP owners within our network are real users. Therefore, changing IPs looks to these like more users are visiting them from around the globe, not like bot activity. They just see no reason to red-flag them.

Astro as a network of residential proxies meets the criteria of a trusted proxy website. If you’re looking for a reliable IPs provider, check out our advantages:

  • We operate legally, rent only real residential IP addresses, do not expose our users to the risk of fraud attacks or blocking,
  • We have enough IP addresses to ensure fast switching from one server to another and, therefore, a high-speed connection,
  • We offer favorable plans with a ‘price–quality’ ratio,
  • We let our users buy or try our residential, mobile and datacenter proxies for free.

Our company is growing. So far, our geography includes the most popular countries. We plan to further expand the network so that as many users as possible can buy our geo targeted proxies to solve their personal and business problems!


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