What Are Residential Proxies and How Do They Work?

Proxyverse Blog
2 min readApr 12, 2021

New to all things proxy? Don’t worry, we’re here to cover all the basics. We’ll go over how your web traffic is routed and how proxies play a role in it all.

What’s a residential IP address?

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses serve as a way to identify you and the other millions of users online. It’s a set of numbers separated by periods coordinated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

A residential IP address connects to a home’s physical device like a phone, computer, or even a smart refrigerator. But they’re not permanent like your home address, these sets of numbers change over time. It’s assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Verizon or AT&T where it’s registered into a public database. Each time you go online, your IP address reveals your ISP, network, and general location. This is why you can be geo-blocked from certain content. The show you want to watch can be available on Netflix in one country but not yours.

What are residential proxies?

A proxy is an intermediary server between your device and the internet. You can remember it as the middleman who helps you stay protected and anonymous from the online world.

A residential proxy uses other residential IP addresses to route your traffic. These IP addresses are connected to real devices and locations, making them more legitimate than datacenter proxies. You’ll get fewer blocks, and more scraping time.

How do residential proxies work?

Each time you’re searching on Google, shopping online, or watching a video, you’re sending requests directly to that site. This means your IP address is visible, along with other information like your location and network.

With a residential proxy, your requests go through the server first. The proxy acts as a channel to make requests for you through alternative residential IP addresses. Sites usually only allow a certain number of requests from one IP address until you get blocked, making it difficult to complete any scraping project. If you use a pool of rotating residential proxies, the IP address changes with each request, making you untraceable.

What are residential proxies used for?

As residential proxies are known for their reliability and legitimacy, they make it easy for you to:

  • Scrape and analyze data
  • Conduct market research
  • Unblock geo-restrictions
  • Monitor competitors
  • Protect your brand
  • Manage multiple social media accounts

To find out more on how residential proxies are commonly used, check out our blog post on their seven top use cases.

How Proxyverse can help

Proxyverse offers a pool of over 70 million residential proxies to meet all your project and business goals. If you’re unsure or just starting to use proxies, we’re here to answer and guide you through any concerns.

Written by,

Joshika Andersson