I see many BHW users of making various mistakes when looking to buy proxies. They either ask the wrong questions or either have the wrong expectations. I hope this thread will shed some light on some of these questions. TLDR: Not all residential proxies sold by providers today are real residential. For you, as a buyer is hard to test and identify if your residential proxies are real or not. And as a bonus… I’ll show you how somebody can easily create (fake) residential proxies with zero costs. Residential proxies are one of the hottest subjects in the proxy world today. This brings both new money (aka new buyers) into the market, but also fraudsters looking to trick these newcomers. The main issue that I see is that most new buyers of proxies in general (and residential in particular) are not aware of how proxies really work. And what should they expect when buying into a residential proxy network. To understand why you can’t buy individual residential IPs, you need to understand how they are created in the first place. Afterward, you’ll understand why requests like this one: … or this one: … can’t be fulfilled by residential providers. The issue is how residential proxies are created. How residential IPs are created Because Real residential IPs and connections through these IPs are expensive, residential proxy providers do not “own” their IPs. Instead, they “rent” them for a short period of times from various source. And each individual IP becomes part of the proxy pool for short period of times. These sources from where providers get their residential IPs vary from free tools/services offered to users for the main purpose or routing traffic through their devices, to SDK (software development kits) provided to app developers to monetize their apps. Here’s an example of an SDK from a residential provider’s website: I think you can see now why an individual IP address can’t be used for more than a few seconds or for more than a few requests. Let’s recap why: An X number of devices, connected to Wi-Fi (residential, broadband connections) join the proxy pool. The device informs the main proxy server about its idleness The proxy server doesn’t know how long the device will sit idle The main proxy server adds this IP to its “currently available IPs” A request (or several consecutive) requests are sent through the device connection Step 4 and 5 are repeated as long as the device’s status remains idle The main issue of a residential proxy provider is that the provider doesn’t know for how long a device with a particular IP address is idle and connected to its network. And the provider doesn’t have actual control over individual IP address. This is why residential providers can’t sell proxies per individual IP addresses and why they do not offer dedicated residential proxies. In other words, the provider doesn’t know exactly what individual IPs they have on their proxy pool, or for how long. Hence, they can’t offer non-rotating proxies or “dedicated” and “clean” IPs. Here’s a gif showing how residential proxies work. As you can see, each request you send reaches first the proxy provider’s main back-connect server. Only after getting to this server, your request is forwarded through their residential IP pool. And these IPs, contained in the residential IP pool, are the IPs that websites see. Common mistakes made before buying residential proxies 1. Residential proxies have dedicated IPs and you can buy a fixed number of IPs Rookie mistake number one. Residential proxies do not have dedicated proxies, because… as you saw above, their IPs are rented from other users. And as they do not have control over what these users do and how they use their device, the provider of residential proxies can’t offer dedicated IP addresses. 2. Expecting Log Prices When buying access to a residential provider, you buy access to their whole proxy network. And as they can’t control what IPs they have in their inventory at any given time, the only thing they can control is your bandwidth and the traffic you do over their proxies. Hence, traffic-based pricing. 3. Expecting Clean IPs Let me tell you something. Residential IPs are “rented” from other users and that IP is as clean as its user kept it. So, when buying residential IPs, do not expect clean IPs. You can get working IPs, but not clean ones. When you buy residential proxies, you buy access to their proxy network Residential proxies tend to rotate on each request (notice the “tend”). Each provider has a different back-end setup. This is why you should test your residential proxies setup before starting to use them out in the wild. And there are various tools to test how quick or slow your proxies rotate. Do you really need proxies at all (dedicated or residential)? Pro Tip: If you do not need them, don’t buy them. This is a recurring mistake. Just because you have automated one account, it doesn’t mean that you have to buy a proxy for it. Of course, I would love it if everybody will start buying proxies. At the end of the day, I manage a review website. But the real question is: Do you really need them proxies? If the answer is NO, don’t bother spending your money on them. Like in the above screenshot. If you have 3 accounts, by which 2 are already online. And if they use your home connection, why change this setup if you haven’t encountered any problems? At the end of the day, you’re automating 3 accounts, not 30... Did you buy residential proxies? Have you tested them? Here’s how. Now, if you went and bought residential proxies for your project or business, you have to test them. Just to make sure they are residential, and not data-center rotating ones. The main difference between residential and datacenter proxies Leaving aside the setup, the only difference you will see when testing your residential proxies are: The ISP of the IP The speed of your proxy The ISP (Internet Service Provider) of your proxy’s IP depends greatly. But if you bought residential proxies, when testing your proxies, you should see a normal, consumer-focused ISP, such as AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, Virgin, CenturyLink, Cox, Verizon, etc (you get the point - the ISP of a residential proxy is a… well… residential ISP provider. Here’s a lost of broadband providers from the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_broadband_providers_in_the_United_States - your US residential proxies should usually indicate any of these providers). The speed of your proxy - Usually the proxy’s speed varies from one proxy to another, but the general rule is that most residential providers are slowers than datacenter ones. Why? Because your request passes first through the proxy server, which allocated you a residential IP and then forwards it to that device. And there are two issues here: The distance your request and data travels is longer The actual residential device can have poor performance (bad specs, old devices) and is connected to Wi-Fi (and we can’t know how far away from the Wi-Fi router the device is) Getting back to how residential proxies work, as you can see there are three hops, and the second hop (from the proxy provider to the actual device) and from the residential device to the target website are not conducted over broadband, but mostly over Wi-Fi, so connection speeds are not guaranteed. Notice below the second step: “Connected to Internet - We prefer to use WiFi”. Can you create residential IPs? Now, this is the part where I can say that you shouldn’t buy your residential proxies but create them. Is this doable? Yes. Is this viable? Probably not. To create your very own residential proxies, you need one thing: IPs from residential, consumer-oriented ISPs. And you can find residential IPs from consumer-focused ISP on spys.one (I have no connection with this website, whatsoever). Here’s their list of US proxies: http://spys.one/free-proxy-list/US/ As you can see, you can get “your hands” on datacenter, residential (highlighted in red) and even mobile proxies (highlighted in yellow). There’s something for anybody! But, before using any of these IPs, ask yourself the following question: Why can I access them for free? Do I trust these IPs, so I can login accounts through them? The answer to these two questions should be enough for you to understand that not “all proxies are created equal”. And if you do not trust the origin of a proxy’ IP, is better to stay away from them. Anyway, let’s get back and test one IP from these residential IPs list. I’ll be using the proxy number 8, the 18.104.22.168 from T-Mobile. The setup is simple, Mozilla Firefox and Foxyproxy. After setting up the proxy, let’s test it on whoer.net to check the IP and ISP our proxy displays. Bingo! This is a mobile proxy, from T-Mobile and is High-anonymity - this means that websites do not know we’re using a proxy. As far as our Firefox connection goes, every website we visit will think we are using a US mobile Internet connection. Now, let’s check this IP on MaxMind as well. Just go to https://www.maxmind.com/en/geoip-demo and click on test your own IP address. And here are the results: Again, mobile ISP! So this proxy's ISP and setup is real. Finally, let’s test our connection on speedtest Quite a slow connection, but enough if you need proxies for scraping. From websites, like this one, you can get your proxies. And if you really want to create your own fake residential proxies, you can then use a tutorial to create your proxy server Here are two threads that might do the job: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/h...-server-with-tinyproxy.1098622/#post-11841258 https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/never-buy-proxies-again-setup-your-own-proxy-server.872539/ Takeaway: Who to trust? The issue is that, when you buy residential proxies, you can’t know for sure how that IP was acquired. And you can’t spot fake proxy providers. Yes, this is true, proxy, vpn, vps and hosting providers (basically, anything that is related to cloud services, servers and infrastructure) can be “sugar-coated” and deceive potential buyers. For example, when you buy datacenter proxies, you have to trust the provider that he’s selling dedicated IPs and that nobody else is using your dedicated IP. And when you buy residential proxies, you have to trust the provider that he’s not selling scanned IPs with open ports or from hacked devices. As you can see, it’s very simple to create a list of residential IPs and setup your own proxy server and claim “residential proxies for sale”. But there Somebody (even I, from BestProxyProviders) can start “creating” a pool of millions of IPs and start charging cheaper prices than other proxy providers. So, be aware next time when you hear residential proxies being sold on very low prices. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no real residential providers. There are. And they acquired their IPs ethically, not through network scans. This is why it’s important when you want to buy residential IPs: Check the provider, read about them - try to understand their business and target market Check providers on BHW marketplace here https://www.blackhatworld.com/forums/proxies-for-sale.112/ Ask here on BHW other users if they used their proxies Ask the provider how they get their IPs (what is their back-end setup) Through this thread, I hope that from those looking to buy proxies (of any kind), will start asking the right questions and will manage to identify scams more easily.