Using a proxy server can help you keep your anonymity while you’re online. As proxies act as intermediaries between you and a web server, they mask your private information and IP address and provide you with a safe browsing experience.
Proxies can be beneficial to individual users trying to achieve greater internet freedom and companies relying on web scraping to collect data.
However, there are different types of proxies you can use to protect your data online. Namely, dedicated vs shared proxy servers. There are significant differences between the two, and you need to be careful when choosing one.
So, in a battle of dedicated IP vs shared IP proxies, let’s see which is the better option for you.
There’s a Reason Why Dedicated Proxies Cost More Than Shared
As a general rule of thumb, using dedicated proxies is a much better option for most.
Also known as a private proxy, a dedicated proxy server is not shared with other users or clients. It belongs just to you. So, naturally, it comes at a steeper price tag.
The price of dedicated proxies can vary significantly from provider to provider and from subscription plan to subscription plan. Basic plans from lesser-known proxy providers will rarely go over $5 to $10 a month. Enterprise-level plans from reputable providers can easily rise to several thousand dollars.
As their name would imply, shared proxies are shared between you and several other users. You can often upgrade to get priority service, but you still wouldn’t get everything private proxies provide.
Whatever plan you go for and whichever provider you choose, you should always do due research before committing. Take a look at all the features you’ll be getting, compare and contrast all your options, and always read through the reviews.
What Makes Them Different
Choosing between dedicated IP vs shared IP might be challenging. This is why we’ll try to discuss the main differences. Shared and dedicated proxies are vastly different, not only in the way they operate but also in the quality of service they provide. Let’s see some of the major differences between the two.
Shared proxies provide a single IP address to multiple users simultaneously. All user activity goes through a single server, helping to mask your specific online behavior. However, this often results in very slow bandwidth for each proxy client. You’ll have to wait quite a while for your requests to go through and bring back valuable information.
Another problem is that you can easily be impacted by the behavior of other users of your shared proxy. If someone’s using the shared proxy for illegal online activity, that entire IP address can be blocked. It means that your access to certain sites and servers can be limited, if not banned entirely solely due to one “bad neighbor.”
Shared proxies are also notorious for appearing spammy to many websites, triggering Captchas and other bot-preventative measures. While this could be a mild inconvenience to some, it can pose problems if you’re using web scrapers.
Dedicated proxies bring numerous advantages. Since you’d be their sole client, you’d have complete control over how and when they’re used. You wouldn’t have to worry about the bad neighbor effect, so as long as you’re not doing anything illegal, you’d be good to go.
Private proxies often provide you with several distinct IP addresses from different locations. You could be sitting at home in the US and browsing the net as if you were from the UK, for example. It’s an excellent option for bypassing geo-blocked content and censorship.
One of the most significant differences between private and shared proxies, however, is their speed. As mentioned, shared proxies tend to be slow due to multiple users sharing the same bandwidth. But since you’ll be the only user of a private proxy, you won’t encounter any bandwidth overload.
Before making a choice, you should do proper research and understand your needs. We recommend you read this useful article on dedicated vs shared IP.
Pros and Cons
Regardless of how great private proxies are and how disadvantageous shared proxies can be, both have their pros and cons. Let’s check them out.
Private Proxies Pros:
- Excellent bandwidth
- Secure connection
- Browsing anonymity
- Full control over proxy usage
Private Proxies Cons:
- Expensive subscription plans
- Some providers are unreliable
Shared Proxies Pros:
- Affordable subscription plans
- Compatible with web scrapers
- Good for beginners
- Efficient for basic needs
Shared Proxies Cons:
- Limited bandwidth
- Bad neighbor effect
- Tends to be unreliable
- Triggers Captchas
Situations Where These Types Are Appropriate
Private proxies are often the better choice as they can suit all your needs, whether you’re just looking to enjoy geo-blocked content or need to up your security and anonymity online on a company-wide scale.
Shared proxies can be appropriate for individual users who want to hide their online activity and go around web filters and targeted ads. But they won’t suit many other users.
Due to the many advantages they bring, private proxies are a much better option for most users. However, you must be careful when choosing your proxy provider. Avoid suspiciously cheap providers and always do your research before you subscribe to a plan.
The best-dedicated proxies will level up your security and ensure almost complete anonymity online. So, choose wisely and enjoy the benefits that these proxies bring.