Proxy Differences – What Are Shared Proxies?
It’s in the name; shared proxies are private proxies used by multiple users at the same time. Opposite to dedicated proxies that are used by only one user shared proxies, both performance and costs are divided among several users.
What is a proxy server?
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between its user(s) and the rest of the Internet and hides its user’s real IP address, replacing it with the server’s one.
Shared proxies are considered less performant than other proxies (private or residential ones), but they can be used for most online projects. Also, they are cheaper, with the lowest cost per IP in the industry.
Why people buy shared proxies?
There are several reasons why somebody will want to buy shared proxies, as these, but you should know that the price is not one of them. Here are common reasons:
1. Anonymity and privacy – multiple users use a shared proxy IP, so if you buy shared proxies for anonymity, your Internet traffic will mix with others’ making it more difficult to track it.
2. Data mining – being cheaper, shared proxies are usually bought in large quantities and used for data mining, where intensive web requests are performed. They are also used for other tasks where data can be gathered without the need to login an account. For example, for SEO, for keyword research or rank checking.
3. Downloading and bypassing blocks – certain content is limited to certain countries. If you buy shared proxies, you can easily access restricted content by only using a proxy with the server located in an area where there are no blocks or download restrictions.
4. Apps and website verifications – you can quickly test an app or check how your website is displayed in another part of the world by merely using proxies to emulate a connection from that area.
How many types of shared proxies there are?
A proxy is “shared” based on the number of users who connect to it. But, based on the connection type, there are two main types of proxy servers:
1. HTTP proxies – this type of proxy allows only HTTP traffic and is mainly used by web browsers, web automation software and any other app that allows HTTP connection.
2. SOCKS4/5 proxies – this type of proxy support both HTTP and SOCKS connections and are generally used for gaming and other realtime apps and tasks.
It’s worth mentioning that both types of proxies can be either shared (by several users) or dedicated (to only one user).
How many users share the proxy with me
This depends on the provider selling you the proxy. There is no actual limit.
As an example, you can try a public proxy, which offers access to virtually anybody who wants to connect to it. And you will see how slow it is, making them almost unusable.
However, when you buy shared proxies, the number of users is limited by the provider. And usually, this number is around 3, which means that you and the other two users can connect through the proxy at the same time.
While this might sound much, you have to consider that not all users connect simultaneously. Even if they have access to your proxy, they might be in other time zones, or they might use the proxy server only a few times a week, rendering it virtually a dedicated proxy for you.
However, once all three of you connect at the same time, the server’s bandwidth will be split between you, so all three of you will share the performance (not only the costs).
Another factor to consider is that one of the other two users could block the shared proxy’s IP on certain websites, making it impossible for you to access it. That’s why you should never buy shared proxies when you need to login accounts on major web platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Google.