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Developing your own web scraper is a complex venture. You must understand the
intricacies of web scraping and parsing, including how websites operate and deal with scrapers. One of the important quests is choosing a proxy server that suits your project’s needs.
Understanding the differences between static and rotating proxies, and knowing the
ideal option for your case, will greatly enhance your scraping operations. So here’s the bread and butter of static vs. rotating proxies to make your decision easier.
What is a Static Proxy Server?
A static proxy server, also known as a sticky proxy, never changes its IP address. When you route your HTTP requests through a static proxy, the websites will always see the same unique IP unless you rotate your proxy IPs.
In most cases, static proxies originate from data centers as they guarantee an uninterrupted connection. This includes shared and dedicated datacenter proxies, as well as static residential (ISP) proxies.
When you buy static proxies, you’ll most likely get a list of static IP addresses that you can use to make requests through. You’ll also need to rotate the IPs yourself to avoid IP bans when using the same IP address for subsequent requests.
What is a Rotating Proxy Server?
Rotating proxy servers automatically receive a new IP address at default or specified intervals. For instance, you can configure a rotating proxy to change the IP with each HTTP request or after a few minutes.
Commonly, residential and mobile proxies have built-in rotation systems. This is because they’re sourced from real devices connected to ISP networks; thus, the availability of residential and mobile proxies depends on the continuous internet connection of the device from which the proxy was sourced. With rotation, providers can ensure a more stable connection to the proxy pool.
When you buy rotating proxies from a provider like Oxylabs, you’ll be able to use a single endpoint to connect to the proxy pool. You’ll also have the option to configure rotation settings by including certain parameters with your request.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Static and Rotating Proxies?
- Guaranteed stable connection
- Great performance due to dedicated resources (bandwidth, processing power, storage)
- Suitable for projects of any scale
- Tend to be low-priced
- Higher risk of receiving an IP ban if no rotation is implemented
- Low anonymity due to constant requests from the same IP
- Less proxy IPs compared to a pool of rotating proxies
- High anonymity
- Perfect for bypassing IP bans and CAPTCHAs
- Much bigger pool of IPs compared to a list of static IPs
- The best option for difficult targets and large-scale web scraping operations
- Connection instability
- Might perform slower
- Higher cost
Side-by-Side Comparison: Static Proxies vs. Rotating Proxies
|Proxy IP addresses that remain constant over time.
|Proxy IP addresses that change automatically or at set intervals.
|Suitable for less difficult targets and tasks that require consistent IPs.
|Best for high anonymity and large-scale web scraping tasks.
|Usually, a list of static proxy IPs.
|Typically a single connection endpoint assigns different IPs.
|Proxy Pool Size
|Small-sized proxy IP pool.
|Usually, a large pool of proxy IPs.
|Exceptional performance due to dedicated resources.
|Depends on the proxy type. Rotating residential and mobile proxies may have slower speeds, yet rotating datacenter and ISP proxies will perform well.
|Offer the best stability and uptime.
|Rotation improves stability, but there may be a connection latency.
|Low anonymity when the same IP is used for many requests.
|Higher anonymity as IPs frequently change, making tracking more difficult.
|Limited flexibility. Features like geo-location are hard-set, leaving no room for changes.
|Highly flexible. Access to a large proxy pool ensures more location options, and rotation allows session time adjustments.
|Simple, but can get overwhelming. You must take care of each IP address yourself. If you want to use proxy rotation, then you must set it up yourself.
|Easy – proxy rotation and IP health management are taken care of by the proxy provider.
|IP Rotation Control
|No automatic rotation. Requires you to set up your own proxy rotation strategy.
|IP rotation is automatic and can usually be controlled programmatically.
|Proxy Rotation Frequency
|Automatic or user-defined. Proxies can be rotated with each request or at set time intervals.
|Generally, a lower price.
|A higher price due to the implemented proxy management system.
When to use static vs. rotating proxies?
Static Proxy Use Cases
Go with static proxies if your operations require a combination of excellent speed, stability, IP consistency, and anonymity.
Consistent use of an IP address mimics real user behavior, enables you to maintain the connection for session-based and multi-step website processes, and ensures data accuracy by being connected to the exact location for an extended time.
These characteristics prove to be extremely useful across various business activities:
- Market research
- Social media management
- Brand protection
Rotating proxy use cases
Opt for rotating proxies if your target websites are more challenging and require enhanced anonymity and block-free access on a larger scale.
The availability of a considerably bigger pool of proxies and a sophisticated rotation system allows you to quickly overcome IP blocks, CAPTCHAs, geo-restrictions, and IP rate limits. In general, rotating proxies provide a broader range of geo-locations compared to static proxies. Thereby the enhanced global reach and added flexibility will undoubtedly optimize and streamline your web scraping tasks.
Rotating proxies are the top choice for diverse business scenarios, including:
- E-Commerce monitoring
- Ad verification
- SERP and SEO monitoring
- Travel fare aggregation
Ultimately, the choice between static or rotating proxies rests on the difficulty of your target websites and the requirements for your project. First, you should examine your targets and their anti-bot systems. Then, you can determine the requirements for your project, such as the optimal speed, scale, connection stability, budget, necessary
geo-locations, the anonymity level of your HTTP requests, as well as expected maintenance efforts.
To ease your decision even more, you can book a free trial of Oxylabs proxies and see for yourself whether static or rotating proxies are the ideal fit for your scraping needs.