What Is A Dedicated Proxy And Why Would Anyone Need One?
In this article we will discuss:
- What is a dedicated proxy?
- Why do some businesses prefer using dedicated proxies?
- Advantages, and disadvantages of dedicated proxies
What is a dedicated proxy?
When we look at ‘dedicated proxies’ we are essentially addressing an issue of exclusivity, as well as the mission at hand. When you are trying to accomplish a ‘simple’ data collection task, such as collecting:
- competitive and marketing intelligence data
- brand/digital asset protection datasets
- information from public databases for records or filings
Your business may choose to opt for a shared subnet of Data Center proxies. The ‘shared’ nature of these IPs means that today you may use a certain proxy to search for dynamic pricing data and tomorrow another company may use it to scan for brand infringements.
A dedicated proxy is the opposite, it is a proxy that you buy or lease for a predefined period that only you have access to. This may be available to your company in the form of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) proxy. This means that the IP you’re using is assigned to a real place of residence so that when data requests are sent out, they appear to be coming from a real individual web user. Using a Dedicated Proxy versus a Shared Proxy has quite a few advantages which I will discuss in the upcoming sections.
Why do some businesses prefer using Dedicated Proxies?
As I mentioned, the main advantage of using a Dedicated Proxy is the way in which data requests are treated by target sites. This is especially true when you are trying to access information from a difficult target site. When using a Shared Proxy, you are not always certain of said IP’s pedigree. This means that any shared IP may have been used in the past by someone who sent many requests to your current target site which may reduce your success rate. This is just one example of the many prior activities which can impact your levels of success and retrieval of information.
A good comparison would be a used car, when you buy one you are never really sure if there were prior accidents or if the seller tinkered with the odometer gauge. But if you do not drive very often and just need the car for grocery shopping and dropping off the kids, you might opt for this option to save a few bucks. On the other hand if you had a two-hour commute each day, you might invest in a brand new vehicle. The used car in this analogy represents the ‘baggage’ that a Shared Proxy may come with (you just don’t know), while a brand new car represents all the advantages of being the first and exclusive owner of a Dedicated Proxy.
Advantages, and disadvantages of dedicated proxies
Let’s talk a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of both options:
Dedicated Proxy advantages
The major advantages of a Dedicated Proxy include:
- Enjoying a higher data collection success rate as the IPs will have a ‘clean’ history
- Having quicker data collection speed as you will not be ‘competing’ with other users on a shared network
Dedicated Proxy disadvantages
The major disadvantages of a Dedicated Proxy include:
- Usually a pricier option. If, for example, you use ‘Car2Go’, the car sharing platform, you will spend less than if you purchase a car. The same goes for buying a used car as well as a Dedicated versus a Shared Proxy network.
Shared Proxy advantages
The major advantages of a Shared Proxy include:
- This is a more cost-efficient option
- Great for simple target sites such as eCommerce marketplaces
Shared Proxy disadvantages
The major disadvantages of a Shared Proxy include:
- This may be a less effective option for tougher target sites
- You may be using an IP with an unfavorable history potentially impinging on data collection speeds, and response times
- You may be assigned an IP used previously by a different company to target the same site resulting in a lower success rate
The bottom line
Both Dedicated, and Shared Proxies are excellent and valid options for companies looking to collect real-time open source web data. The former is pricier but more effective for tougher target sites, while the latter is suitable for easier, low-profile jobs. Choose the option that best suits your business goals and project budget.