All You Need to Know About Rotating Residential Proxies

Rotating datacenter or mobile proxies are a common occurrence in the proxy market. They are advertised as a cheaper and more reliable alternative to static proxies. If the user wants a proxy that retains the same IP address, he is advised to purchase a static residential proxy.

Only a handful of providers offer rotating residential proxies as a premium option that can perform as well as datacenter counterparts. So, what are rotating residential proxies, and when are they a good idea?

Residential internet connection

When you contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and order an internet connection, he will not only install hardware but also ‘verify’ your connection as a household one. Such verification is done by assigning specific strings of IP addresses that the ISP is allowed to use for its clients.

If your home IP address is assigned by a residential ISP, such as Verizon, AT&T, or Xfinity, every server on the web will see you are a residential visitor. Commercial internet hubs receive a different set of IP addresses, which aren’t verified to be residential.

It used to be that commercial data centers had wildly faster internet connections, but that isn’t the case anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s faster than your average internet, but the difference isn’t that big anymore. Residential internet is fast enough to handle demanding tasks and run high-speed proxies.

One of such advanced tasks is running shared rotating proxies without losing much performance.

Rotating residential proxies

Rotation here simply means that a proxy changes its IP address under certain circumstances. Usually, it’s a time period defined by the provider with some control from the user. By default, most such rotating proxy servers are also shared. The same IP addresses are rotated between multiple users. Such a setup has a few distinct advantages:

  • The price per IP or bandwidth used is lower than with other residential proxy options
  • IP address legitimacy is increased 
  • IP detection and restriction rate is lowered in many use cases
  • The same high-accuracy location targeting is retained

Is it a good idea to rotate residential IPs?

On paper, these advantages should be enough for everyone to switch from datacenter proxies to residential ones. You get a better IP address for only a bit higher price. But, rotating residential proxies were unpopular for a reason.

Commercial internet connections, such as those of datacenter proxies, do not lose so much performance when the IP addresses are rotated. Residential proxies are more likely to lose performance, especially when the IPs are shared with multiple users.

Household equipment and residential ISPs restrict the bandwidth that can be allocated to residential proxies. They are hosted by ordinary people who want to make some extra money by renting out their bandwidth. Likely, the connection is also used for other purposes as well.

Another important drawback is that sharing residential proxies is also more likely to compromise the IP addresses. Sure, Datacenter IPs are more likely to be flagged as most websites already know they originate from commercial centers.

Residential IPs are more difficult to blacklist for websites, but it’s still possible. You cannot know what other people are doing with these IP addresses. If they aren’t careful, the IPs can still be banned.

The only option to avoid such difficulties is to purchase a private pool of residential IPs and then set up rotation yourself. Various software tools are available for that – from browser extensions to universal solutions. But are such rotating residential proxies cheap? It depends on what use cases you have in mind.

Use case scenarios

When rotation is beneficial

Web scraping is the process of using automated bots to collect and extract online data. It’s one of the most common usage scenarios for proxies in general. Rotating residential proxies excels in such scenarios when there are limitations on how much data one IP address can access.

Anonymous browsing is another common use case where residential proxies show their merit. As long as you are not logging in to different accounts, websites will have difficulty tracking your activity. When there is no rotation, your proxy IP address can still be tracked, so rotating residential IPs is preferable.

Content streaming requires a lot of bandwidth, so it’s common to think that datacenter proxies are better in such cases. However, rotating residential proxies are fast enough for such a purpose, and they can give you more flexibility when it comes to changing your geolocation. The IP accuracy and extra privacy ensured by rotation is an added bonus for privacy-minded.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tasks performed by marketers require collecting search engine data, running website tests, and investigating competitors. It’s almost impossible to complete them with only one IP address, so proxies are essential. Rotating residential proxies is a great way to get legitimate IPs for less money.

When you should avoid rotation

A general rule of thumb is that rotating residential proxies shouldn’t be used when you need to log in to accounts. A website might flag your account if the IP address changes after you have logged in. Here are two examples.

Online purchasing is beneficial with proxies as frequently changing your location may allow access to better prices. Proxies are also essential for shopping bots when you want to purchase goods in high demand. IP rotation is not an option because you must complete the purchases with the same IP address as you have logged in.

Managing multiple social media accounts requires proxies, as the accounts might get restricted if one IP uses more than one. However, the same IP address must always use the same account, and that’s why IP rotation is not an option.


Rotating residential proxy servers are powerful enough to accomplish everything one would use a proxy for. The performance varies in terms of connection speed and stability needed for a task. I’m sure this article helped you understand how rotating residential proxies work, and rotation is beneficial.

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