Many friends and users of our website are asking us what is the difference between static and rotating proxies and what each one of those means. For that, we have decided to write this article. Here you’ll learn what static and rotating proxies are, what are the advantages and disadvantages they both have, what are the most popular use cases, and of course, we’ll also answer some frequently asked questions.
Ready? let’s go!
Best Proxy Providers for Static and Rotating Proxies
What are Proxies?
We won’t waste much time explaining this as we have a detailed article about proxy servers. In general, proxies are the middleman between you and the online target you are trying to access or get data from. Proxies help you identify yourself with a different IP.
Static Proxies Explained
Static proxies are the easiest to understand. These proxies are using an IP that doesn’t change as time goes on and the same IP is kept for a very long time – basically, as long as the proxy exists. The most popular proxy types to use static IPs are ISP proxies and datacenter proxies. Once you use a static proxy, your IP won’t change as long as you are connected to it.
Main Advantages of Static Proxies
- Consistent performance: Static proxies provide a stable connection since the IP address remains constant, which is beneficial for projects that require a reliable and steady connection.
- Speed: Dedicated proxies often provide faster connection speeds compared to shared or rotating proxies because the bandwidth is not being shared with other users.
Although the advantages are very important, there are also a few disadvantages that we want to cover.
Main Disadvantages of Static Proxies
We can think of 2 main disadvantages when it comes to static proxies compared to rotating ones.
- Limited IP diversity: Since static proxies use a single IP address, they lack the IP diversity provided by rotating proxies, which could result in limitations when accessing certain websites or services and especially when performing web scraping.
- More likely to be blocked: Those proxies are easier to block since they are often using IPs from datacenters. Even if the used IP is from an ISP, there is still an increased risk of being blocked especially if you are sending a high number of requests through that same IP.
Rotating Proxies Explained
Rotating proxies are an advanced proxy solution that offers enhanced security, anonymity, and versatility compared to static proxies. They allocate different IP addresses from a large pool for each request or at specific intervals, which can be set based on time, the number of requests, or IP availability. By doing so, rotating proxies make it more challenging for websites to detect and block them, ensuring a higher success rate in various online activities.
Main Advantages of Rotating Proxies
- Dynamic IP Allocation: Rotating proxies switch between IP addresses from an extensive pool, which may consist of residential or mobile IPs. This dynamic allocation enhances anonymity, as requests appear to originate from various unrelated geolocations, making it difficult for websites to associate them with a single user or activity.
- Customizable Rotation Settings: With rotating proxies, you can configure the IP rotation according to your needs, choosing from time-based intervals, a specific number of requests, or whenever an IP becomes unavailable. The proxy management system handles the assignment of new IP addresses, ensuring smooth operation and minimal disruptions.
- Wide Geographical Coverage: Rotating proxies draw from a vast pool of IP addresses sourced from millions of residential and mobile devices, allowing for precise geographic targeting down to city or state levels. This feature is especially useful for activities that require access to content or services limited to specific geo-locations.
Main Disadvantages of Rotating Proxies
Despite the high number of advantages, rotating proxies have some drawbacks that you have to consider.
- Speed: Since there is an additional “jump” required to assign a new IP, you can expect to hit some speed barriers. Also, since those proxies often rely on residential and mobile devices of real users, it takes more time to route your traffic through the network of those devices than it would take through datacenter or ISP proxies.
- Cost: Rotating proxies can be much more expensive than static proxies, as providers need to source and maintain a large number of IP addresses in their pool. Also, don’t forget that those IPs usually come from real users (residential or mobile devices).
Comparing Static vs Rotating Proxies
|Feature||Static Proxies||Rotating Proxies|
|IP Address Stability||Unchanging. Acquired from data centers or ISPs||Dynamic. Assigned based on configuration or availability|
|Ideal Use Cases||Ad verification, network penetration testing, social media account management, reputation management||eCommerce market analysis, business intelligence, sophisticated website scraping|
|Detection Risk||Moderate. Easier to detect due to fixed IP addresses||Lower. Difficult to detect due to IP rotation and residential/mobile IPs|
|Speed||Faster. Single “jump” between you and your target website||Slower. Additional “jump” for gateway proxy server to assign new IP addresses|
|Geographic Coverage||Limited. Restricted to available static IP addresses at the datacenters||Extensive. Large pool of residential/mobile IP addresses enables city/state-level targeting|
|Longevity||Long-term. Keep the IP as long as needed||Short-term. IP addresses change periodically or per request|
|Cost||Generally less expensive||Typically more expensive due to the need for sourcing and maintaining a large number of IP addresses|
When comparing static and rotating proxies, it’s essential to consider their distinct characteristics and how they align with your specific needs. Static proxies provide unchanging IP addresses, acquired from data centers or ISPs, making them faster and more suitable for long-term use.
On the other side, rotating proxies offer dynamic IP addresses, assigned based on configuration or availability. They provide a wider geographic coverage, allowing for city and state-level targeting (not always, but in most cases), and a lower risk of detection, thanks to IP rotation and usage of real residential/mobile IPs.
Static vs Rotating Proxies – Popularity
As you can see in the graph below, rotating proxies are x2 more popular than static proxies and there is a good reason for that; most of the users that search for proxies are looking for proxies that are the most suitable for web scraping.
Use Cases of Static Proxies (Sticky)
There are a few interesting use cases that would require the use of static proxies; let’s go over them.
- Seamless online shopping experience: Static proxies are ideal for maintaining a consistent IP address throughout the entire online shopping process, from login to checkout. This helps preserve the shopper’s identity and ensures a smooth experience on the website.
- Conducting SEO audits: Static proxies assist search engine web scrapers in identifying top-ranking pages on a single website. These audits can help extract valuable information such as top-ranking keywords, link data, and more.
- Managing multiple social media accounts: Static proxies enable users to gather data from various social media accounts using one IP address, providing insights into how social media algorithms rank specific profiles. Static proxies can also help prevent bans on social media advertising accounts by maintaining a consistent IP.
- In-depth market research: Static proxies facilitate multi-step market research by allowing a consistent IP on each page. This is mostly useful for gathering quantitative data from target markets such as forums, job portals, Facebook groups, or popular Reddit communities.
Use Cases of Rotating Proxies
The most popular use cases of rotating proxies include:
- Data-driven marketing decisions: Rotating proxies are perfect for scraping product information such as volatile prices, user reviews, and top-ranking keywords on different sites like Zillow, Amazon, and Indeed.
- Heavy data scraping: Rotating proxies help bypass cookies, CDNs, and anti-bot software that detects web scraping patterns. Premium rotating proxies offer a pool of trusted IP addresses that are harder to block.
- Automating scraping with additional features: Rotating proxy providers often include extra features to save time and effort in automating web scraping tasks.
- Increased anonymity: Rotating residential proxies “mimic” the pattern of multiple home users for each request, building trust with the target website while maintaining privacy (not revealing your real IP).
- Sneaker proxies: Rotating proxies enable quick access to limited-edition sneakers, which often have high demand and limited availability. All those features make rotating proxies the perfect proxies for sneakers.
The choice between static and rotating proxies ultimately depends on your specific needs and use case. Static/sticky proxies are ideal for situations requiring a stable and consistent connection, such as shopping, streaming, and remote work. On the other hand, rotating/dynamic proxies provide better IP diversity and anonymity, making them suitable for complicated web scraping tasks.
By understanding the key differences between static and rotating proxies, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision that best meets your needs and helps you achieve your online objectives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Static proxies use a fixed IP address while rotating proxies change IP addresses without the need for a proxy rotator.
Static proxies are ideal for tasks that require maintaining a consistent IP address, such as online shopping, SEO audits, managing multiple social media accounts, and in-depth market research. They are also generally faster than rotating proxies.
Rotating proxies are better for heavy data scraping, making data-driven marketing decisions, and improving/increasing anonymity. They are more difficult to detect and block, making them perfect for scraping sophisticated websites.
Rotating proxies are usually more expensive due to the need for sourcing and maintaining a large number of real-user IP addresses.
Yes, you can use static proxies for web scraping, but they may be less effective for large-scale tasks or scraping sophisticated websites that use anti-bot defenses and are more likely to get blocked. In these cases, rotating proxies are a better choice.
Static proxies are faster as there are no bounces of IPs and you are connected directly to a datacenter, which allows a faster connection than routing traffic through the IP of a real user device.