Top 5 Residential Proxy Providers for Web Scraping

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Residential Proxies are the most commonly used proxies in web scraping, primarily to avoid web scraper blocking, throttling and captchas.

Since residential IPs are assigned to real addresses by ISPs they are often not included in various bot-tracking databases. However, this also means residential proxies are less stable, less reliable and more expensive.

In this article, we'll take a look at what makes the best residential proxy and what we think are the best 5 residential proxy providers on the market for web scraping.

What Scraping Targets Need Residential Proxies?

Any target that is prone to blocking web scraper will be much easier to scrape using residential proxies. Especially anti scraping service protected targets and social networks such as Instragram.

Evaluation Methodology

Before we explore the top residential proxy providers, let's take a quick look at what makes residential proxies good for web scraping and the main features to look out for when evaluating a proxy provider for web scraping.

Proxies work by hiding original connection IP address

Residential proxies help disguise web scrapers from being identified as bots which result in access block, throttling or just plain captchas. Just by using residential proxies web scraper's "bot score" can be lowered significantly enabling access to protected content without extra reverse engineering procedures.

That being said, the main disadvantage of rotating residential proxies is connection quality and price.
This is because most rotating residential proxy traffic goes through rented residential devices - be it someone's computer, phone or tablet - which is expensive.
This also means that residential proxies are often priced by bandwidth usage which can be a significant budget problem for data-intensive web scrapers.

It's also worth noting the static residential proxies (aka ISP residential proxies) which can maintain IP connections much longer. This is a useful feature for some web scrapers that need long persistent sessions like login-based scraping.

In this article we'll be using this evaluation table to help visualize what to expect from each proxy provider:

Feature Example Service
Pool Size How many IP addresses are available in total?
Geo Targeting How many countries can IP addresses be chosen from?
Anti Bot Bypass Does this service have anti bot service bypass?
Javascript Rendering Does this service provide javascript rendering?
Log Monitoring Does this service provide log monitoring dashboard?
Minimum monthly commitment What's the minimum monthly cost?
Price per GB What's the price per gigabyte of bandwidth used?
50GB Project Estimate Cost Estimate of how much an average web scraping project of 50GB bandwidth would cost
Speed Response return speed (Above or Below or Close to market average
Success Rate Success rate of common web scraping connections (Above or Below or Close to market average
Reliability Rate of connection failures or other errors (Above or Below or Close to market average

#1 ScrapFly

ScrapFly is a web scraping API that can be interpreted as a proxy on steroids!
We firmly believe that the future of web-scraping lies beyond simple proxies - a middleware service that does the smart proxy selection, solves scraper blocks/captchas and renders javascript is a vital abstraction layer for modern web scrapers.

scrapfly middleware

ScrapFly feels like a proxy but does much more!

Let's take a quick overview of ScrapFly's features and why it makes such a good companion for various sizes of web scraping projects compared to traditional proxy services that we'll be covering in this article:

  • ScrapFly is using credit based pricing model, which is much easier to predict and scale than bandwidth/proxy count-based pricing. This allows flexible pricing based on used features rather than arbitrary measurements such as bandwidth, meaning our users aren't locked into a single solution and can adjust their scrapers on the fly!
  • ScrapFly provides a choice of either datacenter or residential smart proxies and geolocation (over 50+ locations) for each request.
  • All ScrapFly HTTP1 requests are automatically converted to HTTP2 requests, which are significantly less likely to be blocked. Where many proxy providers often fail to support HTTP2 in general.
  • ScrapFly offers a smart Anti Scraping Protection solution, which solves various captchas and scraping protection blockers if they do appear during the scraping process.
  • ScrapFly offers browser based javascript rendering, which even further reduces chances of being blocked as real web browsers are much less likely to be blocked than HTTP clients. It also allows full browser emulation commands like clicking buttons, text input etc.

To explore these and other offered features see our full documentation!

Let's start by taking a look at how ScrapFly itself looks on our evaluation table:

Feature ScrapFly
Pool Size 190M IPs
Geo Targeting 50+ countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $15
Price per GB per request
50GB Project Estimated Cost $100/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Success Rate Above market avg
Reliability Above market avg

#2 Oxylabs

oxylabs icon

Oxylabs offers many types of proxies: datacenter, ISP, mobile and residential proxies. The latter ones are by far the most popular types of proxies used in web scraping and the most popular product by Oxylabs.

Oxylabs' residential proxies are known for being faster and more reliable than the market average, and it offers some niche features like city-based geo-location selection however, this comes at a premium price tag and high minimum commitment:

Feature Oxylabs
Pool Size 102M IPs
Geo Targeting 82 countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $300
Price per GB $15
50GB Project Estimated Cost $600/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Success Rate Market avg
Reliability Above market avg

#3 Bright Data (Luminati)

Bright Data icon

Bright Data (formerly Luminati) is another big name in the proxy world. Like Oxylabs, Bright Data offers datacenter, mobile, ISP and residential proxies and offers an almost identical feature set and pricing model:

Feature Bright Data
Pool Size 72M IPs
Geo Targeting 82 countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $300*
Price per GB $15
50GB Project Estimated Cost $625/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Success Rate Market avg
Reliability Above market avg

* Bright Data also offers "Pay as you go" option which lowers minimum commitment to $25/Mo, but that's $25/GB of data which is double the market average. Unfortunately, this could only be a viable option for rare extremely low bandwidth scrapers, but it's always nice to have options.

#4 Smartproxy

Smartproxy icon

On the other end of the big proxy provider spectrum is Smartproxy which aims to provide proxies for smaller projects with much lower minimum monthly commitment of $75. Smartproxy offers datacenter and residential proxies from almost every country in the world and many US cities:

Feature Smartproxy
Pool Size 40M IPs
Geo Targeting 240~ countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $75
Price per GB $15
50GB Project Estimated Cost $400/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Reliability Above market avg
Success Rate Market avg

#5 Zyte (Crawlera)

Zyte icon

Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub) like ScrapFly also offers a smart proxy approach called "Smart Proxy Manager". Just like ScrapFly, it uses per-request pricing rather than bandwidth which is a much more accessible pricing model for web scrapers.

Feature Zyte's Smart Proxy Manager
Pool Size 500,000 IPs
Geo Targeting 12+ countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $30
Price per GB per request
50GB Project Estimated Cost $246/Mo
Speed Market avg
Success Rate Market avg
Reliability Market avg

Zyte has been in the web-scraping industry for a while and accumulated a lot of engineering expertise, meaning they can match the service speed and reliability of other proxy providers like Oxylabs or Bright Data while offering more features. All being said though, that does mean it comes at a premium price tag which might not be accessible for many.

Improving Proxy Performance

If you do choose to go with a traditional rotating residential proxy for your web scraper there are a few improvements that can drastically reduce proxy price.

To start, if you're using web browser automation tools like Puppeteer, Playwright or Selenium we recommend blocking non-critical media resources which can reduce bandwidth usage 2-10 times. We write how to block these resources in our scraping questions section:

Another way to improve proxy performance is to use custom proxy rotation if it's possible to get access on raw proxy IPs. For more on that see:

How to Rotate Proxies in Web Scraping

See our full article on proxy rotation using weighted random algorithms (Includes a reference implementation)

How to Rotate Proxies in Web Scraping

Summary

Feature ScrapFly Oxylabs Bright Data Smartproxy Zyte
Pool Size (IPs) 190M 102M 72M 40M 0.5M
Geo Targeting 50+ 82 82 240~ 12+
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $15 $300 $300* $75 $300
Price per GB per request $15 $15 $15 per request
50GB Project Estimate Cost $100/Mo $600/Mo $625/Mo $400/Mo $246/Mo
Speed Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg Market avg
Reliability Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg Market avg

When it comes to modern web scraping a classic proxy service is a tough sell. Even with the recent advances in proxy quality these services still fall short compared to dedicated web scraping APIs which can apply additional, smart connection strategies to prevent captchas, blocking or throttling.

ScrapFly's combination of smart connection strategies and extra UX features like Javascript Rendering and Anti Bot Bypass can make even the hardest targets easily accessible while also simplifying the web scraping process!

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