In the middle of configuring a proxy, you will have to make a choice between rotating or sticky proxies. Both types fulfil the main function of proxies like privacy protection or security improvement. Yet there are some differences between them; sticky and rotating proxies are not always interchangeable. In this article, we’ll delve into what sticky and rotating proxies are. You’ll know the distinctions between them and understand which type will work for you.
When it comes to the “sticky or rotating proxies” question, there is no silver bullet. Instead, there is a suitable choice for every use case. If you have to scrape the web or manage social media accounts, those are different tasks and you need different types of proxies for each one. Most likely, you’ll be constantly switching between sticky and rotating proxies. So, if you decide to use proxies, don’t try to find a single “universal” type. To complete your tasks effectively, you should know about both types to understand which type to use when.
What are rotating proxies?
A rotating proxy is a type of proxy server that automatically changes your IP address with every new request. For example, you typed “rotating proxies” in the search bar and pressed “Enter”. When you did, you sent a request to the global web using an IP. When you see an interesting link and follow it, you send another request, but this time with another IP. This process repeats: you use a different IP every time you load a new page or follow a link.
Rotating proxies: benefits
When using rotating proxies, you make it look like all your requests come from different people in different locations. This fact provides you with numerous advantages.
- Geo-splitting connection threads
Like all proxies, rotating is a go-to option if you need to get around the geo-based restrictions. However, there is one more advantage to rotating proxies: you can surf the web with different IPs simultaneously in different locations. It’s especially convenient when you deal with traffic-heavy tasks such as web scraping. The ability to extract data from numerous sources at once will save you time.
- Mimicking real traffic
If you want to set up a server or need to test a site or an app, rotating proxies will help you mimic real traffic. Using proxies, you can send a lot of requests to your site or server and see how it handles all those connections. It will allow you to detect whether you’re ready to deal with actual users and see if you’re immune to hacker attacks. You can imitate traffic spikes to test your anti-bot and anti-spam systems as well.
- Avoiding rate and bandwidth limits
A lot of sites implement IP rate limiting as part of their anti-bot systems. For you, it means that you can send no more than a set number of requests within a given time period with the same IP. If you try to go over this limit, the site will greet you with a captcha. It’s particularly relevant to web scraping. There may be one more issue: bandwidth throttling. In other words, your internet service provider limits your connection speed. There are several reasons for doing so. Providers may do this during peak hours when a lot of people are online. This helps balance the load and provides everybody with an internet connection. Let’s say you perform bandwidth-heavy activities like streaming online or scraping. By doing so, you consume a lot of traffic. In such a situation, your provider may stifle speed for you to make sure other users have an internet connection. There is a theory that some sources pay providers to devote bandwidth to them. For example, there are two streaming platforms, A and B. A pays your provider. So, you will have a better and faster connection while using A. If you use B, you will have a low-speed connection. Rotation proxies help you solve those problems. When you opt for this type of proxy, your IP changes constantly. Sites won’t suspect that all requests come from the same person and this way you can bypass sites’ limits. When it comes to bandwidth, with changing IPs, your provider won’t understand how much traffic you consume. It won’t see what websites you visit. This way, you won’t get on the provider’s radar. This lowers the risk of having a slow connection.
Rotating proxies: use cases
Rotating proxies are good for numerous needs.
- Web scraping
The majority of sites now have anti-bot systems that prevent you from scraping the content. Here, proxies are a necessity because if you try to extract the data with only one IP, it takes at most several requests to detect you. Sites may present you with a captcha or a honeypot (a special trap that collects information about crawlers). Or just block you right away. Or there’s one more possible option: you’ll be provided with wrong data that may harm your business. In any case, you need a lot of IPs to complete your scraping project successfully. That’s why rotating proxies are a top choice if you need to scrape the web. As long as your IP constantly changes, it’s much harder for sites to identify your scraper.
- Privacy protection
When your IP changes all the time, it’s hard to track you down. Sensitive data, like your identity, location, and details of your activity, remains hidden. This is especially important when you visit a lot of different web sources. Every time you visit a site, you send HTTP requests that contain information about you. Not all sites take security measures to protect this information.
What are sticky proxies?
Sticky proxies are another type of proxy server. In contrast to rotating proxies, such a server doesn’t change your IP with every new request. Instead, it assigns you an IP, and you use the same address for one, ten, or 30 minutes straight. Then a server assigns you another IP, and you use it for another period of time.
Sticky proxies: benefits
When you use sticky proxies, it means that you hold on to the same IP for some time. However, you need to understand that when using proxies, you use other gadgets’ IPs. You can do it as long as those devices are online. That’s okay with datacentre proxies, but there may be issues with residential proxies. So, even when providers promise you long sticky sessions of up to 60 minutes or more, they cannot really guarantee this. If a person whose gadget’s IP you use switches a device off, this given session will end and you will be assigned another IP. Also, you shouldn’t confuse sticky and static IPs. Sticky proxies rotate once every 10 or 30 minutes (it depends on what you choose). Static IP means that a particular IP address has been secured for your organisation.
When you visit a website, this visit is called a web session. Every action, like switching between tabs, also belongs to this one session. For example, imagine that you log in to your LinkedIn profile. You join discussions, write comments, view somebody’s profile, etc. At the same time, thousands of people around the world do the same. How does LinkedIn know who requests what? How does it not get confused about what page to show you? That’s what a session does — it stores and carries all the necessary information about a user, like cookies or credentials. When you request a web page, your browser sends cookies to the target server (or, if you use proxies, to a proxy server), and you see what you need. If you use proxies, with every IP rotation, your current session ends and a new one begins. When you use sticky proxies, you hold on to the same session longer. It means that fewer sessions collect and store data about you. Fewer proxies have information about you. This is an advantage from a security perspective.
- More stable and fast connection
Since you use the same IP for a prolonged period of time and don’t switch between different addresses, your connection is usually more stable. As a proxy server does not need time to set up a new connection, the overall speed is higher. This is good when you need to perform some important operations, for example, pay online, and a failed connection is the last thing you need.
When requests come from the same IP, it looks more natural to sites. The risk of being blocked is lower. Unless you need to perform tasks like web scraping, when you have to send thousands of requests, sticky proxies are a good choice.
Sticky proxies: use cases
- Social media management
Some social media platforms have limits on how many accounts you can have or from what location you can log in. That’s why you need proxies, and it’s better to decide on a sticky one. There are two reasons for it. First reason: you won’t be interrupted. Do you remember the session factor? Every time you have a new IP, you need to log in to your account. Imagine that you use rotating proxies and need to fill in your credentials with every request you make. You will waste a lot of time and brain cells if you try to do it. With sticky proxies, you have prolonged sessions and can take care of your accounts with a seamless connection. Second reason: with sticky proxies, all requests come from the same IP. This is why they look authentic to platforms, and you do not risk ending up banned.
- Online shopping
Whatever you buy, such a purchase usually takes several steps. First, you need to pick up items to move them to a cart. Then you have to press a “buy” button and fill in purchase and payment details like your name, phone number, address, and card number. With every step, you send another request. The system has to understand that it’s you who does all those steps — again, remember the session thing. That’s why you need to have a stable connection with the same IP. It significantly lowers the risk of failed transactions and lost purchases.
What can you find at DataImpulse?
DataImpulse is an ethical proxy provider. We pay our partners for their traffic and we don’t resell the IPs of other providers. It means that we can control and balance the load on our servers. This ensures that you have a fast and stable connection. The response time of our proxies is only one second. There are some more advantages, for example:
- Furnish both types of proxies
At DataImpulse, you can find rotating as well as sticky proxies. We offer you a pool of more than five million IPs from 194 locations and sticky sessions for up to thirty minutes. You define a type of proxy while configuring them. All you need to do is choose from two options on the dashboard, like in the picture below. You can switch to another type whenever you need to.
- Custom approach
As we don’t resell IPs, we can provide you with a high-speed connection. You can send a lot of requests and have up to 500 connection threads at the same time. If this is still not enough, you can contact us, and we will provide you with a personal server.
- Human support 24/7
Even with a user-friendly dashboard and up-to-date tutorials, sometimes human help is necessary. DataImpulse always stays in touch. You can contact us at any time — in the early morning or at night, even on weekends and holidays. We typically answer in several minutes.
- Pay-as-you-go pricing model
You don’t have to pay for a monthly subscription plan and hurry up to use all the traffic you’ve paid for. Instead, you pay only for the GBs you’ve actually used. You buy traffic at a price of $1 per 1 GB, and there is no time limit you have to use it within.
The question is not, “Should I use sticky or rotating proxies?” The question is, “When should I use sticky proxies and when should I use rotating proxies?” Both types perform basic functions like safeguarding your privacy and lifting geo-based limitations. At the same time, both have their own unique advantages and use cases. If you’re going to scrape the web, rotating proxies are the way to go. If you have to manage social media accounts, think about sticky proxies. The first thing you have to do is define your goals — what you expect from using proxies. Then it will be easy to decide which kind you need for each particular task. At DataImpulse, you can find rotating and sticky residential proxies from 194 locations to meet your needs. It takes you little time to switch between different types with our manageable dashboard, and you pay only for the traffic you actually use with our pay-as-you-go pricing model.