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what is a mobile proxy

The number of people who access the internet using mobile devices over the years have increased in comparison to those who access it using desktop and tablets. If you frequently browse the internet, you may have used proxies at least once in situations where it is required to conceal yourself or access the geo-restricted websites.

There are various types of proxies, including mobile proxies, which is the focus of this article. It would answer most of your queries with regards to mobile proxies.

What is a mobile proxy?

Before we dive into mobile proxies, I am sure you are aware of what a proxy is. If you still need to refresh your memories regarding proxies, please do so by referring here

Mobile proxies are portable devices just like your smartphone that can access the internet via mobile data. They are just like any other proxy that masks your IP address when browsing the internet through a mobile device. One of the key notable differences here is that mobile proxies are owned by real users who utilize the mobile IPs that their ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides. In the meantime you will explore all the other differences in the next section. Due to their legitimacy, the target websites do not often block them.

But how do the mobile proxies utilize the IP address for a smoother browsing experience? Let’s find out

Frequent changes to IP address in mobile devices

Did you know that your IP address changes dynamically from time to time when you connect to the internet using your Smartphone? When this change happens, the IP address that you were first assigned will be assigned to another customer of the same ISP. Meanwhile, you will be given a new IP address that belonged to a different customer previously. This cycle continues as long as mobile users access the internet, which is exactly how the mobile proxies operate.

Because your IP address continuously changes, the websites that you will be connecting to will least likely block you despite the fact that they are constantly monitoring your IP address. This shows the highest level of trust that most web servers have on mobile proxies.

Different types of mobile proxies

Two of the most popular types of mobile proxies are 3G and 4G, analogous to 3G and 4G technologies in mobile devices. As you guessed it right,4G proxies are faster for browsing the internet than 3G proxies.

To connect to 3G/4G, you could do so in a similar fashion to connect a residential or a datacenter proxy.

When considering which of these two proxies to use, it would help if you always use 4G over 3G due to faster browsing speeds unless you are in an area with limited 4G coverage.

What are the differences between regular proxies and mobile proxies?

From the fundamental point of view, they all mask your IP address and hide your identity. However, apart from this similarity, some significant differences exist, such as the highest level of trust placed upon by web servers and websites in general on mobile proxies.

For instance, you may experience the fact that you can log in to your Facebook or Instagram account the whole day, week, or month in everyday life. In the process, your IP address will be switched numerous times by your ISP, as you have learned above. Usually, in a desktop or a mobile environment, when you change your IPs consistently with a proxy or a VPN, you would have to verify that you are a human with the help of CAPTCHA. This is not the case with mobile proxies, as you might as well keep logged in for years.

The mobile proxies function by switching the IP addresses and forwarding your traffic through several mobile devices with a 3G or 4G  cellular network. However, the regular proxies do not operate quite the same.

When you are using regular proxies, you will be given a list of static IP addresses to connect to your target device. You can switch the IP addresses whenever you desire, or you can as well rotate the proxies by default. Since you and many other users from the same provider use the same set of IP addresses, the target websites could block if they encounter some irregularities in a connection.

Another vital point to note here is that when you use data center proxies, they use virtual IP addresses linked to the cloud. Therefore they are likely to get blocked if target websites or servers detect them.

On the other hand, the regular residential proxies provided by ISPs reside in various locations, which are linked to tons of browsing devices, including laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets. In contrast, mobile proxies only associate with mobile devices.

Why are mobile proxies highly effective?

Google Captcha

While accessing Google without a proxy, you may have encountered situations where you had to verify that you are human via the CAPTCHA that Google provides.

This happens because, as mentioned numerous times here that your ISP switches your IP address regularly. So if your ISP provider assigns you an IP address by switching another user’s IP address who happened to cause a malicious act, then Google will flag this IP address. When you access Google with that IP address, it will provide you a CAPTCHA to ensure that you are a human.

However, this inconvenient situation can be overcome when you use mobile proxies as it masks your IP address in such circumstances. It does this by replacing your current IP with a pure IP address. 

Social Media Management

When you create multiple social media accounts on the same platforms using the same IP address, you will most likely get an IP ban on your account. This situation can be overcome with the use of proxies. Since the IP addresses change along with your accounts, the social media servers will not find your activity suspicious.

You need to consider this fact if you are a social media executive or manager of a reputed company working with client accounts. After all, you can’t let your client’s accounts have a ban because of you. You could find further information concerning this topic in this article.

Avoiding ad-fraud

You would verify that the ads you have targeted work correctly and check which ads your competitors have posted. To achieve this, you need to connect from the country in which your ads are targeted.

How to choose a good mobile proxy service?

Now you know the fundamentals of how mobile proxies operate and the various situations you need them. Then you need to look at factors that you need to consider when selecting a proxy provider. Here are some of the most crucial elements:

IP pool:  You need to take note of the number of IPs that the provider provides you. Larger the pool would result in superior performance by mobile proxies and the option of choosing your desired country or city with ease as there are many options.

Rotating IPs: The number of Rotating IPs generally play a part, and you must make sure and verify with the proxy provider that on each request that masks IP changes without affecting the back end IP. Then secondly, you must ensure that you can access the geo-blocked content. Finally, with rotating IPs, you can access multiple social media accounts without getting blocked.

Shared mobile proxies: Different service providers provide different types of sharing features for mobile proxies.The shared proxies do not belong exclusively to you as there will be tons of people using the same IPs to connect to the target websites. Although they are cheaper and abundantly used for just browsing the internet by masking your IP address, they may not be suitable for web scraping tasks. Since you share an IP address with many users out there, you may get blocked on the bypass limit that we shall discuss below.

Therefore before you proceed with shared proxies, It would help determine your decision concerning the task at hand.

Price: Price usually plays a more significant role in determining the performance of the proxies. The more data that you use, the higher its price would be. Higher the price implies better performance. Although most providers are honest, there would be some who may offer you at a price cheaper than the standard market rates. This implies they are compromising speed and stability.

Speed: Speed is once again another crucial factor when deciding the best possible proxy provider. People often tend to have the misconception that proxy servers slow down the speed of their internet connection due to the overhead carried out by servers in the background. 

Any efficient proxy server should have an uptime of 99.9%. and this is the time in which a proxy server is operational and functioning.So ultimately, you need to choose a proxy server with a higher speed.

Authentication: If You are using a mobile proxy, one of its key features is that you entirely own the authentication. Usually, there are two authentication methods; username and password and IP authentication. Make sure that your proxy provider provides either of the two. Username and password authentication are self-explanatory. Then for the IP authentication, you would have to authenticate your IP addresses concerning your service provider.

Can mobile proxies be used for web scraping?

Web scraping has become an integral part of most businesses for lead generation, product optimization, and making their investment decisions a lot easier. However, most websites with data don’t allow scraping by outside parties and thus have taken strict measures such as blocking their IPs to curb scraping.

So the question now is, how do you scrape from reliable websites without getting blocked?

Mobile proxies as your savior for scraping

When you are using mobile proxies, they will employ different IP addresses assigned by their mobile network operators for each new internet connection that you establish. Similarly, at the end of the session, the assigned IP address is withdrawn.

You are not likely to get blocked by the target website that you are scraping the data from because the mobile network operators do not issue a static IP address. Instead, they rotate the IP addresses among a set of devices. 

Some of the benefits of using mobile proxies for web scraping are:

Overcome the IP blocking – Since the mobile proxy masks your IP address, it is not easy for the target website to trace from where you originated. If, for instance, the target website decided to block your IP address, it will be the mobile proxy’s IP address that will be blocked. Even then, the mobile proxy would quickly switch to another IP address and continue to scrape anonymously.

Bypass the limits set by the target websites – Often, target websites set the limits in which you could connect to them in a given timeframe. If such a situation arises, you would no longer be able to scrape from that particular website as you will be confronted with an automatic block.

However, with mobile proxies, they could request several IP addresses, making it look as if they are originating from several devices. Therefore you will no longer end up in automatic blocking.

Conclusion

Now you have an understanding of what mobile proxies are, their best uses, and how they differ from regular proxies. Then you also discovered the factors to consider when choosing a proxy provider.

So with the knowledge gained, we hope you would practice what you have learned here and help others decide with ease when purchasing mobile proxies. Mobile proxies are undoubtedly a very good choice.

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