Understanding Private Proxy: A Comprehensive Guide

Reading time: 9 min read
Darko Jacimovic
Written by
Darko Jacimovic

Updated · Aug 24, 2023

Darko Jacimovic
SEO Specialist | Joined April 2023 | LinkedIn
Darko Jacimovic

Darko founded WhatToBecome.com, a comprehensive career guidance platform for beginners in various po... | See full bio

April Grace Asgapo
Edited by
April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

April is a proficient content writer with a knack for research and communication. With a keen eye fo... | See full bio

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With 5.16 billion users, the demand for the Internet has become vast and varied. The IP addresses assigned by ISPs are not sufficient anymore.

With this, private proxies are becoming more popular because of their many uses. The name "private proxy" seems self-explanatory, but there are many things you need to know about this type of network. 

Read on to learn more about private proxies.

🔑Key Takeaways

  • Private proxies offer single IP addresses, which suit your needs for a higher level of anonymity when browsing the internet. 
  • There are 2 types of proxies based on location and acquisition of IP address: residential and data center. 
  • Residential proxies come from your Internet Service Provider for domestic use, which is less likely to be blacklisted because they seem to come from a local home user. 
  • Data center proxies are derived from data centers, which share similar subnets because they come from the same sources and are prone to be tagged as “bot-operated.”
  • Private proxy servers have various uses: web scraping, SEO auditing, buying limited and exclusive items, and managing social media accounts. 

Private Proxy Definition

What makes a proxy server private is the number of its users. A private proxy (also known as a personal proxy) is a proxy type that is limited and exclusive. 

Compared to the shared type, a private proxy offers a single IP address that only one user can use. This is the best proxy server to use if you want a higher level of anonymity for your online activities. 

Private Proxy vs. Shared Proxy

IP addresses are units of identification. If another shared IP user has committed some excesses (or even violations) on the same sites you are working on, you are equally responsible for them.

Shared IPs are more prone to being red-listed by target sites. A semi-dedicated IP address is a little more promising as it has fewer users (commonly up to 3), though dedicated IP addresses are still preferable.

You can enjoy faster web connections with private proxies since you are not sharing bandwidth with anyone. The only redeeming quality of shared proxies is their price. Shared proxies cost less than private ones.

It would be best to avoid getting free proxies because of a lack of encryption, potential traffic tracking, malware-ridden ads, poor connection issues, and potential cookie theft. 

It is also possible that free proxies are blocked from many websites for overuse or shady activities by previous users.

✅Pro Tip: Suppose you have encountered Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) errors, common web development issues where users see broken images, unresponsive videos, and non-working website functions. In that case, CORS proxies can help you resolve those issues by acting as a middleman between the client's browser and the server hosting the content. 

What is the Best Proxy Server?

Best for: Best overall


Smartproxy is a top-rated proxy provider trusted by many. Its 65 million+ proxies from 195+ locations help bypass CAPTCHAs, geo-blocks, and IP bans. It offers a 14-day free trial and has a high rating of 4.7 on Trustpilot with 90% 5-star ratings, making it one of the best in the industry.

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Other Proxy Types  

There are two other types of proxies based on the location and acquisition of the IP address: residential and data center. Both types can take the form of shared or private proxies. 

Let’s examine each type below:

  • Residential Proxies

These proxies come from actual hardware devices. Residential proxies are IP addresses that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) distribute for domestic use.

Acquiring a residential proxy requires an agreement with network participants (homeowners) for the use of their IP address. Proxy server service providers do this to collect residential IP addresses that they lease to their customers.

Residential proxies are less likely to be blacklisted from various websites. Having one will make your traffic look like it is coming from a local home user.

  • Data Center Proxies

Compared to residential proxies, proxy servers of this type come from data centers. These proxies guarantee fast connections as they relish data center infrastructure.

One thing to note is that data center proxies share similar subnets because they come from the same sources. This means these proxies are prone to being tagged as “bot-operated” by highly sophisticated websites.

Knowing the different types of proxies and how each works is crucial when deciding which one to get. 

Everything You Need to Know Before Using Shared & Private Proxies | Risks & Benefits Explained

Private Proxy Uses

The default IP addresses given by ISPs inevitably fall short of many tasks done by modern businesses and individuals. This is where private proxies come into play.

Here are some popular uses of private proxies:

Infographic about Private Proxy Usage

Web Scraping

Private proxies are suitable for data collection as this task requires sending multiple requests quickly. This is the case even if you manually scrape data from websites.

The best example is scraping data from popular e-commerce sites like Amazon. Collecting data about product listings, customer reviews, prices, and other helpful information requires multiple requests in a single session.

An overused shared IP address risks being blocked under suspicion of a DDoS attack or bot operation. A rotating proxy may also be necessary, depending on how complex the target website is.

💡Did You Know? Different types of proxy servers vary in features and functions. These include: forward proxy, reverse proxy, anonymous proxy, high anonymity proxy, transparent proxy, SSL proxy, and SOCKS proxy. 

SEO Auditing

This is closely related to the task mentioned above. Checking your keyword ranking requires several requests from search engines like Google and Bing.

You also have to check how your website fares in different geolocations, which adds to the intensity of this task.

Even a regular home user of a default IP address is being asked to do the CAPTCHA occasionally due to multiple requests. Private proxies can help you work around this issue to complete your SEO auditing task quickly.

Buying Limited And Exclusive Items

Companies limit the sale of exclusive items to prevent hoarding and overpriced reselling by some buyers. 

Typically, you can only buy one limited and exclusive thing individually—one item per IP address.

It can be a problem if one of the users in a shared proxy has already bought the same item. A private proxy ensures this does not happen and allows you to purchase multiple items or buy from a restricted geolocation.

🔓Security Note: There are disadvantages when you turn off your proxy. The potential drawbacks include: 

  • Less protection from malicious websites
  • Greater risk of hacking since browsing is no longer anonymous
  • Inability to access websites with geographical restrictions
  • Lower device performance

Social Media Account Management

Social media platforms record suspicious IPs or block some of them. Being grouped with a shared IP address with a history of site ToS violations can be an issue.

Using a private proxy for a significant social media account is better than risking an incorrect IP address association. Private proxies are also used for managing multiple accounts at the same time.

Pros And Cons Of Private Proxy

If you are considering getting a private proxy, beware of its advantages and downsides. Also, think of whether you should get a private proxy rather than a shared IP first.

Below are the pros and cons of private proxies:



  • Enhanced security 
  • Faster speed as it is not sharing bandwidth
  • Not being affected by other users’ activities
  • Lesser chance of being blocked by target websites
  • More expensive than shared proxies
  • IP pool may be limited due to its price

The table above shows that private proxies only have a few disadvantages. It proves how effective private proxies are if you have the money to spare.

Provided by 

The Evolution Of Private Proxies: A Timeline

Private proxies, or proxy servers in general, have come a long way in providing solutions to our web security and privacy needs. 

If you are curious about how it started, here is a timeline of how private proxies became what they are now:

1990s – Introduction of Proxies

The Internet was still in its infancy. Proxy servers were mainly used to improve network performance and cache capacity.

Early 2000s – Public Proxies’ Popularity

Public proxies became popular as the use of the internet grew. Proxy servers’ primary usage shifted from improving network performance to privacy and security as the need for online anonymity rose.

Mid-2000s – Rise of Private Proxies

Private proxies emerged due to the increasing demand for more secure proxy solutions. Offers for dedicated IP addresses and stronger privacy features also increased.

Late 2000s – Private Proxies for Online Marketing

With the rising popularity of social networking, the need for private proxies increased. Using private proxies for managing social media accounts, automation, and competitive research also became common.

2010s – High Demand for Proxy Networks

Proxy server providers started offering distributed private proxies across many locations.

Mid-2010s – Proxies for Data Mining and Web Scraping

Companies relied on private proxies to extract bulk data from websites while maintaining anonymity.

Late 2010s – Proxies with Enhanced Security and Encryption

Secure protocols such as SOCKS and HTTPS were introduced due to increasing cybersecurity threats affecting at least 30,000 websites and 64% of companies worldwide.

2020s – Proxies with AI and Machine Learning Integration

Proxies were used to collect training materials for AI models and other data-intensive tasks without being detected.

Wrap Up

It is a given that private proxies are miles better than shared proxies. However, make sure to consider the task that you will use it for.

If you simply want to work around the geo-restrictions of video streaming sites, it might be better to get a shared proxy instead.

You can save the use of private proxies for more sensitive tasks like web scraping of popular websites and social media management.


How do I connect to a private proxy?

You should get a private proxy from a proxy server service provider. Depending on the plan, you can set up your private proxy on a computer, mobile device, or web browser through the proxy settings.

What is the difference between a public and a private proxy?

A public proxy is a free proxy that everyone can use. However, remember that it can expose users to privacy and security risks. Private proxies are exclusive at a price.

Is a private proxy safe?

Yes. Most private proxies use encryption protocols, unlike public proxies, which are usually unencrypted.

Is VPN a private proxy?

No, but it works the same way on certain points. Multiple users usually share VPN server IPs, which are not exclusive like the dedicated IPs from private proxies.


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