Residential proxies are every business owner’s favorite because not only do they perform all the regular functions of a normal proxy, they do it while still looking like regular internet users to the target destinations. And because the data sources cannot tell it apart from humans, these proxies harvest data without getting blocked.
But this is not all rosy as there are now several unethical players creating unethical residential proxies that very well look like the original thing. These unhealthy proxies may offer fancy services and parade themselves legit but are filled with corrupt practices and downright illegal.
But not many people know the difference between ethical and unethical residential proxies, and worst still, not a lot of people know the risk and dangers associated with using these illegal proxies.
We will now explain what residential proxies are, how they can be used and why you should avoid unethical residential proxies.
What Are Residential Proxies?
A residential proxy can be defined as a tool that can act as an intermediary which can be used to deliver requests from users to target destinations. The most attractive part about this proxy, and what sets it apart from other types of proxies, is that it uses IP addresses, proxy pools, and locations, designed and allocated by Internet Service Providers (ISP). This makes them appear like the average internet user while on the web. It then means that residential proxies are hard to flag down or block.
And because they come with a very large pool of proxies and multiple locations, a user can easily also evade geo-restrictions by picking any specific country of choice.
Most Common Use Cases of Residential Proxies
Residential proxies find easy application in many areas but below are some of the most common:
Residential proxies interact with multiple data sources, including social media platforms, websites and search engines, to extract an enormous amount of data. By continuously rotating IPs, residential proxies are a perfect fit for this task.
As more companies need to run ads for several reasons, ad fraud is becoming an increasing problem. Ad frauds occur when an ad is not properly displayed on the right platform or when cybercriminals try to hijack a company’s ad.
Ad verification is the process used to prevent this by regularly checking to ensure that the ad is being displayed on the right platform and that it is not being hijacked at any point. And the best proxy to use for such an important job is a residential proxy.
Geo-restriction is a common mechanism that prevents users from certain locations from accessing certain content. This mechanism reads IPs and identifies their location. Then it bans users if they are browsing from a restricted location. Residential proxies help to bypass this by rotating IP regularly. They also provide users with multiple locations to pick from.
For instance, by using a US proxy and picking a different location, users can use residential proxies to evade geo-restrictions easily. If you’re interested in accessing geo-restricted content in the United States or other locations, learn more about US proxy.
5 Major Risks of Using Residential Proxies from Unethical Sources and Possible Consequences
Next, let us consider the most probable risks of using an unethical residential proxy:
The legality of unethical residential proxies is usually questionable. Because these proxies originate from non-reputable companies, they often lead to class-action lawsuits and court cases that can cost a user money, time and energy.
Aside from legal issues, using an unethical residential proxy can also lead to fines as well as other charges. These proxies may also be very expensive to manage and maintain.
Because they are unethical, these proxies may also steal and corner user data collecting even the user data that you are not aware of secretly. And once users figure this out, it could result in a damaged reputation that can be very hard to repair.
Unethical residential proxies may not target users’ data alone; they may also be after your corporate and internal security. Once your internal security has been compromised, these hackers can have a field day launching all kinds of attacks against your company.
As if the above problems are not enough, unethical residential proxies may also have consistent time-outs and breakdowns that require regular fixing.
Not only does such poor performance affect your overall productivity, but it can also make it very difficult to access data accurately and in real-time.
One can use a good residential proxy to scrape the web, perform ad verification, evade geo-restrictions and do so much more. But this won’t be the case when they use unethical residential proxies.
These proxies may seem strong technically, but they are bad on all sides – posing legal threats, costing more finally, disrupting the flow of work, and promoting the theft of both your data and your customers’ data.