Mobile Proxies Explained: Definition, Use Cases, and Providers

Author

Kevin Urrutia

Category

Marketing

Posted

June 06, 2024

A mobile proxy is an intermediary that assigns you a mobile IP address rather than one in a datacenter or a residential area. A decade ago, no one could have guessed that mobile devices would be able to act as intermediaries. Now, they are one of the most popular proxy types.

 

Most providers already offer such proxies, but if you are still out of the loop or need a short refresher, this article is for you. We’ll cover all you need to know about mobile proxies, including where to use them and how to choose a provider.

How Mobile Proxies Work?

Just as all proxies, mobile ones route your internet requests before they reach other online services. Such an extra step conceals your IP address used to track and identify you on the internet. Mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, rely on special software and, in some cases, special hardware to function.

 

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The most common setup method is when a mobile proxy is installed on a consenting user’s device with special software. In such cases, the device owner is compensated for the bandwidth he routs. Since cellular internet is quite fast and mobile devices powerful, there is little strain on the device.

 

A mobile proxy farm with special hardware can also be created. It’s a location where multiple mobile devices run solely for the purpose of being used as proxies. Customers can then connect to these devices and use their IPs to route traffic.

 

The second option is cheaper for providers, but it’s less reliable as mobile network operators, such as AT&T or Vodafone, may detect and restrict mobile IPs. Using the IPs of real users is much more reliable, although it might lead to slower performance.

3G, 4G, and 5G Mobile Proxies

The performance of mobile proxies doesn’t rely solely on the provider’s setup. The generation of mobile internet is what ensures speed. Second-generation mobile internet is still used, but if you want better speed, choose 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile internet proxies.

 

  • 3G Mobile Internet, introduced in 2001, was the first to support emails, internet browsing, and other functions that are taken for granted today. Its 8 Mbps is the minimal standard if you want a well-performing mobile proxy.
  • 4G connections improved the cellular data transfer rate to 50 Mbps. It’s the most common standard for cellular data today, including proxies.
  • 5G mobile networks are the newest, with speeds up to 10Gbps, which is ten times faster than 4G. 5G is not that widely implemented, so it’s quite expensive, and you might blend in better with 4G proxies.

 

Mobile Proxies vs Other Proxy Types

In terms of speed, Datacenter proxies are still the fastest, while IP legitimacy is still the best with residential proxies. So, why should anyone choose mobile proxies instead?

 

The main benefit of mobile proxies is the ability to access mobile content. If you use mobile proxies, you can access mobile website versions and apps from your PC. Not only will you be able to collect the data shown to mobile users, but some sites might not give access to non-mobile IPs at all.

 

As an added benefit, mobile IPs are often better for blending in with ordinary traffic and bypassing anti-bot measures used by websites. More than half of internet users browser with mobile IPs, and fewer of them are bots or other automation tools. Using mobile proxies is likely to increase your success rate for most of the use cases.

Mobile Proxies: Best Use Cases

Web Scraping

Manually Collecting online data is akin to using a typewriter in the 21st century. Nowadays, everybody does it using automated bots that visit websites, make an index, and extract the needed data in seconds. This process is called web scraping.

 

Proxy servers are crucial when scraping data online since websites use anti-bot measures that restrict IP addresses if there are any suspicions. Mobile proxies help with web scraping by concealing your bot and enabling it to collect data that is accessible to mobile users only.

Social Media Management

Using more than one social media account from one IP address is likely to get them banned. It goes against the terms of social platforms. However, companies and agencies have to do it daily. It’s where proxy servers come in, allowing one device to use multiple IPs with different geolocations.

 

Most social media management software runs on PCs to automate tasks like posting and reacting. Using Residential or Datacenter IPs may arouse suspicion and cause accounts to be restricted. Mobile proxies avoid this by providing a way to access social media from mobile IPs.

Bulk Purchasing

Buying more than one of anything online is difficult. Stores have limitations on how much one user can buy. It’s also problematic with high-value goods because there’s always someone who will be faster.

 

Using proxies allows buyers to bypass amount limitations and even run bots that can buy online goods faster than the store runs out of them. Many stores have better pricing and deals for mobile users, so mobile proxies can give you an even bigger advantage.

How to Choose a Mobile Proxy Provider

It’s difficult to test providers before you try them, but even then, you must know what to look for. The best strategy for choosing a mobile proxy provider is to take a free trial and use a proxy checker.

 

It will help you determine whether the IPs are actually mobile and measure the connection speed. It’s also a good idea to chat with customer support and read reviews of past users to check whether they had issues with downtimes or performance. 

Final Words

Mobile proxies are a great option, even if you haven’t used one before. Be sure to choose at least 3G proxies from a good provider, and you won’t be disappointed by their performance. They are best for when you need mobile IP access but can function well at any task proxies are used for.

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