What Are ISP Proxies?

Explore the evolution of ISP proxies, from their origins to current impact. Learn how they offer enhanced data collection capabilities

Jul 3, 2024
What Are ISP Proxies?

Brief Introduction: The History Behind ISP Proxies

The history behind ISP Proxies, and how exactly ISP proxies work is an industry secret. The rise in use of residential proxies with datacenter like speeds can be traced back to late 2020, when there was a dramatic rise in internet usage, and the demand for proxies increased exponentially. Let's take a walk down memory lane and learn - What are ISP proxies? 

Where Do We Begin?

For starters - ISP Proxies were born out of necessity. You see, there are a few different ways a firewall can ban an IP address.

  • Subnet Bans - When a website firewall blocks all IP addresses in a certain range. For example the subnet range includes the IP addresses - Blocking the range will block the IP addresses -
  • Network Bans - Every single internet accessible public IP address is hosted on some network. These networks have names and unique identifiers that tell its network peers where to send packet information demarcated for a certain IP address. The official name for these network identifiers go by the name Autonomous Systems Numbers (ASN's). AT&T has the ASN 7018. The U.S. Department of Defense has the ASN 721. Each datacenter has their own Autonomous Systems Number as well. Typically a Datacenter ASN will be used to serve traffic, or host services. It's a pretty safe bet that most real end-users are watching youtube videos from within a datacenter cage (lol). Website hosts know this, and have no problem making the decision to block all datacenter traffic where there are an abnormally high number of requests.
  • IP Address Bans - This is the most granular and most straight forward type of IP address ban. If a specific IP address is sending too many requests, sending suspicious payloads, or the website owner notices something odd, they can block traffic from a specific IP address. Going back to our example above, if we are using, and accidentally send too many requests to Youtube, Google can restrict us, and us only from sending more requests. This prevents collateral damage to end users on neighboring IP addresses, but stops the problem in its tracks.

The Rise of Datacenter Proxies and Their Limitations

Datacenter proxies were once the go-to solution for businesses and individuals looking to send a high throughput number of requests repeatedly, for an extended duration. It was a cost efficient solution to get around the basic IP blocks website firewalls will throw at you, and the proxies were low latency, so you didn't deal with residential proxy timeout errors. The advantage datacenter proxies had over residential proxies made it a no brainer to use, and as such, led to a huge rise in their utilization.

However what goes up must eventually fall, and datacenter proxies were no exception here. Websites like Google, Youtube, LinkedIn and Facebook eventually caught on to these small datacenter networks sending an extremely high number of requests, and rationalized the decision to start banning entire networks (ASN's).

Enter ISP Proxies: A Game-Changing Innovation

ISP Proxies emerged as the answer to the growing limitations of datacenter proxies. Unlike their predecessors, ISP proxies use IP addresses assigned by legitimate Internet Service Providers. This crucial difference makes them virtually indistinguishable from regular residential internet users, providing a significant advantage in terms of anonymity and reliability. Here you get the best of both worlds - The quality of a residential IP, but with unlimited data, low latency. A super cost efficient solution at the end of the day.

For quite awhile, the largest proxy providers in the industry have been hesitant (and frankly scared) to start offering. Residential ISP proxies because it undermines a high revenue driver of their business.

Misaligned Incentives In the Proxy Provider Industry

The largest players in the space drive the large majority of their revenue from metered residential proxies. Whereby you purchase a fixed amount of data, lets say 1TB (1000GB) with a 30 day expiration. You then can send traffic through their network. This business model is a win for the provider, because it allows them to share a single IP address to as many as 100 customers at once, make no guarantees about the quality of the specific IP address, limits the customer to only send a fixed number of requests.

If these same providers instead sold residential proxies based on the specific IP address, their revenue figures would fall dramatically. That's why it takes a new entrant into the space to popularize, inform and demonstrate the no-brainer benefits to using ISP proxies over residential proxies.

Wrapping Things Up

The Evolution of ISP Proxies

Over the past three years, ISP Proxies have undergone remarkable transformations:

1. Improved Stability: Early ISP proxies often suffered from connectivity issues. Today's versions offer much more stable connections, rivaling the reliability of datacenter proxies.

2. Expanded Network: The number of available ISP proxy IP addresses has grown exponentially, providing users with a vast pool of options for their needs.

3. Enhanced Speed: Technological advancements have significantly improved the speed of ISP proxies, making them suitable for data-intensive tasks.

4. Specialized Use Cases: ISP proxies have been tailored for specific industries, such as e-commerce, social media management, and market research.

5. Integration with AI and Machine Learning: The latest ISP proxies are being integrated with AI to provide smarter, more adaptive browsing experiences.

The Impact on Online Privacy and Data Collection

The rise of ISP Proxies has had far-reaching effects:

1. Improved Online Privacy: Users can now browse the internet with a much lower risk of their true identity being discovered.

2. More Accurate Data Collection: Businesses can gather data that more accurately reflects real user behavior, as ISP proxies mimic genuine residential IPs.

3. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions: Content accessibility has improved globally, as ISP proxies can more effectively circumvent geographical barriers.

4. Enhanced Security for Businesses: Companies can now conduct sensitive online operations with a reduced risk of detection or cyber attacks.

The evolution of ISP Proxies from a nascent technology to a cornerstone of online privacy and data collection is a testament to the rapid pace of innovation in the digital world. As businesses and individuals continue to seek ways to protect their online identities and access global content, ISP Proxies will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of internet usage. The journey of ISP Proxies is far from over, and we can expect to see even more exciting developments in the years to come.

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