Exploring Rotating Proxies: How to Choose and Set up

Exploring Rotating Proxies: How to Choose and Set up

If IP bans and CAPTCHA tests are a frequent occurrence when using proxies, you are doing something wrong. Most likely, you are not using IP address rotation correctly or at all. This article will explain all you need to know about why IP rotation is crucial and the first steps to take.

Why do you need proxies?

Proxies are intermediary devices that can connect to the internet on your behalf with their own IP address. They conceal your original IP address and all the information associated with it, most notably, the name of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and your approximate location.


Without IP-related data, it’s much more difficult or often impossible for websites to track you, implement geo-restrictions, or block your original IP address. As such, proxies are useful for many online tasks – from anonymous browsing to web scraping and email protection.

Drawbacks of static proxies

Many proxy servers function as static. That is, the IP address does not change during your use. You simply connect to the proxy server, and it routes your connection with one and the same IP address. It does have an advantage in some use cases when you need to keep the same identity you show to the web server.


For example, when bulk purchasing online, you might need to create an account, find the goods, checkout and possibly wait in line with the same IP address. The whole process might take several hours and if the IP address were to change, you’ll need to start everything from scratch.


However, access from one IP address might have significant drawbacks. The number of requests one IP can send to a website might be limited, so a static proxy isn’t that useful. This is relevant when collecting data online (Web Scraping) because you want to send as many requests as possible in a short time span.


A static IP might also be easier for websites to detect if you are using bots or other online automation measures. Even if the number of requests is unlimited, in theory, too many requests sent by automatic means will raise suspicions and might get the IP blocked. If you change the IP periodically, restrictions will be avoided.


Lastly, geo-restrictions might not allow one IP address to collect data or perform certain actions. If you want more access, you’ll have to use multiple IP addresses to access the web server. IP rotation can solve these static IP drawbacks.

What are rotating proxies?

In this context, rotation means the change of IP address for a set period or every new task. For example, a proxy rotating might be set to every half an hour, or a different IP might be used for different triggers – opening certain websites, browser tabs, accounts etc.


Rotation usually requires you to have a list of IP addresses available. On their own, these IPs might be static, but your connection will change from one to another depending on how you set it. The user can create such rotation with specific software, but it can also be offered by. 


Some proxy providers are offering cheap shared proxies that are constantly rotating between multiple users. It greatly lowers the cost of using a proxy server, and the rotation balances the load for better performance. It isn’t an ideal option, but it fits in some cases.


The best option for proxy rotation is purchasing a private pool of IP addresses and then creating a rotation queue. It might involve some tinkering (or even Phyton programming if you are capable), but it’s necessary for some use cases.

What proxy type is best for rotation?

Some proxy types have dynamic IPs and are rotating by default, while others will require you to set up rules for when you want this rotation to happen. 


Mobile proxies use cellular towers and mobile devices to connect to the internet. Their IPs are dynamic and change automatically after some period. The drawback is that you cannot control such rotation. If rotation itself is important, mobile proxies are a great option.


Datacenter proxies are run on powerful servers that use commercial internet connections. They create IPs by hosting virtual machines so one device can support multiple connections. Datacenter proxies are great for rotation as they don’t lose much performance, and rotation decreases the possible restrictions. 


Frequent IP bans and CAPTCHAs are why most providers rotate datacenter proxies by default. However, I would recommend compiling your own private datacenter IP pool and setting up rotation the way you need. You’ll achieve much better performance and anonymity this way.


Residential proxies are made to appear as legitimate to websites as possible. They use IP addresses from ordinary households with IPs verified by a consumer ISP. Such proxies are rarely rotated as they are quite expensive per IP to purchase.


However, if you can afford it or find a good deal, it’s hands down the best option for rotating proxies. The performance might be a bit slower than with datacenter proxies, but rotating residential proxies are almost impossible to compromise.

Setting up Proxy rotation

Proxy provider software might be an option, but it usually doesn’t have enough flexibility for more advanced tasks. If rotation by time period is enough, this might be a simple option. However, the best way to rotate proxies is to use third-party software. 


Using a web browser extension is a convenient option for anonymous browsing tasks. Solutions like FoxyProxy and Proxy Switcher and Manager provide way more functions. You can also combine lists of multiple proxy providers.


Coding a Python proxy rotator yourself is the best option, but it requires a lot of knowledge. It’s usually undertaken by developers or web scraping specialists in specific projects. 

Read Also: Ethernet is a Game-Changer

Wrapping up

If your projects are suffering from a limited number of requests, geo-restrictions, CAPTCHAs, and other disturbances, you should consider rotating your IP address. The best option is to purchase a private residential IP pool and rotate it with third-party software.


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