Everyone brags about the reasons their services are the best. But, what about the reasons not to use them? Let’s go over 5 reasons to avoid unlimited residential proxies.
Not that they are inherently evil. Just, well, read on.
What Unlimited Means in This Context
There are two types of unlimited residential proxies. Those with unlimited bandwidth or unlimited threads.
When a proxy service offers unlimited bandwidth, you can do high-data actions like streaming or running torrents to your heart’s content. Of course, if your ISP meters your bandwidth, you’ll still have to deal with those costs separately.
Meanwhile, when proxy services offer unlimited threads, your bots can make as many simultaneous requests as the hosting device can handle.
However, you’ll never come across a provider that offers both simultaneously on one plan. The other aspect will either be restricted or metered.
So, you need to know what you intend to do with those proxies in advance. That way you can choose the appropriate plan and provider. Unless you really hate your money, for some odd reason.
Downsides to Unlimited Residential Proxies
Let’s go over some of the drawbacks of the two styles of unlimited proxies. After each of the 5 reasons to avoid unlimited residential proxies, I’ll recommend a provider that overcomes those given weaknesses.
Unlimited Data = Limited Threads
In exchange for allowing high data throughput, the number of concurrent requests you can make gets cut short.
So, sure, you can stream a 4k movie without batting an eye. But, I hope you weren’t planning on doing a bunch of multitasking through that proxy at the same time.
Your task at hand might be running a bot, or several, to get some work done. Your knee-jerk inclination for a large-scale project might be wanting unlimited data. But, there are many scenarios when having a large number of concurrent threads is more important for productivity.
When that’s the case, a great option is Smartproxy.
Smartproxy’s rotating residential proxy plans go through a respectable pool of 40M IPs with unlimited concurrent threads. Those plans are:
- Micro – 5GB/month for $75 + Value Added Tax (VAT) with a 1 whitelist limit.
- Starter – 20GB/month for $200 + VAT with a 3 whitelist limit.
- Regular – 50GB/month for $400 + VAT with a 5 whitelist limit.
Speaking of whitelists…
Unlimited Data = Limited Whitelisted IPs
Whitelisted IPs impact the number of devices you can have accessing the proxy service simultaneously. This is independent of the number of available threads, and often is limited to just 1 for unlimited data plans.
Sometimes, instead of referring to it as whitelisted IPs, you may see it addressed as users or devices.
Also, whitelisting isn’t the only method of connecting to your proxy service. Providers may offer a username and password authentication option instead.
That being said, if you really want unlimited data but plan on using multiple devices, there’s still hope. ProxyRack offers 4 whitelisted IPs for all of their residential plans, which cycle through a 2M IP pool.
Since each of their offered unmetered plans have the same user limit, the only difference between plans is the number of threads you can use concurrently:
- Elite 100 – $199/month for the named 100 threads.
- Guru 200 – $299/month.
- Mega 500 – $599/month.
- Pro 1000 – $1099/month.
- Giga 2000 – $1999/month.
- Gold 5000 – $4399/month.
They also offer an impressive 14-day money-back guarantee on their services. If you aren’t sure if you need unlimited data, unlimited threads, or one of their other services besides rotating residential IPs; they also offer a 3-day trial for all of their services at once for $13.95.
Unlimited Data = Limited Speed
Unlimited plans aren’t inherently slow. But, it’s not unheard of for them to throttle their max speed. It might not be right out the gate. Instead, they may implement a cap after you exceed a pre-determined internal threshold of data used.
Typically, the times you’ll see an unlimited data plan at consistently top speeds is when it’s a specialty service. An example would be full-service SERP scrapers through advanced residential proxies.
When peak speed is a concern of yours, one of the fastest providers on the market is Oxylabs. Their average speed is an impressive .6s for their proxies.
They boast a pool of over 100M residential IPs across 195 countries. Inside that generous pool you can select geo-targetting down to the city level, if you’re so inclined.
Their proxies come with unlimited concurrent sessions, adjustable sessions types, and 10 whitelisted IPs. The plans for their regular rotating residential proxies are:
- Starter – 20GB/month for $300.
- Business – 50GB/month for $600.
- Corporate – 100GB/month for $900, plus a dedicated account manager.
- Enterprise – 1TB/month for $5,000, plus a dedicated account manager.
Unlimited connections = Metered Bandwidth
Now I’ll stop harping on the downsides of unlimited data plans.
Unlimited connection plans, of course, have their own failings. You aren’t exactly opening 10-thousand small text documents with that service. You will go through data if you’re really putting those threads to use.
However, estimating just how much data you’ll need can be quite a bit of guesswork. Getting too large of a plan means wasted money. But, budgetting for too small of a plan can be problematic, too.
There is a unique backconnect proxy service that actually offers rollover data for their plans. They’re named ProxyEmpire.
Their rotating residential plans have a pool of 3M IPs across more than 150 countries. While they don’t offer unlimited threads, they do allow up to 1000, which is plenty enough to do some serious work. Their plans are:
- Starter – 3GB/month for $45.
- Hobby – 15GB/month for $150.
- Startup – 40GB/month for $300
- Business – 100GB/month for $600.
- Company – 250GB/month for $1250.
- Enterprise – 1TB/month for $4000.
They also offer a trial service for $1.97.
Impact on Pricing
Doing the wrong type of plan can waste a significant amount of money. Knowing what type of service you’ll need can make a huge difference.
If you know that you’ll need a lot of data but not a ton of simultaneous threads, then Storm Proxies is an economic choice. They offer a modest pool of 70k IPs through a single access IP. Their plans are based on the number of ports:
- 1 port – $19/month.
- 5 ports – $50/month.
- 10 ports – $90/month.
- 20 ports – $160/month.
- 50 ports – $300/month.
As a sort of trial run, you can do their 5 port plan with a 24-hour money-back guarantee.
Alternately, if what you need is a bunch of concurrent connections but not a lot of data, the economic choice is then Proxy–cheap. Their nearly 7M IP pool across 127 countries grants you unrestricted access with pricing based purely on data.
- Starting at 1GB – $4.99 per GB.
- Starting at 50GB – $4 per GB.
- Starting at 200GB – $3 per GB.
After going over the downsides of unlimited proxies, it bears mentioning that so-called free proxies are an even worse choice. The quote, “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold,” became a meme-ified sensation for good reason.
When choosing your proxy provider for your next project, account for these 5 reasons to avoid unlimited residential proxies. If you’re still on the fence about what provider best suits your needs, check out top rotating residential proxy providers.