In the world of proxy networks Microleaves is one of the older companies. However due to some rather bad publicity over the years they’ve probably wisely decided to change their name. They were originally launched in the United Kingdom as one of the first backconnect proxy providers going under the name of reverseproxies[.]com in 2012.
They are certainly among the bigger companies who operate in this market although people are right to be a little bit skeptical about the claims of the size of their network. At last check, it was reckoned there were over 26 million residential IP addresses available in their proxy network although obviously that’s almost impossible to verify.
The reason that they changed their company name was probably due to the method used to create this network. You simply cannot create a network this size full of residential IP addresses without at least some slightly shady tactics usually involving P2P applications. If you have a quick search on Google for the name ‘microleaves’ it will become quickly apparent how they managed to establish such a huge network.
To gain access to all those home user connections, it’s probably fair to say that Microleaves have pushed the boundaries of what’s completely ethical. Terms like Microleaves virus are possibly a little unfair but if you’ve ever had to try and remove some of their adware then you’d probably strongly disagree with me! remember here there’s two sides to this network and as a paying customer you don’t have to be the one running Malwarebytes all the time.
The company has expanded it’s network greatly by using adware like the infamous Microleaves online guardian program which can be hard work to remove from your computer after it’s installed.
So, what is Microleaves Proxy Network?
As mentioned, it consists of a huge global proxy network built around residential IP addresses from their adware and web applications. They offer several distinct types of proxies including backconnect, dedicated and the cheaper shared proxy networks.
For most marketers and internet entrepreneurs it’s likely that their backconnect proxies will be of most interest. After all, if you don’t need residential addresses then there’s much better and more ethical companies to get them from. Remember though it’s much safer to use them especially on high value tasks and accounts – like hiding your IP address on Instagram. The backconnect proxies are split into two groups – basic and special, if you want any sort of control then it’s best to choose one from the special group.
The key factor though is that the IP addresses are from normal home or residential users. So, when you relay your connections through these proxies, they look completely legitimate. So particular users will be those involved in SEO, marketing research, or internet entrepreneurs who need to operate multiple digital identities.
A typical example would be those who buy and resell tickets from sites like Ticketmaster for profit. Most e-commerce sites like this will limit the amounts you can purchase in order to deter or limit secondary markets. The simplest method is to apply a limit of a couple of tickets per customer. Obviously if you want to resell these tickets then you’ll need to buy more than this to make a decent profit. Routing your internet connection through something like Microleaves residential proxy network will allow you to look like lots of different customers. Combined with automated software like a Ticketmaster Bot then you can use them to grab loads of tickets with a little effort.
The reason that residential IP addresses are so valuable and why people are usually happy to turn a blind eye to the methods of obtaining them is that they’re much less likely to get blocked. Most ‘ordinary IP addresses’ from proxy networks are registered to datacentres which unfortunately can be easily detected by most e-commerce servers. Sites like Ticketmaster or Supreme and most other commercial sites can detect these addresses and can limit or even block transactions from them.