If you’d asked about residential IPs 12 months ago not many people would know what you were talking about. Although there were a few companies like IPBurger, a residential provider mainly supplying IPs for use in the UK ,USA and a few other countries across the world. They were mainly used for people seeking that little extra privacy and in the SEO and internet marketing arenas for promoting sites and using marketing tools. Generally these were also proxy services which means that although your location and your IP was hidden, your data was not encrypted in any way.
However having access to a residential IP address is becoming increasingly important in lots of other areas – including scraping data and bypassing region blocks.
It’s important to identify though what you actually need to accomplish any particular task or service. Many people will need the ability to change or use multiple IPs for things like buying sneakers, marketing, social media promotion but they don’t really need to use VPN services (virtual Private network). Very often the ability to utilize multiple residential IP addresses is enough. It’s often easier to use proxies for this functionality too. Using a VPN server does mean that your connection is encrypted and so protects your privacy but it’s too much if your main focus is to mimic ordinary home users on their home broadband connection (who won’t use encryption mostly).
So if your goal involves imitating a home user in some way – for instance buying multiple tickets from Ticketmaster or grabbing lots of sneakers from the Supreme site – just use residential servers from IPBurger not the residential VPN services. The key here is to pick residential IPs from the target country, these can be rotated using proxies either manually or via Bots. The other advantage to using proxies is that there’s no VPN software required to make it work either.
Likewise if security and privacy is key or you’re trying to bypass a block or filter of some sort with your IP then a high speed VPN component or service becomes vital. Proxies can be easily detected so you need to utilize the encryption layer which a VPN provides for any location. So to access geo restricted content, then using a VPN is more important that the type of IP address although the location is always crucial.
What Exactly is a UK Residential VPN ?
There’s two parts to this issue, most of us have probably used a VPN but most of these have a standard IP from commercial subnets. However very high quality VPNs have their addresses from locations in a residential range. The likelihood is that your standard ISP connection at home will supply you with an address which is listed as residential. If you go to any of the check my IP address type servers and look at your public IP address, it’s normally been assigned by your internet provider. Your modem or router will be assigned this by your ISP to establish your internet connection as they will to all their users. Here’s mine, heavily censored obviously –
My IP is assigned by British Telecom, whose ISP service I currently have the misfortune to subscribe to. They allocate an address to all their users and it’s pretty much out of my control. The location can be classified as a UK Residential IP Address and that in itself has many implications for example;
- Can Watch BBC iPlayer and all UK TV channels
- Blocked Access to US website e.g. if I try and watch Hulu or NBC
- Search Engines Set to Give UK Results, data and Information
- Netflix will Route to the UK version only
- Access any Website which is a UK location only
That’s only the start but it gives you an idea about how your IP address controls what you can do and access online. Your online experience, how servers treat you and what information you can see is heavily influenced by it. Of course, many people weren’t happy about all this filtering, blocking and redirection. They wanted to watch the BBC News when on holiday, watch the rugby from Ireland and knew that the American version of Netflix was way better than any other one. Which is where using VPNs came in, to switch locations as well as protecting your information and data.
Here’s one in action –
The solution was simple enough – to hide your real IP address and instead relay your connection through servers in different locations. This was a perfect way to access any website or data you liked, especially as the best service offered many types of servers in different countries. At the click of a button you could switch from a UK address to watch the BBC, then switch to a USA server to enjoy your Hulu service.
The important thing was having access to servers physically located in the country you needed, nothing else mattered – until now.
Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to get much more complicated in the future and we can probably thank services like the media giant Netflix for this. In a few short weeks they effectively blocked 99% of the VPN servers used to access their site. Not only did Netflix block access based on the location of the IP address, they have also restricted any connections from commercial IP addresses. The problem is virtually every VPN service uses a commercial IP address as they are housed in data centers across the world. You can get residential VPNs from specialist providers but they are extremely expensive, suppliers like proxyrack you usually have to go on a waiting list to get a residential connection.
There are Very Few Residential VPN USA Available Anywhere
It doesn’t matter how advanced your best VPN or proxy server is, if it doesn’t have a residential IP address there’s a fairly high chance that servers may block access to a user automatically. These residential address ranges however are mostly reserved for domestic customers – you can get one easily for your home connection but it’s very difficult to get one to support VPN services in different countries. The vast majority of these residential IP addresses are controlled and allocated by internet service providers. You definitely can’t just buy residential IPs to use like you can with standard commercial address ranges. The other worry is that when other media companies see the huge success that Netflix has had in blocking VPN access they are likely to follow suit.
Many of the most popular website will now distinguish between connections originating from these different ranges. Nearly all the large social media services for instance automatically detect these. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get blocked from a commercial range after all lots of people use these platforms from work or from commercial networks. What it does mean is that your account or connection will be flagged as originating from this sort of range. Many people who promote or manage numerous Instagram accounts have reported issues until they’ve started routing their accounts through private residential proxies.
Finding a High Speed VPN Network with Lots of residential IPs
There is some source for optimism, some of the best VPN services have come up with a solution by integrating residential US IP addresses into their network. They are not used all the time, but merely when a connection is made to specific sites. In this situation, it is automatically routed through the residential VPNs. You can see this working in this video rather confusingly called Using a Proxy for Netflix which shows how a UK viewer can access the American version of Netflix through a VPN without issues. They have limited numbers though, so this solution is not suitable for managing multiple accounts or high volume activities through a VPN.
For access to US Netflix from anywhere try out the 10 day trial and see how well it works for all the world’s major media sites. Remember thought the majority of VPN connections are with commercial addresses, not residential ones. If you don’t need a residential IP then you can use something like NordVPN which will bypass most geo blocks quite easily and is very inexpensive.
If you want any volume of residential IP addresses for running SEO tools, Bots for buying from various sites and similar then you’ll need to go direct to the residential VPN providers or an ISP. The problem is a single IP address is ok for watching a movie but pretty much useless for any sort of automated tool. In fact you’re going to need access to a significant amount to stop them being banned. The best providers have a variety of systems to make this accessible including rotating and backconnect proxies which effectively rotate the IP address automatically.
Here’s the best one by far, which you can try out for without commitment