What are Mobile Proxies?
Published: 2023-10-21Written By Owen Crisp
So far we've covered residential proxies, ISP's, and DC's. In this guide, we'll look deeper into another type of proxy: mobile.
What are Mobile Proxies?
Much like that of a residential proxy, a mobile proxy is the intermediary between user and target, using IP's derived solely from mobile devices or tablets. A mobile proxy consists of real 4G/5G connections, assigned to a mobile gadgets, sim-cards, and mobile operators. Due to the nature of these proxies, they're incredibly difficult to detect, as the IP's are assigned from real mobile devices. Mobile proxy servers function in a distinctly different manner compared to conventional proxy servers; such a residential or ISP's. Instead of relying on a predetermined list of IP addresses, which are in some cases can be well-known and susceptible to blacklisting/blocks, mobile proxy servers emulate the behavior of mobile devices by utilising IP addresses sourced from a dynamic database of other users. This results in a very "clean" and extensive pool to be used for a variety of use cases, while avoiding detection and blocks where other types of proxy may fall prey too. Mobile proxies also utilise the GPRS networks address translation (GCNAT), further optimising the network and enhancing security.
Breaking Down Mobile Proxies
Mobile proxies bare in high favour to those use cases such as account creation and management, using the diverse pool of the high quality and a making good use of highly rotative nature of mobile proxies. This allows multiple account creation or management by avoiding request limits and blocks from single IP's. On that subject, we can thank the new large scale adoption of "Carrier Grade NAT" for this enhanced ban and detection evasion. CGNAT is the protocol used to share a large amount of traffic through an intentional bottleneck of public IP's, routing multiple users through single unique IP addresses before using NAT to decipher and send traffic to its supposed location (by assigning unique port numbers). The unique port approach adds a further complexity to any detection methods. This somewhat makes mobile proxies almost impossible to detect, restrict, and ban. A ban or restriction could result in a catastrophic amount of users affected; making a traditional blanket IP ban wave somewhat ineffective. In addition to the added detection evasion, mobile proxies utilise this same feature to enhance security, again making it very difficult to locate the source IP.
Looking Further In
The uses of mobile proxies themselves extend to certain specific mobile-based tasks (where it would benefit to emulate a mobile user). For example, mobile app testing. Testing is a crucial part of application development, utilising a mobile proxy to simulate mobile user behaviour. This allows a developer to experience a potential users POV and collect data for research and bug fixing. Another important use case, as mentioned earlier in this post, are social media markets. Mobile proxies again allow the user to mimic authentic mobile users and activity on platforms. This in turn allows them to avoid detection by social media algorithms while managing multiple accounts. Mobile proxies often provide diverse IP addresses from various geographic locations. This is advantageous for businesses that require region-specific data, such as location specific advertising, content customisation, or market analysis.
The biggest downside of mobile proxies, in relation to residential or ISP proxies, is the cost. Due to the cost and complexity of the infrastructure and the demand for a quality proxy that mobile proxies are, this contributes to the high cost in comparison to other offerings. This is important to note, as cost considerations play a key role in deciding which fits best for a specific use case.
In conclusion the versatile nature of mobile proxies shines through in tasks like account creation and management, mobile app testing, and social media engagement. Their ability to provide diverse and secure IP addresses from various locations makes them invaluable for businesses very specific needs. Despite the obvious benefits, the steep increase in cost can be a limiting factor in all sizes of operations.
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