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How to ensure you are using a legitimate proxy network provider – 6 clear guidelines

Data is a powerful tool. Gathering online data is key to any business’s success. So how can you ensure you’ve selected the right legitimate proxy network service, a provider that will focus on both, performance and the overall integrity of the data collection process?

 The following guidelines are designed to help you with this important and challenging task.

There is one residential IP proxy network encompassing more than 40 million IP addresses all of whom have fully and actively opted-into the network. This is the largest network of this type in the world. No other proxy provider comes close to this figure. It takes a lot of discipline, commitment, as well as a validation mechanism to build a clean network of this size. Equally important is that the enterprises and organizations seeking a residential-based proxy service recognize the uniqueness of this proxy network.

For instance, if your organization uses a residential-based proxy service, you need to ensure certain critical points. One, your proxy provider is ethical and legal. Two, its infrastructure is large enough to match the scale you require. Three, it respects the digital ecosystem and doesn’t harm your business. Practically, you can’t risk using non-licensed software through your proxy service provider. It could be like sitting on a sleeping volcano that could erupt at any time.

Here is a list of the 6 key factors that will help you select a legitimate proxy provider.

1. Consent of End Users or Peers

Every proxy provide has to inform consent in order to obtain residential and/or mobile IP addresses for the purposes of use cases such as ad verification, website testing, or anything else it leverages its proxy network for. That is a legal requirement.

Many proxy providers avoid this step to gather additional IP addresses.

A proxy network must gain full and explicit consent of those who are contributing their IP addresses to their proxy network.

It is important that the opted-in users are fully aware what their IP address is being used for. Also, they have every right to know how their device is being used. The proxy provider must ask for their permission to use their IP address. As mentioned, any user or peer who is contributing their IP address to become part of this proxy network must knowingly agree to join the proxy network.

Luminati Networks, for example, acquires its peers through their Luminati SDK. This SDK integrates into apps by their respective owners as an additional way for monetization. Through a very outlined and detailed landing page, app users can decide whether to opt-into Luminati’s network and become a part of their proxy ecosystem in exchange of using the app without seeing ads i.e.  gaining better user experience, or in exchange of free/complimentary access to paid services.

2. GDPR Compliance of the Proxy Provider

We are all aware of GDPR. It is the EU’s data protection regulatory framework. GDPR compliance is important to stay on the right side of the law. GDPR refers to data protection, privacy, and data transfer, within the EU, as well as outside of it.

A proxy network provider must comply with data protection laws such as GDPR & CCPA and best practices governing the industry.

3. Real Benefits for opted-in Peers  

A legitimate proxy network provider should never work in isolation and enjoy all the benefits without awarding its partners or peers/contributors. It will provide app users who chose to join its network with a clear benefit in return. It could be providing an ad-free version of an app, providing access to paid features, or offering subscriptions for free. These are a few of possible value-added compensation methods.

This is how it should work: By working with the proxy network provider, the app owner/developer is able to provide better user experience while generating additional revenue and the app users are enjoying a better user experience as a result. Research has indicated that over 80% of all app’s users prefer to avoid viewing ads or paying for subscriptions. It is also noticed that there is a 10 to 15% increase in the time spent on app when users can avoid viewing ads.

4. Peers can opt-in and opt-out at any given moment

Any ethical proxy provider will provide its peers the option to opt-out at any given time. If a proxy provider does not allow its users, the benefit of knowingly and clearly opt-in – fully aware of what they are opting into. They obviously are not aware they can easily and simply opt-out.

App users should have the option to remove themselves from an IP proxy network. It is basically, the user’s choice to go back to the non-ad-free version of the app at any given moment with a simple opt-out option.

For example, Luminati Networks  is committed to be an ethical and safe provider. This means all its peers who are sharing their IP address with its residential and mobile networks can opt-out at any given moment without any conditions or restrictions.

5. Always protect your network peers

Any legitimate proxy provider will never use its peers’ devices and IP addresses while those are actively in use. It is only when those IP addresses are idle.  A legitimate proxy provider will always put the overall user experience at top priority.

For instance, If I refer to Luminati again, once an app user agrees to share its device IP address only and becomes a network peer, it is ensured that his/her device IP address will only be used under very strict conditions. The peer’s user experience and overall network security are of utmost importance and a proxy provider must ensure that at all times.

The device must be idle and having sufficient battery power or connected to a power source, and usually connected to WiFi.

6. Super Proxies Are Used By The Proxy Provider

Super proxies are meant to enable the fastest data collection. It does so by acting as a load-balancing server by accessing peers in proximity based on their geolocation. Super proxies, in fact, enable to route terabytes of traffic to exit nodes across the globe thus assisting in carrying out scalable web data extraction and aggregation operations in the most reliable conditions.

As a matter of fact, super proxies also act as a security measure. For example,  to access Luminati’s rotating residential and mobile IP networks, its customers need to undergo a comprehensive and rigorous  Know Your Customer (KYC) mechanism. Super proxies, in such cases, help control incoming traffic  and as a result ensure its compliance with Luminati’s Terms of Service.

Luminati is the only proxy network provider that has been granted to use super proxies in the U.S. Luminati’s super proxy infrastructure comprises of more than 2,600 servers deployed close to its peers worldwide. In fact, Luminati has more than 1,400 servers in the U.S. alone.

If you are using any residential proxy service other than Luminati, you must make sure that the service does not include servers and/or residential proxy nodes located in the United States which infringe on any of Luminati’s patents.

Summary:

These 6 simple guidelines will help you ensure that you are using both, the best and most ethical proxy network provider.Data is a massively powerful tool. Used correctly, it can lead you to bigger and better business results. Therefore, you must always look for a proxy provider that is both focused on performance and gathering the most relevant and accurate data or business intelligence quickly and effectively. But and this is a big but, you must make sure you are using a legitimate proxy provider who is dedicated to respecting the digital ecosystem, in compliance with all global laws and regulations as well as acting in an ethical manner, always. This way you ensure you do not put your business at risk while abiding by every possible data related guideline and regulation. 

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