What Is a Shared Semi-Dedicated Proxy?
Shared semi-dedicated proxies are proxies that are shared by up to, but no more than, three people (in most cases). This is done to make the proxy more affordable. If you have bought a semi-dedicated proxy, you will be sharing it with two other users. This is because the administrator limits the number of people sharing it so that not much lag is experienced by the users. But rest assured, these servers are usually run by professionals, so you should not find much downtime.
These proxies, at least the majority of them are supposed to be safe, so you don’t have to worry about hackers targeting you. Having said that, these proxies have one issue which can be a bit bothersome. If one of the co-users does something illegal with the shared proxy, there is a danger of this proxy being blocked or red flagged. This means that the website can ban the IP, and if you try to access it at some point, you may get banned as well. This is a major drawback of these proxies because everyone concerned has to be a bit careful about its use, as a little carelessness may ruin it for the rest of them.
A very unfortunate drawback of using semi-dedicated proxy servers is that they may get blocked or filtered out from websites with very high-security settings, making them unsuitable for websites such as Ticketmaster or Nike. Also, if too many users with the same IP address try to access a search engine such as Google, it might be construed as spam.
On the other hand, if you are looking for basic anonymity and for general browsing and streaming videos, this is a good option. They are fairly secured, as many providers claim that they are not vulnerable to IP or DNS leaks, and advertise their semi-dedicated proxies as “almost like dedicated proxies”.
What Kind of Tasks Are Shared Semi-Dedicated Proxies Good For?
Naturally, there are reasons for why different kinds of proxies exist, and before making your choice, you should be aware of them completely before you start using them for your specific purpose. As the name suggests, shared, semi-dedicated proxies are shared by more than one user. These are not restricted or limited to a region or a company but the users can be anywhere around the world. These are some things that shared semi-dedicated proxies are good for:
- Downloading Torrents, Browsing: You can download torrents to your heart’s content or share files over P2P networks. By the same logic, you can browse the internet anonymously, without the fear of censorship.
- Media Streaming: Some websites, such as Netflix or Hulu for example, sometimes release content that is specific only for a particular country or region. Sometimes, the media is not even allowed in other countries or regions. Using a shared proxy will eliminate these issues and render them just minor annoyances because the proxy makes it look like you are located in a non-restricted area.
- Monitoring Keyword Positions: Shared semi-dedicated proxies are also used by SEO (search engine optimization) companies for tracking and monitoring keyword positions on major search engines such as Bing.
- Shielding your IP address: These proxies, like most proxies, also help you hide your IP address. For this purpose, shared high anonymity proxies can also be used.
Let’s take a look at some advantages of shared proxies:
They Are Cheaper
Shared semi-dedicated proxy servers have a definite advantage over dedicated proxy servers, as they are 3-4 times cheaper, and do not include a setup fee. As we explained earlier, the cost of the server goes down because it is being shared between three people, and it is cheaper to maintain shared IP servers. Another reason they are cheaper is because apart from sharing the server, you are also sharing the cost of the server. Some shared proxies can be as cheap as $0.30, but in such cases, the number of users goes up per proxy (as many as 10 in some cases), so you are advised to consider what you are going to use them for.
The greatest advantage that shared semi-dedicated proxy servers offer is the level of anonymity they offer to the user. Because multiple users are using the same proxy and by that extension, it becomes extremely difficult for someone to pinpoint a specific user if they are looking at a particular IP. Though it should be noted that it is not entirely impossible to do so. In practice, the more users attached to a singular IP, the more difficult it is to precisely single out a particular user. In short, it becomes a very lengthy exercise.
Not unlike the reasons listed above, shared semi-dedicated proxy servers are adored by those who regularly use torrent websites or indulge in a bit of P2P from time to time. Based on a single historical IP address, it is extremely difficult to find out the torrent activity linked to a single account. If you are one of these enthusiasts, look for service providers who do not keep any logs or ones where logs are deleted on a fairly regular basis.
These proxies are versatile in the sense that they support both SOCKS and HTTP services and can be used by apps and web browsers that support proxy use.
As you saw, using a shared semi-dedicated proxy does have its advantages, and it is not just the price. The price difference is significant and quite a few people prefer the semi-dedicated ones over the dedicated ones, especially if they really don’t require a dedicated proxy. Also, quite a few service providers offer subnet counts which are in the double digits and offer no lock-in contracts.
Though it should be kept in mind that these proxies are not exactly effective when it comes to operations such as social media marketing or account management creation and are best used for general browsing and torrenting. Some websites also make it very clear that these proxies will not work on ticket sales and distribution websites such as Ticketmaster or sneaker sites such as Nike or Adidas, and have separate and dedicated plans for those.