When it comes to proxies, there are two types: sticky and rotating. But what sets them apart? Essentially, it all boils down to their mode of operation.

Proxies act as a middleman between a user and a web server, receiving and transmitting data on their behalf. This makes them incredibly useful for businesses, developers, and Internet marketers alike. For example, e-commerce companies can effortlessly extract product data from marketplaces like Amazon using proxies. Meanwhile, internet surfers can bypass content bans with free proxies, and SEO experts can use them for competitor research. Data scientists and developers also rely on proxies to collect vast amounts of information without getting blocked.

So, whether you’re looking to conduct market research or improve your website’s SEO, proxies have got you covered.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a crystal-clear understanding of these proxy types and be ready to tackle any scraping project with confidence. So, buckle up and get ready for an informative and exhilarating ride!

Table of Contents

What is a Sticky Proxy?

Sticky proxies are a type of proxy server that assigns users the same IP address while they are connected, allowing them to appear as though they are accessing the internet from the same location. This is especially useful if you need to access services or websites that limit access based on geographic location. This is achieved by connecting to a specialized server that maintains the IP address for several seconds or minutes, before changing it once the set interval lapses.

With these proxies, the IP address assigned to a proxy port remains the same for a while, giving you the ability to stay connected for longer periods of time. Keep in mind, sticky proxies are not to be confused with dedicated proxies, as the sessions are not the same. While sticky port proxies will eventually change the IP address after a certain period of time, dedicated proxies provide a static IP address that never changes.

It’s also important to understand the difference between static and sticky sessions. While a static proxy remains constant, a sticky session allows for uninterrupted use until the session is consciously ended. Because residential proxies derive sessions from real users, it’s impossible for them to be static – but with sticky sessions, you can trust your browsing to be seamlessly uninterrupted.

Pros and Cons of Sticky Proxies

Sticky proxies offer several advantages over regular proxy servers:

  • They have the ability to maintain the same IP address even when switching between multiple sites. This is especially useful for users who wish to make sure their personal information remains private and secure while they are browsing the Internet.
  • Sticky proxies also offer better speed and performance since they do not need to establish a new connection each time the user visits a different website.

Sticky proxies have some disadvantages as well:

  • Sticky proxies are usually slower than regular proxy servers due to the fact that they must maintain the same IP address even if different websites are being accessed at once.
  • They are more expensive compared to regular proxies due to the extra resources needed to keep them running smoothly.

How Do Sticky Proxies Work?

With a sticky IP address, the gateway stays constant. Sure, you might need to adjust your credentials a bit by switching up the port number or adding a session ID. And if you want to switch things up and use multiple sticky IPs, just toggle that port number or session ID and you’re good to go.

Sticky Session
Sticky sessions can be seen as the opposite of rotating sessions. In the case of rotating sessions, sessions are being renewed after every request you make. For Sticky sessions, you have a persistence session for a while before it gets renewed

Changing the port number: en.proxyprovider.com:10001:username:password

Adding a session ID: en.proxyprovider.com:10000:username:password_session-123

What is a Rotating Proxy?

Rotating proxies are a type of proxy servers that rotate IP addresses for each request. This is done to provide anonymity and reduce the risk of having one’s online data tracked. These proxies can be used for a variety of activities online, such as web scraping and circumventing geo-restrictions.

When using rotating proxies, users can access a larger range of IP addresses than with sticky proxies. Sticky proxies use the same IP addresses for all requests made by the user, while rotating proxies will switch out the IP address with each request, making it more difficult to track and identify user activity. This means that content which may be restricted in certain locations due to geographical restrictions can become accessible with rotating proxies.

What Type of Proxies Can Be Rotated?

When it comes to proxy rotation, there are two main types you should know about: datacenter and residential proxies.

  • Datacenter proxies use a different server for each connection request, and assign an IP address from the data center in the proxy pool. While they do offer anonymity by changing users’ IP addresses, these addresses can all be traced back to the organization owning the data center. Plus, there’s always the risk of being banned by a target website if they detect multiple IPs originating from the same data center. It’s a balancing game, for sure, but datacenter proxies can be incredibly useful when used strategically.
  • Residential proxies stand out for assigning a unique residential IP for each connection request. Unlike datacenter IPs, which can easily get blocked out, residential IPs are linked to an actual home address, making them less likely to raise any red flags with target websites. This makes them a formidable choice for web scraping and other data-gathering activities. So if you’re looking for reliable and secure access, the residential proxy may just be your best bet.

Pros and Cons of Rotating Proxies

The main advantages of using rotating proxies include:

  • They offer a higher level of privacy and security when accessing websites or services online. By switching out IP addresses with each request, it becomes much harder for malicious actors or website owners to track user activity or ban particular users from accessing their sites.
  • This type of proxy server makes it easier for web scrapers to extract data from websites without being blocked or flagged as suspicious behavior.

However, there are some disadvantages associated with using rotating proxies as well:

  • These types of proxy servers require more resources than sticky ones since they need to maintain multiple IP addresses in order to make sure each request is sent from a unique address.
  • Many services like streaming sites detect and block requests coming from rotating proxy servers since they are commonly used for malicious activities such as data harvesting or fraud detection evasion purposes.

Are Rotating Proxies Legal?

Rotating proxies are legal in most of the countries. But it’s important to know two factors that determine legality when using proxies:

  • The source of the proxies: Malware-infected residential computers can often be offered up as proxies by malicious actors, and using them is definitely not legal. Instead, opt for legitimate proxy providers that you can trust.
  • The way they are used: Make sure you’re not using your proxies for any illegal activities. This includes things like launching denial of service attacks or collecting personal information without permission.

If you’re unsure about the legality of your intended use, seek legal advice beforehand to stay on the right side of the law.

How Do Rotating Proxies Work?

When you connect to a website, your device’s IP address plays a crucial role. But did you know that rotating and static proxies can make this connection process even more exciting?

Rotating Session
When you make use of rotating proxies that change your IP address after every request, you need to know that it is not only your IP address that changes – your session is also being changed into a new session. So basically, with a rotating session, your session changes after every request

Here’s how it works:

1. You send a connection request to a website using your IP address.
2. The proxy server – a superhero in disguise – swoops in to receive your request.
3. With a wave of its magical wand, the proxy server assigns a new IP address to you, and your real identity remains hidden.
4. The proxy server discreetly forwards your request to the target website using a masked IP address.
5. The website delivers the requested information to you – all thanks to the clever work of the proxy server!

With rotating proxies, you can enter that one address into your software or script and be done with it: en.proxyprovider.com:10000:username:password

What’s the Difference between Sticky and Rotating Sessions?

Here are 4 main differences between them:

  1. Rotating sessions keep your visitors’ cookies active for a set period of time, after which they are automatically logged out.
  2. Sticky sessions allow your visitors to stay logged in as long as they’re on your website, regardless of how long their cookies are active.
  3. Rotating sessions are more secure because they log out inactive users, while sticky sessions can be vulnerable to session hijacking attacks.
  4. Sticky sessions are better for user experience because they don’t require the user to sign in again every time they visit your website.

In this video, Smartproxy’s going to talk about the difference between rotating and sticky sessions and how you can use them to improve your website’s performance.

Sticky vs Rotating Proxies: Which One to Use?

Navigating the world of proxies can feel like wandering through a maze. But fear not, there are key differences between the two that can steer you in the right direction.

Sticky vs Rotating Proxies

For businesses in the cutthroat world of online sales, the rotation proxy is king. When faced with identical products, customers are likely to seek out the best deals. Rotating proxies allow businesses to stay on top of competitors’ prices and product descriptions. And with the capacity to export billions of requests without being flagged, the sky’s the limit.

When Use Sticky Proxies

Don’t underestimate the value of sticky proxies. While many believe they’re only useful for masking online activity, their benefits span far beyond.

1. Manage Social Media Accounts

Unlock the full potential of social media marketing with a sticky proxy! Say goodbye to pesky limitations and hello to endless possibilities. With the ability to easily manage multiple accounts from different IP addresses, sticky proxies offer a game-changing solution for ad accounts, social media management, and more. Enjoy long browsing sessions without fear of being banned by robots, and confidently access sensitive payment gateways like Paypal. Don’t let restrictions hold you back, take your social media marketing to the next level with a sticky proxy.

2. Monitor E-Commerce Deals Across Regions

Keep up with the latest and greatest e-commerce deals across different regions with ease. Missing out on a good deal is never fun, but with the power of static proxies, you can access region-specific promotions and never have to worry about being left out. Don’t let location limit your savings potential, use the hack that savvy shoppers swear by and keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems without ever leaving your couch. Just remember, this isn’t your average price monitoring tactic, static proxies give you exclusive access to deals you won’t find anywhere else.

3. Conduct Market Research

Sticky proxies are your best bet when scouring through online databases for information on one platform. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting limited by the number of accounts per user because with a sticky proxy server, you can create multiple accounts using different IP addresses. This means you can easily log in to your accounts from one consistent proxy server, without any hassle in conducting your research.

4. Browse for Longer Periods

Sticky proxies act like a regular residential user, allowing you to browse for much longer periods. You can customize your session duration from 10, 20, and even 30 minutes to conveniently access specific IP addresses without any concerns.

5. Minimize Data Exchange

Say goodbye to slow data exchange and hello to lightning-fast page loads. With session stickiness, you’ll minimize the process of exchanging session information and avoid the hassle of rotating sessions.

Well, be warned that using sticky proxies might not be your best bet. While they can provide a level of security, one major drawback is that they don’t offer a dynamic pool of IP addresses. This means that smart bots can easily detect unusual usage patterns, resulting in blacklisted IP addresses and ultimately, the end of your web scraping efforts.

When Use Rotating Proxies

Using backconnect technology, rotating proxies change connection ports for each session, providing enhanced anonymity and numerous other benefits to make your online experience smoother and safer.

1. Web Scraping

Scraping data from a single website may not provide the full picture. Want to compare data from multiple sources? Don’t waste hours manually accessing different sites from various IPs. Instead, tap into the benefits of a proxy pool to access different IP addresses. With this approach, you can develop reliable averages, mean, median values and identify the most popular data types. Take control of your data and unlock valuable insights with web scraping.

2. Monitoring SEO

As a savvy marketer, you know that monitoring your competition is key to staying on top of the latest SEO trends. But what do you do when those competitors are spread out across different geolocations, making it difficult to track their SERP rankings and location-specific keywords? That’s where rotating proxies come in. With these powerful tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to stay one step ahead of the competition, gathering vital insights into their ever-changing rankings and staying on top of the latest trends.

3. Sessions

Unlike sticky proxies which can connect you to one server over long periods, rotating proxies generate continuous and dynamic sessions by assigning new IP addresses per session. With 3 rotating sessions at your disposal, you can surf the web with ease and without any hindrance.

4. Proxy Variety

Rotating proxies are designed to break down the limitations of sticky proxies, offering you a diverse selection of ways to surf and scrape the internet.

5. Anonymity

By leveraging rotating proxies, you can safely and securely access your favorite websites without sacrificing privacy.

6. Generating Leads

This proxy type allows you to create custom rules that let you extract valuable customer information (think name, job title, and email address) without the pesky roadblocks of captchas or identity verification

7. Navigate Cookie Tracking

With the ability to detect typical web scraping patterns, AI plays a vital role in protecting your cloud security. This includes implementing a range of safety measures from access management to encryption and cookies. For a seamless and secure browsing experience, it’s crucial to invest in a dependable rotating proxy provider that uses a diverse pool of whitelisted IP addresses while initiating new connections.

8. E-Commerce Trend Analysis

Get an edge in the competitive world of e-commerce with real-time performance monitoring using our benchmarking tool. Stay ahead of the game by easily analyzing data to uncover your bestsellers, top-reviewed products, high-performing niches, and more.

When using a rotating proxy, users may have a tricky time facing off against pesky bot detection systems, making it feel like a digital game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, some providers only offer a limited pool of IP addresses, raising the stakes and increasing the risk of getting blocked. It’s like navigating through a high-tech obstacle course — but with the right strategy, success is still within reach.

How Do You Know Which Proxy to Use?

Are you feeling lost in the world of proxy options? The trick is to consider what you need the proxy for. Looking to scrape a large number of products from an e-commerce website? It’s time to go for the rotating option. On the other hand, if you’re planning to buy from a store located far from your region, then the sticky proxy is your key.


After diving deep into the world of web scraping, you’ve discovered the key contrasts between static and rotating proxies. But the ultimate question lingers: which one should you use? Well, it all depends on the targeted website.

Whether you’re managing social media, monitoring products, or conducting market research, sticky proxies are perfect for you. On the other hand, if you’re into web scraping, monitoring SEO, or generating leads, rotating proxies are your perfect match.

However, if you’re unsure about the site’s scraping blockage tendencies, don’t sweat it – rotating proxies are the way to go.

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