A lot has been said and agreed about virtual private networks (VPN) since their inception. But there still seems to be some vagueness about our understanding of certain elements that make up such proxy networks. Especially the concept of a residential VPN and dedicated internet protocol (IP) blocks.
So, today let’s take some time to understand what a residential VPN is and how it differs from a generic VPN. Whether you want to access a website bound by regional restrictions or want to improve your understanding of different types of VPN, this short guide will help you.
This is an essential read as you work from home owing to the self-quarantine measures taken because of the novel COVID-19 outbreak around the world.
Defining Residential VPN
A residential VPN is a type of virtual network that routes web requests through residential IP addresses that are assigned by actual internet service providers (ISP). These IP blocks are dedicated and verified, and therefore allow you to appear as a regular user browsing or surfing from that specific location.
To provide an example for the sake of clarity, consider a person sitting in China. He is using TuxlerVPN driven by a residential IP of a city in the United States to mask himself. To any web service that he interacts with (such as Google Search or Reddit), he will appear as a user from that city in the United States. The best part is that he will appear to be using a residential IP given out by a real ISP like Comcast or Verizon.
Such type of a virtual private network is considered the safest because of the quality of anonymity. When compared with VPNs that depend on data centers, dedicated IPs take precedence due to their higher level of protection and genuineness.
What is a Residential IP Address?
A residential IP address is an internet connection assigned by local or national ISP to a real subscriber based in that city/town. Since such IPs have real details attached to them, websites tend to trust them more and avoid scrutiny as is common for generic VPNs. This naturally provides better cloaking and trustworthiness while avoiding any surveillance which is on the rise.
VPN based on residential IP addresses are also known for their anti-spam quality, large network, and end-to-end encryption. TuxlerVPN is one of the leading providers of such type. In December 2019, we also began providing data center IPs to our patrons.
What is a Residential Proxy?
The thin line between a proxy server and a VPN can be described by the existence of a server attached to a real, physical address in the former. A residential proxy server, therefore, is a server that uses a residential IP to surf the internet.
They are relatively more expensive and are generally used by large organizations and IT hubs. A common application is to gain access to websites with regional as well as IP-level restrictions.
How Does a Residential VPN Work?
It’s a simple mechanism that banks on user permission (PDF). When you decide to use a free residential VPN, say through an Android smartphone or a Windows desktop computer, you automatically agree to the terms and conditions of the provider as well as agree to share your internet connection with the provider’s pool. In return, you receive a qualified IP address for your personal use.
This exchange of IP addresses is essentially what forms the residential VPN pool. The larger the pool the better your chances of finding an IP of a city that you are targeting. This is why you should choose a residential VPN provider that has a populated pool with verified, valid, and dedicated IP addresses. A paying user has an advantage where he does not have to share his internet connection with the pool.
Such a system is effective mainly because web services generally tend to turn a blind eye to requests coming from residential IPs. On the other hand, if it’s a data center IP, they may be compelled to check the nature of the request and block it for some reason, also depending upon that IP’s history. This is also the reason why most free VPNs based on data center IPs tend to provide low-quality cloaking. The VPN may look like it is working, but it is just mimicking the routing process.
It will not be wrong to say that a dedicated residential VPN is the safest and a growingly popular virtual network today. Although it has its share of cons, it provides better anonymity, unrestricted access, and even city-level proxy servers.
If you are new to this concept, you can try out our free residential IP VPN that comes as a nifty Google Chrome browser extension. Click here to install TuxlerVPN and experience the next level of virtual private networking. Now also with the option to choose between a data center or a residential IP.