Whether you’re checking out a friend’s pictures on Facebook or looking up nearby restaurants on Google, chances are you’re using your mobile device to conduct most of your online activities. That doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, but it’s clear that more and more people are browsing the internet from their phones instead of their desktops nowadays. Browsing from a phone is more convenient a lot of the time, however, doing so has a few disadvantages as well.
For example, you’ve likely encountered a security check screen at some point when trying to access certain websites from a mobile device. If you’re on desktop, you can just go incognito or try a different browser to visit said website and you will generally be able to access it. On mobile, it’s a bit trickier to bypass things like that because of how IPs work. However, you can still do it quickly and easily by using a mobile proxy service. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, join me as we delve into this topic in more detail down below.
What are Proxies?
Before we get too deep into specifics related to mobile proxies let’s talk a bit about proxies in general. Otherwise known as proxy servers, proxies act like a middleman between a smart device and the internet. When you’re using a proxy, your web request goes through an additional server before reaching its intended destination. On its way there, the proxy service assigns a different IP to your request, making it look like you’re trying to access the website from a different location.
The main reason for using a proxy is anonymity. This is by no means a foolproof system, however, it will allow you to successfully hide your identity in most cases. Among other things, a service like this can allow you to access websites that might normally be restricted in your country. Given that a lot of proxy services constantly rotate your assigned IPs, you can use this feature to create multiple accounts from the same device on websites that normally only allow one account per IP.
Those are just a few examples but you can use proxies for pretty much any online activity that involves hiding your identity and preventing your location from being tracked by third-parties. Unlike VPNs, proxy services will not mask all traffic coming from your device. Rather, they work by masking a single application, which is usually a web browser, though some people often use them for things like BitTorrent clients or video game launchers. Another important thing to note is that connections via proxy are not encrypted, however, these services have other safety measures in place (such as IP rotation) that make it very difficult for third-parties to track the web request’s original location.
What Are Mobile Proxies?
In order to better understand mobile proxies, we’re going to draw a few comparisons between them and residential proxy services. When you sign up with an internet service provider, the company assigns a certain IP to your household. This is usually a static IP or one that rotates whenever you reset your router or restart your computer. If you want your IP to change frequently on a desktop you’re going to want to use a residential proxy service. These types of services reroute your web requests through various other households (often in different countries), which are all part of a shared network.
Mobile proxies work in a similar fashion, however, in this case, the service provider only uses IPs assigned to mobile devices. More specifically, permanent IP addresses you would get from a mobile carrier, as opposed to temporary IPs you get whenever you connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. An important distinction to note here is that residential proxies do use home Wi-Fi along with broadband connections as they both come from an ISP (internet service provider). Meanwhile, mobile proxies use mobile data connections, which come from carriers like T-Mobile or Sprint.
If you researched mobile proxies before finding this article you may have come across the terms “4G proxies” or “LTE proxies.” These are just two other terms used to refer to mobile proxies. Most mobile phones nowadays use 4G connections and LTE (long term evolution) is just a 4G mobile communications standard.
How Do Mobile Proxies Work?
Mobiles proxies work by initially connecting to a backconnect proxy. These are servers that use pools of residential proxies in order to rotate IPs and redirect requests through devices connected to the network. This allows the proxy service to more efficiently hide the user’s original IP by assigning a new address with every rotation. The resulting connection is entirely anonymous. Anybody attempting to track the IP will see that the request was made from a residential address and therefore appears trustworthy.
As far as the frequency of IP rotation is concerned, the user is generally assigned a new address on every web request made while using a mobile proxy service. In other words, your IP address changes whenever you visit a new website. Most services offer a sticky IP feature, which allows you to hold onto your current address for a longer period of time. However, it’s usually not possible to use the same IP for more than a few minutes at a time.
Not only can mobile proxies make it seem like you’re accessing the internet from a different location, but they can also even make it appear as if you’re logging in from an entirely different country. This is because mobile proxy services offer gateway control along with ISP control. This means you can choose both the country and the internet service provider of your IPs. Needless to say, these are very useful features to have and will make you even harder to detect while browsing the internet.
Top 10 Mobile Proxy Services of 2019
Luminati was the first company on the market to offer mobile proxies and continues to be one of the most popular providers of its kind to this day. The provider earned a very good reputation over the years thanks to its ethical business practices. As a result, this has led it to become the mobile proxy provider of choice not just for regular users but also for a high number of Fortune 500 companies. Luminati currently has the largest network of mobile proxies out there, which consists of over 7.5 million IPs spread across almost every country in the world. They are also one of the most popular providers when it comes to residential proxies, which is quite a huge feat.
Bans or blocks on Luminati IPs are few and far between thanks to the company’s extensive network. Users are given the option of picking between regular shared IPs and exclusive IPs, which are groups of addresses that can be used to exclusively target a specific domain. Luminati allows users to pick between a nearly unlimited number of geo locations and send an infinite amount of concurrent requests. Moreover, Luminati is extremely convenient to work with as users can connect to their mobile IPs via the proxy manager interface or a Chrome extension.
- Exclusive IPs
- 24/7 Support
- 99.99% Uptime
Quality over Anything
Luminati’s prices are fairly expensive but the service is well worth it for those who can afford it. The starter package comes with 17 GB of traffic ($30 per GB) included and has a monthly commitment of $500. The company offers several more packages, which are primarily aimed at big enterprises, including one that includes a whopping 2 TB of traffic. Luminati doesn’t have a refund policy, however, the company does offer a free trial to those who want to test the service.
Rsocks is a proxy provider that primarily operates across Europe and the US, though they also have proxies in a few Asian countries like China. The company allows users to access IP addresses of specific mobile carriers in the countries it operates in, such as O2 in Great Britain for example. You can change the carrier at any time and even request carriers that are not yet supported. Rsocks will take your request into consideration and will do its best to provide support for these carriers in the future.
Rsocks offers support for HTTP/s and SOCKS4/4a/5 connections. The company only works with highly trustworthy dynamic IPs that change every 2 minutes. At least, as far as its mobile proxies are concerned. Rsocks also offers other services, including residential proxies and VPNs, but the mobile proxies are arguably one of the main selling points here. The service is perfect for creating multiple accounts on social media platforms as the IPs come straight from trusted operators and therefore raise very little suspicion.
Easy to Buy, Even Easier to Upgrade
The company works with a very flexible subscription-based payment system. If you want to test out the service, you can subscribe for one day and get 100 MB of traffic for $10. You get a better deal if you subscribe for a longer period, though. The service costs $60 per week and includes 1 GB of traffic while the monthly subscription costs $200 and includes 4 GB of traffic. You can also add extra traffic to your package at a rate of $10 per 1 GB. This price is fixed regardless of whether you subscribe for a day or a month.
Proxy-Cheap provides a good balance between quality and affordability. Thanks in no small part to its low prices, the company has become one of the most sought-after providers of mobile proxy services in recent years. Proxy-Cheap works exclusively with EU and US-based proxies, which makes this service a bit more limited compared to some of the others on this list. However, if you do want to target these regions, you’re in very good hands here because Proxy-Cheap has some of the lowest ban rates on the market and its uptime is around 99% on average.
The provider offers instant setup, unlimited bandwidth, and dedicated ports with all mobile proxies packages. All IPs come from popular US and EU mobile carriers, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone or AT&T. The service seems to have been designed specifically with social media automation in mind and works perfectly fine with all types of networks and platforms. That said, Proxy-Cheap can be used just as effectively for web scraping, SEO research or any number of other online activities.
Truly Affordable Packages
True to its name, Proxy-Cheap offers very affordable prices for its packages. There are three plans to choose from – €50 per month US mobile, €65 per month EU mobile, and €500 per month enterprise. The first two are aimed at individuals while the third targets businesses. All plans come with the same features but the enterprise tier’s price is for 10 proxies instead of just one. Proxy-Cheap doesn’t have a refund policy but there is a free trial.
4. DSL Rentals
DSL Rentals is one of the larger providers of mobile proxies on the market right now, boasting a network of around 350.000 IPs distributed across 21 locations. The company claims to be the biggest player in the industry, however, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Still, its network is definitely nothing to sneeze at and DSL Rentals has a pretty unique proxy panel that I think a lot of users will enjoy. The panel is unlocked by purchasing a key and provides access to proxy servers in all locations. Moreover, the key will grant you access to DSL, cable, and mobile proxies.
In terms of other features, you can expect unlimited bandwidth, fully anonymous proxies, and the ability to change your IP as frequently as you want, among other things. There’s also a very convenient one-click IP changer and remote desktop access should you need it. The company guarantees high-speed connections and 99% uptime. DSL Rentals has been in the business for over 8 years so you can bet that the company is able to stick to those promises.
DSL and Cable Proxies Included in Every Package
Signing up with DSL Rentals will set you back $65 per week, which is a bit more expensive than some of its competitors but definitely not unreasonable. If you’re thinking long-term, I suggest going with the $240 per month package instead. This plan offers a better deal compared to the weekly one and includes a few extra features to boot. You can take advantage of DSL Rentals’ free trial, however, it’s worth noting that it only grants access to the service for one hour.
5. Custom Proxy Solutions
Custom Proxy Solutions is a premium provider of 4G mobile and DSL/cable proxies based in the United States. This is a very trustworthy company that works closely with internet service providers and pays them a monthly fee in order to get access to their IPs. This ethical business practice helped the company earn a very good reputation in the industry over the years and is to be commended. Honesty and professionalism are the two pillars that Proxy Source was founded on.
The company provides access to over 750.000 mobile IPs spread across the US. Proxy Source has pools of IPs in pretty much every major US city and users can choose to exclusively target any of them. In fact, when you order a mobile proxies package you first need to pick the location before doing anything else. This system is a bit limiting in some ways but it can also be very useful for users who want to target a specific location.
Cheaper Plans come with a Small Downside
The pricing model is pretty straightforward as there are only two packages to choose from. You can either go for the $75 weekly plan or the $250 monthly package. However, you can get a better deal on the monthly plan if you choose certain locations. The package only costs $200 per month if you go for cities with small IP pools. The downside is that you would only have 1.5K IPs to work with, in that case. By comparison, the locations that cost $250 per month have around 30K IP addresses in their pools.
AirProxy is an Italian company that only works with premium 4G/LTE proxies. Given that all their proxies are based in Italy, this makes the provider a bit of a niche choice. However, if you don’t mind where your proxy is located, AirProxy is a very good option. The company uses dedicated fiber instead of a VPS as the gateway server and each user is granted access to a dedicated SIM card. Moreover, each SIM card connects to the internet via its own individual modem, which results in very fast mobile proxies.
The company states that most of the IPs are registered under Vodafone but users can request another carrier at any time. Judging by some of the main features listed on the official website, AirProxy would be most suitable for social media sites like Instagram. Users are able to change their IP address whenever they want and you can expect instant delivery as soon as you subscribe to the service.
Only One Option to Choose From
There is only one package to choose from and the price is quite high all things considered. The package costs €90 per month and gives you access to one dedicated proxy server. The company recommends users stick to a maximum of 10 accounts per proxy. Technically, you are not limited to just 10 accounts, however, using more than that will greatly increase your chances of getting blocked.
7. 3G Proxy
The name is a bit misleading as the company in question doesn’t actually work exclusively with 3G mobile proxies. That is one of its specialties but don’t worry because here you will be able to find 4G mobile proxies as well. This is a worldwide operation with a fairly large network that encompasses over 130 mobile operators in 45+ countries. The network was established as a testing service for mobile campaigns, direct carrier billing and SMS delivery, though there are plenty of other uses cases for 3G Proxy.
The nice thing about 3G Proxy is that the company uses real SIM cards instead of ISPs. Thanks to this feature, it’s extremely unlikely to get blocked or banned by any website. According to the company, at least one SIM is always available for any of the supported mobile carriers so there’s no need to reserve one in advance. API access is included along with a few other neat features like Chrome integration.
No Global Access for the Entry Plan
Signing up with 3G Proxy will set you back $149 per month for the basic package, which includes access to proxies from up to 4 carriers. The gist is that the basic package only includes proxies from a single country. You can target more countries and gain access to proxies from additional mobile operators by going with one of the more expensive packages. There’s also the option to get access to 3G Proxy’s entire network but you’ll need to get in touch with the company and request a price estimate.
Proxyrack is a rapidly growing provider that offers both 4G & 3G mobile proxies. The company’s network consists of around 500.000 IPs, located mainly across the US. According to the company, all these IPs come from a major residential 4G internet service provider that serves more than 53 million customers. Most of the addresses are located inside major cities across the United States and users receive dedicated access to them, meaning you won’t have to share them with anybody else.
Proxyrack supports HTTP and SOCKS protoctol2 connections. Mobile IPs rotate at regular intervals, however, you can also choose to manually reset your address whenever you want. Proxyracks offer automatic proxy replacements and has redundant systems in place to ensure that users don’t suffer any significant downtime. Just in case something does go wrong, the company claims it is able to deploy new servers in under 30 seconds.
Impressive Refund Period for all the Users
Mobile proxies are pretty cheap but here you pay for ports as opposed to traffic. The cheapest package only costs $25 per month and grants you access to 25 ports. On average, you can expect to pay about $1 per port with any of the other packages. The company has quite a bit of confidence in its mobile proxies because it offers a 14-day money-back guarantee to all customers, which is a lot more generous compared to most other providers.
Airscocks is a company that specializes exclusively in mobile proxies. The provider is able to support all common types of mobile networks, including 3G, 4G, and LTE. In addition, Airsocks also supports HTTPS, SOCKS5+, DNS, and VPN connections. The company’s pool of IPs isn’t particularly large, however, all IPs are trusted and come from big mobile carriers across Europe and the US. IP rotation is dynamic and occurs automatically every 40 seconds, though it’s possible to manually change the address as well.
Airsocks uses in-house hardware and software to ensure high speed and performance for its users. Some of the technologies employed by the company include TCP/IP fingerprint substitution, large geo-distribution, solid API integration, and an ever-expanding network. Airsocks also promises 100% uptime but should something go wrong, you can expect a free replacement for any banned or blocked proxy.
Varying Prices Depending on the Location for all Plans
The pricing system here is a bit convoluted compared to the other companies on this list. Airsocks is a Russian company and most of its proxies are found in Moscow. The company charges 20% for proxies outside Moscow so the price can get a bit high depending on the location you want to target. Prices for US proxies sit at $110 per month while UK proxies will set you back $96 per month.
Just as its name indicates, this is a more specialized provider that only works with LTE mobile proxies. Moreover, all proxies are based in the US so ProxyLTE will not be of much use to you if you want to target other countries. If the US exclusivity isn’t a problem for you, there’s a lot to look forward to here as ProxyLTE is considered a premium service. Unlike Proxy Source, it’s not possible to target specific cities here, however, you can target specific states.
ProxyLTE provides a good amount of customization for potential customers. You are allowed to select the proxy type (SOCKS5 or HTTPS), connection (Cellular, WiFi or both), time period, state, and the number of proxies you want to buy. The bad news is that ProxyLTE has a very small pool of IPs available at its disposal. We’re talking thousands as opposed to hundreds of thousands like other companies offer. That said, the company provides clean proxies with encrypted traffic and its network is constantly expanding so the IP pool is bound to get bigger in the near future.
Any Amount of Proxies You Want, You Can Buy
The company charges per number of proxies and the minimum amount you can get are 25, which will set you back $225 per month. However, you can also purchase a weekly subscription or even a daily one. In addition, ProxyLTE also offers social proxies. These cost more or less the same as the private proxies but you can choose to buy a specific amount, so you don’t have to commit to at least 25 right off the bat. You can even purchase a single one and subscribe for a single day if you only want to test the service.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Mobile Proxies so Special?
Mobile proxies have a very high level of trust, which makes them less likely to get blocked or blacklisted by websites. These types of proxies use IP addresses assigned to actual users, unlike other similar services that use datacenter IPs.
Are Mobile Proxies Good For Instagram or Other Social Media Networks?
It mostly boils down to which of the many proxy services you are using. Some are designed specifically with social media in mind while others are better suited for different tasks. At the end of the day, though, the fact that mobile proxies tend to rotate often is less ideal for social media when compared to something like a dedicated Instagram proxy service, for example.
How do Mobile Networks Work?
A lot of mobile operators have millions of customers but only a limited number of IPs at their disposal. Because of this, carriers assign the same IP subnet to multiple users. Mobile proxies can take advantage of this little known fact by claiming that their IPs never (or very rarely) get blocked, which is true. Most websites will not risk blacklisting an entire subnet even if they do notice suspicious activity in order to avoid blocking legit users.
Can Proxies Be Replaced?
Technically, yes, but only certain service providers are willing to replace them. Companies that are willing to replace flagged or blacklisted proxies will often do so for free.
Can I find Out if My Proxies are Actual Mobile Proxies?
There are many applications out there that allow you to test the nature of your proxies. However, figuring out if they’re mobile proxies (as opposed to residential ones, for example) is a bit difficult. In addition, certain companies mix fake proxies in with real ones to make it seem like they have a larger network. Make sure to always pick a reputable and trustworthy service provider just to be safe.
Are Mobile Proxies Worth the Asking Price?
That all depends on why you’re using them. Most people use proxy services because it helps them generate revenue in some form on another. If you’re making good money by using mobile proxies, then the price is definitely worth it. If not, it’s probably a good idea to use a cheap or even a free proxy service instead.
The Best Mobile Proxy Provider
Mobile proxies have a wide variety of uses, from browsing the internet anonymously to ad testing and creating multiple accounts on social networks without having to worry about getting banned. Some of these services are more expensive than others so I recommend starting with a company that offers a free trial just to see for yourself how mobile proxies work. Once you get some hands-on experience, there are plenty of great services to choose from that will offer good value for your money if you stick with them for the long run.