If you’re looking to engage in web scraping, SEO research or simply want to remain anonymous while browsing the internet, it helps to have access to a good proxy service. These types of services are a dime a dozen nowadays but there is one that stands out from the crowd in a big way thanks to its ethical business practices and the impressive size of its network. That service is, of course, Luminati. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Luminati is the most popular provider of proxy services in the world right now, but is there actually a good reason for that? Well, that’s exactly what we wanted to find out.
We figured that the best way of evaluating the quality of the company’s services is to test them ourselves, so that’s exactly what we did. To that end, we recently took a close look at what Luminati has to offer and we’re now prepared to share our findings with you. You may already be familiar with some of the stuff we’re going to talk about in this article but stick around until the end because some of the things we learned about Luminati might surprise you. Plus, we have some great exclusive discounts lined up for you so keep reading.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about Luminati is how well put together its website is. Some people might not be interested in that aspect but I think first impressions are important and it helps to have a site that looks good while still being intuitive and easy to navigate. I especially appreciate that Luminati has an entire section dedicated to use cases that explains how and when its various services can come in handy. This is very useful because a lot of people who look into these services don’t know much about them so instead of going to Wikipedia to find information about proxies, you can simply use Luminati’s website instead.
Website aside, the service itself is very user-friendly so you shouldn’t have any problems learning it works, even if you don’t have any previous experience with proxies. A big reason for that is the Luminati Proxy Manager, an advanced open-source piece of software that comes with a lot of useful features. The manager comes with a built-in data collection tool, the ability to create rules for automated rotation of IPs, limit requests, and filter specific URLs in order to reduce traffic. You also gain access to real-time metrics and the ability to increase the cost-effectiveness of your proxies by using waterfall routing.
Another nice that will make your life easier is Luminati’s Chrome browser extension. The extension can be used to target specific geo-locations and edit your settings on the fly. In some ways, the extension works like a more streamlined version of the proxy manager. Although a bit more limited in its capabilities, the extension can be installed on multiple machines, which is great for situations when you want to distribute the workload or make it more difficult for potential snoopers to track your location. Another nice feature is the addition of an incognito mode that can be used to avoid data collection by malicious entities.
Plans and Pricing
Although best known for its residential proxy network, Luminati offers a handful of other services, including dedicated, mobile, and datacenter proxies. Regardless of which type of package you choose, there’s no denying the fact that Luminati charges a premium for its services. Thanks to its very impressive network and ethical business practices, Luminati earned a good reputation in the industry, which allowed it to work with many Fortune 500 companies over the years. Seeing as how its services are primarily aimed at big businesses, it’s not really surprising to see that Luminati charges a bit more than your average provider. That said, you definitely get what you’re paying for here and there are a couple of services that are cheaper than you might expect.
If you’re looking to purchase a package of residential proxies, the absolute minimum commitment is $500 per month. In return, you get access to Luminati’s huge network of residential IPs and 40 GB of traffic usage to work with. All in all, you’re looking at a price of $12.50 per GB of usage. You can get a better deal that will only have you paying between $3 and $10 per GB with some of the other packages, but the minimum monthly commitment will be higher, so that’s more money upfront. If you’re looking for the best deal on residential proxies, you can use our coupon code to benefit from 50% off during your first month. Simply use the code and make a deposit of $250 to receive another $250 on the house.
In addition to regular (rotating) residential proxies, Luminati also offers static residential proxies, otherwise known as dedicated proxies. These types of proxies feature a ‘pay as you go’ system with no monthly commitment that’s perfect for small-scale projects and users who are looking for a cheaper alternative. This option doesn’t come with any bandwidth limitations and allows you to choose between two types of proxies – shared and exclusive. The exclusive ones are a bit more expensive but the good news is that you won’t have to share them with other users when targeting a specific domain. That said, shared proxy plans have their own advantages because you can choose to pay either per IP or per GB of usage when buying one.
While the ‘pay as you go’ plan is great for a lot of people, there are situations when you may want to go with a monthly commitment package instead. These plans are ideal for large-scale projects that require a lot of IPs and bandwidth. The basic package includes 1000 IP addresses and has a better price per IP and GB when compared to the ‘pay as you go’ plan. Price-wise, it will cost you $500 per month, just like the regular rotating proxies. The 50% discount I mentioned earlier can be applied here as well so if you use our coupon code and make a deposit of $250, you can expect to get another $250 free for your first month.
Datacenter and Mobile Proxies Also on the Table
If you don’t need residential proxies, you’ll be happy to know that Luminati also offers datacenter and mobile proxies. In the case of datacenter proxies, you can once again take advantage of the ‘pay as you go’ system. Similar to the static residential proxies, you have two options when buying shared datacenter proxies – pay per IP (with unlimited bandwidth) or per GB of usage. Exclusive IPs are available here as well and you can use them to gain exclusive access to any domain you want to target.
If you would rather go with a monthly commitment package instead, the basic plan will set comes with 900 IPs and will set you back $500 per month, so the price per IP is a bit higher here. However, you’re still getting a better price per IP and GB when compared to the ‘pay as you go’ plan. If you’re looking to purchase IPs in bulk, datacenter proxies are probably your best bet because the other plans include anywhere between 2,000 and a whopping 100,000 address. Regardless of which package you’re eyeing, you can get a $5 bonus on your first purchase by using our coupon code.
Additional Features and Tools
We already talked about some of the interesting features offered by Luminati, such as the proxy manager and Chrome extension, but there are a few more that are worth covering. For example, the company offers a very useful automated unblocking software that can be used to great effect for price comparison and web data extraction. Just as its name suggests, the tool is used to bypass block requests that can sometimes occur when trying to access a website via a proxy network. The great thing about this tool is that it only requires you to send a single unblock request to the target website and Luminati’s team of proxy experts will take care of the rest for you.
Given that there are multiple services to choose from, you can expect each one to come with its own unique set of features, in addition to the features that are common throughout all networks. This includes unlimited bandwidth and limitless IP rotation (when applicable), access to unlimited geo locations with all plans, the ability to send unlimited concurrent requests, and more. Luminati also has a handy affiliate link tester that allows users to track the path of affiliate links from anywhere in the world.
In terms of features that are more specific to each type of network, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that datacenter proxies come with a cooling period for each IP, which is a guaranteed amount the time the IP in question was not used to target the website you want to access. Meanwhile, with rotating residential and mobile packages, users can choose whether they want to work with shared or exclusive IPs. The static residential network has this feature as well while also offering users the ability to use IPs that are entirely exclusive or just exclusive for certain domains.
Overall, I found Luminati to not be lacking in the features department. If you’re not new to proxy networks, you probably noticed that some of the features I covered are not exclusive to Luminati. However, there are a few that are quite unique to the company. I found the automated unblocking software to be particularly useful and, of course, it never hurts to be able to use unlimited concurrent sessions or to access as many geo-locations as you want.
Performance and Reliability
Luminati is widely known for having the fastest network of proxies currently on the market, but is this really the case? After all, every company out there claims that it is the best at what it does. Well, when it comes to Luminati that might indeed be the case, at least as far as its residential network is concerned. On average, you can expect ping response times on the residential network to be around 76 ms. That’s quite impressive given that residential proxies generally tend to be pretty slow, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case here at all. In fact, 76 ms is surprisingly close to the speeds you can expect from datacenter proxies, which are considered to be the fastest types of proxies.
As far as the uptime is concerned, we have not encountered any situation where the network was not working so Luminati’s 99.99% uptime guarantee seems accurate based on our assessment. In terms of success rate, you may run into some mixed results depending on your use case and the websites you’re targeting. For example, if you’re planning to scrap data you can expect your success rate to be around 95% or more on most websites. However, the rate will drop to a little over 80% if you’re targeting Google or YouTube while Instagram sits at around 90%.
Interestingly enough, even though Luminati doesn’t offer dedicated sneaker proxies, the network performs remarkably well on certain shoe sites like Nike. That said, coping sneakers is a bit of a gray area so it might be best to avoid engaging in that practice while using Luminati due to the company’s strong stance on ethical business practices. You can, however, confidently use the network for data scraping, as well as ad verification, website testing, SEO research, and more.
Network and Location Coverage
In addition to being fast, Luminati’s residential network is also extremely large. In fact, it’s often touted as the biggest network in the world, and with good reason. The residential network alone consists of well over 35 million rotating IP addresses. On top of that, Luminati also has over 7.5 million mobile IPs, 400K datacenter IPs, and 35K dedicated residential IPs.
The company offers truly global coverage as you can get IPs in pretty much every country and major city across the globe. Many of the IPs can be found in key markets like the US, UK, Canada, India, Germany, France, and Australia, though there’s no shortage of addresses in smaller countries as well. In total, residential and mobile networks cover 195 countries. While still impressive, the datacenter network only includes about 85 countries while the dedicated residential network only covers 25 countries.
So where does Luminati get all its IPs? In the case of datacenter and dedicated residential IPs, the answer is pretty obvious as these addresses come either from datacenters or internet service providers. As far as the other networks are concerned, the IPs come from the Luminati SDK. The software was designed to act as an alternative for users who are tired of having to deal with video advertisement while their playing games and using apps. In order to avoid those annoyances, users can simply opt-in to the Luminati network in exchange for an ad-free experience.
Only certain apps integrate with the Luminati SDK but that number is constantly growing as Luminati pays application vendors a monthly fee for each user that opts-in. This is a win-win situation for everybody, including the users because Luminati uses their devices as proxy nodes only when they have enough battery power and a stable internet connection, preferably via Wi-Fi.
Luminati has an incredible amount of customer support channels you can reach them at. While most companies settle for one or two channels, Luminati has four or five, along with a number of social media pages. The main channels are the phone, email, and live chat but you can also reach out to a representative via Skype, WhatsApp, and WebQQ. The company’s contact page features multiple phone numbers and email addresses you can use depending on the exact nature of your problem or inquiry.
As far as self-help options are concerned, there’s an entire section of Luminati’s website dedicated to useful resources, including webinars, case studies, testimonials, and of course, and F.A.Q. section. Among other things, you can also find a learning hub and a blog on the official website. In addition, the company also has a YouTube channel where it frequently posts videos related to its services. There aren’t as many tutorials as I expected on the channel but you can definitely find a few useful videos nevertheless.
All in all, there is clearly no shortage of options for users in need of technical assistance or information about Luminati and its network. The support agents themselves are always friendly and happy to help, however, I recommend not contacting them via email. As far as I can tell, email support is not a priority at Luminati so it may take a while for them to reply if you send them a message. Instead, try reaching them directly via phone or live chat if you need help with an urgent problem.
KYC Necessary for Every User
Since we’re talking about customer support, I do need to mention that Luminati uses a system that some might find annoying. However, this system is essential for keeping the network clean. The system in question requires every registered user to fill out a KYC (Know Your Customer) form before using the network. The form needs to be filled out with a lot of personal information and must be accompanied by a photo of a valid government-issued ID.
Although it’s a bit of a hassle, this system discourages users from engaging in illegal activities while using the network. If you plan on using any of the coupon codes I mentioned earlier, make sure to first fill out the KYC form and then get in touch with Luminati because each individual account must be approved manually by a company representative.
Is There a Way of Knowing How Many IPs are Available per Country?
Luminati readily displays the number of IPs available in every country on its official website. If you want to look up this information simply go to the ‘Locations’ section of the website and select the country you’re interested in.
What’s the Difference Between Residential and Datacenter Proxies?
Residential proxies are IP addresses of real end-users that are very hard to track due to their rotating nature. Meanwhile, datacenter proxies are sequential IPs that come from datacenters owned by various organizations, as opposed to residential IPs which are owned by internet service providers or mobile carries and are assigned to regular consumers.
What’s the Difference Between Shared and Exclusive IPs?
Just as their name suggests, shared IPs can be used by multiple customers. Exclusive IPs, on the other hand, are only assigned to a single user. Exclusive IPs are more reliable but they also tend to cost a bit more depending on which of the four networks you’re using.
Can I Refresh My IPs?
Residential and mobile proxies will refresh your IPs at regular intervals so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. If you’re using datacenter proxies, however, you will need to refresh your IPs manually and there’s a cost associated with doing so, which varies depending on whether you’re using dedicated or shared IPs.
What is Luminati’s Refund Policy?
At the time of this writing, Luminati does not offer any sort of refund. However, the company does offer a 7-day free trial for the residential proxy network that allows users to test the service before signing up.
Luminati is without a doubt one of the most reliable providers of proxy services out there. The company doesn’t disappoint in any department as it offers excellent performance, lots of useful features, and a very impressive network that spans across the entire globe. There’s not a whole lot to complain about the customer support either.
Although the email support could be a bit faster, there are plenty of other channels to choose from along with a good variety of self-help resources. Personally, I never felt the need to contact support because the service is solid and easy to use but if you do need to get in touch with an agent, make sure to do it over the phone or live chat.
The only thing that makes Luminati difficult to recommend to some people is the price. As a premium proxy provider, the company charges quite a bit for its services. The investment is well worth it if you can afford it, though. If you’re still on the fence regarding the price, you can always try out the ‘pay as you go system’, free trial, or use our coupon codes to get a nice discount on your first month.