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Smartproxy Review 2022 - A Good Alternative to a Business VPN?
Smartproxy is a business proxy service with a massive network of rotating residential IP addresses. With over 40 million global proxy addresses and a fantastic selection of plans, this might be just what your business needs.
Most proxies don’t offer encryption protocols like a VPN, and Smartproxy is no exception. The principal aim is to change your IP address.
While it seemed like an impressive service I wanted to know how it would hold up against previously-tested VPNs. I found that there are some major differences between these services.
Smartproxy should offer fast speeds even on long-distance residential IP addresses. Unlike a VPN, residential proxy networks like Smartproxy don’t encrypt your data. While this does mean you won’t have this layer of protection, it also means your speeds are a lot faster.
Since it also has a large number of IP addresses, you shouldn’t have to worry about crowding and slowdowns.
However, the bandwidth is limited depending on your plan. Its smallest one comes with a 5GB cap, while the largest one gives you 1000GB. In theory, Smartproxy should be able to unblock most streaming services. However, it’s a web scraping tool, and it would be incredibly expensive if you want to use it for any unintended purpose like streaming or gaming.
Since SmartProxy is a proxy provider, not a VPN, its main purpose is not to give you access to streaming platforms around the world, as that would get very expensive. It allows you to send an unlimited number of connection requests at the same time. This basically allows your web scraper to access all the pages you need in a short time. Plus, the connections aren’t encrypted, so it’s a lot faster than a VPN.
For streaming, I used its smart plan tool to see how much it would cost to stream Netflix a few hours every day, and the recommended plan costs around $1000 per month. If you only need a streaming VPN, I recommend you take a look at these services.
Network — Vast IP Pool
Smartproxy provides over 40,000,000 IP addresses around the world. By selecting any one of the plans you have access to the entire network. The only restriction is on bandwidth.
The number of IPs on offer is staggering
It offers 5 types of IP addresses:
Residential — these proxies are offered by ISPs (internet service providers) and allow you to browse the internet as a person from the country you’re connecting to would. These are the most common and Smartproxy offers over 40 million of them.
Datacenter — datacenter IPs are not associated with ISPs, but they are often offered by cloud providers. This means that you may see crowding and slowdowns if too many people connect at the same time.
Dedicated datacenter — At $40 for 20 IPS, you can get IP addresses that are just yours (Smartproxy offers a 400K private datacenter IP pool in the US). No one else will have the same IP. This gives you more control and less chance of getting blocked. You also have the option of IP randomization and IP replacement.
Private datacenter — these are similar to datacenter proxies, but you’re the only one using them. This means that the speeds are faster, as you control the number of users.
Search engine — these proxies allow you to gather search engine results easily, without captchas or IP blocks.
Each of these proxies comes with different plans, so you can choose depending on your needs and budget.
Most of its IP addresses are in the US, India, UK, Germany, Canada, and Japan. This operates differently from a VPN where you would connect to a server location and get assigned a related IP address. However, it’s more private than most VPNs, as it doesn’t collect any information about the websites you access with its IP addresses
Security — Rotating Residential Proxies
SmartProxy doesn’t have the usual security features you may expect from a business-oriented service. Instead, it keeps you safe by rotating proxies.
Standard residential proxies hide your IP address behind the proxy address. This can leave your IP address open to being discovered. So, by hiding your IP behind a pool of proxy addresses that continuously changes, yours is continuously masked.
However, this doesn’t assure full protection. Even though SmartProxy doesn’t keep any information about your online activity, it doesn’t provide any extra security features, such as a kill switch. This means that your identity could still be exposed. Check out these super-secure VPNs if that is a concern.
This is a little concerning, as it’s based in the US, and so subject to the 5 Eyes Alliance. This means that SmartProxy needs to hand over any data it has if the US government requested it. Even more, it would be shared with the entire alliance.
However, a SmartProxy representative told me that it doesn’t store any data about the websites and tools you access with its IP addresses. While I would have liked to have this information available in the first place, I think it’s reassuring, and SmartProxy can be deemed as a trustworthy service.
Torrenting — Allowed
You can set Smartproxy on your device and route your torrenting traffic through it. However, since it doesn’t have all the security features associated with a VPN, I can’t recommend it.
Residential proxy servers, even rotating networks like Smartproxy, conceal your IP address but don’t provide further encryptions. Given this, your connection won’t be adequately secure while torrenting. You’ll also be subject to the bandwidth limitations.
Smartproxy works in China. I messaged its support team to find more information and the agent told me that Smartproxy works in China by masking your domain. This is relieving to know, as you can continue your activity from anywhere in the world.
You’ll be able to use Smartproxy in China
Simultaneous Device Connections — No Limit
While it does impose a limit on users, even the cheapest plan allows unlimited connections. The amount of traffic and user limit increases with the more expensive plans.
Device Compatibility — All Major Devices
Smartproxy is compatible with a huge range of devices and browsers. There’s a good deal of guides and FAQs to help you get started using your preferred medium. Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, as well as popular browser extensions and more are available.
There are detailed guides for configuring Smartproxy on many platforms
Getting started with Smartproxy is very straightforward. The first thing you need to do is create an account and purchase a subscription. You’ll find information about each of them in your dashboard.
The ease of installation naturally varies with the platform you’re using but there’s extensive guides. As well as the clear step-by-step instructions, a wide selection of support options are available.
If you have any trouble with set-up, you can reach the support team via email, an online form, social media, and live chat.
Smartproxy has a large number of plans at scaling price points and allows payments through credit cards, PayPal, Amex, UnionPay, AliPay, and cryptocurrencies.
All plans come with 3-day money-back guarantees. If you decide that it isn’t for you during this time period you can cancel. However, there are some addendums to this. You can only cancel once, you can’t get refunded if you pay by bitcoin or if you’ve used more than 20% of your traffic.
While Smartproxy has competitive prices for the kind of service it offers, starting at $75/month, it is substantially higher than most VPNs. The bandwidth limits would make it relatively expensive for hefty web-traffic. To save some money, check out some of the best business-oriented VPNs.
Reliability & Support
Smartproxy offers a great deal of support options, and they’re available for all customers so you don’t need to pay extra for priority support. Email, online form, live chat, as well as social media are available so you can get help however you prefer. I got relatively quick responses to my questions on the live chat.
As well as the contact options, step-by-step guides provide clear instructions on setting up Smartproxy on your preferred platform. There’s also an extensive FAQ section available.
As an alternative to a business VPN, Smartproxy has a lot to offer. While it lacks certain security features, this does mean for superfast connections. These speeds are maintained over their long distance residential IPs.
With a vast network of over 40 million proxy addresses, and a rotating residential IP system, you can ensure your identity is always hidden.
Plans come in a selection of tiers for each of their different types, including: datacenter, dedicated datacenter, residential plans, search engine plans, and reseller plans.
Smartproxy is based in the US, a Five Eyes Alliance territory. As well as this, it stores information on users for two years or more. If you’re dealing with sensitive, personal information this may be a concern. Otherwise, it’s worth considering for business use cases where multiple IPs are required.
FAQs on Smartproxy
Is Smartproxy safe?
SmartProxy doesn’t have the security features of a business-oriented VPN. Instead, it hides your IP behind a pool of rotating residential proxy addresses. This can mask your identity and location, but may not afford the same peace of mind that a VPN can.
Will Smartproxy slow my speeds down?
Any dips in speed will be on initial connection, and fractional. Because proxies don’t encrypt your connection they are much faster than VPNs. The cost, of course, is the extra security provided by a VPN’s protocols and encryptions.