How Does a Residential IP Network Work?

3 min

Residential internet protocols (IPs) are highly effective in unblocking geo-blocked websites. Unlike traditional VPN server IPs, residential IPs originate from real residential addresses that are generated by local internet service providers (ISPs). This helps them easily bypass geofence and other forms of a geographical firewall. So, the question that comes up is: how does such a network operate?

How does a residential IP network work so as to provide VPN functionality? Where does encryption come in this process? What happens behind the scenes when you use a residential VPN?

Let’s find that all out in this short primer.

How Are Residential IPs Procured?

There are two primary ways in which residential IPs become part of a virtual private network. The first way is via IP sharing where a pool of residential IPs is created when users sign up for the service. For example, when a user signs up for a residential VPN, they agree to share their residential IP address in return for access to residential IPs of other regions. Their IP address is then added to a pool thus created using residential IPs of several other users spread across the globe who signed up for the service. In most cases, a third-party company assists the VPN provider in creating and maintaining this residential IP pool.

The other way involves procuring proxy residential IPs from proxy networks. VPN providers may have tie-ups with companies that share real residential IP addresses.

There are other ways such as direct procurement through ISPs. Of course, ISPs do not generally sell IPs for this purpose and it’s unlikely that you will be able to buy one off your local ISP through an over-the-counter transaction. However, some VPN providers may have partnerships with ISPs where they buy IPs in bulk. This is usually not a public exchange, and therefore, rare.

Residential IPs in a Virtual Private Network

All these procured IPs then form a pool for the VPN provider, which then randomly assigns them to the users. For instance, if a user in the United States activates her VPN to get a United Kingdom IP, the provider scrambles its IP pool and assigns a UK IP to her. The exact region of the IP will depend on the state and city she chooses.

Depending upon the scale of the network, users can request residential IPs of any location. However, there is a possibility that some regions may not be available. This is mainly because internet users from those regions have not signed up with that particular VPN provider. Or that the provider is unable to gather any legit IP from those regions. As a user, you can alternatively connect to the nearest IP available in such situations.

When you connect to a residential IP via the VPN software, all your web traffic is then routed via this new residential IP. It effectively conceals your real IP address and instead shows the new one to any website that you may visit. This takes care of hiding your IP. But what about encryption?

Encryption in Residential VPNs

Encryption happens before your traffic leaves your system. The VPN software or client installed in your system is again responsible for this. It basically acts as a portal between your activity and the internet, encrypting your traffic before it travels the web. It has nothing to do with the type of IP your traffic is routed through. All that matters is the VPN protocol being used and how effective it is in encrypting your traffic. As we have seen before, OpenVPN and WireGuard are the most effective protocols and provide the best VPN encryption possible today.

The VPN provider is also responsible for decrypting your communication before it reaches your destination. As you can guess, this is a lot of work for the VPN provider. Therefore, military-grade encryption is usually a function of paid VPNs. It is also a good reason to invest in a premium VPN like TuxlerVPN instead of random free VPNs out there.

A residential IP network is basically a pool of residential IP addresses created by a VPN provider using third-party services. There are several ways to procure residential IPs. Matching users with these residential IPs is the VPN provider’s chief task along with encryption and decryption. And all of these happen in the background at such speed that you are able to unblock a geo-locked website and stream high-definition video without buffering. Speed is thus definitely one of the biggest factors to judge a VPN provider with.

So, have you tried TuxlerVPN yet?

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