What is a Residential VPN?

5 min

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 tuxler VPN 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 extensionClick here to install tuxler VPN and experience the next level of virtual private networking. Now also with the option to choose between a data center or a residential IP.

Residential VPNs: Top Applications of Residential IPs

Following are some common applications of residential virtual private networks. If you have a premium residential VPN, it makes sense to take full advantage of the software. You can start with these applications to optimize your VPN.

General Web Browsing

It’s commonly recommended in the online security world that you use a VPN even for general web surfing. We have previously written about why you should do so. The rationale is simple: using a residential VPN even for general surfing like social networking, watching videos on YouTube, and downloading files secures your connection. It conceals your IP address and makes you nearly anonymous on the web. 

The advantage of a residential VPN is that you can easily bypass any geoblocks or IP-level restrictions on websites. This is not usually a feature of traditional proxies that face VPN blocking.

Avoiding Online Tracking

Another great use of residential VPNs is avoiding website tracking and monitoring. When you use a VPN to surf the internet, all your web activity is tied to the residential IP provided by the VPN. As a result, all your actions are attributed to this IP, and not your own IP address.

Consider the case of social networking. Most social media websites track the actions of their users inside and outside of their platforms. This information is then used to show targeted advertisements. We’re sure you have experienced this when using social media sites. While scrolling through a feed, you see a video ad for a brand that you recently interacted with or searched for online the other day. This is a common phenomenon these days.

Using a residential VPN can help you avoid this to a certain extent. Do note that this is not a standalone VPN application. When you use a VPN, you automatically get this benefit. You can find more about this in our article on VPN advantages.

Unblock Video Streaming Sites

This is similar to the primary application of a residential VPN i.e., unblocking websites as a whole. The difference, however, is in how YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and other video-sharing websites provide you platform access but still block access to specific videos/content. This is due to geographical restrictions put up either by the site or the owner of the content. 

A residential VPN can help you unblock such sites too. As you know, residential VPNs tackle geofences at the IP-level and bypass them throughout the time you access the site in question. As a result, it does a much better job than traditional VPNs.

Residential IPs are increasingly becoming popular as they are still not a target of the VPN blocking brigade. Netflix and other streaming sites have started blocking VPN server IP ranges to detract users from circumventing their geofence. Thankfully, residential IPs can still do the job efficiently.

Getting a residential VPN has its benefits. You can safely browse the web, avoid tracking and monitoring, and access web content without any obstructions. It acts as an all-in-one privacy tool for most people. 

Have you tried TuxlerVPN’s residential VPN service yet?

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