3 ways to get cheap Mobile Proxies [Buy Mobile Proxies inexpensively]

Table of Contents

3 ways to get cheap Mobile Proxies [Buy Mobile Proxies inexpensively]

If you are looking for a high-quality proxy solution, mobile proxies are a great pick. They are considered very high-quality proxies for reasons that we have previously covered in this blog article.

But if you are currently in the market for a mobile proxy solution, you will have noticed one thing already: They are very expensive. Mobile proxies are many times more pricey than residential or data center proxies.

However, there are still some ways to get the same technology for less and buy mobile proxies cheaply. Here are our top 3 ways for this.

What is a Mobile Proxy and why are they expensive?

Mobile proxies (also called rotating proxies or 4G proxies) are a specific type of proxy that use the IP addresses of mobile devices. Mobile IP addresses rotate regularly. This means that the device’s IP is assigned to another device from time to time, while another device’s previous IP is then used instead. As many devices share the same IP addresses, website operators don’t block mobile IPs as they run the risk of also banning many other users as well.

In comparison to residential or data center proxies which can be very cheap, mobile proxies are much more expensive. This price difference is mainly due to two things:

  1. Performance and Quality: Mobile proxies are a superior technology to residential or data center proxies. They are extremely hard to ban and therefore very reliable, and always use high-quality IP addresses from real devices. As a result, proxy providers charge more for mobile proxies. Data center proxies, for example, are using lower-quality virtual IP addresses. This makes them much cheaper in comparison because they are more likely to get banned and therefore less demanded in the market. To make it short: Higher quality = higher price
  2. Maintenance effort: Maintaining a mobile proxy network is a challenging task that requires advanced technical knowledge. You need to manage a large number of real devices (every proxy server needs a real device) and make sure they are always connected to the internet, and to power. Proxy providers have the knowledge and resources to do this. And of course, they need to pay their staff and make a profit. This increases the price for the end-user. Other types of proxies (like data center proxies) are using virtual IPs on a data center or cloud infrastructure, which is much easier and less costly to maintain.

Image showing how mobile proxies work with CGNAT IP technology
How mobile proxies work using rotating IPs and CGNAT technology

Are mobile proxies worth the premium?

Mobile proxies have some great advantages, but are they actually worth the premium? This depends on how important the quality and availability of your proxies are to you, as well as the use cases that you need proxies for.

I would say that mobile proxies are worth the money, if:

  • You want the highest quality proxies available
  • You want to reduce the risk of getting banned
  • Proxies are a mission-critical component of your business
  • You are using proxies for web scraping or social media account management

On the other hand, I think you should also consider other proxy options, if:

  • You are only using proxies from time to time
  • Your use cases for proxies are very basic and not mission-critical (like accessing geo-restricted series on Netflix)

How to buy mobile proxies cheaply

If you want to buy mobile proxies cheaply, there are still ways to get them for less. All of these are legal and safe to use. Here are 3 ways for this:

Option 1: Use your mobile phone as a proxy

The main characteristic of mobile proxies is the use of mobile IP addresses over which the connection is established. And since you probably own a smartphone, you can start there. If you own more than one smartphone, that is even better. There are quite a few apps that turn your phone into a mobile proxy (just go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and search for “Proxy”). We have recorded a tutorial about this that explains step-by-step how this is done, check it out here:

Option 2: Find cheap offers on proxy comparison sites or wait for a discount

There are quite a few sites out there that compare the best proxy offerings, taking into account quality, features and price. If you are looking for the cheapest mobile proxy option, I would recommend checking out those pages and finding the lowest price. Here are a few pages that do comparisons of proxy services and proxy reviews:

Another option is to wait for a discounted price. Some mobile proxy providers do special offers now and then, for example during the holiday seasons. If your need is not very urgent, buying then may save you some money.

Option 3: Build your own mobile proxy network

If you want to have the best of both worlds (the highest-quality mobile proxies and not having to stretch your budget), you should consider building your own mobile proxy network. Usually, Proxy providers do that for you and charge you a premium for it. So if you do this yourself, you can cut the cost drastically.

So far, building and managing a proxy network required a lot of technical knowledge and effort. You had to know what hardware to buy, how to set it up and monitor it correctly and, if necessary, program an application yourself to be able to control the hardware.

Proxidize hardware & software
Setup for building your own mobile proxy network

That is why we have developed Proxidize, an all-in-one solution that makes building and managing your mobile proxy network super easy. Proxidize provides the hardware as well as the matching software, so setting up your mobile proxy can be done within minutes, without requiring any technical knowledge.

The upfront cost of building is higher compared to buying because you have to purchase the hardware to set everything up first. But the price per Gigabyte of traffic is up to 10x cheaper compared to subscribing to a proxy service. So if you plan to use proxies for more than 3 months, you will probably save a lot in the long run.

Free Mobile Proxies are NOT a good alternative

Some providers offer their mobile proxies completely free of charge. But I would highly discourage you from using them. Free mobile proxies are almost always not secure and shady. A great article from Christian Haschek’s blog found that only 21% of free proxies are not shady, meaning that the other 79% are. There is a risk of getting your data stolen or getting monitored, many free proxy providers insert unwanted ads on your websites and their performance is very poor as well. We will write another blog post just about this topic soon.

If you are thinking about getting a free mobile proxy solution, consider the reasons mentioned before: Quality and maintenance effort. Let’s say someone owns high-quality proxies and manages them, why would they give them away for free? If there is no paid product, you are the product (or your personal data is).

An exception to this is if you use your own device as a proxy as mentioned for the first option to get mobile proxies cheaply. Because then you control the hardware and endpoints through which your data flows.

Conclusion

Mobile Proxies are more expensive than other types of proxies but they do offer a higher quality product. However, there are ways to save money on them, like using your phone as a proxy, searching for discounts or the cheapest service on proxy review sites, or building your own mobile proxy network.

Either way, getting a good deal is great. But getting a good product is even better. So make sure that you are not overpaying, but do not go for the cheapest offer but the one that will provide you the most value in the long run instead.

Cover Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Karl Baumgarten
Karl Baumgarten