Shifter is famous for its limitless bandwidth and rotating residential proxies, and based in Britain. Now, it's a giant company providing residential proxies all over the world.
If anonymity in browsing is your greatest priority, you might want to consider Shifter proxy provider. Since its inception in 2012, Shifter is a giant company in providing residential proxies all over the world.
For datacenter proxies, Shifter only provides dedicated and shared proxies in the US. Other than that, Shifter is famous for its limitless bandwidth and rotating residential proxies. The following are other features that make Shifter one of the best in the world.
Shifter Pros and Cons
By looking at shifter proxy wholesomely, there are factors that we like and others we don't like. Therefore, in the next section, you will discover the following pros and cons of these proxy providers, respectively.
Why We Like it
- Comprehensive area coverage: while the datacenter proxies are found in only two locations in the US, shifter residential servers are present in more than a hundred countries and regions.
- It is very secure: the shifter has secure protocols like SOCKS5 and HTTPS that encrypt data and the backconnect IPs are highly untraceable as they change often.
- Best backconnect rotating proxies: these rotating proxies change every five minutes to a fresh IP to enhance the security of your data.
- Unlimited bandwidth: the prices of these servers are not charged per bandwidth, hence the system does not restrict you on any bandwidth you want.
Why We Don't Like it
Limited dedicated and shared proxies: that is because they are found in Washington and New York only.
No free test: there is only a three-day period for you to test the product which is chargeable at a discounted rate.
Refund policy is short: Some other providers offer seven days or more for you to test and claim for a refund if you are not satisfied with a proxy.
As mentioned earlier, Shifter is a bigwig in providing peer-to-peer residential proxies. It has over thirty million residential proxies found in major cities and countries around the world. Shifter's rotating residential proxies come with an impressive backconnect server. This server utilizes a pool of residential proxies IPs that changes every five minutes to connect to a website.
The backconnect proxies display unlimited sessions, 99.9 uptime, and a blazing gigabyte speed. You can also use Datacenters’ dedicated or private servers and shared proxies that you find in the two locations mentioned earlier.
Shifter IP Types
The fact that Shifter has over thirty million proxies is one thing we give it a thumbs up. If you live anywhere in Washington or New York, you will enjoy all the Shifter's proxies' types. These proxies include the datacenters and the residential Proxy.
If you are not based in US locations, you can use Shifter residential proxies which are found globally. Residential servers connect to your computer via an Internet Service Provider (ISP). In Shifter, the backconnect residential proxy is mainly used- which is a form of a rotational residential proxy.
Initially formed to connect back to the IPs or websites that blocked you, you can also use the backconnect IPs to access sites you have not visited. On Shifter's website, you can use either Basic backconnect or special backconnect features every five minutes. The basic backconnect gives you random locations for your IPs, while the special one enables you to choose a location.
Not to mention, we also have Shifter’ Datacenter proxies which are either shared or dedicated Shifters proxies. A dedicated Proxy means that you use alone, while a shared Shifter proxy allows you to use it with a maximum of three people.
If you thought Shifter is expensive, please think again because its quality is unmatched with its cost. Through the Shifters websites, you will find various prices depending on the proxy types and ports.
First, let's consider the backconnect proxies. Typically, these proxies are expensive than dedicated or private proxies because they are rotating and highly undetectable. Whether you are using a special backconnect or a Basic backconnect, their rates are different.
For example, the special backconnect starts with twenty-five ports Proxy with unlimited bandwidth. With these 10 ports, you can have a minimum price of $249.99 but the rate increases as you increase e the number of ports.
Similarly, the Basic backconnects offer the same port values, but they are random in any country. As a result, basic backconnects are cheaper than unique proxies where they cost around $125 by 10 ports.
Between shared and dedicated datacenters’ proxies, you would expect the shared to be cheaper than dedicated –because you have an offset cost when using it with other people. However, Shifter’ shared option offers a higher minimum of ten ports compared to five dedicated proxies. If you go by these values, shared would be expensive with $30 compared to $25 of dedicated ones.
When it comes to authentication of proxies, Shifter has two models of authentication. These modes secure your browsing even when the hackers or trackers bypass Shifter's security features like SSL. These authentication protocols include the username and password as well as IP authentication such as IP whitelisting. You obtain the username or the server's IPs when you sign in to your Shifter account.
Even when you log in, you are supposed to provide the correctly spelled authentication details. If you forget such details, Shifter's system has a way to help you recover them.
For IP authentication, the system provides at least ten whitelisting IPs. By that, you can choose a trusted IP range to access some websites. On the same note, the IP authentication allows you to change it monthly to enhance the security of your details.
We like the Shifter Protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS 4, and SOCKS 5. If it were not for these protocols, probably every site would block you at a glance. Anyway, it would help to know that every Shifter's proxy type has its protocols.
For example, the backconnect proxies have HTTP/ HTTP(S) and SOCKS 4/5. On the other hand, they only have HTTP or HTTPS on shared or dedicated proxies. In both aspects, your software has to support any of these protocols for the Shifter to work.
The reason why this proxy is more secure is due to SOCKS 4/5. These protocols use a peer-to-peer connection to create a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) over a firewall on your behalf. Since SOCK 4/5 are lightweight and change rapidly to HTTPS, they enable a higher rotation rate of IPS and a faster connection to websites. Also, these SOCKS allow backconnect of IPs due to their no configuration policy.
When analyzing shifter in theory, it seems exceptional but what about its ‘ proof is in the pudding.' Therefore, we saw it worthwhile to test it- although we had to pay a shifters test before a three-day expiry period.
We wanted to know whether the Shifter's 5 minutes IP change exists or if the server was suitable for data scraping, social platforms, sneaker sites, and speed tests. For that reason, we used 200 concurrent threads, and the following are the results we got.
|Tested for||Data scraping||Social platform||Sneaker sites||Speed test|
From the table, all the variables scored above average but we did not like that no site scored above 90%. For example, at some point in the testing we realized there were speed fluctuations and some internet connection errors occurred. Anyway, have a look at the augmented scraping performance test.
For Data Scraping Performance
Typically, shopping online is unavoidable and we have to visit e-commerce sites now and then. That builds pressure for e-commerce sites to store millions of their products' and customers' data. Consequently, to ease such pressure, these platforms end up restricting data scraping.
Average success rate on E-commerce websites - 83%
Hence, we visited Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, or Aliexpress using Shifter proxy. We tested these sites using parameters like the speed of connection, amount of bandwidth, and no of concurrent 504 errors. According to our findings, sites like Aliexpress, Walmart and Target scored above 85 %, but Amazon was below 80%.
Amazon is a highly restricted website for data crawling or scraping because it accounts for around 50% of e-commerce marketing. Amazon has a harsh scraping policy and complex scraping algorithms, which need a super bot scraper.
When we connected to Amazon using this Proxy, we received many 503, 403, and 401 errors and CAPTCHAs confirmations. As a result, we had to increase the Shifter’ package to over a hundred ports to break the Amazon firewall.
That was the same case we experienced with eBay and Best Buy. But for Aliexpress, the connection was relatively smooth and straightforward, probably because of API integration of this site.
Overall, Shifter is one of the best proxy providers but shows average performance in scraping. Hence not the best scraper since its IP rotation is based on time rather than requests.
Test on Social Websites
For social media browsing using Shifter, we found an average rating of 82 percent, which was exceptional. In this case, we organized ourselves into six persons to test social media sites individually.
Average success rate on social websites - 82%
Reddit and Twitch had favorable results, but Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were below average. We realized that you had to buy a higher ports backconnect package to access Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter optimally.
Interestingly, we could create many social media accounts with Shifter without being noticed due to their rotating IPs. We also downloaded some videos in HD quality from YouTube and Instagram. However, for Facebook, it could take some time to download or upload content. Probably because Facebook has a harsh policy in scraping and also has millions of customer's data.
As far as Reddit is concerned, we attribute its highest score because we could access that site without disruptions. We even tested it with the lowest 25 port plan, and the connection was relatively smooth with no errors. Therefore, we realized that the unique backconnect proxies plan goes well with Reddit.
Test on Sneaker Sites
Buying shoes online sounds typical, but not for sites like Nike, Adidas, Supreme, Foot Locker, and Finish Line, which restrict the sneakers to buy. Notably, these sites restrict the cop bots that enable one to have numerous accounts and send rapid requests, thereby inconveniencing the supply of sneakers.
Average success rate on sneaker sites- 80%
In our case, we used to access those sneaker sites by a 200 concurrent request rate. We preferred this site because it favors Shifter proxy as it has a chart showing the IP addresses, ports used, the status of the connection, and its speed.
With the test results, we were particularly impressed with Nike and Adidas’ performance knowing how they are notorious for restricting people. Also, the results of all sneaker sites were above average. However, for Supreme, Nike, and Adidas shoes, they needed us to increase the number of ports and ping (latency).
|Shifter special backconnect Proxy||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Shifter Proxy 1||279||0.86||0.37|
|Shifter Proxy 2||559||0.41||0.83|
|Shifter Proxy 3||232||0.91||0.89|
|Shifter Proxy 4||254||0.88||0.52|
|Shifter Proxy 5||216||0.73||0.65|
When it came to testing the speed of the connection, we had to carry a stopwatch for this task. We used five lots of shifters which we tested separately, and compared their rates. Our parameters involved the download or upload bandwidth in a particular ping or latent time in milliseconds.
We also used Speedtest.net for this test to confirm how it fared with stopwatch results. Relatively, the results were almost similar. We, therefore, observed that shifter 3, 5, and 4 performed well with an optimal ping time needed to download or upload content.
On the other hand, when the ping time is high (shifter 2), the download and the upload size are lower. Therefore, this shows that Shifter has an optimal speed to download or upload a profile.
One observation we didn't like is the number of connection errors we experienced when we increased the concurrent connections. When the concurrent data transmission was low, the Proxy performed better. Probably, those errors increased because Shifter does not support big loads with various sites like Amazon.
Shifter Customer Support
When we experienced such connection errors, we contacted Shifter's customers support, who responded in time. You can find customer support on the top left side of the Shifter's website.
The Shifter support team is professional and guided us in managing the 503 (CAPTCHA) or the 404 HTTP error code. The Shifter's support team also gave us new IPs when our IPs refused to connect to a particular website.
The Editors Verdict
All in all, Shifter is one of the best residential Proxy providers with over 31 million IPs. The optimal speed makes Shifter unblock the most censored sites.
Shifter is also one of the most secure with SOCKS, 5/4, and HTTPS. Even its secure authentication and whitelisting IPs make it a highly sought-after in the market. Not to mention its backconnect IPs that change after five minutes to enhance data security.
Are Shifter Proxies Good for Social Media?
Yes, their backconnect servers are very friendly to creating and managing social media accounts. The time-phased backconnect IPs also enable high IP masking from hackers and web trackers.
Are Shifter Proxies Good for Sneaker Sites?
Yes, because of their ever-changing IPs and the secure SOCKS and HTTPS platforms.
Are Shifter Proxies Good for Scraping?
It is only on average because web scraper bots need a rotation proxy based on requests and not the Shifter’s proxy's time-phased backconnect protocols.
When you want a more advanced and high-quality proxy provider, you should consider Bright Data Proxy. But if Bright Data is beyond your reach, Storm Proxies do well with a smaller budget and fewer IPs. But the direct substitute of Shifter would be Smartproxy because of limitless bandwidth, rotation IPs, and price.