Metered Vs. Unmetered Bandwidth Proxies

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Unmetered Bandwidth Proxies
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Considering ProxyEmpire was partly founded based on the founders having less than desirable results with other residential and mobile proxy brands, we completely understand how complex it might seem to finalize a purchase decision when there are so many options on the table. For example, what Is the difference between metered and unmetered bandwidth? It is our goal in this expository text to simplify the purchasing process through transparency. The first thing you should understand is that there are two basic models for residential and mobile proxy providers. The two models consist of charging the client based on bandwidth used or threads in use. Let’s dive into these business practices so that you can be informed when making a choice.

Unmetered Bandwidth (Unlimited Data)

Sounds alluring, right? Some proxy providers offer a model that does not charge you based on bandwidth usage; however, they do charge you per active thread. You may ask “What is a thread?”. A thread simply means a proxy that is active in your account where you currently have a session. You can use this thread as much as you want, so what are the drawbacks? Let’s start with scalability. Say you wish to scale up as many clients do with hundreds of concurrent connections around the globe. In this situation, you are going to end up paying 1000% more. “But hey! I’m not using all the threads constantly.” Even if you have low usage rates you are charged. That is because they’re billing you per thread. Your cost is static and does not increase or decrease with your business model. You’re left stuck paying for what you do not need, not to mention the fact most providers with this model do not have the nodes capable of scaling to a level that satisfies most customers.

High Latency / Overcrowding

For our e-commerce arbitrage and sneaker friends, the unmetered bandwidth model is unacceptable. That is because by offering customers unchecked bandwidth each proxy is subjugated to abuse. Let’s put this in layman’s terms. Imagine for a moment that your shower water pipe is connected to 10 other people. If there was no limit to the amount of water per person there would not be enough water to adequately take a shower. Each person would run the tap on full blast resulting in everyone being dissatisfied. Cheap hosting companies have been doing this for years. Proxy partners are no different. You can entice unsuspecting customers with unmetered bandwidth, but the catch is that by doing so you lower the speeds drastically. For most use cases reliant on residential and mobile proxies, this is unacceptable. Unmetered bandwidth providers attract nefarious spammers who take advantage of the business model considering that most “black hats” see an advantage in being able to push as much data through the pipeline without any oversight. As you may have guessed this can result in blacklisted proxies.

Metered Bandwidth (Unlimited Threads)

It’s no secret at ProxyEmpire we have chosen the metered bandwidth and unlimited threads model. Metered bandwidth just means that you are only charged when you use the proxy to connect to a web platform or with your custom software. You get global access without paying per proxy. It’s a dynamic model allowing you to scale up and down. Why would we do this? Remember, we founded ProxyEmpire with previous consumer experience. Not charging for threads allows our clients the ability to scale up to thousands of concurrent connections in over 150 countries. The cost is dynamic meaning that if you scale down for a few days, so does your cost. Nice, right? We decided to take it one step further with rollover data. ProxyEmpire Is the only proxy partner to offer rollover data. Let me give you an example. Say you purchased 40 gigabytes of bandwidth in August but only used 30 gigabytes. Traditional proxy partners would simply allow your bandwidth to disappear. We are different. The 10 gigabytes you did not use will roll over to September. This allows our clients to feel comfortable that they will always get what they paid for. Now let’s contrast it to some of the points we raised with unmetered bandwidth models.

Low Latency / Clean Proxies

Because the bandwidth is metered it stops abuse. Let’s revisit the shower analogy that was used previously. Because the water flow is metered to the 10 people connected to the water pipe each person gets an adequate volume for taking a shower. In the proxy world, that means each client experiences satisfactory speeds per session. “Black hats” Are not attracted to the metered approach because they know they cannot abuse each thread by mass spamming. This results in our residential and mobile proxy pool being clean. After all, you aren’t purchasing ISP-assigned IP addresses for no reason. Clients expect IP addresses from real network providers to be clean, as they should!

Final Thoughts On Each Proxy Provider Model

It’s true, that unmetered bandwidth is an alluring option when customers do not know the strings that are attached to that offer. The metered approach offers the most scalability and quality proxies available. We hope this read help create unbiased transparency for you. If you have any other further questions about residential or mobile proxies feel free to chat with us. Our live chat is located in the bottom right corner of your screen.

However, there is a certain alternative that’s the best of both worlds – it’s our dedicated mobile proxies with unlimited bandwidth that we launched in September 2022.


Selecting the right proxy provider involves understanding two basic models—metered and unmetered bandwidth. Unmetered Bandwidth, while attractive, as it doesn’t charge based on bandwidth usage, has scalability issues as charges are based on active threads. Irrespective of the usage rate, costs remain static, leading to payments for unused services. Moreover, offering unrestricted bandwidth can lead to abuse and reduction in speed— a major setback for e-commerce and sneaker reselling communities.

On the other hand, the Metered Bandwidth model only charges when the proxy is used, offering flexibility to scale up or down based on requirements. Unlike most providers, ProxyEmpire offers rollover data, where any unused bandwidth is carried over to the next month. This model prevents abuse and assures satisfactory speeds per session, resulting in clean proxies.

For those seeking the ultimate choice, ProxyEmpire’s dedicated mobile proxies launched in September 2022 offer unlimited bandwidth, combining the best aspects of both models.

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