Whenever we talk about proxies, there are some providers that we praise as being the best. One of the many names in the industry is Shifter, a provider that claims to offer a lot, but is it good enough for you to consider it?
Proxies are one of the several tools in this modern era driven by online activities. With plenty of applications ranging from hiding your actual IP address to managing social media accounts or scraping, getting good proxies is essential.
Yes, there are hundreds of providers on the market, but not all of them are good enough. Whether we’re talking about high prices, poor performance, or lack of features, getting proxies from a good provider is crucial. Most of them offer a different set of features, but not all of them are good enough to be worth your time.
In this industry, there are many popular names, and one of those is Shifter. The company has over a decade of experience in the field, starting as a proxy provider and turning into the ultimate tool for data collection.
On paper, Shifter seems to promise a lot, and considering that it’s been on the market for over a decade, it should be a good provider, right? Today we’ll be looking to see if it’s worth it.
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Pros and Cons of Shifter
- Worldwide proxies
- The pool consists of over 50 million IP addresses
- Free trial
- Multiple types of residential proxies
- Individual free trial limited to 3 days
- Static and sneaker proxies have slightly limited packaging options
A proxy provider is as good as the set of features it can offer. Sure, most people that need proxies won’t be too concerned about the rest of the features. With that said, when you’re paying for a service, you have some expectations, so let’s see what Shifter has to offer.
A large pool of proxies
There aren’t too many proxy providers that can offer a large enough pool for us to be impressed. Shifter is one of those, and even though it’s not the largest pool, it’s not underwhelming. The service has a pool of over 50 million IP addresses, meaning there’s more than enough, even if you’re a large enterprise that needs thousands of proxies. Remember that this is the entire pool across multiple products this provider offers.
A large pool of proxies is a good thing, but it won’t be useful for people needing flexible geo-targeting. The good news with Shifter is that it offers a wide range of locations that cover almost every country in the world. This means you can get an IP address from any continent you need, which is the most flexible thing you can get.
Residential proxies are pretty flexible regarding use cases, but there are special conditions where you may need different types of residential proxies. One of the more common requirements in the recent era is sneaker proxies, which Shifter offers.
As part of the wide range of proxies is the ability to fine-tune the location. An IP address from a particular country is one thing, but choosing an address from a region or a city can be important for some use cases. Shifter offers this, which in a certain list of countries, you can utilize the advanced geo-targeting feature.
Being able to test a service before making a purchase is something that most people want to see in any provider. Shifter offers a free trial, but it’s not something that it’s equal for all. During the signup process, you should choose if you need the proxies for individual use or a company. This will determine the duration of the trial period. Individual users will get a 3-day free trial, while business accounts get up to 7 days.
Even though we’re looking at Shifter from a proxy standpoint, the company also offers other products, some of which are proxy-related. The company offers web scraping, SERP API and Cloud Hosting. This makes it a good enterprise solution for companies that need multiple services apart from the proxies.
Rotating and static proxies
We mentioned that proxies are a must, and a common choice is residential proxies. While many providers offer only rotating residential proxies, Shifter offers more. Apart from the rotating proxies, you can also get static ones for certain use cases where you’d need to hold a single IP address longer.
With most datacenter providers, the unlimited bandwidth option comes standard, which isn’t the case with all residential providers. Shifter offers unlimited bandwidth, but not on all proxies. You will get this feature only on the static residential and sneaker proxies. This means that the rotating proxies have a limit on the included traffic.
As you’ll see in a minute, Shifter offers a flexible pricing structure which should be enough for a wide range of applications and use cases. While all of this is fine, there are situations where some people may need more, usually in the enterprise segment. To help them get the most out of the service, this provider offers an option to create a custom plan tailored to your needs.
Even though Shifter has 3 types of proxies, there are technically two pricing structures.
From the rotating residential side of things, Shifter has two types – basic and special. The difference is in the websites that these proxies work with. If you go after the basic ones, you won’t have too much luck with some social media or search engines. For that kind of activity, you’ll need to get special proxies.
Regarding the pricing plans, regardless of whether you’re choosing basic or special, you have 8 premade packages to choose from. They range from 5 IP addresses to 1000 and vary depending on the included bandwidth. You should also keep in mind that the special proxies are more expensive than the basic ones, despite getting the same amount of traffic.
Next, we have the static residential proxies, where you won’t have as much flexibility as the rotating ones. There are 4 predefined packages to choose from, ranging from 25 to 100 static proxies. All of them come with unlimited bandwidth and a similar set of features.
When you look at the sneaker proxies, you’ll find that things are identical to the static proxies. Shifter offers 4 predefined packages offering between 25 and 100 IP addresses. Similar to before, there is no limit on the bandwidth, and the set of features is the same across all packages.
Each type of proxy is different, and there are multiple options, but there is also one thing that all have in common. Despite having a wide range of predefined packages, Shifter offers you the option to get a custom package. You’ll need to contact the support staff and outline what you need. The team will get back to you with a quote and offers for your required package.
Q. What is the difference between static and rotating proxies?
With Shifter, there are two differences between the static and the rotating proxies.
The first and most important one is if you need rotation or not. With the static proxies, you can hold the same IP address as long as you need, which is one of the reasons why these are a better option for sneaker sites. The rotating ones are better for scarping because there is the option to change the proxy at a certain interval.
The second difference is where the proxies are sourced from. Shifter’s static proxies are ISP ones, meaning they are sourced directly from a datacenter. The rotating ones are IP addresses from existing users, regardless if we’re talking about a home internet connection or an office one.
As part of the second difference between the static and rotating proxies, we can mention another difference, which is the performance. You can expect to get higher speeds because the static proxies are directly from a datacenter. This is because the rotating proxies will be limited by the connection that the end user has.
Q. What is Shifter’s refund policy?
Despite having a free trial, Shifter also has a refund policy, but there are some conditions attached to it. You can ask to get your money back within the first 3 days of purchase if you haven’t used more than 50% of the traffic or haven’t asked for a refund before. There are a few more conditions, but these are the main ones.
Q. Does Shifter offer additional traffic?
The static and sneaker proxies have unlimited bandwidth, so this applies to the rotating residential ones. Shifter offers you the option to purchase extra traffic for your account in case the included one isn’t enough. The best thing about this is the it’s a one-time purchase, and the package doesn’t have an expiry date. Whatever’s left will be transferred over to next month. There are multiple options here, ranging from 400 GB to 100 TB of bandwidth.
Q. What is the difference between basic and special proxies?
As part of the rotating residential proxy lineup, Shifter offers two types of proxies – basic and special. The basic proxies don’t offer the same features or supported websites as the special ones. For example, basic proxies will work with many websites but not high-usage ones. Also, the geo-targeting feature isn’t available here. If you’re after proxies that work with social media sites or search engines, you’ll need to get the special proxies. They will also enable you to choose IP addresses from specific countries.
Q. Does Shifter accept crypto payments?
We’ve looked at several proxy providers offering many payment options, including some popular payment services. Shifter isn’t one of those, but the company has flexible payment options. To answer the question, yes, you can pay for a service with cryptocurrencies. The most important thing to note here is that you’ll need to use a 3rd party payment service for this. You can also pay with debit or credit card, wire transfers or PayPal.
Shifter is a seasoned player in the proxy industry, renowned for its versatile offerings. Their residential proxies come in static, rotating, and sneaker types. With over 50 million proxies spanning nearly every country, their geo-targeting is top-notch.
While rotating proxies offer flexible pricing based on IP count and bandwidth, static and sneaker proxies are less adjustable but boast unlimited bandwidth. While they have minor downsides, Shifter's comprehensive offerings make it a recommended proxy provider.