Oxylabs proxy service review

A breath of fresh air

Oxylabs Review Hero
(Image: © Oxylabs)

TechRadar Verdict

Above average prices, but Oxylabs huge network, wide range of products, smart web scraping tools and premium support more than justify the cost. A must-try for business and demanding users everywhere.

Pros

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    Vast range of products and features

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    Large proxy pool across 195 countries

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    Intelligent web scraping technologies

Cons

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    Above average prices

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    Lots to learn

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If you've got the idea that many proxy (opens in new tab) service providers exist in a very grey area, you'd probably be right. Oxylabs (opens in new tab) works hard to explain how it's different, though: this Lithuanian-based provider operates purely in legit white zone.

The company has a mammoth 102 million proxy pool in 195 countries worldwide, for instance, but you're not left wondering where they came from. The website boasts that they're ethically sourced 'from vetted suppliers that are under strict obligations to inform end-users about their participation in a proxy network and acquire consent from them.'

Instead of focusing on small scale Ticketmaster or sneaker proxies, Oxylabs pitches its service for big business use cases such as ad verification, brand protection and SEO (opens in new tab) monitoring.

And while small providers leave you crossing your fingers and hoping they deliver what they promise, Oxylabs uses only certified data centers and upstream providers, and its plans are even insured by Lloyds (that's coverage for 'Technology Errors & Omissions (Technology E&O) and Cyber insurance', if you're curious.)

Pricing

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

Plans and Pricing 

Oxylabs has a rather large portfolio of products that includes residential, data center, mobile, ISP and SOCKS5 proxies.

You can also opt for general purpose, search engine or e-commerce scraper APIs. There's even a Next-Gen Residential Proxies plan which leverages AI and machine learning to guarantee a 100% success rate. (We didn't test this, but Oxylabs claims it uses CAPTCHA handling, adaptive HTML parsing, dynamic fingerprinting and JavaScript rendering to automatically retry if it runs into any problems.

Oxylabs’ datacenter proxies (opens in new tab) start at $180/month for 100 US datacenter IPs (60 in the rest of world), or $1.8/IP. The cost comes down to $1.2/IP with its top-end $6000/month plan that includes 5000 US IPs (2500 in the rest of the world.)

Residential proxies (opens in new tab) start at $300/month and offer 20 GB of bandwidth, which comes to $15/GB. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll get 1 TB at $5,000/month, which translates to only $5/GB.  

The cheapest residential proxy plans can be purchased online, allow you to get started with the service right away. But most ask you to contact sales, where you talk to a representative about your precise requirements.

If you're not quite ready to commit (and we don't blame you, with these high starter prices), then talk to the company anyway. There are free trials available if you ask.

Features  

Oxylabs charges above average prices, but browse the feature list and it's easy to see why. Its products are built for large-scale projects, with few of the limits you'll find elsewhere.

There are no restrictions on concurrent sessions, for instance, and you're not charged extra, either. Just do what you need to do, and Oxylabs should be able to cope.

Geo-targeting allows you to work at the country, state or city level for maximum flexibility. Compare that to the extreme budget end of the market, where, for instance, some Storm Proxies plans have only two targeting options, US and EU, and you can see what you're paying for.

There are no set limits on subnets, either. The company says that if you buy 1000 proxies (for instance), you can generally have from 4 to 1000 subnets, 'depending on your business needs.'

Authentication

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

There's support for authenticating proxy access by username and password or a trusted IP address. Some providers limit you to a set number of IPs (occasionally you're only allowed one.) Oxylabs doesn't just allow you to add as many specific IPs as you need, you can also add ranges (192.168.1.0/24.)

However you set up your requests, Oxylabs claims excellent performance, with an average 99.2% success rate and 0.6s proxy speed.

We don't have the space to talk about Oxylabs web scraper IPs, but they're just as comprehensive as the rest of the service. The SERP Scraper API targets cities across 195 countries, extracts the precise data points you need from all kinds of search engine pages, and delivers them in CSV or JSON. 

You can even decide where to store the data, if the standard S3 (opens in new tab) or Google Cloud (opens in new tab) storage isn't right: now that's seriously flexible.

Dashboard

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

Using Oxylabs

Purchase an Oxylabs plan, log into your new account and you're taken to the company's web dashboard, its one-stop proxy management hub.

There's more to learn and do here than with most of the competition, but for good reason: as we've seen Oxylabs just has so many more features than just about anybody else.

Sub User

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

When getting started, for instance, you're prompted to create one or more sub-users to help manage your projects. This isn't just about authentication via a username and password, though: you can also opt to limit the traffic a particular sub-user can consume, a handy way to manage your bandwidth allocation.

Statistics

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

It's similar elsewhere in the dashboard; Oxylabs isn't doing anything particularly complicated, it's just giving you extra options we rarely see elsewhere. While regular proxy lists just come in plain text, for instance, Oxylabs can show them in JSON. And a Statistics page shows you how your projects are going in huge detail, including target domains, traffic used, number of requests, errors and more.

A knowledgebase covers everything you need to know, from the dashboard basics to more advanced options to help customse the service for your precise needs. 

The Integrations page (opens in new tab) has useful tutorials on how to work with Jarvee, Octoparse, Puppeteer and many other third-party tools, for instance, and the more technical Developer's documentation  https://developers.oxylabs.io/residential-proxies/#quick-start  is excellent.

If you need more, though, Oxylabs offers live chat 24/7 (we got helpful responses within a couple of minutes), and you can raise a ticket, send an email, or just talk to your account manager. Others claim to have 'premium' support, but Oxylabs actually delivers it, and it's great to have that level of resource available when you're managing a heavy-duty proxy project.

Final Verdict

Oxylabs is a premium service at a premium price, and its high starter fees, bandwidth costs and steeper-than-average learning curve mean it's overkill for most small scale and freelancer projects. But if you need a top-quality provider and you'll make good use of its many features, then Oxylabs should be right at the top of your proxy provider shortlist.

We've also highlighted the best proxy (opens in new tab) and best VPN (opens in new tab)

Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.