Smartproxy proxy service review

More bang for your buck

Smartproxy Review Hero
(Image: © Smartproxy)

TechRadar Verdict

Smartproxy is a capable proxy provider, easy to set up, fairly priced, and with all the essentials you need to handle most projects.

Pros

  • +

    Huge proxy pool

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    Fair prices

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    Useful apps and browser extensions

Cons

  • -

    No SOCKS5

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    No mobile proxies

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    Support responses may take a while in extreme situations (see review and Smartproxy reply)

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It may not have quite the profile of the big-name proxy service competition, but Smartproxy (opens in new tab) is still an excellent platform which delivers a pile of proxy (opens in new tab) features and functionality for a very fair price.

The company's 40+ million rotating residential IPs across 195 worldwide locations should cover you for most applications, for instance, and there are also 40K regular US Datacenter proxies (with dedicated proxies if you need them.)

You're not restricted by concurrency limits or per-proxy pricing, either. You're able to use the entire pool with unlimited connections, and the Smartproxy website claims 'your social media bot can juggle thousands of accounts per minute.'

Unlimited connection requests don't help you much if they're blocked, but Smartproxy offers various ways to avoid trouble. Its '100% successful' Search Engine Proxies enable hassle-free Google scraping, while its X Browser generates unique user profiles to reduce the chance of IP bans or captchas.

If you've already got your own preferred scrapers, SEO (opens in new tab) or proxy managers, no problem, Smart Proxy works with just about anything. Its integration page (opens in new tab) points users to setup guides for ScrapeBox, Octoparse, Apify, Jarvee, Follow Like, NikeSlayer and a whole lot more.

Pricing

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Plans and pricing

Smartproxy prices start at just $39+VAT billing monthly for its Mini Dedicated Datacenter plan (opens in new tab). That gets you 'only' 25 IPs and 5 proxy users, but there's no traffic limit and you're allowed unlimited targets.

Smartproxy's other plans are priced by bandwidth. Its Clever Datacenter plan (opens in new tab) gives you a 100GB per month to spread around its 40,000 rotating US datacenter proxies, for instance, with one proxy user. 

Need more? Run over your 100GB allowance and you're charged $1 per GB. If you're doing that regularly, upgrading can save you cash. The top-of-the-range Genius plan (opens in new tab) gives you 1TB of traffic for $500, for instance, just $0.50 per GB. 

Residential proxies start at $75/month, giving you 5GB of traffic (that's $15 per GB.) As with the datacenter plans, opting for a higher subscription can save you money. The Regular plan (opens in new tab) offers 50GB of traffic for $400 (that's $8 a month), and if you ask Smartproxy for a quote, the company says it can offer 1TB or more traffic at 'industry leading prices.'

There's no free plan and no trial, but you are protected by a 3-day money-back guarantee. Hand over your cash, and if the service doesn't live up to its promises, ask within 3 days and you'll get a refund.

There's support for paying via credit cards, PayPal, Alipay and even Bitcoin (although, as with most providers, opt for Bitdefender and you're not covered by the money-back guarantee.)

These are fair prices, generally less than you'll pay with Bright Data and some other top names. Although if your needs are simple, you can get started more cheaply elsewhere. Squid Proxies (opens in new tab), for instance, gives you 10 dedicated data center proxies for $24 a month, with no bandwidth limits.

Dashboard

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Getting started

Signing up with Smartproxy gets you access to its web-based 'smartdashboard', where you can view and manage your products.

We started in the Authentication section, which allowed us to define how we could access our proxies. Smartproxy defaults to username:password authentication by default, but it also supports allow-listed IPs (potentially more convenient as there's no need to set up login details, Smartproxy knows your requests are legitimate simply because they come from your IP address.) 

Although it's handy to have both (Squidproxies only has IP-based authentication), Smartproxy only allows very short lists on the lesser plans. Its Micro option only allows a single allow-listed IP address, for instance.

Smartproxy's Endpoint Generator uses your authentication and other preferred options (location, rotating or 'sticky' session type, endpoint:port or HTTP output format) and generates a proxy list. Copy and paste this into your preferred software (or save and import it as a CSV or TXT file) and you're ready to go.

Apps

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Smartproxy Apps

Smartproxy also supplies some custom apps of its own to help you get more from your proxies.

X Browser is a multi-session browser (opens in new tab) for Windows and Mac which enables creating multiple Chrome (opens in new tab) profiles, each with a different fingerprint. Once it's set up, you're able to open new Chrome windows for those profiles, each assigned a different IP, with a click.

Chrome Extension

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Smart Scraper (opens in new tab) is a Chrome extension (opens in new tab) which, in theory, allows you to select and extract elements from a web page, then save them in JSON and CSV, no coding required. We say 'in theory' because it didn't work for us - the extension didn't even display an interface - but maybe you'll be luckier. (You can use it for free, so if this is an important feature for you, it's easy to try before you buy.)

[Update: Smartproxy told us that their Smart Scraper issue was a temporary problem which was fixed very quickly.]

Proxy Generator is a Windows and Mac desktop app for generating proxy lists of up to 49,999 lines.

There's also a simple Chrome and Firefox extension which enables testing the proxies direct from your browser. In a click or two you can set up your authentication, choose a location, a session type (rotating proxies or 'sticky') and get connected.

We weren't impressed by the non-functional Smart Scraper, and you may not need all (or maybe any) of these apps. X Browser and the browser extensions worked well for us, though, and it's good to see a service which gives its users these extra options.

API Documentation

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Support

Smartproxy's support starts on its website (opens in new tab), where there's a simple FAQ, some more in-depth tutorials, and a scattering of code examples (C#, Golang, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby.)

Although the individual articles are generally short, there's more content than you might expect. The Setup Guide section alone has eight areas (Browser, Operating System, Smartphone, Proxy Managers, Sneaker Bots, Social Media Tools, Scrapers and SEO Tools.) Choosing Browser took us to more tutorials for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Ghost Browser, Smartproxy's own browser extensions, and others including FoxyProxy and SwitchyOmega. Impressive.

If you can't find what you need on the support site, you could turn to live chat on the website. That didn't help us very much: we posted a chat message, waited for a few minutes, the site said it would reply via email, instead, and we still hadn't received anything twelve hours later.

[Update: Smartproxy told us the delayed response was due to an unusually heavy load on the support team created by the Smart Scraper issue we encountered earlier.]

You could just send an email, instead, though, and when Smartproxy's Support did reply, its answers were helpful and told us precisely what we needed to know.

Final verdict

Smartproxy isn't the most powerful proxy service, or the cheapest, but its vast proxy network and handy library of management apps should deliver everything you need for most applications.

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.