Imagine this scenario: a brand new Air Jordan 1 release is dropping at your local Footlocker. The store has a policy where each person can only purchase one pair of sneakers. However, you’re thinking of copping two pairs, one for personal and one to resell. Since, you know, flipping sneakers is one of the best money-making side-hustles lately. So, how would you get around that policy? Well, an easy way is to get a friend or a family member to tag along and have them purchase a pair on your behalf. But the professional and efficient way would be to use sneaker proxies!
The “friends with benefits” scenario gets less efficient the more pairs you’d like to cop. So, instead of convincing people to work in cahoots with you, you might consider visiting the store 10 different times, each time wearing a different disguise. The first time you visit, you have no disguise on. The second time you visit, you put on a wig. The third time you visit, you dress up as Spiderman. And so on.
In a way, this is how proxies work while botting; they help you disguise your identity online so that you overcome strict policies, such as â€śone pair per customerâ€ť.Â
Assuming youâ€™ve already checked our guide on the best sneaker bots in the game, this extensive guide will introduce you to sneaker proxies and explain why they are essential for sneaker botting. Whether you are planning to cop one, ten, or a hundred pairs on a release, sneaker proxies are a main ticket to make it as a sneakerhead.Â
If you need to know what the best proxies are for every site you’re botting, check this guide out
What You’ll Find in This Guide
- How Sneaker Sites Work
- Why You Need To Disguise Your IP Address
- What Are Sneaker Proxies
- What Do Proxies Look Like?
- Types of Sneaker Proxies Used in Botting
- Main Differences Between Proxies
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How Sneaker Sites Work
Before we explain what proxies are, you should first familiarize yourself with the siteâ€™s backend operations and how your IP address interacts with it.
An IP address is a numerical label that a device is assigned in order to be identified on a network. Think of the IP address as the identity of the device. Every device connected to the web has a unique IP address. Your phone, your laptop, and even your WIFI router each have its own IP address.
When you visit a sneaker retailerâ€™s site, like footlocker.com, a request is sent from your deviceâ€™s IP address to that of your router and then your router sends a request to the site and asks for permission to access it. The site checks your routerâ€™s IP address, and if nothing’s suspicious, you get to access the site.
Every time you take an action, you’re sending a request to the site. The site responds back by allowing you to proceed to the next step. So, when you add an item to cart or submit any billing info, you’re sending a request to the site. The site then decides to give you permission to proceed to checkout.
In most cases, the site has no reason to NOT grant you permission to check out an item. Unless the site suspects you’re using a sneaker bot. You must remember that major sneaker retailers have a â€śone item per customerâ€ť policy and do not want automated sneaker bots clearing the shelves. So sites will take every necessary step to block any purchase request made through a bot.Â
Why You Need to Disguise Your IP Address When Using a Sneaker Bot
Whenever you’re using a sneaker bot on a site, you need to set up tasks that tell the bot what item to buy. Your goal as a sneaker botter is to maximize the number of tasks you run on any site. The more tasks you run, the more purchase requests you send to the site. And the higher your chances of copping.
While a site canâ€™t prevent you from using a sneaker bot, it can block your tasks from checking out. If youâ€™re running several tasks using your local IP address, that’s considered suspicious behavior and will get you blocked from accessing the site.Â
Think about it: if hundreds of purchase requests are coming from the same IP address, the site starts wondering how can one person send so many requests simultaneously. Itâ€™s humanly impossible without using a bot.
So, when a site notices suspicious activity coming from one IP address, it instantly flags it. And you’ll end up having your connection to the site blocked. That means you will not be allowed to visit or check out any items off the site for a specific duration. In some cases, the block may even be permanent!
If we go back to the first example, the way you get around the â€śone per personâ€ť policy is to wear a disguise and pretend you’re someone else. Essentially, the same idea applies to online stores too. To avoid getting your IP address blocked, you will need to disguise it with sneaker proxies.
What Are Sneaker Proxies?
A proxy is an intermediary server through your connection passes before reaching the site. Think of the proxy server as a device located in a different part of the world and connects to the site on your behalf. Since a proxy acts as its own device, it has a unique IP address. So when you connect toÂ the site using a proxy, you are actually connecting with the proxyâ€™s IP address, not your own.Â
In other words, by using a proxy, you’re protecting your own IP address. If you connect to a site using a proxy, and the site was to notice any suspicious activity coming from your end, it would block the proxy. If you then decide to connect to the site using a different proxy, you’d access the site easily. Thatâ€™s because the proxy took the block for you.
So to maximize your chances of copping with a sneaker bot you’ll need to run as many tasks as you can. Your goal is to mislead the site into thinking that these requests are coming from several individuals rather than only one. By adding proxies into your sneaker bot, you are able to accomplish that.Â
Sneaker proxies trick sites into thinking that each request is coming from a different individual with a different IP address. And so, sneaker sites wouldnâ€™t tell that you’re sending all these requests.
You wouldn’t be able to run the bot efficiently as you won’t be able to send many requests without getting banned by the site. You may ask: â€śI already bought a sneaker bot and now I have to add proxies to the bot to run it effectively. Where do I get them?â€ť
To get sneaker proxies, you will need to purchase a plan from a proxy provider. Preferably one that is knowledgeable about the latest trends in sneaker botting. But before we go over the different types of proxies and where to buy them, let’s first see how proxies typically look like.
When talking about sneaker proxies, sneakerheads are normally referring to a proxy server. A proxy server acts as a middleman between you and the websites youâ€™re trying to access. This server helps make your internet activities appear as if they came from a location different than your own.
All major sneaker sites (Nike, Yeezy Supply, Footlocker) have anti-bot systems to detect if multiple purchase requests belong to the same IP address. And they will block suspected IPs from issuing any more requests and you get banned.
What Do Proxies Look Like?
This is a proxy: 154.5.743.726:5887:QJHJ4:9R2U31FG
If this is the first time you see one, it may look like a random set of numbers and letters. But when you look carefully, you will notice that there are different components to a proxy. With a “:” separating each part.Â
- 154.5.743.726:5887 is the IP address or â€śidentityâ€ť of the Proxy.Â
- 5887 is the number of the port that allows the proxy to connect to a website.
- QJHJ4 & 9R2U31FG are the username and password. When the bot needs to use the proxy, it will automatically input the username and password.
As you can see, a proxyâ€™s layout isnâ€™t too sophisticated. The type of layout mentioned above is known as a â€śuser-pass authenticated proxyâ€ť. Why? Because in order to use it, the bot needs to enter a username and password to connect to the proxy.
The other type of proxy layout that you normally see is an â€śIP authenticated proxyâ€ť. An example of how it looks like would be: 207.6.684.465:6057
It looks very similar to a user-pass authenticated proxy but lacks the username and password. Because IP-authenticated proxies use your IP address to authenticate your proxies.
Is there any difference in performance between the user-pass and IP authenticated proxies?Â
Not at all! Theyâ€™re simply 2 different ways to authenticate the proxy. And your proxy provider decides which format is the best depending on the proxy plan. If you have user-pass authenticated proxies, you can simply copy and paste the proxy into the proxy tab of your sneaker bot. An example of how that is done can be seen in this video. If you have IP authenticated proxies, you would first have to authenticate your IP address before adding the proxies to the bot. Itâ€™s a straightforward process, and your proxy provider normally has a guide on how to do it.
Now that we discussed the basics of a proxy and its importance in sneaker botting, itâ€™s time to explore the different types of proxies used by sneaker botters.
Types of Sneaker Proxies Used in Sneaker Botting
Every site is coded differently and every major sneaker retailer has a different antibot system in place. A specific proxy may work well on a particular site and perform poorly on another. In this section, weâ€™ll go over the three main types of proxies used with sneaker bots: residential, datacenter, and ISP.
Residential proxies are IP addresses provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). These IP addresses are assigned to residential locations such as your home. So your home WIFIâ€™s IP address would be classified as a residential IP.
Sneaker sitesâ€™ visitors are often people in residential areas. The theory is that using residential proxies in a sneaker bot would make it harder for the site to differentiate between a genuine residential IP and residential sneaker proxies. In other words, it would be harder for the site to identify whether you are using a sneaker bot or not.
Another reason why resi plans are widely used is that they allow you to generate unlimited proxies. That is a convenient feature as every bot task requires its own proxy. If you need to run 50 tasks on your bot, you can easily generate 50 sneaker proxies and add them to your bot. In addition, you can generate proxies from regions all over the world including the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. This feature helps when youâ€™re botting a site that only allows access from specific regions.
Of course, just because a plan allows you to generate unlimited proxies does not mean that you have unlimited data usage. When you purchase a resi plan, you get a certain amount of data in GigaBytes (GB) depending on the plan. A typical residential data plan costs anywhere between $10 and $20 per GB, depending on the provider.Â
Residential Proxies Restrictions
Since residential plans are sold in GB of data, you have a preset limit to how much data you can consume. The more bot tasks you run, and the longer you run these tasks, the more data you consume. When starting out, you normally donâ€™t need more than 2-3GB for your plan to last you an entire month. Itâ€™s hard to specify exactly how much data you will need as it depends on multiple factors, including how you use your plan.Â
If you consume your residential plans quickly, that could potentially become an issue as you would have to add more data to your plan and pay more. So you want to be smart with how many tasks you run and how long you run them when using a residential plan.
Another issue is that residential proxies are slower than other plans. Proxy speed is typically measured in ping milliseconds. The higher the ping, the slower the proxy. Resi proxies tend to have pings as low as 1000 and as high as 5000 and more.
It is also worth noting that some residential plans have an expiration date. While some residential plans donâ€™t expire, others may expire after 30 or 60 days. So if you fail to consume all your data before the planâ€™s expiration date, you would have to renew your plan or risk losing all your unconsumed data. Usually, itâ€™s the provider that decides how long their plans last.
Datacenter (DC) Proxies
Datacenter proxies, or DCs, are IP addresses that have been created by a secondary provider and are not affiliated with any Internet Service Provider.
Since they are not associated with any particular ISP, DC proxies have a higher chance of being flagged by websites. Itâ€™s easier for the site to block purchase requests coming from datacenter proxies. Since the typical sneaker shopper connects from a residential IP.
While DCs have a higher ban rate, they are still worth considering and can be quite efficient. Datacenter proxies are fast and can give you a massive edge on releases that run out of stock in seconds. Great DCs can have ping speeds of as low as 50-100ms.
Another great feature of DCs is unlimited data usage. So you’re able to run your bot tasks all day until the day the plan expires. Buy a 30-day DC plan, and you’d be able to use the proxies for as long as you want for 30 days. But DCs always have an expiration date. DC plans may last from 1 day and up to 3 months.
The limitation with DC plans is that you get a limited number of proxies. A typical DC plan contains 25 proxies. So youâ€™re only able to run 25 bot tasks. If you want to run more tasks using DCs, you would have to purchase additional DC plans. A monthly DC plan costs anywhere between $1 and 1.75 per IP. So if your plan contains 25 sneaker proxies, youâ€™d be paying $25-$44 per month.Â
Another limitation is that most of the notable sneaker proxy providers typically sell US and EU DCs only. So if you live outside of these regions, it can be an issue to find DCs.
ISP proxies have only recently gained popularity. Back in the days, sneakerheads had to choose between DC and residential plans. But as sneaker sites have advanced their antibot systems, residential and DC proxies have become easier for the site to spot and block. And so ISPs are now the way to counter that problem.
Think of ISP proxies as the best of both worlds: they have the reliability of residential sneaker proxies and the speed of DCs. It’s a winning combo because ISP proxies are originally DCs assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
You can think of ISP proxies as â€śsophisticatedâ€ť DCs since they have most of the characteristics of a DC proxy. They are fast, allow unlimited consumption, and sell in limited quantities. Some providers even label their ISP plans as â€śPremium DCsâ€ť. The main disadvantage of ISP plans is their price. You can expect to pay anywhere $2-$2.4 per IP. Since the typical ISP plan contains 25 proxies, thatâ€™ll be around $50-$60 per month.
Main Differences Between Residential, DC, and ISP Proxies
- If a site is known to heavily ban proxies, consider using residential or ISPs.
- If a siteâ€™s stock typically runs out of stock in seconds, consider using DC or ISPs.
- When you need to run a heavy number of tasks on a site, consider using residentials.
- If you need to run bot tasks for long durations of time, consider using DC or ISPs.
- If you need more affordable proxies, consider getting a residential or DC proxy plan.Â