Types of Proxy Hosting Plan
Based on the server environment, there are three main proxy hosting plans:
1. Shared Proxy Hosting
This is usually the cheapest proxy hosting plan. The word “Shared” means your proxy site shares the same web server with the other 20 – 50 websites if not more. All of those sites are competing for CPU Time, Memory Space, and Network Bandwidth. So the performance of your proxy site largely depends on how well your hosting company allocates and optimizes the resources.
2. Virtual Private Server (VPS)
VPS is often considered as a hybrid of Shared Hosting and Dedicated Server. It offers more resources and controls as a Dedicated Server while costs much less as Shared Hosting. In essence, your proxy site still shares the webserver with others, but you can get guaranteed resources like Memory Space and CPU Time. Plus you are given ROOT access to freely install your own software and manage server environment.
3. Dedicated Server
This is the ultimate solution for Pro Proxies. You may pay more money upfront but get the full control of your proxy business. Specifically, the whole web server is 100% dedicated to you, so you have enough power to host more proxy sites. Moreover, you are allowed to adjust some fundamental server settings to gain maximum system performance.
Things to Look at for Proxy Hosting
Because a proxy site tends to have more visits and page views than a regular website, you first need to ensure there is enough bandwidth available. A low traffic proxy with 500 visits per day might require 100GB bandwidth per month, while a high traffic one with 3,000 visits often needs 1,000GB.
Try to give your proxy as more traffic allowance as possible. I learned this through some hard lessons. One of my champion proxy sites went beyond the maximum bandwidth for 2 months, I ended up paying almost $2,000 for the penalty (the overcharge is on the per MB basis). It almost killed my proxy business.
Memory is the key factor of the proxy performance. When many concurrent requests arrive during the peak time, the server memory will be consumed very fast. Once it is used up, your proxy site will take a much longer time (often forever) to respond back. Usually, for a Shared Hosting Plan, it is hard to guarantee how much memory will be assigned to your proxy, but for VPS and Dedicated server, you will look for at least 2GB, ideally 4GB or above.
Nowadays, CPU power is usually not a big concern for proxy sites. As long as the server is not too old, its CPU should do the job well. What you care about is the number of CPUs. For shared hosting and VPS, the server should have at least 4-8 CPUs to power multiple sites, for Dedicated Server, you will look for 2-4 CPUs as the starting point.
4. Web Space
Unlike other content sites, your proxy may not need a huge hard-drive space. For a medium traffic proxy site, 5GB should be good enough as long as you clean up the temporary files generated by caching and logging on a regular basis.
5. Price and Service
Depends on proxy plans and companies, your hosting fee may vary. The typical price range for a Shared Proxy Hosting is $5 – $30, for VPS, is $20 – $90, and for Dedicated Server is $80 – $500. Besides the price factor, you may want to look at a hosting company’s reputation, server uptime, money return policy, contract term, and customer service.
Proxy Hosting Plan for Beginners
What is the best proxy hosting plan for beginners? It largely depends on your vision of the proxy business and your style of doing things.
As a Pro Proxies, if I could start over, I would have definitely chosen Dedicated Server because it would have saved me tons of money and time fighting with server optimization, bandwidth limitation, and memory shortage.
However, I could also understand your concerns about how much you would make from your proxy business, especially when you still walk in the dark, you may be conservative on the monthly cost. Therefore, a Shared Hosting or VPS might be your Ginny Pig to play around first.