A residential VPN is a virtual private network that routes your internet activity through residential IP addresses, just like the one assigned by your own internet service providers (ISP).
A residential VPN assigns you an IP address based in another location, anonymising your own IP address and location, and appearing like you are accessing the internet from somewhere else.
Residential VPNs are regarded as the safest type of VPN due to their high anonymity and emphasis on organic IP addresses, unlike VPN services depending on larger data centers.
What is a Residential IP Address?
As mentioned above, a residential IP is a singular IP address assigned to internet users by their respective internet service providers - unique and verified to that specific user’s ‘home’ and location. You can find your IP address with a quick “what’s my IP search” online.
Residential IP addresses have precise details and information about the user, usually compiled from the user’s previous internet activity by their internet service provider (another reason to use a VPN). Details provided by residential IP addresses ensure better credibility and cloaking than other generic VPNs.
In comparison, a datacenter-based VPN will give a data center IP connected to a cloud service provider, not backed by a local/regional ISP. Therefore, appearing as a legitimate, organic user is more difficult and lowers the trustworthiness from the sites you visit, potentially resulting in blocks.
How Does a Residential VPN Work?
Peer-to-peer (P2P) systems form the essence of residential VPN services. Users agree to be a part of a residential VPN pool by sharing their own internet connection and IP address with the provider in exchange for using a verified IP address from anywhere in the world.
In a peer-to-peer system, you plug into a global network of nodes run by people voluntarily. Servers worldwide combine their traffic and communicate using a peer-to-peer network. P2P networks (and P2P software) allow two devices (and therefore, two people) to communicate directly, without necessitating a third party to ensure it happens. In a P2P network, every device acts as a server to connect to the internet. These servers can then act as VPNs. All servers are paid for providing the VPN service and keeping the network powered and safe.
Mysterium VPN has a similar structure for its decentralized residential VPN service. Peer-to-peer infrastructure transforms the traditional role of a server. A web user is both a server and a client instead of a node. (The user’s computer or device technically acts as the node.)
Currently, with Mysterium VPN, you can access over 20,000 nodes (i.e., residential IP addresses) from over 135 countries.
Why You Should Use a Residential VPN
In addition to the increased safety and anonymity that residential VPNs provide over others, residential VPNs come most handy when away from your home network.
With a peer-to-peer network, your internet activity is routed not through datacenter servers, but IP addresses offered by a global community. Users can rent their IP address in the Mysterium marketplace. Mysterium VPN users can then rent these nodes safely, privately, and anonymously to access the internet.