Pavel Piatruk’ tech & personal blog

Building proxies - phones VS dongles

Let’t compare Pros and Cons of phones and dongles (modems) when building 4G/5G proxies on them.

Dongles (modems)

Dongles (modems) PRO’s:

  • easy to set up (insert a SIM card and go)
  • anonymity (no Google accounts)
  • cheap hardware
  • less cables

Dongles (modems) CON’s:

  • no 5G, unless you buy expensive modems.
  • big tech companies stopped developing new dongles around 2018, so present dongles are often cheap 4G LTE pieces with LTE cat.4
  • lower LTE category (in general) so worse perception / slower speed, they need antennas or a GSM booster
  • a PC is needed to manage the 4g proxy farm
  • a good USB hub is needed to connect the modems with the PC (unless you use 4g/5g LAN routers..)
  • a trick with IMEI is needed when the Carrier sells a DATA plan for Phones/Tablets.
  • difficult to find for some areas (e.g. the USA) for some Carriers.


Phones PRO’s

  • high speed out of the box because of 5G or higher LTE category (LTE cat. 12..20)
  • no need to use a PC for management; phones can connect to a VPS on their own
  • no need to buy a good USB hub; wall chargers are enough
  • native OS TCP fingerprint
  • easier to find and buy than modems (critical in some areas)
  • fit in with Carrier Data plans (for Phones/Tablets)
  • 4g proxy farm survives short electricyty outages

Phones CON’s

  • more expensive than a modem
  • hastle with initial set up (fake Google accounts for 100 phones is a nightmare)
  • rooting might be needed to unlock some tasty features
  • changing OS TCP fingerprint can be tricky.
  • battery health issues