How to choose the best proxies for scraping

Proxies for scraping

Choosing the best proxy servers for scraping can be an overwhelming task. There are many providers and a wide range of options. So how do we choose the most suitable proxy for our project? In this guide, we've covered some points that will help you scrape successfully.

Overview of web scraping

Millions of data are available on the Internet. However, not all of this data is accessible. Serious marketers understand how important data collection is. The right data plays a vital role in achieving KPIs and goals. That's why marketers do everything they can to collect the information they need. This is where scrapers come in. Scratch-offs have proven to be indispensable in data collection. The best tool can thoroughly comb through a website and extract information. Even large enterprises use web scrapers. So why do others cringe at the words "web scraping"?

Benefits and risks of web scraping

Web scraping is a controversial topic. As a result, some marketers are hesitant to make it part of their data collection efforts. But how can web scraping help businesses succeed?

Benefits

  • Keeps businesses up to date with current market trends and market conditions
  • Helps track customer feedback, advertising placement, and overall market performance
  • Determines appropriate product features and pricing
  • Protects assets such as copyright or trademarked material
  • Confirms domain distribution and geographic performance online

Risks.

  • The website permanently bans the IP address
  • Legal implications for tools, proxies, and activities

The benefits outweigh the potential risks of web scraping. Anyone planning to engage in scraping can easily avoid these risks. But how? The answer: Proxy servers. This is an important element that helps scrapers succeed.

The importance of proxy servers for web crawling

Proxy servers have a wide range of applications. Thanks to their versatile functions, they can bring various benefits to any activity.

The main purpose of proxy servers is to hide the location and source of an IP address. This allows users to send web requests without revealing their real information. The ability to change location while surfing the web can help users access geo-located content. With this feature, users can gather information about their target audience without having to be physically present in the area. This allows brands to track how they are doing in their target region. By understanding their market position, brands improve their overall performance. Proxy servers can obtain data that is completely prohibited. Since proxies can bypass content and geographic restrictions, they can easily access pages that are hidden from standard browsing.

Using proxies also helps maximise crawler performance. It reduces the frequency of blocking. Without proxies, the efficiency of web scraping is minimal. Proxies increase the "crawl rate", which allows spiders to collect more data. The crawl rate is the number of requests allowed in a certain period of time. This figure is different for each website.

Web requests that pass through proxy servers come from different sources. Thus, they successfully overcome the restrictions set by the website's anti-bot. In addition, proxy servers help protect the user's original IP address. If a website detects bot activity, the real IP address will not be penalised. Proxy servers increase the likelihood of successful scraping.

Proxy servers for scraping

Proxy servers are indispensable when collecting data from the web.  Although spiders are efficient at collecting data, they can only work best when paired with a suitable proxy server.

The choice between private and public proxies depends on the requirements of your project. If your project requires high performance and maximum connectivity, private proxies are the best choice. For smaller projects with a limited budget, public proxies are a good choice.

Free proxies for scraping are generally not recommended. In addition to questionable reliability, users also run the risk of infecting their devices with malware. Furthermore, they are often used as a tool for illegal activities. This is because free proxy servers are publicly available.

Proxy servers for web crawling

In addition to choosing proxy servers based on exclusivity, users must also identify the source IP addresses. Proxy servers fall into three categories:

Data centre proxies.

These are the cheapest proxies. Data centre IP addresses are created on independent servers. These are often the most practical proxies for data retrieval. Due to their speed and competitiveness, users can efficiently perform large-scale scraping projects. Moreover, these proxies do not cause legal problems in terms of intellectual property acquisition. Unlike fixed or mobile proxies, data centre IP addresses are not owned by third parties.

Resident proxy servers

Resident proxies are mostly changing, while ISP proxies are static. Because they are linked to third parties, these proxies can be difficult to obtain. Thus, this makes their cost more expensive. In most cases, these proxies can give the same result as data centre IP addresses. But data centre proxies are much cheaper.

Mobile proxies

These proxies are the most difficult to obtain and the most expensive. They are great to use if a scraper needs to collect data that is only visible on mobile devices.

Proxies for crawling Google and other websites

Almost every website can become a target for web scraping. That is why websites implement anti-bot systems. When these bots detect scraping, they immediately ban the IP address. Depending on the server settings, it can ban a specific IP address or the entire range of IP addresses. As mentioned above, proxy servers allow users to redirect a request to different sources. This allows websites to see multiple users instead of a single IP address source.

When choosing the best proxy server for scraping Google and other websites, consider the number of API calls or requests you need. This number will determine how large the proxy pool should be. The exclusivity of the proxy will also depend on the target website. If the target site requires a clean IP history, private proxies are the ideal choice. Proxies should also be compatible with your crawler or scraper. This will help you get optimal results. In addition, each proxy should have fast loading times. Websites can easily detect a slow proxy.

Where to buy a scraping proxy?

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