Web scraping provides companies with ways to collect data to make critical business decisions, improve their offerings, stay ahead of the competition and more. However, your IP address can cause problems when used alongside your web scraper without a proxy. But why is it essential to use a reliable proxy to change your IP before using scraping tools?
In this article, we’ll be looking at why businesses should consider using a residential rotating proxy to scale their web scraping efforts to yield more data faster.
We’ll be covering the following topics related to proxies and their use alongside web scrapers:
- What is a proxy?
- Why should you use proxies to scale scraping efforts?
- What types of proxies work best for web scraping?
What Is A Proxy?
A proxy acts as an intermediary server between the user and the websites you visit. This means that whenever you make an HTTP request using a proxy, your request goes through the proxy first and is then sent to the website server by the proxy on your behalf.
A proxy will hide your IP address, and it doesn’t get sent to the website server like it would when you browse without one. Instead, the proxy will provide a different IP from their pool of available addresses. You’ll see many added security and privacy benefits by hiding your IP behind a proxy. You might also notice faster connection speeds, and you’ll be able to bypass geo-restrictions and access local content anywhere in the world.
Why Should You Use Proxies To Scale Scraping Efforts?
When you make a request without a proxy, the website you visit will receive your IP address, and from that, they can also get a lot of your information, such as your name, location, how many devices you use and the types of devices. They can also use your IP address to track you. Aside from these privacy and potential security risks, websites can also ban your IP address if they see you using a web scraper to collect their data. Once banned, you won’t be able to access the content anymore, which can lead to incomplete or inaccurate data. By using a residential rotating proxy, you can avoid all this and effectively scale your scraping efforts.
Here are some of the benefits of using a proxy alongside your scraping tool:
Hide And Change Your IP Address
By their very nature, a proxy will hide and change your IP address. Each request you make will go through their server and link to an IP from within their pool. By changing your IP address, you’re protecting your details, adding more security to your network and ensuring you don’t face any restrictions.
Collect Local Content
With a good proxy, you’ll have access to a pool of IPs from different countries. This allows you to bypass any geo-restrictions as you can use an IP from that country to make it appear that you’re accessing the internet from there. This will also allow you to collect local content that might not be shown to you otherwise.
High Volume Scraping
Proxies can also speed up your connections, allowing your web scraper to run at its full potential. Aside from this, many websites restrict the number of requests that scrapers can make – slowing down the process. However, when you use a residential rotating proxy that automatically changes your IP with different requests, your scraper can send multiple requests from different IPs.
Proxies also improve how well your scrapers run. As we mentioned, they speed up the collection process, but that’s not all. Since they cache website data on their servers (instead of your device), it is faster for web scrapers to gain access to those sites again, making it possible to collect data more efficiently.
Avoid IP Bans
Avoiding IP bans is one of the main benefits of using a proxy alongside your web scraper. Websites can quickly ban your IP address if they find you using a scraper or if you’re making too many requests that negatively affect the website’s performance, they may ban your IP address. With a proxy, you have access to thousands, even millions, of IPs, so even if one is banned, you can use another one.
What Types Of Proxies Work Best For Web Scraping?
Many different types of proxies can be used for web scraping. However, the best ones will be residential rotating proxies. The fact that they’re residential means the IPs are linked to real devices, so that they won’t get banned. Rotating proxies automatically change your IP address with each new request, speeding up the process of changing your IPs. You also have access to a vast pool of IPs from different countries to make collecting local data easier and bypassing geo-restrictions more effective. Scrapers can boost their collecting speed using a proxy with unlimited parallel connections.
Web scraping is a valuable tool, but without a reliable residential rotating proxy, you may find it challenging to collect your data. Proxies are essential alongside your web scraping activity to ensure you don’t get an IP ban, that you can scrape content without restrictions, scale your efforts, and start collecting high volumes of data efficiently.