By Admin @August, 10 2022
A Proxy acts as an intermediary between end-users and the internet/websites. It essentially acts as a gateway for users to access web pages while not using their own IP address.
When a user connects to the internet through a computer, the computer identifies itself with a unique address called an IP address. With A proxy server, instead of connecting directly to the internet, the connection redirects through a proxy server which manages the requests/traffic before visiting that website on your behalf through its own IP address.
The main reason use fot proxies are for internet security, load balancing of internet traffic or for privacy reasons .
Now you have understood what is a proxy, let’s find out why it is important for web scraping.
Sending traffic from one single IP address in very quick succession to a website looks like an attack from a webmasters point of view. Hence websites will always have rules to block/restrict or ban IP addresses which are suspected to be attacking their website. Proxies are the easiest way to manage this web scraping traffic. Proxies can be used to distribute the requests and scrape anonymously
See article How to avoid getting blocked while web scraping
For small scale web scraping, proxies aren't particularly needed. But if your web scraping requirements have additional complexity like requiring data from specific geographies or high capacity scraping using proxies are a must
For web scraping there are several types of proxies for the different use cases
Data Centre Proxies: These are the most basic proxy servers. They are cheap, fast and reliable but are the easiest to detect
Residential Proxies: These leverage real users devices and a huge range of IP addresses. They are very hard to detect and are very expensive, slow and unreliable because the user can loose internet connection or turn of their devices
Speciliased Proxies: These are designed for specific uses e.g. Google Search Results pages or Social Media websites
Mobile Proxies: These use IP's of real mobile devices. Mobile devices are generally more trusted by websites as the likelihood of the user being human is high
See some of the common advantages of using a proxy server solution while web scraping.
Due to the nature of web scraping, it is likely you wouldn't want to expose the identity of you device. If a website identifies your identity you could get targeted with ads, your private IP specific data could be tracked or you could even get blocked form visiting the site. Using a proxy allows you to use the proxy server IP instead of yours
Another benefit of using a proxy is that it prevent your IP getting banned. Modern websites are usually set with Crawl data limitations and other anti-bot detection features. These limit scarpers from making excessive requests to their sites. However, using a pool of proxies to send traffic via multiple IP addresses to will help you avoid things like rate limits.
Some websites don’t allow visitors from other regions. They enable region-specific content, only showing specific content based on the location of your IP address. By using proxies from the location required you will be able to access that content. A common example of this in ecommerce is getting price data in different currencies
For High volume scraping projects where the time it takes to get the data from a website is crucial using proxies are the best practice way to scrape the website. Using a big pool of proxies can allow you to do things like run concurrent sessions which increase the speed at which the data is scraped
To get a proxy server setup, you have two options
Webautomation.io manages proxies by the process of IP rotation. It rotates the IP address from a proxy pool and manages the numerous connections from one machine. In this way, it anonymises all the activity and protects all the users identity while also preventing their scraping sessions get blocked.
We take away the hassle of managing infrastructure and proxies to allow you to focus on actually getting the data your business needs without worrying about what happens in the background.
We aim to make the process of extracting web data quick and efficient so you can focus your resources on what's truly important, using the data to achieve your business goals. In our marketplace, you can choose from hundreds of pre-defined extractors (PDEs) for the world's biggest websites. These pre-built data extractors turn almost any website into a spreadsheet or API with just a few clicks. The best part? We build and maintain them for you so the data is always in a structured form. .