Extracting content from one website to another is not easy. That is why it is advisable to use a proxy. It plays a major role in web scraping. It is necessary to choose the proxies you need and want to use. They allow you to enjoy many advantages. You will find a selection of the best proxy providers on the web. It is up to you to make your choice according to your needs. Find out more about this in this article.
About the proxy
A proxy is an intermediary between you and the website you wish to visit. It is a solution that makes your Internet browsing experience more secure and private. For those who know, when you interact with a website, information about you is collected. This includes your location, IP addresses and device information.
During the process of retrieving content from the website, your identity is masked. Without a proxy, your request to connect to the website will be sent directly to its server. With a proxy server, however, your request is first sent to that intermediary.
The different types of proxy servers
There are several types of proxy servers that you can use as an individual or a company. There is the forwarding proxy which allows users to make requests to websites in accordance with the administration's internet usage policies. Thus, there are requests that can be denied.
Transfer proxy servers use 3 main types of proxy IP. These are data centre IP addresses, residential IP addresses and mobile IP addresses. Data centre IP addresses are those of servers hosted in data centres.
Residential IP addresses are those of private residences in specific postcodes/regions. Finally, mobile IPs are those of mobile devices.
Since residential and mobile IP addresses are the most likely to be legitimate, they are the most coveted. However, they are not at all easy to get.
In addition, there is the reverse proxy, which is responsible for intercepting user requests to access web data. It accepts or denies access based on the bandwidth load of the organisation. Thus, websites are not overloaded with attacks.
As you can see, there are different types of proxies. Each of them has its own utility and their use differs according to your needs. Some are more expensive than others and this is not by chance. In fact, they are more efficient and offer many advantages.
There are transparent proxies that do not guarantee any confidentiality to your requests. All your information will be transmitted, but under the IP address of the proxy. This type of proxy is often used to keep an eye on the movements of users on the Internet, in companies or schools.
Anonymous proxies hide your IP address and information. What better way to hide your location? You will also be protected from targeted advertising. The use of these proxies can be complex. If you come across websites that don't like being accessed by proxies, they are likely to block you.
It is also possible to use highly anonymous proxies. These are still called elite proxies. They are one of the most secure solutions. They are able to hide your identity completely and websites will not be able to recognise them as proxies.
The use of highly anonymous proxies will ensure that you are not blocked by websites when scraping. This alternative is therefore highly recommended.
Public proxies are free. However, there is sometimes a price to pay. They can be set up by hackers who want to steal your data. A large number of users can use it at any time. They can be blocked by websites.
However, not all public proxies are bad. You just have to know how to look. You may come across a reputable provider who can meet your needs.
Data centre proxies are generated and stored in the cloud. They are therefore not able to locate a real location. There are several reasons why you might want to use these proxies. Their cloud service providers have very good Internet connections.
This offers a high speed of navigation. On the downside, it can be said that they share the same network. This means that a website can ban all IP addresses that have a specific subnet.
Finally, there is the residential proxy. IP addresses are addresses of real devices that look like regular clients for the various servers. The use of this type of proxy is an excellent solution to avoid being detected and banned.
What are the advantages of using proxies for web scraping?
Companies use web scraping to extract important industry data and market information. This allows them to make data-driven decisions and offer information-based services. Direct proxies allow organisations to efficiently extract data from various Internet sources.
Proxy scraping offers many advantages, including security. Indeed, the use of a proxy server increases confidentiality. It makes it possible to hide the IP address of the user's machine. In addition, it is a solution for avoiding IP bans.
For those who know, corporate websites set a limit on the amount of data that can be processed. This prevents users from making too many requests and slowing down the speed of the website.
The use of proxies for scraping offers the possibility for the crawler to exceed the throughput limits on the target website by sending access requests from different IP addresses. In addition, you have the option of enabling access to region-specific content.
Companies scraping for marketing and sales purposes may want to monitor the offerings of competitors' websites for a given geographical area. The aim is to offer the right product prices.
The use of residential proxies with IP addresses from the target region allows access to all content available in that region. In addition, requests that originate from the same region are not as suspect. As a result, they are less likely to be banned.
The use of proxies allows you to enable high volume scraping. There is no method of knowing whether a website is being visited. However, the more active a scraper is, the easier it is to track its activity. For those who know, scrapers can access the same website in a very short period of time or at certain times per day. They can also access web pages that are not directly accessible. This exposes them to the risk of being blocked after being detected.
Proxies allow you to guarantee anonymity. You can therefore carry out as many simultaneous sessions on the same site as on different websites. This will save you a lot of time.
About the operation of a proxy server
A proxy is nothing more than an intermediate server between the user and the target website. Indeed, the proxy server has its own IP address. Thus, when a user requests access to a website via a proxy, the website transmits and receives the data to the IP proxy server. The proxy server is responsible for sending the data to the user.
Proxies are used by website owners to improve security and balance Internet traffic. Scrapers use proxies in order to mask their identity and make their traffic look like that of a normal user.
As for Internet users, they use proxies to protect their personal data. They also use them to access sites blocked by the censorship mechanism of their country.
How to set up your proxy management?
To set up your "Proxy management", you need to configure two elements. These are the software to send requests to different forwarding proxies and direct proxies that handle requests from target websites.
A distinction should be made between in-house and outsourced proxies. Internal proxies offer confidentiality of data and guarantee full control to the engineers involved. However, creating an internal proxy takes time.
In addition, it requires an experienced team of engineers to build and maintain the solution. Thus, the vast majority of companies prefer to use web scraping-ready proxy solutions.
How many proxies should I use?
To take full advantage of the benefits of these tools, you need to use a certain number of them. To determine the number of proxies needed, you can use a formula. Divide the number of access requests by the crawl rate.
The number of access requests depends on several parameters. These are the web page you wish to crawl and the frequency with which a scraper crawls a site. There are sites that can be crawled every minute or hour per day.
As far as the crawl rate is concerned, it is limited by the requests per period or per user that the target website allows. Indeed, most websites allow a limited number of requests per minute. This allows them to differentiate between human and automated user requests.
Clearly, the number of proxy servers depends on the website and your intentions, i.e. the number of pages contained on the site or the number of pages to be retrieved. If you want to have an idea, you can limit the requests to 50 per hour and per IP address. Generally, this is the ceiling used by websites. However, you should be reassured that you have a clear understanding of the connection limits of the target site.
In addition, it is advisable to prefer dedicated servers to shared servers. A dedicated server is one that only you can use. For web scraping, it would be wise to use several dedicated servers rather than several shared servers. This is a solution that offers more security for the retrieved data.
Which proxy provider should I choose?
There are hundreds of proxies. It is therefore complicated to make a selection. Before choosing from the lists available, it is important to make a comparison of the offers, taking into account the advantages offered. You need to consider price and specifications.
You can opt for ScrapingBot which is an efficient web scraping tool. It is not only a proxy provider but also a turnkey web scraping tool for developers. By combining it with a web scraper, theAPI will be of great use to you. It will allow you to retrieve HTML from any website without being blocked.
ScrapingBot allows you to stop managing proxies. The tool takes care of IP address selection and rotation through thousands of residential and mobile proxies in dozens of countries.
It has several specific APIs for campsites, real estate, retail, and much more. Note that it also offers a PrestaShop module.
SSL Private Proxy
Secondly, SSL Private Proxy is also an excellent choice. It is a good provider of "proxies for web scraping" to extract data from websites. It provides a dedicated IP address. It guarantees anonymity and offers a VPN and a fast connection. If you want to use (if you want to use) this provider for web scraping, you need to buy several subscriptions. This will allow you to get multiple IP addresses.
In addition, Smartproxy provides you with an all-in-one data collection tool. It can be used on major search engines such as Google, Baidu, Bing, and many more.
Search engine proxies are very effective. You can take advantage of a proxy network of 40 million high quality IP addresses worldwide. It also offers a data analyzer.
This is a solution that can help you improve your SEO metrics. You can use it to collect paid data in real time.
If you want to compare prices and research your competitors, this proxy service provider is perfect for you. Smartproxy takes care of browsing the different proxies and choosing the best ones for your needs.
You can also opt for Bright Data, which was known as Luminati. It is one of the oldest proxy providers. It is also well known among web scrapers because of its quality services.
Clearly, there are several providers of proxy services. It is up to you to make your choice based on your budget and their advantages.