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Proxy Scrape: Introduction To Proxies In Web Scraping

Are you a web scraper intending to scrape large volumes of data from the web? Perhaps you’re confronted by challenges, such as websites blocking you. Then it would help if you had a proxy scraper that scrapes tons of data without websites blocking you —interested to find out more about the process of the proxy scrape?

Many proxy services include free proxies, paid proxies, and fresh and untouched proxies. So, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of scraping the web anonymously by unveiling the power of proxies. However, before you discover their magic, let’s first dive into some of the significant challenges that web scraping faces.

What Are The Challenges In Web Scraping?

When you send a frequent number of requests to the target website, it blocks your IP address, denying you from making further requests. These sites also employ CAPTCHAs to make scraping even more painful. Other challenges include:

  • Timeouts: After scraping data for a particular period, the target website triggers a timeout that forces the web scraper to leave a site.
  • Geolocation-restricted content: Certain countries ban access to content from requests that originate outside that country/region/state, and they detect it based on your IP address.
  • Dynamic content: According to the latest web trends, many websites load their data with Ajax. Although it’s convenient for humans, scrapers find it hard to scrape dynamic data.
  • Web page updates: Website owners regularly update the website content. Since the developers code the scraper according to the live code at a particular time, the scraper can’t capture the data when the changes happen live.

So these challenges force you to look into alternate ways. You may need a proxy scrape to bail you out from websites blocking you, which is up next.

Why Should You Use Proxies For Web Scraping?

What is proxy scrape?

Proxy servers mask your actual IP address with its IP address. Furthermore, when accessing geo-restricted content, you can choose a proxy server from the specific country that blocks you from accessing content. Then the proxy server disguises you as someone accessing the content locally. So this is undoubtedly great news for all the web scrapers out there. There are more benefits:

  • Scrape large volumes of data: You can’t proxy scrape massive amounts of data sans proxies. This is possible by rotating proxies, as you’ll find out later in the article.
  • Overcome CAPTCHAs: Similar to scraping large volumes of data; this is again possible with rotating residential proxies.
  • Speed: When you scrape with a large pool of proxies, you can scrape vigorously.

Now let’s find out your proxy options next.

What Are The Different Types Of Proxies For Web Scraping?

You can categorize the proxies based on the source of the IP, the number of people using them, and other factors such as anonymity, rotation, and server location.

This section focuses on IP sources and locations for the scope of this article.

Proxy Categories Based on Source of IP

Residential Proxies: These proxy providers are homeowners who get their IP addresses from ISPs who assign an IP address to a physical location. This allows users to browse anonymously and emulate organic browsing behavior while scraping.

Residential Proxy

Datacenter Proxies: Their IP addresses originate from data centers located in cloud data centers, thus providing private authentication and a higher degree of anonymity. However, while web scraping, the probability of websites blocking them is high.

Mobile Proxies: A proxy provider assigns an IP address to a mobile device through Gateway software, making it a proxy node for other devices to access the internet. They’re also a good choice for web scraping, as their IPs swap among real users. Thus, making it difficult for websites to block them.

Proxy Categories Based on the Number of Sharing IP Addresses

Free proxy: Proxy providers provide free proxy publicly available on the internet with a free proxy list at zero cost. However, they’re not safe for large-scale web scraping operations, as there is a risk of malware and cookie theft in them.

Paid proxy: Proxy providers provide private proxies so that a single user can use them at a particular time. Unlike free proxies, they offer superior security and speed. Paid proxies can also include shared proxies, such as shared data center proxies, where a proxy provider provides an IP address that several users share.

Why Are Residential Proxies Better Than Datacenter Proxies?

Since residential IPs originate from real residential owners, they appear to target websites as legitimate and real ISPs. Hence, when you scrape from websites, they don’t block you.

In contrast, the data centers and cloud services provide IPs for Datacenter proxies in large volumes. So it’s easier to detect them and, thus, result in a ban when you’re web scraping. This is usually the case with shard datacenter proxies who share the same subnet mask instead of dedicated datacenter proxies.

Therefore, it makes sense to perform a proxy scrape using residential proxies. However, when purchasing residential proxies from a provider, ensure that you are buying them ethically.

Why Should You Use Rotational Proxies?

Even when you scrape with a residential proxy, the target website will block you when you send multiple requests using the same IP address. Therefore, you need to use an enormous pool of residential proxies that rotate each time you connect to the target website via your proxy server, which does it automatically.

There are rotating residential proxies, as well as rotating data center proxies. They are easy to trace when you use them for web scraping. On the other hand, when using rotating residential proxies for proxy scraping, you’ll appear as a genuine user, and this is because their IPs emerge from real users.

What Are The Key Features To Look For In A Proxy Provider?

To find the best proxy sites or just an amazing company, the following factors matter:

  • IP Pool Size: When you have to scrape vast volumes of data from various geolocations, the size of the IP pool, including IPs from multiple geolocations, is a vital factor to consider.
  • Customer Service Support: When using high-quality proxies, there are always possibilities of errors occurring. In such challenging circumstances, you would need amazing support with the availability of customer service answer calls in place. 
  • Price, Discounts, and Special Offers: When you’re web scraping, since residential proxies matter, you need to know their charge per gigabyte of traffic. You need to send more traffic when scraping large quantities of data, so you either pay a higher price or look for a provider that offers discounts.

Why Should You Use Zenscrape for Web Scraping?

Zenscrape offers a residential proxy server and a Scraper API to proxy scrape from the web. As discussed above, one of the major obstacles to web scraping is CAPTCHAs. So most websites allow APIs to access their web pages without confronting CAPTCHAs or other security measures. They offer various pricing plans, including free plans for the scraper API. 

However, not all websites allow APIs to enter and scrape their data. So in such circumstances, you can use a proxy server with a pool of rotating proxies to proxy scrape data which the Zenscrape provides. Zenscrape offers residential proxy service as well, along with rotating proxies.

Are you interested? Get started with Zenscrape for free!


How to use a proxy with a scraper API for web scraping?

Scraper APIs automatically rotate a pool of residential proxies from various geolocations. All you require is to invoke the API call with the required parameters, and then it will do the rest.

Do proxies get blocked when used for web scraping?

Yes, if you use a limited number of proxies for scraping, the target website blocks you. The solution is to use rotating proxies.

Can proxies be used for geolocation-restricted sites?

Yes, certain countries restrict access to content if you don’t reside in that country or region. So to bypass such restrictions, you must connect with a proxy from that country.

How does a scraper API differ from a proxy for web scraping?

With a Scraper API, security measures such as CAPTCHAs will not be a pain point. However, not all websites allow API access. In such scenarios, proxies are ideal for scraping. Unlike APIs, proxies have to find ways to overcome security challenges.

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