It can become complicated to choose a proxy server for web scraping because of the variety of available options. If you are familiar with using a web scraper, you understand how important it is to choose a proxy to avoid a ban. People use web scraping to extract large amounts of data from different online platforms in a short time. For this purpose, you can use automated services such as web crawlers or a bot to work for you.
A proxy is a third party server that you can use to receive and send data requests using an IP address. If you are transferring data without a proxy, you expose your IP address to your browsing website. However, if you use a proxy, the website will only see the proxy server’s IP address.
What is a proxy server?
A proxy server acts as an encrypted channel between your device and the internet. It helps you browse different websites anonymously by masking your real IP address with a proxy IP address. Several proxy server providers in the market offer a variety of features. When you use a proxy server, all your traffic flows through the server to provide you a safe and secure channel to visit a website.
When you browse the internet using a proxy server, you transfer all your data through a gateway that encrypts the data. The decrypted data can only be accessed by the user who has the decryption key or code. Also, by hiding your IP with an IP based in a different location, you can access geo-restricted data as well.
When you use a web scraping service without a proxy, you expose your IP address to the website. If the website detects an unusual amount of traffic from your IP, it can flag it as a bot or scraper and block your IP address. A proxy server helps you avoid this by using proxies and IP rotation service.
What are the few things to look for in a Proxy Server?
When looking for a proxy server for web scraping, you have to check for certain features. These features are essential to obtain the best result from your web scraper. Some of these features are:
Combination of Datacenter and Residential Proxies
Datacenter proxies are among the most used kinds of proxies because of their easy availability and economical pricing. A Datacenter proxy, unlike a residential proxy, does not have any physical address associated with it as it does not have any ISP. This provides a quick solution for temporary scraping needs.
Residential proxies differ from the datacenter proxies because they exist and have a location and ISP associated with them. Residential proxies are more secure than datacenter proxies as they mimic real users, which reduces the chance of websites flagging you.
Having a proxy server with both data center and residential proxies will cater to your every need. So choose a server that offers both the proxies type.
Have a good number of ISPs
ISP is the internet service provider that allocates your IP address. When a proxy server has more ISPs, they will have more IP addresses that you can use. It is vital to have a large pool of IP addresses for easy IP rotation. IP rotation ensures that your data crawler can work without any issue.
Have Servers in various Locations
A proxy is a great way to avoid the geo-based restrictions on the websites. Some websites only offer specific content to the viewer depending on the location they are visiting. Using a proxy, you can connect to different places and access all the website’s data. Having more locations in your proxy server will help you access multiple locations and bypass all geographical restrictions.
Offers IP rotation
IP rotation is one of the essential features to look for in a proxy server. Having a large number of proxies won’t help if the server does not offer IP rotation service. With IP rotation, you can automatically rotate between different proxies in regular intervals to prevent the websites from detecting your proxies for unusual activities. IP rotation ensures that your web scraper continues working without being interrupted.
Good Customer Service
When looking for any online service, you should check for their customer service. As these services do not have any physical location, you can only contact them through the digital medium for resolving an issue. Ensure that the proxy server has good customer service to help you get stuck at some point.
A proxy server is a must-have tool if you regularly use web scraping for your business. Web scraping is a great way to collect data to improve your marketing strategies and gain better leads. However, to make the most out of the scraper, you must use a proxy server that will help you browse the internet securely. It provides you with anonymity that allows you to bypass the website’s anti-scraping protocols.