If you have used web scraping, you already know how important it is to have a proxy server for web scraping. Using a proxy is very important when you are scraping the web for data.
However, it can get complicated to choose and manage proxies by yourself. Here’s where a proxy server comes in. A proxy server can help take care of all of your proxies for you.
If you want to understand better web scraping and choose the best proxy server, read below.
Web scraping helps you retrieve data from a website by analyzing the HTML code and downloading the data you require. For bigger projects, web scraping is usually done through automated software such as a web crawler or a bot. These tools can capture all the data you require and store it in a file on your device in the form of a spreadsheet or a chart.
You can use web scraping for various purposes such as:
- Monitoring eCommerce price
- News Aggregation
- SEO result page monitoring
- Lead Generation
- Bank Account Aggregation
When using web scraping, you have to use proxies to avoid websites from banning you. These proxies reduce the chances of getting blocked by the websites and help you extract data more efficiently.
Several sites only display content based on the location of the IP address. You can access this data by connecting to a server-based in a different location using a proxy. You can also use the proxy to put in multiple requests to a website at one time using various IP addresses, saving a considerable amount of time.
Proxies also create a secure channel of communication between your device and the internet so you can browse the internet anonymously.
Managing the proxy yourself can be a daunting task as you have to rotate them frequently. Moreover, you have to make sure you connect to a valid proxy to avoid any security threat. Rotating proxies manually can get frustrating, and it is best if you leave it to a computer program.
There are several proxy providers, and not all of them provide what they promise. So, you should be cautious while choosing a proxy provider. We have made a list of Do’s and Don’ts that you can consider while looking for a proxy server to make a choice easier for you.
Make sure the provider has both residential and datacenter proxies.
First of all, you have to make sure the provider you choose offers both residential and datacenter proxies. Residential proxies provide IP addresses that have real physical addresses associated with them. These mimic real users and can help avoid websites from detecting a bot.
All residentials proxies have an ISP associated with them. However, datacenter proxies don’t have an associated ISP. A data center proxy is much faster and economical as it provides a temporary IP address to single users.
Make sure the provider has good customer support.
Another essential thing to ensure before choosing a provider is to make sure they have good customer support. All the features they provide won’t do you any good if they cannot help you when you are stuck.
Make sure the provider supports multiple locations.
As talked earlier, a proxy can help you access geo-restricted content by connecting you to the website through a server-based in a different location. If the provider has servers in multiple locations, you can access the content available at specific locations.
Make sure they have an IP rotation service.
When scraping the web, you cannot rely on a single proxy IP address to do all the scraping for you. Eventually, the website will recognize the IP address and ban it from submitting further requests. To avoid this, the provider must have a proxy pool to rotate IPs. This will prevent websites from tracking and blocking you when you are looking for the data you need to make essential business decisions.
Verify that there are enough IPs in the provider’s IP pool
Some providers claim they have thousands of proxies in their pool. While they might have those many proxies, but chances are some of them are shared with other users. Using a shared proxy server will only increase your chances of being blocked by the website. Before choosing a proxy, make sure that their claims are not false and that they have enough data center and residential IPs in their pool.
Avoid smaller providers who often do not have adequate support.
Avoid small providers that offer various features at a low cost but do not have good support. It is natural to get stuck at some point. At that time, no number of features will be used if you cannot connect to the customer care at the time of urgency.
Avoid providers promising unlimited traffic but limit you with the number of threads or IP changes.
Ensure the provider has a significant number of threads and IP changes available as these are necessary tools to prevent websites from blocking you.
Choosing a proxy provider can get complicated because of so many options available in the market. Ensure that you do not fall for the unlimited trap as, more often than not, they do not provide appropriate services. Make sure to follow all the Do’s mentioned above and avoid the Don’ts while finalizing on a proxy server for web scraping.