How To Scrape With Proxies?
Users like to keep proxies turned on for a variety of reasons. It can help with the bandwidth. It can help surpass blanket IP bans in some cases. Some businesses consider using proxies as a must for web scraping. But some websites block web scraping using proxies. Before checking why websites block proxies or how to prevent getting web scraping blocked, let us see what web scraping.
What is web scraping?
The process of extracting data from a website is called web scraping. After extraction, the user converts it into a suitable format, such as a spreadsheet or API. Web scraping can be performed either manually or using automated tools. Today, most businesses employ automated tools for web scraping. These tools can extract the specific information that the user has requested and organize it in a useful format – a CSV file, an Excel file, or JSON format.
What is web scraping used for?
Web scraping plays an important role in some businesses. Now that we have seen web scraping let us explore the various places where it is used.
- A business can scrape data from e-commerce websites to analyze how its competitors are performing.
- Scraping financial data can help in analyzing or researching market trends.
- When a business is migrating to a new site, it may scrape site data before migration.
- Some businesses use web scraping for lead generation.
- Bettors perform web scraping on sports websites to get stats and other information.
Thus, there are many places where website scraping is useful.
How is web scraping detected?
Websites targeted by web scraping tools have some techniques to identify if their data is being scraped. Most websites have a system to maintain a log of the IPs that access the website. Websites also analyze these IP addresses.
If a website finds that the rate of requests generating from a single IP address is greater than what a human can generally accomplish, it will further analyze the IP address. Websites have access to a list of proxy servers. They can compare the IP address with those on the proxy server list to detect web scraping. If the IPs have the same subnet blocking range, the website may either block the IP address, provide misleading information or suppress the IP’s request rate.
How to Prevent being detected?
If a business gets blacklisted or blocked by a website, it can no longer perform web scraping. So, it is essential to be aware of ways to prevent web scraping proxy.
- One way to prevent the target website from detecting the proxy IP is by reducing requests per second. It will minimize the chances of the IP address showing up with a high number of requests. But this action will bring down the crawling speed.
- Another solution is to rotate the requests to a set of residential IPs so that the website cannot detect the proxy server. As there is no subnet block range in residential IPs, one can successfully prevent getting detected or blocked.
Tools of web scraping
There are many web scraping tools in the market. Some are better than others. Here are some of the top web scraping tools.
- Import.io – Several businesses use this tool as it employs cutting-edge technology. It is an easy web scraping tool.
- Dexi.io – works without download and allows saving the collected data on cloud platforms.
Apart from the above, some of the best web data scraping tools include ScrapingHub, ParseHub, 80legs, and Scraper.
Best practices for web scraping
A good practice to perform web scraping without getting detected is not following the same web scraping pattern. Web scraping tools are programmed to follow a crawling pattern which is not the case with humans surfing the web. Websites that employ anti-crawling tools can detect repetitive crawling patterns and block the IP address. Include actions like random clicks, mouse movements, and other random actions to mimic a human.
Web scraping use cases
Web scraping has six primary use cases which are listed below, in order of popularity.
- Web scraping can help companies gather ideas and curate relevant content for their website.
- Scraping helps businesses understand and analyze customer sentiments and opinions about certain products and services.
- Some companies perform scraping to extract the contact details of existing and potential customers.
- Scraping can also help track the prices set by the competitors.
- Very few companies use web scraping to monitor weather data or changes in the websites of their competitors.
Regardless of the purpose, it is an unwritten rule to use proxies for web scraping.
Why we need a proxy for web scraping?
What is the necessity of proxies in web scraping? Why should companies use proxy in web scraping?
It is a way to hide the scraper’s IP address and prevent getting blocked from the target site. Here are some reasons why proxies are a must in web scraping.
- It enables the user to mask their IP address and remain anonymous while scraping the web’s required data.
- Even if the proxy server is detected and block, one can switch to a different proxy server. The real IP address remains unaffected.
- Every website will have a limit on the number of requests it can take from a single user per unit of time. A proxy server will help surpass the limit. One can distribute the requests among several servers so that the target website thinks that the requests are coming from different users.
There are many things that proxy servers provide benefits with. One of them is that Proxy servers are also effective in filtering out malicious requests and offer faster load times.
- What is a web scraping proxy service?
Web scraping is the process of extracting specific data from websites using bots or special tools. A scraping tool not only extracts the required data but can also replicate it in an organized form on a different platform.
- What are rotating proxies?
A rotating proxy assigns a new IP address for every connection. The IP addresses are chosen from the proxy pool. For instance, if a user launches 1000 requests to a website, a rotating proxy can generate 1000 different IP addresses. Rotating proxies help in performing web scraping without the risk of getting blacklisted or blocked by the target website.
- What is a residential proxy?
A residential proxy allows the user to choose a city, country, or a specific mobile carrier. The user can then surf the web pretending to be a user from the chosen geographical location. All the user’s server requests are channeled through an alternate IP address provided by the residential proxy. It is useful in web scraping data from sites that are restricted in some areas.
- What is IP blocking?
IP blocking or IP address blocking is the act of concealing one’s true IP address while surfing the web. It can help in anonymous web scraping. It can also filter the malicious requests coming from other sites. A user can block the IP address using measures like proxy servers.