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Using A Proxy Server For Web Scraping: A Definitive Guide
Updated · Aug 28, 2023
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Web scraping collects data from websites, often using software. It allows users to extract useful information from web pages and save it for analysis.
This process is legal if it uses publicly available data and follows the terms and policies of the scraped website. Unauthorized access or malicious intent can make it illicit.
A proxy server mediates between your computer and the website you wish to scrape. It conceals your IP address, letting you make requests to the target website without revealing your identity. This article will discuss using a proxy server for web scraping.
🔑 Key Takeaways
How To Use A Proxy Server For Web Scraping?
To use a proxy server for web scraping, configure your scraping script or tool to route requests through the proxy. This helps maintain privacy and hide your IP address.
Here’s how you can use a proxy server for web scraping:
Step 1: Choose a proxy server
There are various best paid and free proxies to access the internet safely. Choose among data center, residential, or mobile proxies.
Make sure to choose one that suits your needs.
What is the Best Proxy Server?
Smartproxy is a top-rated proxy provider trusted by many. Its 40 million+ proxies from 195+ locations help bypass CAPTCHAs, geo-blocks, and IP bans. It offers a free trial and has a high rating of 4.7 on Trustpilot with 89% 5-star ratings, making it one of the best in the industry.
Step 2: Get the proxy server details
Once you have a proxy server, you must acquire the details to connect. This usually includes the proxy IPs and port numbers.
Some proxies also require authentication credentials, so it would be best to secure this information.
Step 3: Configure your scraping script or tool
Depending on the programming language or scraping tool you’re using, you’ll need to set up the proxy configuration.
💡 Did You Know?
With web scraping, you can gather specific data and control the process. But for larger tasks, consider Bright Data's Scraping Browser. It's an advanced tool with an automated browser that overcomes traditional limitations. Learn here about cost-effective data retrieval with a scraping browser.
If you’re using web scraping tools, they usually provide options to configure proxy settings within their interface. Refer to the documentation or settings menu of your selected tool.
Step 4: Integrate proxies into your web scraping software
Proxy integration involves Python. Check out the steps below to use a proxy in a request module with Python:
How to use a proxy in a request module with Python?
1. Import the necessary modules into your Python program. This includes the requests library, which allows you to make HTTP requests.
2. Set up the proxy IP address and port. You can get this information from the proxy provider.
3. Define the website URL you want to scrape.
4. Use the request.get function to forward a GET request to the URL. Pass the proxy as a parameter to the function to route the request through the proxy server.
5. After sending the request, check the response to confirm if the connection was successful.
6. You can also create a pool of proxies to lessen the chances of being detected or blocked. Iterate through the proxy pool to avoid rate limiting or IP blocking.
🗒️ Helpful Article:
A proxy aids in easier, safer, and private browsing by concealing your IP and employing an alternate one for sending requests. Rotating proxies allow using a pool of IP addresses, enabling multiple requests with distinct IPs. Read our guide to learn Python-based proxy rotation.
Why Should You Get A Proxy Server For Web Scraping?
Using proxy servers for web scraping presents numerous benefits, making it a vital tool for data extraction.
✅ Pro Tip:
A proxy server enhances online privacy, security, and speed, but problems like buffering and application errors may require disabling. Explore our guide on turning off the proxy server and its potential drawbacks.
Here are some reasons you should use proxies for collecting data:
Proxies hide the scraper’s IP address. It poses a challenge for websites to detect and block web scrapers. This lessens your chance of getting banned, thus allowing more reliable crawling of websites.
- Geographic targeting
Proxies allow access to region-specific content. A proxy can make it look like you are making requests from a location where the content is available.
- Bypassing restrictions
Proxies help bypass measures like CAPTCHAs, IP address blocking, and rate-limiting. It allows multiple requests without triggering these restrictions.
Proxies enable simultaneous requests. This saves you time and effort when scraping large amounts of data.
Best Proxy Servers For Web Scraping
Numerous proxy servers are accessible for web scraping. Choosing which proxy to use depends on your needs and preferences. Generally, the best ones are fast, reliable, user-friendly, and secure.
Below is a list of proxy servers best used for web scraping:
This offers residential and dedicated data center proxies. SmartProxy supports Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, allowing for convenient integration.
With plans starting at $7.50 monthly, it is one of the most affordable options.
IPRoyal offers reliable proxy services with flexible IP rotation options, sticky sessions, and API access. Its residential proxies use real IP addresses from genuine users, ensuring no blocking or detection.
IPRoyal also supports SOCKS and HTTP for anonymous data crawling and extraction.
This offers different proxy types, like residential, mobile, and data center proxies.
It has a vast pool of over 72 million rotating IPs worldwide. Bright Data also offers data extraction services with pre-built templates and a code editor for customization.
Oxylabs presents data center, residential, and AI-assisted proxy services for efficient web scraping.
It supports proxy rotations and offers fast SOCKS5 proxies. This proxy server provider also specializes in unlocking public web data through its public residential proxies and scraper APIs.
Zyte offers a proxy service and a data extraction tool. It provides a structured format for scraped data by specifying the page URL.
✅ Pro Tip:
Also, Zyte offers scalability by handling up to 11 billion monthly requests.
Using proxy servers for web scraping is vital. It has a lot of benefits — like preserving anonymity, circumventing geo-restrictions, and bypassing regulations.
Routing your requests through different proxy IP addresses allows you to scrape data without getting blocked or detected. It lets you gather data more efficiently while protecting your identity.
While hundreds of proxy servers are available, picking the best ones can be challenging. Consider the features of each one and decide according to your preferences.
Is ProxyScrape safe?
Using ProxyScrape’s paid proxies is generally safe, as no significant security concerns are associated with their service.
Can you get your IP banned for web scraping?
Website owners can detect repeated requests to scrape websites from the same IP address. They may block your IP address if they observe such activity in their server logs. This is most applicable if you exceed certain requests within a specific time frame.
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