Technology

Web Scraping with Proxies

What is a proxy server?

A proxy server is a server that retrieves data out on the internet such as a web page on behalf of a user. For instance, as usual, when a computer wants to view a web page out on the internet, you would open up a web browser and type in the address then retrieve that web page from its web server. And when you go through a proxy server, it will act like a middleman and retrieve that web page for you. Now when you want to go to a website, the proxy server receives the request for your computer and it will directly find and bring back the web page on your behalf and send it to your computer.

Why should you use proxies for web scraping?

There are some benefits that you can gain, especially when making use of best proxy server for web scraping.

1. Hide your web scraping machine IP’s address

Without using a proxy, your public IP address is visible. A proxy server allows you to surf the internet anonymously despite the online tasks you are doing because it obscures your IP address. IP masking is the greatest benefit that you can enjoy when using a proxy server.

2. Help you prevent IP blocking

As your scraper’s IP address is invisible, the target site is unable to block you if your tool goes past the site’s limitations. And it will block the proxy IP address in lieu of your web scraping machines.

3. Help you get past limits on the target sites

A lot of large sites apply software to limit the number of requests a user can send in a particular period of time. When there are multiple of requests coming in from only one single IP address, it can detect and send back some error messages to prevent future requests from that client. In case you want to obtain a great deal of information and data from a large target website in a short span of time, you are liable to have to deal with its rate limits. Therefore, using proxies can enable you to get around this kind of restriction. Proxies will allocate the requests among different proxies to make the target site think that they come from many users. This means that the requests you send will stay under the rate limit and not activate the software.

How many proxies do you need?

To be honest, I’d say it depends. If we cannot check the code the target site is using to implement the rate limit, there is no other way but to guess wisely and logically at how to remain under the rate limits. Normally, a real person sends from 5 to 10 requests per minute, and it is estimated that in an hour, a human user will send nearly 300-600 requests. We can speculate that sites may set the rate limit to roughly this number, and it can be more secure to let each of your proxies to send 600 or less than 600 requests an hour. Then you need to take the total number of requests that your scraper can send per hour into account. If your machine can handle 60,000 URLs in an hour, it means that you will need 100 proxies to get past the rate limits.

Which proxy servers should I use?

There are some best proxy servers that you can try such as Hide My Ass, Express VPN or SurfShark.

Furthermore, WINTR is also a great tool for you since it comprises a large pool of residential proxies that allow you to scrape a web page from other areas without being blocked. This WINTR is a big data tool as well as a complete proxying and web scraping solution. You can click on the following link to visit it:  https://www.wintr.com/

 

 

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and Become.com. You can reach me at kamransharief@gmail.com

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Kamran Sharief

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