A lot of users starting out on web scraping might ask, “Why do we need proxies to scrape other websites?” Indeed, the two are almost always mentioned together in most web scraping topics, to the point that the salt and pepper of online data extraction
Well, if you mean to really make the most of the power of web scraping, you can’t really do so without partnering with a proxy service that will be able to provide you with any number of proxies you request (assuming there are no shortages at present). The more you get, the higher the costs, of course. But, first, the basics.
In terms of web scraping, what are proxies used for?
In casual terms, proxy servers are essential filters that users from “bad elements” found on the internet that could steal their private information while browsing. In web scraping, though, users largely rely on their ability to impart anonymity. This is made possible by the proxy having its own unique IP address that takes the place of your own.
Once you have a good proxy shielding you as you scrape, you will never have to worry about blocks and blacklists. That said, the best proxy server is expected to not only provide complete protection to you but should be able to handle all your scraping needs as well – and the burden it might place on their servers. This is why it’s almost always best to work with a more advanced proxy service provider like Luminati even from the beginning. But that’s arguably just the tip of the iceberg.
Facts that Underscore the Vital Part Proxies Play in Web Scraping
- Proxies let you forgo device limitations and requirements when making data extraction requests. This is regardless of your geographical location and region as well. So you will practically be able to access and view any type of content you need with their help.
- Certain websites ban certain IP addresses not only individually but in groups as well. But if you have numerous proxies to work with, this problem is pretty much solved from the get-go. You can always request a different IP address from your provider should it get banned, after all.
- They add speed and versatility to the mix as well. After all, proxies practically make it possible for you to create a virtually unlimited number of sessions on a single website or on different websites at the same time. This only serves to stress why most web scrapers can never really do without a substantial list of handy proxies to use – not having them means scraping at a snail’s pace.
- It lets users make a relatively higher volume of requests without fearing that they would end up getting banned. This is especially true if you have a large proxy pool to work with.
Other Tips for Ensuring You Make the Most Out of Your Proxies
- If you are using the Python web crawler, Scrapy, know that there are numerous guides online on how you can rotate IPs easily. The same goes for pretty much other established web scraping tools available at present.
- As far as any web crawler or website downloader is concerned, dedicated proxies (sometimes called private proxies) have no competition as to what type of proxy you should use for scraping.
- As of this writing, IPv6 still has not completely replaced IPv4 as the dominant Internet Protocol used by websites and developers. However, it is certainly getting there, as proven by the slowly increasing number of websites adopting it. You should certainly take the time to know more about the benefits of using an IPv6 proxy considering this fact.