12 Questions Answered About Web Scraping and Proxies – The Ultimate Guide 2019

Web scraping is the technique applied in extracting data from various websites. Once the data is received, it is saved to your computer’s local file.

The Role Played by Proxies in Web Scraping

A proxy allows you to route your requests through its server and IP address. When using the proxy, all the websites you visit will be unable to see your real IP address. Instead, these websites will see the IP address of your proxy, giving users the ability to scrap the webs anonymously.

Questions on Web Scraping and Proxies

1. Why Are Proxies Important for Web Scraping?

Plenty of benefits that come with using proxies for web scraping. Such include:

● The proxy grants you anonymity hence reducing the chances of your spider getting blocked or banned.
● A proxy pool enables you to input high volumes of requests without getting banned.
● You can make unlimited continuous sessions on different websites.
● A proxy allows you to get through blanket IP bans.

Source: SEOClerks

2. What Are My Proxy Options?

There are three main types of proxy IPs to choose from; residential IPs, datacenter IPs, and Mobile IPs.

● Residential IPs
These are IPs granted to private residences that enable you to route your requests through the residential network. They are hard to obtain compared to others, which makes it expensive.
Read more about residential proxies: https://proxyway.com/
● Datacenter IPs
These are the most common IPs used as they are readily available. With the right proxy server, it is easy to build a secure web crawling platform for your business.
● Mobile IPs
These IPs are private and created for mobile devices, also making them the most expensive choice.

3. Why Should I Use a Proxy Pool?

Using just one proxy will significantly reduce crawling reliability and geo-targeting options. You, therefore, need to acquire a pool of proxies that can manage your requests concurrently.

Factors Determining the Size of You Proxy Pool:

● Number of requests per hour
● Target websites
● Quality of the proxy IPs
● Type of IPs used- is it residential, datacenter, or mobile?
● The sophistication of the proxy management system

Source: Scrapinghub

4. Why Does My Business Need Web Scraping?

Here are the top reasons why any business needs web scraping:

● Scraping enables the company to gather public opinion and act on it.
● Your online presence will be tracked
● Scrapping allows custom analysis to be made
● Online reputation. The business gets to understand the needs of their clients and help them accordingly.

5. How Do I Integrate My Proxies Into My Scraping Software?

● Proxy integration is an easy step that consists of two parts:
● Passing the web scraper’s request through your proxy
● Rotating your proxy IP address properly in between the requests

Source: Hartley Brody

6. How Do I Manage My Proxy Pool?

There are three main solutions to managing a vast proxy pool:

● Do it yourself
As much as this is the cheapest option, it is also time-consuming and wastes resources. It is best suited for ten or fewer proxies.
● Install proxy rotators
While picking a proxy server provider, get one that also offers a package on proxy rotators. The rotators will take care of the more complex issues and leave you to handle easy tasks such as throttling and banning identification logic.
● Let it be done for you
There are smart downloaders available for purchase online that manage the proxy pool on your behalf. Your spider will request the downloader’s API, after which it will return all the required data.

7. How Do I Pick the Best Proxy Solution for My Project?

In this section, we shall look into factors you need to consider when choosing a proxy solution for your project.

● Budget
If your funds are limited, it is recommended that you manage your proxy pool by going for the cheapest ones available. The great thing about proxies is that there are plenty of good ones that come at an affordable rate.
● Priority
If you aim to gain skills and knowledge on proxies, your best bet would be to buy a selected pool and manage them on your own. However, if your priority is based on web data, it is best to outsource a management solution.

Source: Seobility

8. What Are the Legal Considerations for Using Proxies?

Using proxies to browse different websites is completely legal. However, you must ensure that your spiders do not cause any harm to the website you visit.
Read more about this policy on – https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/lookingafterandusingdataforpublicbenefit/policies/policieswebscrapingpolicy

9. How Can I Safely Practice Web Scraping?

Here are some of the top practices to ensure scraping activities go about safely:

● Be respectful: When a website detects your scraping bots, contact your proxy server provider and ask them to slow down your server.
● Do not cause harm: Inputting too many requests can cause an overload to the server and cause damage.
● Do not overdo it: Restrict the requests made to various websites so that the latter does not feel overwhelmed.

10. How Many Proxy Servers Do I Need?

The number of servers you get should solely depend on the volume of your request. The higher the volume, the more servers you’ll need, and vice versa.

Source: learnabhi.com

11. In What Fields is Web Scraping Most Powerful?

Web scraping has proven most powerful in the following areas:

● Lead generation
● Bank account aggregation
● News aggregation
● Social listing

12. What Proxy Solutions Can I Choose From?

You can either go for in-house proxy management or outsourced proxy management. In-house management is budget-friendly since you can acquire a proxy from as low as 75 cents. Outsourced management is costly as you will need to part with at least $250 monthly to acquire data.

Source: LinkedIn

Bottom Line

Web scraping has slowly become a norm in the digital world. Remember not to be complacent when using proxies and not to cause harm to other websites to avoid facing legal repercussions.