Why Residential Proxies Are Best For Web Scraping
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Web scraping is an increasingly important tool for eCommerce companies. Thanks to web scraping tools, you can gather large amounts of essential data on prices, customer behavior, site traffic, and much more. This data can help you improve your company’s marketing campaigns or provide useful information to sell to customers looking for a leg up in the eCommerce market. Read more about best residential proxy.
But web scraping often brings hassles as well. Many websites, particularly those associated with large retailers, have developed security tools to prevent their data from being scraped. IP addresses sending bots to scrape large quantities of data are often flagged and blocked. When this happens, your company is cut off from valuable sites, and you can quickly fall behind the competition in the race for the best data.
To solve this problem, many businesses are turning to web proxies for their web scraping needs. Though there are many different kinds of proxies, companies often find that residential proxies are the best for web scraping. With Rayobyte, you can find the best residential proxy for your web scraping needs and avoid the costly blocks and delays that prevent you from accessing valuable data.
What Is a Residential Proxy and Why Is It the Best Proxy for Web Scraping?
Understanding web proxies
A web proxy is a service that provides a remote IP address to serve as a kind of “middleman” between your company’s IP address and the website you wish to access. When using your network and server to access a website, the request sent to the site includes information about your IP address location. Because of this, the website can identify where the request is coming from. If you are accessing the site to scrape data, the site can block your IP address from further access and lock you out.
When using a web proxy, however, your requests do not go directly to the website in question. Information sent from your IP address goes to the proxy server instead. This information gets rerouted through the server, which sends it on to the desired site destination. The site sees the IP address from the proxy server rather than your own.
Web proxies also keep harmful malware and cookies from reaching your system. Plus, web proxies are a great way to get around geo-locational blocks. If you want to access a site limited to IP addresses outside your country, you can use a proxy to send a different location to the website and get through the block. This opens up a much larger world of web data that you can scrape.
The benefits of a web proxy for web scraping
Web scraping is a process through which companies or other users “scrape” HTML data from a website. When a user accesses a website directly, they only see front-end data correlated to the site’s user interface.
While this interface displays the site’s data, the user doesn’t have direct access to its backend HTML. If the user wishes to collect data from the website for marketing purposes, they would need to go through the entire website and copy individual pieces of data manually.
The drawbacks of manual data extraction
This process is extremely time-consuming. Even worse, the data included on a website’s front end is formatted for the convenience of site visitors, not for the convenience of other companies seeking to use that data for marketing research.
If you attempt to manually collect relevant marketing data from a website, you will often find yourself wasting time and resources locating the information you need, collecting it, and organizing it in the relevant files. These time and resource drains can set you well behind the competition and end up costing you much more in the long term.
How web scraping works
Web scraping presents a much better alternative. When scraping data from a website, you send bots to access its underlying HTML code and extract it to a database. This not only allows you to gather all of a website’s relevant data extremely quickly, but it also makes the process of organization, formatting, and filing significantly faster.
Of course, effective web scraping requires you to get around any anti-scraping mechanisms a website may have in place. Across the online world, web scraping acceptance varies from site to site. While some websites welcome web scraping and others tolerate it, some websites put security tools in place to identify web scraping bots and block access.
Unfortunately, many of the large retail sites that include valuable marketing data fall into the latter category. Attempts to scrape these websites for valuable data are often met with blocks and delays for your IP address.
Web scraping and proxies
Web proxies serve as an excellent resource for companies looking to get around these anti-scraping measures. With a proxy “middleman” in place, your web scraping requests will not appear to be coming from you on the website’s end. Instead, the website will see requests coming from a different IP address and server.
A site’s anti-scraping features will have a much harder time banning access from your end without clear information on the IP site you are using to extract the data. Plus, a proxy adds an additional layer of security on your end. By negative costly bans and downtimes, proxies minimize the amount of time and resources you need to expend to effectively scrape the data you need.
How residential proxies differ
The different types of proxies are defined by the type of remote server they use. For example, data center proxies provide IP addresses from remote data center servers. These servers tend to offer larger data capabilities and speed. Data center proxies also feature centralized servers that spread a single IP address among multiple users. It also means that companies who need a proxy for web scraping may have less success avoiding costly bans and downtimes.
In contrast, residential proxies offer users remote proxy IP addresses from real internet service providers. Importantly, these IP addresses are associated with individual residential devices used by actual web users. The best residential proxies feature pools of residential IP addresses that users have leased to the proxy provider. Once leased out, the proxies allow users to reroute their web requests through a residential IP address.
When you use an effective residential proxy for web access, it intercepts all web requests sent by your server. When these requests get to another website, they appear as if they are coming from your residential proxy’s server.
Why residential proxies are the best proxy service for scraping web data
Residential proxies have several advantages over other types when it comes to web scraping. One of the downsides of a data center proxy is that your remote data center server offers a single IP address that you will likely share with multiple proxy users. If your data center IP address gets blocked by a website you’re trying to scrape, you won’t have the means to regain access to the site through another proxy server.
Residential proxies are much harder to flag and block when used for web scraping. Most eCommerce websites drive their traffic from large numbers of visitors with residential IP addresses. Site cybersecurity features often cannot recognize and block scraping requests from residential IP addresses without blocking access to other site visitors as well. Plus, the best residential proxies provide different physical locations associated with the residential IP addresses in question. This spreads your geo-locational information around multiple locations as it appears on the website you are accessing, which makes it much harder to block.
The Best Residential Proxy for Web Scraping
While web scraping offers abundant benefits in terms of marketing, customer service, and industry insight, it does require uninterrupted access to be effective. In a market as fast-paced as the world of eCommerce, companies like yours must access very large quantities of data in an instant. Not only that, you must be able to collect all of the information you need, organize it into comprehensive categories, and input it into readable templates. This would be a challenge even if the websites you are trying to access were not constantly blocking IP addresses that they flag as potential scraping operations.
The best residential proxies provide much-needed efficiency, security, and anonymity for companies that rely on web scraping to grow their business and customer base. Remote residential IP addresses can neutralize a site’s anti-scraping measures and maximize your ability to gather the data you need quickly and efficiently.
While the best residential proxies offer superior services for web scraping, you still have a few different options. You can often choose from proxy providers that feature rotating residential IP addresses or those that offer static IP addresses. The best residential proxy providers also offer mobile residential proxy services.
Rotating residential proxies
Rotating residential proxy services come with a larger collection of different residential IP addresses that users can access from their servers. As the name suggests, these proxies “rotate” among different residential servers across multiple requests sent from a single server on the user’s end. The best residential proxy providers accumulate multiple residential IP addresses from users across different locations. Customers can then access these from their servers.
In most cases, a rotating residential proxy is the best residential proxy for web scraping. This is because it allows web scraping requests to shuffle through many different residential IP addresses within one website.
The main issue that companies encounter when web scraping is the risk of their IP address being flagged and blocked when sending requests for large quantities of data. Even if you are using a web proxy, a single proxy IP address can still be flagged and blocked by a website from which you need to access data. With only one proxy IP address, a block like this can send you back to square one for the data you need
The upside of rotating residential proxies is that they offer multiple residential IP addresses that you can use to send scraping requests. The best residential proxy providers offer a nearly unlimited number of residential servers that you can switch among when scraping web data.
Even better, the best residential proxy providers allow you to set the criteria for switching to a new residential IP address. For example, you could set your proxy to switch to a new IP address every few minutes. Or you can get a new residential IP address with each request you send from your server.
If one residential IP address from a residential proxy provider gets flagged and banned by a website, you can quickly switch to another one and immediately regain access. The best residential proxy providers provide a quick and efficient transition from one residential IP address to another. This way, you can focus your time and energy on collecting the data you need without having to worry about potential bans adding another layer of difficulty to the process.
Static residential proxies
In contrast to rotating residential proxies, static residential proxies provide a single, static, residential IP address. You remain connected to one residential server until you manually disconnect or switch to a new proxy.
Static residential proxies are an older type of proxy. Without the ability to switch to new residential proxies quickly and efficiently, they tend to be less useful for web scraping than rotating residential proxies. If your static residential IP address gets blocked by a website, you will have to manually switch to a new proxy server or disconnect entirely. This affords much less convenience and efficiency in the web scraping process.
Still, static residential proxies do have advantages in certain circumstances. For example, they can be useful if you need to scrape data from a social media page or any other site that you need to log in to.
One potential disadvantage of rotating among multiple residential IP addresses is that you need to reenter your login information to any relevant site when switching to a new server. When using a static residential proxy, you only need to log in once and then can remain on the site for however long you need. And even a cheap static residential proxy will afford you adequate geo-locational access to any major social media website that you need to log into for data scraping.
How to Buy Cheap Residential Proxies
When looking into residential proxies for your web scraping needs, balance the price against the value of the information you need to access. The best residential proxy providers offer different kinds of costs and payment options depending on factors like capabilities, features, data capacity, and security.
It’s also a good idea to balance the efficiency offered by a residential proxy provider with the potential costs of avoiding downtimes during web scraping. Make sure that you will get a good return on investment from the data that you will be scraping from the web. If the potential benefits to your business afforded by this data are unlikely to exceed the upfront cost of a more expensive residential proxy server, look for less expensive options.
Still, even among cheap providers, residential proxy services should offer a degree of security and verification among the residential IP addresses that they have leased. They should also prioritize legality and ethics in their proxy services, even if they are on the cheaper side.
As a responsible company, you want to ensure that you scrape web data ethically and avoid any illegal actions. Residential proxy providers should have comprehensive screening for both customers and the owners of their residential proxy IP addresses. By ensuring that no one on either end of the proxy service is using a proxy for illegal or unethical activity, even a cheap proxy provider can keep your company safe from any ethical or legal issues that may come with less reputable proxy services.
When looking to buy a cheap residential proxy, investigate the kind of port capabilities offered. Your server’s port is a piece of numerical data that dictates how your server connects to outside clients on a website. Most servers use HTTP ports, though some may use HTTP(S) or SOCKS ports.
When connecting your server to a residential proxy, you will need to coordinate your particular port with the proxy’s server. If your residential proxy provider does not provide proxies compatible with your server’s port, you cannot connect. Therefore, look for cheap residential proxy providers with proxies that can connect with your own server’s ports.
Cheap residential proxy providers
Sometimes you can find special deals for new proxy users. In some cases, you can even find customizable payment plans that afford you the flexibility to craft a specific service that best corresponds to your company’s unique needs.
If you are looking for a quality residential proxy provider for your web scraping needs, explore different types of payment plans to find the one that best meets your needs and your budget. In most cases, good residential proxy providers charge per specific quantity of data. Rayobyte’s residential proxy services feature plans from $12.50 per gigabyte for personal proxy users, $6 per gigabyte for professional proxy users, and $5 per gigabyte for businesses.
In these kinds of plans, what you pay depends on the amount of data you access with your proxy server. While $6 per gigabyte might not sound like a lot, keep in mind that web scraping often includes hundreds of gigabytes of data downloaded in a short timeframe. Fortunately, cheap proxy providers offer specialized payment plans that also correspond to the particular data needs of proxy users. Still, when looking for a cheap residential proxy, have a sound estimate of the quantities of data that you will likely access via web scraping.
Using a residential proxy free trial
Some services offer free residential proxies. However, while they may appear to save you money, it’s a good idea to avoid them. These providers don’t verify the residential IP addresses that they lease. You have a high risk of getting a residential proxy that is slow, unreliable, and potentially already blocked by many of the websites you want to scrape data from.
The good news is that many of the best residential proxy providers do offer free trials for new users. At Rayobyte, you can sample a high-quality residential proxy with a free trial of 50 megabytes of data. Different proxy providers might likewise offer free trials by data quantities. Or they might offer free demos on a daily or weekly basis.
Finding the Best Residential Proxy with Rayobyte
In today’s eCommerce market, web scraping is increasingly becoming a necessity rather than a simple luxury. But your web scraping returns are only as good as the proxy you use. Poor-quality proxy providers hit you with too many blocks, delays, and downtime to scrape web data effectively. Find a residential proxy provider that combines high-quality proxies with affordable pricing, comprehensive security, and excellent customer service.
At Rayobyte, you can find the industry’s best residential proxy services for all web scraping needs and preferences. We feature a vast pool of residential proxies for you to use, all of which are approved by our thorough vetting. And with an unmatched commitment to ethics and legality, Rayobyte affords you peace of mind when web scraping.
Our residential proxy services include plans for individuals, professionals, businesses, corporate entities, and more. You can even customize a residential proxy plan to better suit your particular needs. Plus, Rayobyte also offers comprehensive mobile proxy offerings for customers looking to scrape data from mobile sites. So, whether you are new to residential proxies or an experienced web scraper looking to up your game, get in touch with Rayobyte to start your free trial of our residential proxies today!
The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.
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