Extracting content from a website is never easy. The proxy plays an important role in web scraping. That's why you need to choose which proxies you want to use and which proxies you need, dedicated or shared proxy.
Here is a quick selection of the best proxy providers with some advice to help you choose the right one for you.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy is a computer or server that acts as an intermediary between the browser and the Internet. If there is no proxy, your request for connection to the site www.website.com will be sent directly to the server of this site.
But, with a proxy server, your request will first be sent to the server that acts as an intermediary, which is the proxy server.
Why use proxies for web scraping?
Besides the fact that a proxy can help you improve security, it is also used to block IP addresses. Therefore, by using a proxy for scraping, the target site cannot recognize your IP address.
By using a proxy to hide the hardware's IP address, the target site will not be able to track the source of the scan. Otherwise, your identity will be disclosed and you could be sued if you misuse web scraping.
The second reason to use a proxy is to exceed the connection limit.
Large websites (such as e-commerce or content-rich websites) have protocols in place that detect suspicious requests, such as copying content from multiple pages.
With a proxy (or proxies), you have multiple IP addresses and you can use these IP addresses to make multiple requests. This way, each IP will not exceed the possible connection limit on the target site.
Which proxy provider to use?
Since there are hundreds of proxy providers on the network, the selection is difficult. Before making your choice, do compare their offers based on the benefits offered (such as specs and prices). To make it easier for you, here are some of the best options.
#1 ScrapingBot, a turnkey web scraping tool
ScrapingBot is not just a proxy provider, but a turnkey web scraping tool for developers.
Coupled with a web scraper, the API will overcome all the obstacles that stand in its way, such as proxies, CAPTCHAs or browsers.
So you can retrieve raw HTML from any website without getting blocked with a simple API call.
With ScrapingBot, you don't have to manage proxies, the API manages the choice of IP addresses and their rotation thanks to several hundred thousand residential and mobile proxies in more than 50 countries.
ScrapingBot has several specific APIs for retail, real estate or even campsites, but also for retrieving raw HTML. A PrestaShop module is also available
- Check the ScrapingBot subscriptions plans.
#2 Bright Data
Bright Data, formerly known as Luminati, is one of the earliest and most well-known proxy providers. More intended for large-scale use, Bright Data offers one of the best proxy servers on the market, thanks in particular to their more than 70 million residential IP addresses rotating in every country and city of the world. You can also access them by using their Chrome extension, their API or their proxy manager.
Concretely, Bright Data is one of the most efficient proxy providers. They offer features like a random header generator, built-in captcha resolver, or predefined configurations to manipulate proxies. They have one of the largest varieties of products.
Their prices are based on bandwidth. Thus, a data center proxy is accessible from $0.40 /month and per IP, $3.00 for a residential proxy. They also have pay-as-you-go options or pay per IP options at low scale.
- Visit the Bright Data website ↗
Smartproxy offers an all-in-one data harvesting tool that lets you scrape major search engines like Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, etc., and any big e-commerce site. Their search engine proxies combine a proxy network of 40 million high-quality IPs worldwide together with a scraper, and a data parser.
This solution can help you improve your SEO metrics, gather paid and organic data in real-time, compare prices and research your competitors or the market. To ensure that you get your money’s worth, Smartproxy goes through the whole proxy pool and chooses the best proxies for each of your requests. If you want to get your hands on this product, it starts at $100/month + VAT for 35,000 successful requests.
- Visit the Smartproxy website ↗
#4 MyPrivateProxy: an optimal proxy for web scraping
This provider provides a private proxy, and everything is there: from multiple locations to extreme anonymity, to dedicated servers, etc. For the prices, MyPrivateProxy offers 12 different offers.
The cheapest is 1 proxy with a single location at $ 2.49 per month. However, this offer does not apply to web scraping. The offers adapted to web scraping include 110 to 2200 proxies.
The number of locations ranges from 6 to 14, and the price ranges from US $ 165 per month to US $ 2,500 per month. For heavy consumers, suppliers offer personalized pricing, and everything is tailor-made, including pricing.
- Visit the MyPrivateProxy website ↗
#5 SSL Private Proxy, a good provider to scrape websites
SSL Private Proxy provides a dedicated IP address, anonymity and also provides VPN and fast connection. The price for a private proxy is $ 1.75 per month. If you want to web scrape with this provider, you will need to purchase multiple subscriptions to get multiple IP addresses.
- Visit the SSL Private Proxy website ↗
How many proxy servers do I need?
It all depends on the target website and your intentions: the number of pages it contains, the number of pages to retrieve etc.
To get an idea, limit requests to 500 per IP per hour. Most websites use this threshold. But to be safe, you need to know the connection limits of the target site.
Prefer dedicated servers to shared servers
A dedicated server is a server that only you can use. For web scraping, it is better to have multiple dedicated servers instead of multiple shared servers. It is an investment, but it is more secure for the extracted data.
To conclude :
So that your web scraping goes smoothly, here are the main tips:
- Choose your proxy provider carefully, paying attention to the advantages offered
- Carefully choose your web scraping software and integrate your proxy into it
- Choose a dedicated server, and precisely calculate the number of proxies needed to extract the content of the website, so as not to exceed the connection limit.