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Best Proxy Types for Data Scraping

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Best Proxy Types for Data Scraping

Data scraping is an automated process of extracting information from websites and similar sources.

By applying a simple script or a sophisticated extraction tool, you can use an algorithm to collect data for you.

With businesses and other third parties constantly fighting over digital resources, data scraping can speed up the collection of valuable knowledge.

University students can apply web scrapers with filtering to speed up research, while modern companies collect data to closely study the market and its competitors.

Without protection, most data-scraping bots get caught red-handed, especially when trying to gather information from popular websites.

To keep the wheels turning and collect knowledge without interruptions, modern businesses and private individuals use proxy servers — intermediary devices in another part of the world to mask their connections with a different IP address.

If you buy proxies and apply them to web scrapers, your main IP address will never get banned.

You can continue collecting information with a fake IP until it also gets blacklisted or use rotating proxies that keep changing to avoid too much attention to one address.

These middlemen servers are essential for not only protection but also flexibility. If you buy proxies from one of the top providers, you will get access to a massive fleet of addresses from various regions all around the world.

Using them lets you kill two birds with one stone: while your IP address remains hidden, you can access other locations and collect information from geo-blocked websites.

Proxy servers are crucial for fluid data scraping. Here we explain the main types of intermediary servers and the reasons why you should buy proxies.

Datacenter proxies

Datacenter proxies are cheap and fast but come with a couple of drawbacks.

When hosting companies rent these servers to interested users, they create the right infrastructure to keep them as fast as the regular internet traffic as possible.

Fast connections should make them the best choice for scraping, but that is not the case.

Because the most valuable websites use rate limiting and packet inspection to examine incoming connections, the lack of a designated internet service provider, different configurations, and a specific range of IP addresses makes them easy to recognize.

Not only that, because hosting companies organize these addresses in bulk if one identity gets banned, it is not unlikely to see others receive restrictions.

When one address falls, and other addresses get lost with it, the fast connections will not matter since you will have no identity to scrape with.

Losing these addresses is especially devastating if you employ multiple data scrapers at the same time because their IP pool is already pretty scarce. For effective data collection, we need a different alternative.

Residential proxies

Residential proxies make enough sacrifices in performance to become a balanced solution for data scraping.

Instead of routing connections through specialized data centers, residential proxies get IPs and share connections with millions of devices around the world all covered with a plan from an internet service provider.

With no ties between individual addresses and bigger fleets of available servers, residential proxies provide more anonymity for a slightly higher price.

Their sacrifice in performance is insignificant because most web scraping tasks do not require a lot of resources.

Another benefit of residential proxies is the potential for scalability.

With thousands of available identities, nobody is stopping you from transforming one data scraper into a whole team of robots gathering information from competitors.

The best proxy providers offer large pools of residential addresses with extra features to complement the data scraping tasks.

The best and most common solution is proxy rotation systems.

With rotating residential proxies, you can choose predetermined intervals to change between addresses before recipient servers get alarmed about the number of connection requests coming from one source.

Residential proxies are the best option for data scraping tasks, as they are least likely to be detected and identified as a bot.

Free proxies

Free proxy servers are addresses that can be used for free but are set up by unknown anonymous sources. These IPs are not only slower than proxies supplied by professionals but also very dangerous.

Without knowing who is the party behind an open proxy, dealing with private data during anonymous connections becomes a serious privacy hazard.

Because proxy connections are not encrypted, all the traffic sent through an intermediary address will be visible to potential cybercriminals.

With professional suppliers, you get dedicated privacy policies that enforce the protection of your privacy.

If data scrapers or other browsing sessions do not deal with proxy servers, the handicap is still too big, as your connections will be slow and inconsistent.

Even the most solid open proxies will not be able to compete with paid services because the influx of unexpected, unregulated users will make the loss of internet speed too big to enjoy the browsing experience properly.

While big speeds are not a requirement, inconsistency can be a problem for a data scraper, especially when the activity requiring information needs constant updates and stability because of a top priority.

Conclusion: which proxy type is the best for data scraping

If I had to buy proxies today, I would choose residential proxies for data scraping. They come with the biggest pool of available servers and are far less hard to detect than the traffic from datacenter, and open proxies plus, the latter options are often banned on most popular sites.

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