Why does web scraping need proxy ip?
What Is Web Scraping?
Web scraping or web harvesting is a technique used to extract requirement relevant and large amounts of data from websites. This information can be stored locally on your computer in the form of spreadsheets. This can be very insightful for a business to plan its marketing strategy as per the analysis of the data obtained.
Web scraping has enabled businesses to innovate at the speed of light, providing them real-time access to data from the world wide web. So if you’re an e-commerce company and you are looking for data, having a web scraping application will help you download hundreds of pages of useful data on competitor websites, without having to deal with the pain of doing it manually.
Why Is Web Scraping so Beneficial?
Web Scraping kills the manual monotony of data extraction and overcomes the hurdles of the process. For example, there are websites that have data that you cannot copy and paste. This is where web scraping comes into play by helping you extract any kind of data that you want.
You can also convert and save it in the format of your choice. When you extract web data with the help of a web scraping tool, you would be able to save the data in a format such as CSV. You can then retrieve, analyze and use the data the way you want.
Web scraping simplifies the process of extracting data, speeds up the process by automating it and provides easy access to the extracted data by providing it in a CSV format. There are many other benefits of web scraping, such as using it for lead generation, market research, brand monitoring, anti-counterfeiting activities, machine learning using large data sets and so on.
However, when scraping the web at any reasonable scale, using proxies is strongly recommended.
In order to scale your web scraping project, it is important to understand proxy management since it’s the core of scaling any data extraction project.
What Are Proxies?
An IP address typically looks like this: 289.9.879.15. This combination of numbers is basically a label attached to your device while you’re using the internet. It helps locate your device.
A proxy is a third party server that allows you to route your request through their servers and use their IP address in the process. When using a proxy, the website you are making the request to no longer sees your IP address but the IP address of the proxy, giving you the ability to scrape the web with higher safety.
Benefits of Using a Proxy
Using a proxy allows you to mine a website with much more reliability thereby reducing the chances of your spider getting banned or blocked.
A proxy enables you to make your request from a specific geographical region or device (mobile IPs for example) which helps you to see region-specific content that the website displays. This is very useful when scraping product data from online retailers.
Using a proxy pool allows you to make a higher volume of requests to a target website without being banned.
A proxy saves you from IP bans that some websites impose. For example, requests from AWS servers are very commonly blocked by websites, as it holds a track record of overloading websites with large volumes of requests using AWS servers.
Using proxies enables you to make unlimited concurrent sessions to the same or different websites.
What Are Proxy Options?
If you go by the fundamentals of proxies, there are 3 main types of IPs to choose from. Each category has its own set of pros and cons and can be well-suited for a specific purpose.
This is the most common type of proxy IP. They are the IPs of servers housed in data centers. These are extremely cheap to buy. If you have the right proxy management solution, it can be a solid base to build a very robust web crawling solution for your business.
These are the IPs of private residences, enabling you to route your request through a residential network. They are harder to get, hence much more expensive. They can be financially cumbersome when you can achieve similar results with data center IPs which are cheaper. With proxy servers, the scraping software can mask their IP address with residential IP proxies, enabling the software to access all the websites which might not have been available without a proxy.
These are the IPs of private mobile devices. It is extremely expensive since it’s very difficult to obtain IPs of mobile devices. It is not recommended unless you’re looking to scrape the results shown to mobile users. This is legally even more complicated because most of the time, the device owner isn’t aware that you are using their GSM network for web scraping.
With proper proxy management, data center IPs give similar results as residential or mobile IPs without the legal concerns, and they come at a fraction of the cost.
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