Which proxies are better for web data scraping?


13.12.2022 in Scraping by Matt Brown

Companies that need to extract valuable information from online sources are fully aware of how important it is to find the right tools.

And this is where proxies and their power come into the picture as proxy server solutions become an essential part of online scraping projects.

However, when looking to find the best tools available for web scraping jobs, any user - no matter whether we talk about a startup or an established enterprise - has to decide what types of proxies are required for the undertaken projects.

Is the user interested in data scraping projects that target information for SEO, travel, or e-commerce purposes? Or are we talking about web scraping jobs that need valuable content for price comparisons, market and sales intelligence?

What we’re trying to emphasize is that the difficulty of the scraping jobs determines to a certain extent the necessity of using a particular type of proxy server solution.

Though there are many proxies in the market, for web scraping jobs that need accuracy, stable sessions, and results, we need to look at datacenter and residential proxies.

Best Proxy for Data Scraping

What are the main benefits of residential and datacenter proxies for web data scraping?

Residential and datacenter proxies offer multiple benefits to users interested in web data scraping activities.

If we are to focus on the main benefits provided by these types of proxies, we would have to reveal two major advantages:

  • Securing content from geo-restricted websites that are difficult to access; 
  • Keeping users’ original IP addresses hidden from outside parties.

The possibility to secure content from geo-restricted sites is an important element for companies that need to run web scraping jobs that target data available only in a limited number of countries and jurisdictions.

At the same time, enjoying high-quality proxies from genuine providers, users manage to keep their original IP addresses hidden from the sites they access, an important element when targeting the competitors’ websites.

In addition, if users rotate the IP addresses they utilize at a predetermined time interval, they can engage in web scraping jobs looking to extract content from various sites without getting blocked or restricted. With a rotating system in place, users can target websites of interest as much as they need for the required information.

And when companies take advantage of a smart pricing plan that allows for unlimited data where users pay for proxy ports, the path to a successful web data scraping project is always secured.

Let’s take a closer look at our main proxy alternatives so that we may better understand how residential and datacenter proxies can help companies involved in web scraping projects.

Datacenter proxies for web data scraping

Datacenter proxies are some of the most popular types of proxies available online for companies interested in web data scraping activities.

These types of proxies are based on IP addresses generated in servers dedicated to handling proxies and are not related to Internet Service Providers that offer IP addresses to private home networks.

However, the data center IPs are delivered to ISPs that connect them to a particular geo-location so they can be usefully used in web scraping jobs.

Data center-based proxy networks represent a popular solution for users who require IP addresses that can mask the original IPs keeping the identity details private. When users go online to ‘capture’ the necessary information in data scraping jobs, their original IP addresses remain protected.

Why use datacenter proxies for web data scraping

As we’ve already remarked, datacenter proxies are some of the most popular types of proxies available right now for companies looking to secure valuable data in web scraping jobs.

Since datacenter proxies have been around for many years, most companies are accustomed to using them for a large variety of purposes and they continue to represent a popular go-to solution for scraping activities.

Datacenter proxies are popular for some good reasons. 

They are easy to find on the Internet as there are many datacenter proxy providers. In addition, the datacenter proxies are faster than any other alternatives.

Furthermore, datacenter IPs are quite cheap to purchase and many companies acquire a great number of IP addresses to be used for a variety of commercial purposes.

We have to say that companies still manage to successfully use datacenter proxies for popular use cases, from marketing and sales to social media and SEO campaigns.

Up to this point, datacenter proxies surely look like an amazing deal for companies that are engaged in web data scraping projects. And until recently, those companies wouldn’t have been wrong to jump to this conclusion.

However, we have to mention that datacenter IPs do come with a major shortcoming that makes them easy to be detected and blocked by anti-scraping mechanisms used by some websites.

Since these IP addresses are provided by servers located in data centers from different corners of the world and they’ve been employed for many years by numerous users in the online space, they are now regarded as suspicious.

We have to remember that when a website admin detects a user - who employs a datacenter IP - and decides to check the IP address, he will notice that there’s little available data about the user’s whereabouts. The web admin will soon realize that he’s dealing with someone using a datacenter IP address and will block the access as the visitor’s intentions become suspicious.

For this reason, before purchasing datacenter proxies for data scraping jobs, the user needs to make sure the IPs are provided by a reliable company that offers legitimate proxy server solutions.

Residential proxies for web data scraping

If datacenter proxies represent a popular solution for companies and users running web data scraping jobs in the online environment, residential proxies emerge as a more attractive alternative for those engaged in data extraction projects.

To have a better understanding of what residential proxies are, we have to start explaining what a residential IP is.

To keep it simple, a residential IP is what most of us, average users, use at home to go online. Residential IPs are provided by local Internet Service Providers to normal users who look to access online places from the intimacy of their homes.

As an IP address is provided by an Internet Service Provider to users, the IP addresses reveal a sum of details to anyone trying to check the IP. 

Now, since there are many private details provided by a residential IP address, why would a company be interested to use these IPs for web data scraping jobs? To have an answer to this important question, we have to read on.

Why use residential proxies for web data scraping

If datacenter proxies are some of the most popular tools for companies looking to obtain online data, residential proxy server solutions represent the best methods to extract content in web scraping projects.

Let’s discover the main advantages companies enjoy when using residential proxies.

First of all, as we emphasized previously, these proxies use residential IP addresses from real people who obtained them in turn from local Internet Service Providers. 

Using residential IPs, companies engaged in data extraction activities increase their chances to avoid online anti-scraping security systems utilized by various websites.

With residential IPs at work, companies benefit from two main advantages. They keep their private identity details hidden from outside parties and they have the possibility to access restricted websites.

Further on, residential IPs provide a high level of privacy which represents a major advantage when targeting information from your competitors.

Finally, a user acquiring residential IPs from a reliable source may benefit from the rotating system that changes (rotates) the IP address(es) at a predetermined time to increase the success chances and reduce the block rate.

Residential proxies are always considered by companies for data-demanding projects where substantial resources are required. In an attempt to reach certain online places, companies appeal to the power of residential proxies to access geo-restricted sites in web data scraping jobs.

Which proxies are the best for data scraping?

Companies that use proxies to target web data are in this business for a long time and they are usually aware of the best solutions to extract information online.

If datacenter proxies have been preferred as the main solutions for web scraping operations for some time, over the last years residential proxies turned into the favorite tool of choice for most companies.

Though it is true that residential proxies are not as cheap as the datacenter alternative, residential IP addresses hold the key for most companies to reach difficult targets where valuable content is to be found.

Residential proxies provide legitimate IP addresses that users can trust for their web data scraping operations and they are more consistent offering stable online sessions for data extraction.

Further on, with a rotating system in place where users can change their exit IP address(es) every 10, 20, or 30 minutes, the chances to obtain the targeted content increase very much.

Though it’s true that some companies continue to use datacenter proxies as they are cheaper for scraping jobs, these IP addresses are also easier to be blacklisted especially when acquired from unreliable providers.

Residential proxies represent the most reliable solution for web data scraping projects as they manage to provide the highest degree of privacy in the online space and the best chances of success.

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