Most of you will already be familiar with what residential proxies are and how to use them. Aside from providing a safe gateway between our device and the internet, residential proxies help browse the internet safely and anonymously. Apart from that, they help us to protect our data and view the geo-restricted content.
A regional ISP (internet service provider) provides us with IP addresses, our digital identities, that act as residential proxies for your current residential IP address. A residential proxy is bound to a physical home network and an ISP. As this type of IP has an actual location and address, it is needless to mention that they work better than dedicated or shared ISPs.
If your business depends on scraping the internet for data, you will already be familiar with the process of using residential proxies to avoid a ban. However, there are specific tips that you can follow to maximize your results. To understand better, let us first discuss in detail web scraping and residential proxies.
What is Web Scraping?
When you collect structured web data through an automation service, it is known as web scraping. People mostly use web scraping to monitor prices, scrape price intelligence, monitor news, generate leads, market research, and so on. Web scraping is used by people looking for a quick and easy solution to access publicly available data to make smarter business decisions.
If you have ever copied and pasted any information from a website, you have essentially performed the same task as a web crawler or scraper. A web scraper collects all the data from a website and stores it on your computer for easy access. However, it saves you the effort to perform the same task repeatedly and makes your life simpler.
When you use a web scraper, there is a chance that the website can recognize you as a bot and automatically ban your activity. They do this by collecting your IP address and looking for unusual traffic coming from that IP address. To avoid this ban, you must use residential proxies to mask your residential IP so preventing the websites from tracking your activity.
What are Residential Proxies?
Instead of using a data center, residential proxies rely on using an IP address provided by an ISP as an intermediary. Every residential proxy available on the internet has a physical location, making them seem more genuine to the websites.
A residential proxy can help you in several ways besides masking your real IP address. They allow you to access all the geo-restricted data by connecting to an IP with access to that data. It also creates a secure encrypted connection between your device and the server to avoid any data leaks.
Let’s take a look at how you can make the best use of a residential proxy.
Rotate the IPs as often as you can
Connecting to a proxy might not be enough if you use a web scraper. If you use a single proxy, chances are the website will detect the scraper and block your actions. It is advisable to have a proxies pool to rotate from to avoid getting blocked by the websites. This way, the website will not detect any unusual activity from any particular IP and not ban your actions or requests.
Choose the right country IP
When you are using a proxy to access geo-restricted content, you have to ensure that you connect to an IP address of the right country. It means that geo-restricted content must be available in the country you are connecting through. Otherwise, you will not be able to access the data you want.
Run more requests in parallel to reduce the crawling speed
Sometimes a web crawler can crawl the internet so fast that your ISP or the website you are browsing can detect this unusual traffic from your server. To avoid detection, you can create parallel requests on a crawler to divide the traffic to different websites. This will reduce the crawling speed and minimize the chances of detection.
Use them with headless browsers like a puppeteer
A puppeteer helps you by controlling the requests by the web scraper. It can adjust the web scraper to appear as a human and prevent the websites from flagging you as a bot. A puppeteer is also a great tool to create screenshots and PDFs of web pages. It can perform various tasks, such as submission automation, UI testing, keyboard input, etc.
Buy proxies only from a well-known provider
It is vital to choose a reliable proxy provider because some proxy providers might log your data. Before investing in any proxy provider, make sure you read their customer reviews to ensure they have no hidden policies.
Web scraping is an excellent tool for any business that relies mainly on collecting data from the internet to create their marketing strategies. However, to safely scrape the internet, you must use a residential proxy to avoid a ban. While using residential proxies, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above to get the most out of the scraper.
Author Bio: Efrat Vulfsons is a data-driven writer and freelance publicist, parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.
Her LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/efrat-vulfsons/