Web scraping is a great way for businesses to collect valuable data. These automated data collection tools can help companies manage market trends, pricing intelligence, customer sentiment, and much more. However, since these tools rely on bots for automation, websites can easily block them. Also, if you don’t have tools that can unblock restricted content, your business might be unable to collect information in other markets. This is where residential proxies come in. So, how can residential proxies improve your web scraping efforts and give you access to unrestricted content?
In this article, we’ll look at how to use residential proxies for web scraping. We’ll also take a quick look at why these proxies are the best to use for data collection. Keep reading to learn more about these proxies and why it’s essential to buy residential proxies if you want to collect data through web scraping.
Why Should You Use a Residential Proxy for Web Scraping?
When people think about using proxies, the first thing that usually comes to mind is their privacy and security benefits. A proxy reroutes all of your traffic through its own servers. During this process, they also change the IP address of your request. This means that you never connect directly to the internet and are protected by these servers. Also, the websites and platforms you access never see your IP address or any associated information. They only see the IP address the proxy assigned to your connection.
While this in itself is already a great reason to start using a proxy, when it comes to business, you might need more motivation to justify the expense. Proxies are becoming more popular among businesses for security and privacy reasons and because they can improve your data collection efforts.
When it comes to data collection, web scraping is one of the most effective processes for collecting a lot of data quickly. These tools are automated, which also makes the process more efficient. But, because they’re linked to bots (hence, the automation), they are frequently blocked by websites and other platforms. And once your IP is banned from a site, you won’t be able to access it again from the same network. This means your data will be incomplete or inaccurate.
However, if you buy residential proxies, it can help solve this issue because they provide your web scraper with a real IP from an existing device. As such, it camouflages the scraper and makes them look like a real person. Data center proxies and even VPNs don’t offer the same protection and can be detected and blocked by websites.
Residential networks are also at least 2,000% larger than datacenter proxy networks. This gives them a global reach for penetrating the truly global data market that’s valued at upwards of $36 billion. Profits from web scraping operations increase by 300% due to higher quality data and faster data acquisition.
How To Use a Residential Proxy for Web Scraping?
Before you can start to integrate your proxy into your web scraper, you first need to choose a web scraper. This will impact how you use a residential proxy with your scraping tool.
Your business can decide to build its own web scraper if someone on the team has programming experience.
This is a good option if you want to create a web scraper that is completely customized to your needs. However, you should remember that building your own scraper means you’ll be responsible for sorting out any issues, bugs, and updates. You’ll also need to train your team on how to integrate the proxy and use the scraper, as it can be more technical than a pre-built one.
There are also a number of great pre-build web scrapers that you can use. These ones are often very easy to use, with a simple user interface that makes it much easier to connect your residential proxy. When using these programs, you also don’t have to worry about updating the tool or sorting out any issues.
Adding Your Residential Proxy to your Scraper
Adding your proxy to your web scraping tool is simple enough if you use a pre-built web scraper. Let’s take a look at the general process below:
- Buy residential proxies by searching some of the best residential proxy lists and choosing one that meets your needs.
- Open your chosen web scraping tool.
- Look for the ‘Proxy Manager’; it’s usually in the sidebar or setting, depending on which tool you use.
- Add the requested details of your proxy.
- Click on ‘Add Proxy’ to complete the setup.
Web scraping is a wonderful process for collecting vast amounts of information quickly. However, suppose you want to do so effectively. In that case, you need to pair your web scraper with a reliable residential proxy to ensure your tools don’t get blocked and can access information in different markets. Buy residential proxies from a reliable provider to scale your web scraping efforts to the next level.