Web scraping is the automated process of collecting data across the internet that can be used to gain insight into trends and help businesses make better decisions. However, if you’ve been using scraping tools, you may have come across issues with IP bans and blocks. So, how can you overcome these obstacles and continue collecting data?
In this article, we’ll look at IP change and the role it plays in web scraping. We’ll also look at how residential rotating proxies can help you scale your web scraping efforts. Check out this post for more information on these specialized tools.
Why Do You Want To Change Your IP While Scraping Data?
Web scraping tools are essentially bots. That’s how these programs automate the actions of collecting data. When data scraping is used ethically, it’s not harmful or malicious, but websites might still notice the bot-like behaviors. In an effort to protect their website and other users from spam or other bot activity, they can issue an IP ban if they suspect your activity is simulated by a bot.
Once your IP is banned, you won’t be able to access the website from that same network. This is less than ideal as it leaves you with incomplete or inaccurate data. Being able to change your IP address in this situation means that you can regain access to the site from another IP and continue your data collection process. This is where the role of proxies comes in.
What Are Proxies?
Proxies are intermediary servers that act as the middleman between the user and the internet. Instead of connecting directly to the website, the user will first connect to the proxy server, and from there, the requests are forwarded to the web server. This might seem like a roundabout way of connecting to the internet, but there are a few reasons why this is helpful.
When connecting to a proxy server, your IP will be hidden, and you’ll receive a new one from the proxy provider’s pool. This is the IP that will be seen by other websites, and yours is safely hidden. This also means that if a website blocks your IP under suspicion of being a bot, you simply use another one from the pool and continue.
Proxies also make it possible to choose IPs located in other countries. This is very useful if you want to collect data from other countries but are restricted by your current IP. These geo-restrictions can be overcome by choosing an IP from your proxy pool that’s located in the country you want to collect data from.
Which Proxies Are Best For Web Scraping
There are many different types of proxies, and they all have their own unique benefits and best uses. There are three main types of proxies, datacenter, residential and public. Each of these also has proxies that have been specialized for certain tasks, such as social media proxies.
When you’re looking for a good proxy to use alongside your web scraper, we definitely recommend a residential one. These proxies are linked to real devices, which makes them look like real human users, making them almost impossible to ban. If you follow good scraping etiquette, you’ll probably never get a ban from using your scraper alongside a residential proxy.
Going one step further, residential rotating proxies are an even better option. These are still residential ones, so they include all the same benefits. However, residential rotating proxies have the added benefit of automatically changing your IP address with each new request. This makes it much easier to manage your proxies as you don’t have to manually assign them.
Apart from the previously mentioned benefits, such as automatic IP changing and bypassing geo-restrictions, there’s another benefit that users will find useful for web scraping. You can also speed up your web scraping efforts by pairing your web scraper with residential rotating proxies. This means you can collect more data much faster.
Reliable proxies will have a pool that lets them use unlimited parallel connections. This will make changes over your IPs, especially when using a rotating proxy that automates the switching, which will happen much faster, giving you more time to spend on your scraping.
Web scraping has already proven itself to be a useful tool for businesses. Whether you want to ensure competitive pricing, monitor competitors, or identify other opportunities, there are many ways the data you collect can benefit your business. However, in order to ensure you continue collecting data, you need a reliable proxy to run alongside your scraper and change your IP to help you avoid bans and to access geo-restricted content.