Web Scraping Through Proxies: Why Your Business Needs It

Web scraping through proxies is common but often not fully exploited by businesses. You may think that web scraping through proxies

Web Scraping Through Proxies Why Your Business Needs It

Web scraping through proxies is common but often not fully exploited by businesses. You may think that web scraping through proxies is something that only hackers use to steal private data, but there are actually lots of ways to utilize this strategy for your business. Below is a list of reasons your business needs to take advantage of this technique.

Web Scraping Through Proxies Why Your Business Needs It

Reason 1: web scraping cost is next to nothing

Your business might think that web scraping through proxies would be an expensive endeavor, but that’s simply not true.

When using proxies, your server will have to process more requests than usual; so you’ll need a beefy machine to take care of the extra load. But if your servers are already running anyway, then their strengthened CPU won’t even notice the additional strain on their performance. If you’ve got a large enough team working for your company, they can just split up & run multiple proxies at once. Think about it this way: if 1 proxy = 0$/hr , then 2 proxies = 0$/hr , then 4 proxies = still only 0$/hr . So, keep multiplying by 10 until you reach a suitable number.

Reason 2: web scraping through proxies is faster

With a well-configured setup, your servers can access the internet at a much faster rate than usual because you’ll be using multiple IP addresses to connect to multiple sites. Also, because each proxy will be running from different locations around the world; accessing foreign websites will be as fast as if they were local. In short… speed.

Reason 3: scraping specific content with selenium

Say you want to scrape very specific content hidden behind Javascript, or Flash on some website but don’t have coding skills (& any plans of learning them). It’s safe to say that not all web scrapers are proficient in both Javascript & flash (or even one of them). But web scraping through proxies will let you wade through & separate the javascript from the data (& scrape it); so long as your chosen proxy server has a decent JS engine.

Reason 4: automatic form filling

So, can’t stress this point highly enough because if you’ve got a large website with many forms to fill in; this will drastically cut down your human inputting time. Businesses love automation because it means less overhead & more profit. In addition, you can store and retrieve your form data from Google Sheets

Reason 5: anonymize your IP address before you start scraping

Start by running all your scrapers on an Anonymous VPN service that anonymizes your IP address – yes, they exist! Then, employees won’t worry about their employer getting caught up in their web scrape, & law enforcement agencies won’t be able to use your IP address as a lead for anything other than copyright infringement (which is fairly light).

Reason 6: scrapers looking like humans

The only way the average website owner can know that you’re running bots on their servers is if you leave some kind of footprint behind. The best way to hide this footprint is by having your proxies send back HTTP headers matching those of a normal internet browser. For example, one should change the user-agent field so it appears as though they are using Chrome or Firefox. Scraping through proxies isn’t illegal, but getting caught scraping data could cost you money. By making your software look as human as possible there’s a lot less chance of getting caught.

Reason 7: is your ISP blocking you?

Do you access the internet through a local ISP? If so, then there’s a high chance they are limiting what programs it is possible for you to run on their servers; completely illegally if web scraping is considered immoral by them… but all too common. Nevertheless, businesses should try web scraping because they might think this technique is cheating; in reality, it’s no different from SEO or PPC spamming.

Conclusion 

There are many reasons to scrape through proxies, but they all boil down to one thing: the same old story of “cheating vs. cutting corners.” As with most things in life, there is very little that can’t achieve by web scraping if it means staying ahead of your competitors. So, if you’re already running a business & just want to give it an edge over the next guy; then consider scraping through proxies – because ultimately, this could mean the difference between success & failure.