This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2023
Web scraping is the practice of extracting data from websites. It has become popular in recent years.
Web scraping software collects information from websites for market research, competitive analysis, and lead generation.
However, web scraping can be challenging, especially when dealing with large volumes of data. One of the most effective ways to overcome many challenges that you might face when web scraping is by using residential proxies.
Residential proxies are IP addresses that belong to real devices, such as computers and smartphones that connect to the internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Unlimited residential proxies are offered by proxy servers that assign unlimited IP addresses for residential use.
These proxies differ from data center proxies because you can assign the IP addresses to laptops, smartphones, and desktop computers. It means that the IP address assigned by the proxy server is associated with a physical location. Hence, it is more challenging to detect and block these IP addresses.
Users can enjoy unlimited data usage, bandwidth, and IP rotationby using this type of service. They can extract as much data as they need without worrying about running out of bandwidth.
In this article, we will explore more about residential proxies, their benefits, and how to use them for web scraping.
Table of Contents
What Are Unlimited Residential Proxies?
Proxy servers offer users to have an unlimited residential proxy that allows total traffic, unlimited bandwidth, and connections.
They are residential IP addresses provided by ISPs to their customers. Businesses and individuals often use them for market research, ad verification, and web scraping. They need unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet from multiple locations.
These activities require a high degree of anonymity since they involve accessing and extracting data from multiple websites or platforms. Using a single IP address for these activities can quickly lead to detection and blocking by the target websites. It can have a significant impact to productivity.
Factors in Selecting an Unlimited Residential Proxy Provider
It is important to note that not all residential proxies are created equal. Some providers may offer shared IP addresses that can decrease the anonymity and privacy of each user.
Additionally, some providers may restrict the activities that can be performed using their proxies or prohibit specific actions altogether.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a residential proxy provider:
Check online reviews and forums to see what other users say about the provider’s service, reliability, and customer support.
Some providers offer flat-rate pricing, while others charge per IP address or per usage. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend for a residential proxy.
- IP Addresses
Check whether the provider offers dedicated, private IP addresses or shared IP addresses. Dedicated IP addresses are generally more expensive but provide higher levels of anonymity and privacy.
- Location Targeting
Look for a provider that allows you to select IP addresses in specific countries, cities, or regions.
- Session Control
Some providers offer session control that can be useful for activities that require consistent IP addresses, such as social media management.
- Allowed Activities
Check the provider’s terms of service to ensure that the activities you want to perform are allowed. Some providers may prohibit certain activities, such as spamming or hacking.
- Customer Support
Look for a provider that offers good phone, email, or chat support. It can be helpful if you experience technical issues or have questions about the service they offer.
By considering these factors and researching further, you can select a residential proxy that meets your needs.
Benefits of Using Residential Proxies for Web Scraping
Residential proxies can be helpful in web scraping in several ways. It can impact the success and legality of your web scraping efforts. Here are some benefits of using a residential proxy:
- Enhanced Anonymity
Web scraping involves automated collection of data from websites. However, many websites have anti-scraping measures to prevent their data from being collected.
Through a high level of anonymity, your requests are routed through an IP address associated with a residential location, making it more difficult for websites to detect that you are using a proxy. It is less likely that your IP address will be blocked.
It can simulate natural user behavior, which is essential for web scraping. When you use a residential proxy, your requests appear to come from a real user rather than a bot or scraper. This can help you avoid user-agent detection and other anti-scraping measures implemented by the website owners.
- IP Rotation
It is essential to rotate IP addresses to avoid being detected and blocked since web scraping involves sending multiple requests to a website. It can trigger anti-bot measures and can lead to IP address blocking.
You can spread your requests across multiple residential IPs by rotating IP addresses, making it less likely to be flagged as suspicious.
In addition, IP rotation can improve the quality of your web scraping results. You can gather a broader range of data by accessing a website from multiple IP addresses. The location of your proxy server will not bias your results.
- Higher Success Rates
When web scraping, success rates are crucial. Websites often have measures in place to detect and block automated bots, making it difficult for web scrapers to extract data.
Websites often employ blocklisting techniques to prevent bots from accessing their content. However, you can have a large pool of IP addresses from your proxy server, which you can rotate to avoid being blocklisted by the target website.
By using residential proxies, you can reduce the likelihood of being detected. This is because you are assigned a real IP address, which is less likely to be flagged as suspicious by websites.
- Improved Performance
Residential proxies can improve the performance of your web scraping software by reducing latency and increasing download speeds.
By rotating through a large pool of IPs, you can spread out your requests and avoid overwhelming the target website. This can reduce the likelihood of getting blocked, which can slow down your scraping activities.
The IP addresses are assigned to real devices that have faster internet connections than traditional data center proxies.
It can improve performance by providing unlimited IP addresses to avoid detection, reducing the chance of being blocked and speeding up the scraping process.
- Legal Compliance
There is a grey area when it comes to web scraping, especially when scraping sensitive data or private information.
Using these specific types of proxies can help you comply with legal regulations. Providing a layer of anonymity can help you avoid potential legal issues and protect your business from legal liabilities.
Steps in Using Residential Proxies For Web Scraping
Here are some steps to follow when using residential proxies for web scraping:
Step 1: Choose a reputable residential proxy provider.
The first step in using residential proxies for web scraping is to choose a reputable provider.
Many residential proxy providers are offering their services in the market, but not all are reliable. Some providers offer poor-quality proxies that are easily detected by websites, which will render them useless.
Look for a provider that offers a large pool of residential IP addresses and has a good reputation in the web scraping community.
Step 2: Set up a proxy server.
Once you have chosen a residential proxy provider, you must set up a proxy server.
A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet.
This process may vary depending on the tool you are using. You will need to input the following to use the proxy:
- IP address,
- Port number,
- And any authentication credentials required.
Step 3: Configure your web scraping tool to use the proxy.
Before doing your web scraping activity, you must configure your web scraping tool to use the residential proxy.
The configuration process will vary depending on the device you are using. This is where the configuration process may differ. Generally, you must look for the “Proxy” or “Network” settings section within the tool’s configuration options.
Step 4: Rotate your residential proxies.
To avoid detection, it is essential to rotate your residential proxies regularly. This means switching between different residential IP addresses.
You need to make it more difficult for websites to track your activity. Most residential proxy providers offer a rotating proxy service that automatically switches between IP addresses regularly.
Step 5: Monitor your web scraping activity.
Finally, monitoring your web scraping activity is essential to ensure you are not violating website terms of service or local laws.
Some websites have strict anti-scraping measures, so it is necessary to be aware before scraping data from them.
Once you have successfully configured the scraping tool to use the proxy, you can start scraping as you usually would.
Residential proxies are a valuable tool for users who require high level of privacy when accessing the internet.
Access to unlimited IP addresses allows you to rotate through addresses quickly and easily. However, it is essential to carefully research and select a reputable provider to ensure that your activities are permitted and that you are not putting yourself at risk.
Using residential proxies, you can extract the needed data without being detected or blocked by websites.