If you are at all familiar with the concept of scraping websites for data then you are probably also going to be aware of the very real need for you to use private proxies to avoid being banned pretty much instantly. However, knowing about it is one thing and actually understanding the reasons as to why it is so important to do this and also how to then use the technology at your disposal is something completely different.
The one thing that you should know from the outset is that it is actually a lot easier than you think as you will now see.
Why Private Proxies?
First of all, let us quickly examine the reasons as to why it has to be private proxies rather than any other option that is out there. You need to remember that the websites that you are going to scrape, for example Google or Amazon are against you using this kind of software and they have programs set up that will identify people scraping their website and will then believe that they are going to be under attack.
When they feel that this is happening then they have to take swift action and will ban your IP address so you are then unable to access their website ever again. Now, if you use your own IP then it is going to ruin you using the websites even when you are not trying to extract information and that in itself is crazy considering it is so easy to avoid this from happening in the first place.
The key is to use private proxies as they provide you with an alternative IP address that is not in the public domain so your own IP address is completely safe. Also, shared proxies can be used by a huge number of people at any given time so they tend to be quite short lived and are banned on various websites and that does not even include the fact that they are slower and less reliable as well.
Private proxies are, therefore, the only viable option for anybody that is looking at scraping websites for information and we will look at other reasons as to why you need to go down this particular road.
Using the Proxy.
When you are looking at websites to scrape you have to remember that the tools you are using will have a tendency to send out a huge number of requests in a short period of time. This is going to be picked up as not being like normal human actions and you will find that IP addresses get banned in a short period of time.
Take Yelp for example. You could want to go on there and scrape their website for contact emails or contact telephone numbers in a certain location or type of business as that is important to you.
So, in order to fly under the radar and protect your own IP, along with being able to gather together even more information than you thought possible, you need to use private proxies when scraping big websites.
By changing your IP address it then means you can run your scraper software from this new IP and then rotate the numbers as you see fit and to also help to avoid suspicion and detection. In order to do this, and to continue to appear as natural and human as possible, there are several important things that you can do to reduce the chances of your proxies being picked up and put on the banned list.
Rotating the Proxies is Important.
So, we just said how changing proxies is important if you wish to avoid detection and the simple reason for that is because these big websites have a good understanding of how many requests can logically come from the one IP at any given time. Anything that is regularly above those limits is going to be frowned upon and they will then be forced into taking action and there is only one action that is then going to be available to them.
To avoid this you need to change proxies on a regular basis and that is why you are strongly recommended to buy them in bulk as it then allows you to do this. By using your list of private proxies at random times it just changes the way in which the requests are going to be viewed by the websites you are scraping and there is certainly going to be less chance of them picking up on what you are doing.
Setting Request Limits for Proxies.
Even though rotating proxies is going to make a difference when it comes to avoiding being banned, another thing that you are strongly advised to do is setting request limits for the proxies and to have them basically only working at a fraction of what they are capable of doing.
Now, this may sound as if you are going to be making life harder for yourself but that is not the case because what you are actually doing is making sure that you have long term success with the proxies rather than allowing them to just crash and burn on a regular basis. Setting request limits for the proxies means that it will only send out a certain number of requests over a certain period of time and with more advanced proxies you are also able to alter the time between the requests to a certain extent.
By doing this you are then really replicating normal human behavior and clearly that is something that will then be picked up on by the websites that you are scraping. In other words, you are going to increase the chances of flying under the radar and there should certainly be less chance of red flags being waved in your direction.
Using a Unique User Agent for Each Proxy.
Finally, to make things even harder for the websites that you are scraping to identify what is going on there is a real need for you to use unique user agents for each one. This means that each proxy that you use is going to have a very unique task and you need to stick to that rather than various proxies doing the same requests with the same websites at the same time.
All of these similarities is only going to lead to all of your private proxies being detected en masse and that is going to always lead to a number of them being banned in an instant. Considering all you have to do is to just set out that each one is doing its own job then is there any reason for you to make a mess of things and get all of your proxies banned as a result?
Doing this Means More Information.
Just to round things off, we have to say that by taking care of your proxies it does mean that you will be able to gather together more information from the websites than you ever thought to be possible. Also, if you are careful then the same proxies can be used on different websites rather than you just burning through them in next to no time and struggling to download all of the details that you are actively searching for.
You have to always remember that websites such as Google are always on the look out for tools and bots that are being used and they will not think twice about banning somebody that they just suspect of flouting their rules and regulations. You certainly do not want to be on the wrong side of that particular ban hammer as it is almost impossible to come back from it and then you are actively using private proxies just to gain access to the websites in a normal fashion.
So, that is how you are able to use private proxies in order to scrape big websites and there is no doubt that this is certainly the safer option as opposed to using your very own IP address or trying to do it via shared proxies. Either of those options is going to ultimately lead to you getting banned almost straight away and clearly that is one outcome that you need to try your best to avoid.
The key things to remember is to always buy in bulk and rotate them as much as possible rather than just using the same proxy over and over again until it is deemed to be useless or has been banned from every single website. Rotating them increases the life expectancy of each one and you will then really be able to get value for money especially when you are trying to get as much information as possible from the various websites.
Private proxies may be inexpensive but that does not have to mean that you should be reckless in how they are being used. They are important tools especially when scraping big websites so be careful and they will serve you well.