The internet and information technologies are thriving in the XXI century because they provide the most effective, multifunctional tools for communication in history. With more information than a person could process in hundreds of lifetimes, we need web scrapers to collect data, filter out repeated instances of the same information, and eliminate the clutter surrounding the most important bits of knowledge.

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With web scrapers as the prime tools for data acquisition and analysis, we have automated extraction bots to do the bidding of large companies and private individuals all over the internet. Everyone on the web hates bots but when it serves their purpose, nobody wants to get caught using one.

Most companies and business-minded individuals use web scrapers in 2022, but also hate when other bots put their knowledge into their public data. Thankfully, technically proficient parties can stay ahead of the competition by using internet privacy tools to protect proxies and let them work at peak efficiency without receiving an IP ban. In this article, you will learn about IP address masking strategies and why they are detrimental to the intended functionality of web scrapers. For example, with the help of a good proxy server provider, you can run multiple web scrapers for an extended period without fearing an IP ban. Even if one address gets caught, there are millions of safe addresses that can be used to resume data extraction. For example, the most active scrapers use residential proxies to keep changing IP addresses way before a scraper manages to raise suspicion.

You can learn more about these addresses from Smartproxy – one of the best options among top providers with plenty of educational material on their website. Check them out to start using residential proxies today! For now, let’s look over the options for IP masking before we discuss these options in more detail.

Is VPN a good option?

At a first glance, VPN may seem like good protection for web scrapers due to an encrypted connection. However, what adds extra safety has to be paid in a large loss of flexibility. VPNs create a tunnel that transforms your entire internet connection, making all data packets travel through the safe zone. Proxy servers are the best option for web scrapers because you can run multiple scrapers on different addresses and continue to use your main IP for other operations without attracting too much attention to the singular identity.

How Proxy servers work

With proxy servers, your desired browsing sessions and connection requests first reach the middleman server before arriving at the destination, instead of communication through the public IP address given to you by the ISP. While the number of connections and responses is doubled, the loss of speed is negligible.

There is a trick, however, which makes proxy connections even more flexible than your average browsing sessions. Because most websites on the internet are localized, you can access different page versions and even bypass geoblocking with the right choice of a proxy location.

Why Proxies Are Essential for Web Scraping

Proxy servers are the perfect partner for web scraping sessions due to the flexibility and anonymity described above. With millions of addresses available through legitimate providers, you can hide your public address for all extraction tasks.

Some websites are not opposed to web scraping, but we all know internet bots can be relentless. That is why connection rate limiting is popular on most web pages, stopping annoying, resource-intensive connections from bothering the server. If the protection flares up, they can punish you with a timeout or a permanent IP ban. Proxy servers make sure that it is never your real address that gets punished, and the best providers use rotating options with assigned time intervals or a static number of connections, which when reached, changes the used IP for a new one.

The Power of Rotating Proxies

Web scraping operations that target hundreds of Websites throughout the day could not function successfully without residential rotating proxies. First, let’s discuss the power of residential IPs over datacenter addresses.

Datacenter proxies are fast and cheap but are suboptimal for scraping tasks – why is that? These addresses are easy to recognize, and angry web server owners can ban the entire bulk of datacenter IPs, making them useless for scraping tasks.

Residential proxies are your go-to option because the addresses are supplied and used by real devices, and adding your scrapers into the flow of connections makes them much harder to detect.

However, even residential addresses can start to look suspicious if you target many websites or scan the same page multiple times throughout the day. With residential rotation proxies, you can assign the desired chunks of time or a limit of 300-400 requests before choosing a different access point. With the clever application of rotation proxies, companies and freelancers can continue scaling and creating massive web scraping machines, which will ensure that the party knows everything about their targets ahead of time.