A proxy service is there to equip you with an adequate proxy. The role of proxies is masking your personal IP address. You may now have a dilemma as to why it is essential to hide your IP address with a proxy or a VPN. The reasons are numerous.
In the first lines, a proxy that secures your IP address will allow you to freely visit any website and prevent that website from blocking you. All credible websites have an algorithm that checks whether you are a human or a bot.
Proxies play an essential role in web scraping – gathering large chunks of data from websites fast. If equipped with the right proxy service, you will be able to choose any location and send multiple purchase requests, which will help you evade the geo-blockage.
Choosing the best proxy service can, however, sometimes be a daunting task. In the remainder of the article, we’ll explain how proxies work, why many companies use them, how they are essential for web scraping, and how to find the best one on the market.
Introduction to proxies
A proxy server is any machine that can translate traffic between protocols or networks. It acts as an intermediary server that separates end-user clients from any particular destination which they browse.
What proxies provide is, primarily, excellent security, privacy, and functionality levels, depending on your needs or the company’s policy in question. When using a proxy server, the traffic will flow through it to eventually reach the address you have requested.
After that, the address will come back traveling through that very same proxy server. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Later on, the proxy server will forward the data it has received from the website back to you. Yes, it’s that simple and convenient.
Why companies use proxies
Companies usually use proxies for the following five reasons:
- To improve institutional and corporate security. A proxy server will simply add a layer of protection between your server and the remaining outside traffic. Hackers will have a problem accessing your proxy.
- To carry out sensitive tasks anonymously. With a proxy server, any potential spy will have a hard time figuring out what your business is all about.
- To balance the traffic for your server not to crash. What proxy servers also do is cloud all your data storage, while peering will help your network be able to handle larger chunks of traffic.
- To control the internet usage of employees. A proxy will allow network administrators to control which devices enter the network of your company and which sites those users can visit.
- To improve speed and bandwidth savings. A proxy server can increase the speed and save more bandwidth on your particular business network by compressing traffic.
Web proxies and scraping
Web scraping is simply a process used to extract more significant amounts of data from different websites. That extracted data will, later on, be saved on your computer in a designated file. When a particular website allows only to be viewed, the problem arises, blocking saving or copying data from it.
At that point, you would have to do it manually and copy/paste all the data you need, which is very time-consuming. A proxy plays a role here since it will enable you to access any website, regardless of its blockages.
In addition, web scraping software would play an essential role here as well, as it will make scraping data much faster.
How to find a reliable proxy service
The first step to choosing a reliable proxy service is staying away from free proxies – they are not reliable. Free proxies tend to make users load forms of websites that are not secure, such as HTTP. They are vulnerable to specific hacking attacks.
Free proxies are also unreliable since they can go offline for an undisclosed amount of time. What you should do is pick a proxy that is close to your target location. If you are based in the US, a proxy within the US borders might work faster than a proxy from someplace in Europe.
And finally, try to find rotating proxies. A rotating proxy can assign a newly designated IP address for, say, every new purchase you make online, allowing you to send more than a thousand requests daily. Purchasing a particular product in large quantities becomes possible with a rotating proxy.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of why proxies are essential for any task you plan to carry out online. Yes, indeed, it can sometimes be tough to find a reliable proxy service, but our in-depth plan on how to do it should help you narrow down your search.
We suggest checking Oxylabs, one of the most prominent proxy providers globally, which certainly will be the right choice for reliable proxy services.