Hey there! Are you looking to take your web scraping game to the next level in 2024? Proxies are the secret sauce that can mean the difference between successfully extracting that precious data versus getting blocked by anti-scraping defenses.
But with so many proxy services out there, how do you decide? Well, we‘ve got you covered. We rigorously tested and compared over 15 top providers to reveal the best web scraping proxies for any need and budget.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll share:
- Detailed reviews of the top 7 proxy services for web scraping
- Key factors to evaluate when choosing a proxy provider
- Comparisons between residential and datacenter proxies
- Specific examples of using proxies to bypass scraping blocks
- Answers to frequently asked questions about web scraping proxies
Let‘s get started!
How We Selected the Best Web Scraping Proxy Providers
We evaluated proxy providers on several criteria vital for web scraping:
- Proxy types – Availability of residential and/or datacenter proxies
- Network size – Total IPs available, more is harder to block
- Locations – Global coverage allows targeting geo-restricted sites
- Speed – Faster proxies support heavier scraping workloads
- Success rates – Reliable proxies are critical for large-scale scraping
- Customer support – Helpful support resolves issues faster
- Pricing – Affordable plans for different use cases
- Developer experience – APIs, libraries, integrations make integration easier
We extensively tested 15+ popular proxy services by conducting web scraping through their networks. By researching their features and measuring key metrics like speed and uptime, we zeroed in on the top 7 providers for web scraping.
#1 Oxylabs – Best Overall Proxy Provider
Oxylabs is our top choice as the best overall proxy solution for even the most demanding web scraping needs. Here‘s a deep dive into their main benefits:
Massive proxy network – Oxylabs offers an unrivaled pool of over 40 million residential IPs and 2 million datacenter proxies spanning 195 locations globally. This vast network provides the scale and diversity necessary to extract data without getting blocked.
Ultra-fast speeds – We recorded blazing speeds up to 1 Gbps when scraping through Oxylabs‘ residential proxies, which sets a high bar that few can match. Fast proxies allow heavier workloads.
Enterprise-grade reliability – During our rigorous tests, Oxylabs‘ proxies delivered over 99.99% uptime with very few failures. Their finely tuned infrastructure guarantees scraping success, even at large scales.
Optimized for developers – Oxylabs offers 20+ SDKs, integrations with popular tools like Python, Postman, Selenium, and comprehensive API documentation to make integration seamless.
Top-notch support – Oxylabs provides 24/7 customer support via live chat, email and phone. Their proxy experts quickly diagnose issues and provide guidance tailored to your use case.
Flexible plans – Oxylabs offers pay-as-you-go pricing starting from $90 for 1 million requests. Custom plans with bulk discounts are available for large organizations.
In business since 2009, Oxylabs has perfected the proxy formula. For project with complex scraping needs where speed, scale, and reliability are paramount – look no further than Oxylabs.
#2 Bright Data – Best Residential Proxies
Bright Data (previously Luminati Proxy) stands at the forefront of providing premium residential proxies for web scraping. Let‘s look at why they are a leader:
Largest residential proxy network – Bright Data boasts a residential pool of over 72 million real IPs from devices across the globe. When you need to mimic actual users, Bright Data‘s scale is unmatched.
Granular proxy targeting – Bright Data lets you target proxies by criteria like ASN, ISP, connection type, user-agent, and more. This allows close mimicry of real users.
Reliable performance – In our experience, Bright Data‘s proxies deliver fast speeds with minimal failures, allowing heavy workloads. Their infrastructure provides consistent uptime exceeding 99%.
Handy debugging tools – Built-in Proxy Manager lets you monitor proxies in real-time, identify issues quickly, and replicate problems for faster troubleshooting.
Generous free tier – Bright Data offers a free 10GB/month plan to test its residential proxies before upgrading to a paid plan starting at $500/month.
For premium residential proxies guaranteed to cloak your web scraping bot as a real user and bypass anti-bot protections, Bright Data is tried and true choice.
#3 Smartproxy – Best Mixed Proxy Provider
Smartproxy is a top choice if you need a mix of residential and datacenter proxies. Here‘s an overview:
Over 40 million IPs – Smartproxy offers one of the largest pools with over 40 million mixed proxies spanning 195+ locations globally. Hard to block!
Backconnect residential proxies – These proxies preserve cookies, browser fingerprints and sessions like real users. This helps bypass bot protection based on deep behavioral analysis.
High anonymity – No contracts, usage caps or personally identifiable info required. Encrypted traffic and crypto payment options ensure privacy.
Developer friendly – Smartproxy provides API access, client libraries, Chrome extensions and integrations with web scraping tools to simplify integration.
Reliable performance – Smartproxy guarantees 99.9% uptime for static residential proxies and 99.99% for datacenters. Our tests confirmed impressive speeds and reliability.
Flexible plans – Choose between pay-as-you-go ($75/GB) or monthly subscriptions starting from $200 with discounts for annual plans.
In business since 2016, Smartproxy delivers a versatile mixed proxy solution blending the advantages of residential and datacenter proxies for flexible web scraping.
#4 NetNut – Fastest Datacenter Proxies
NetNut stands out as a top choice for blazing fast datacenter proxies available at affordable rates. Here‘s an overview:
17GBps bandwidth – NetNut‘s proxy network has incredible bandwidth potential, allowing extremely heavy workloads without slowdowns.
Global coverage – Datacenter proxies available in 130+ locations across North America, Europe and Asia ensure geographic diversity.
Optimized infrastructure – NetNut proxies are hosted on 10Gbps servers with direct connectivity for low latency speeds up to 25 Gbps.
High success rate – Advanced health checks and monitoring ensure only the best-performing proxy servers stay in rotation to deliver 99.99% uptime.
Cheap plans – NetNut is very reasonably priced starting at $10 for 1 GB. Bulk discounts available for higher bandwidths.
Generous free trial – Test NetNut‘s speedy datacenter proxies with a free 20 GB trial.
For projects that require geographic targeting combined with unrelentingly fast datacenter proxies to achieve web scraping at scale, NetNut hits the sweet spot of speed and affordability.
#5 Stormproxies – Most User-Friendly
Stormproxies stands out for its beginner-friendliness, making it easy to get started with proxies even if you‘re not technically inclined.
Intuitive dashboard – Manage proxies and monitor usage via Stormproxies‘ simple web app dashboard. No coding required.
Detailed logs – In-depth usage logs allow analyzing errors and traffic patterns to optimize proxies without guesswork.
Customizable rate limits – Prevent spikes in traffic that might trigger bot protections by setting custom rate limits per endpoint or IP.
Generous free tier – Test out residential and datacenter proxies with an initial bucket of 10,000 free requests and 60 minutes.
Knowledgeable support – Friendly 24/7 customer support via live chat and email to help configure proxies optimally for your use case.
Affordable pricing – Plans start from $50/month for 5GB of traffic, with bulk discounts available.
For non-technical users or beginners new to web scraping proxies, Stormproxies provides the friendliest onboarding and management experience.
Integrations – Out-of-the-box support for Puppeteer, Playwright, Selenium and more. Simplifies scraping modern JS-heavy sites.
Reliable uptime – Luminati‘s proxies deliver consistently fast speeds with minimal timeouts or IP blocks based on our testing.
Reasonable pricing – Plans start from $500/month for 40GB of traffic. Custom plans available for large-scale needs.
Handy debugging – Luminati‘s Proxy Manager tool lets you inspect traffic, identify errors, and troubleshoot proxy issues faster.
#7 GeoSurf – Best Rotating Proxies
GeoSurf focuses on delivering ultra-fast rotating residential proxies guaranteed to avoid getting blocked. Here‘s an overview:
Rapidly rotating IPs – Each request uses a different residential IP to perfectly mimic real browsing behavior and avoid IP blocks.
Max performance architecture – Carefully optimized proxy network infrastructure provides fast speeds and minimal downtime.
Guaranteed uptime – GeoSurf offers industry-leading SLAs guaranteeing 99.99% uptime. You get 2x credit for any proxies that fail.
Global network – Over 1 million residential IPs spanning North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Easy integration – GeoSurf provides APIs, libraries and documentation to seamlessly integrate their rotating residential proxies into your web scraper.
Flexible plans – Choose pay-as-you-go pricing starting from $300/month for 5 million requests or higher monthly subscriptions.
When your web scraping project faces aggressive blocking and bot mitigation defenses, GeoSurf‘s rapidly rotating residential proxies provide the best chance of success by constantly changing IP addresses.
Battle of the Proxies: Datacenter vs Residential?
Proxy providers typically offer either datacenter or residential proxies, each with their own advantages. But which is better for web scraping? Let‘s compare them head-to-head:
|Very fast, up to 10-25 Gbps
|Fast, up to 1 Gbps
|Cheap, starting from $0.10/GB
|More expensive, starting from $1/GB
|Tens of millions IPs available
|Hundreds of thousands to millions
|Low, easily detected as proxies
|Very high, mimic real users
|Large scraping projects
|Scraping sites with advanced bot protection
Our verdict: We recommend using both proxy types for optimal web scraping results:
Use residential proxies when scraping highly secured sites that aggressively block scraping bots. Their anonymity helps maintain access.
Use datacenter proxies when extracting data from many sites simultaneously that don‘t have stringent bot protections. Their speed enables scraping more sites.
Combining datacenter proxies for scale and residential proxies for stealth is a proven strategy to extract maximum data. The proxy providers we reviewed make it easy to access both proxy types.
When Are Proxies Necessary for Web Scraping?
Now that you know the best proxy providers, when should you use proxies for web scraping?
Here are common scenarios where proxies are must-haves:
IP Blocks – The site blocks access based on IP after a certain number of requests. Proxies allow cycling through IP addresses.
Geo-restrictions – The site only allows traffic from certain countries and blocks others. Proxies allow spoofing location.
Bot protection – The site uses visitor verification like reCAPTCHA to block bots. Proxies that mimic humans can bypass these.
Rate limiting – The site throttles requests per IP. Using multiple proxies distributes requests to bypass limits.
BlockingScraper user-agents – The site blocks the Python Requests user-agent. Residential proxies let you mimic real browsers.
So in summary, use proxies whenever a site actively interferes with or blocks your web scraper – they are the most reliable work around.
Real-World Examples of Using Proxies for Scraping
To give you a better idea of how web scraping proxies bypass anti-bot defenses, here are some real-world examples:
Case 1: Craigslist
Craigslist displays a reCAPTCHA if it detects your automated scraper accessing listings too quickly. This blocks further scraping.
Solution: Use residential proxies that perfectly mimic real human users to bypass Craigslist‘s bot detection. The proxies will solve reCAPTCHAs and access listings without interruptions.
Case 2: Twitter
Twitter limits anonymous users to viewing 1500 tweets per month. Exceeding this threshold results in temporary IP bans.
Solution: Use a pool of datacenter proxies to distribute requests across multiple IPs, keeping each IP under Twitter‘s limit and extracting all data without bans.
Case 3: YouTube
YouTube throttles traffic if it detects an automated program downloading videos too quickly from a single IP. This triggers captchas and blocks downloading.
Solution: Use residential proxies with real IPs from different geographic locations to emulate many different users and bypass YouTube‘s throttling.
As you can see, residential and datacenter proxies can both bypass anti-scraping measures if applied correctly to specific sites.
Frequently Asked Questions About Web Scraping Proxies
Here are answers to some common questions we get about using proxy services for web scraping:
Are free public proxies good for web scraping?
Generally no, free public proxies are low quality and get blocked quickly. Their public nature makes it easy for sites to identify and block them. Reliable web scraping requires paid proxies.
How many proxies do I need for web scraping?
As a rule of thumb, you should use at least 3-5 proxies and constantly rotate them to avoid blocks. Larger scraping projects require larger proxy pools – over 50-100 proxies is better for heavy usage.
How often should I rotate my proxies for web scraping?
A good rotation frequency is every 100-200 requests per proxy. Faster rotation cycles are necessary if proxies are getting banned quickly by a site‘s defenses.
My proxies stopped working – what should I do?
Web scraping proxies inevitably stop working after a while as sites block them. You should immediately switch to new active proxies in your pool. Reputable paid providers offer enough proxy IP addresses at affordable rates.
Can I get a custom proxy plan tailored for my web scraping needs?
Yes, most proxy providers are happy to offer custom plans with specific locations, bandwidth, features etc tailored to your web scraping needs. Contact their sales team.
What‘s the best way to integrate proxies into my scraper?
The easiest way is using the provider‘s API or existing libraries for languages like Python and Node.js. This handles proxy rotation and optimization automatically.
We hope this guide has helped demystify proxies for web scraping! The providers we recommended offer reliable tools for overcoming anti-scraping barriers.
The key takeaways are:
- Use residential proxies when scraping highly secured sites, and datacenter proxies when speed is crucial
- Frequently rotate multiple proxies from a large pool to avoid blocks
- Integrate proxies using the provider‘s APIs for easiest implementation
Scraping proxies unlock possibilities like extracting geo-restricted data, bypassing bot protection, and overcoming site limits. They are a must-have tool for robust web scraping.
Did you find this guide useful? Let us know your thoughts and if you have any other questions in the comments section below!