There are a lot of free and paid proxies on the internet. Unfortunately, most of them are insecure. Thus, a business needs to surf each option available and pick the right one. Here, let us see about the top five proxies popular among users for web scraping.
Web Scraping and Why Proxy is Essential
Web scraping or web data extraction is a process in which a user retrieves information from a website. For instance, you search ‘web scraping’ on the Google search page, and you are performing a microscopic level of manual web scraping. Web scraping is an automated process to retrieve millions of data from the internet. A web crawler browses the internet based on the index given, and the scraper extracts the data from the pages explored by the crawler.
But where is the need for a proxy in this process? The main advantage is the ability to scrap a huge volume of data without getting banned. Since it routes you through a different server, there will be no possibility of banning your IP address.
Other advantages are its ability to,
- Crawl a specific geographical location or device (like mobile)
- Access information from websites that has IP bans
- Do unlimited concurrent searches
Top 5 Proxies In The Market for Web Scraping
GeoSurf is one of the market leaders in this genre. It offers a high-quality IP pool and has 2 million IPs covering major geographical locations. It also provides a high privacy level commitment. The pricing is convenient and cost-effective. The plans cap activity by bandwidth, and thus, you will have unlimited IPs to use.
The vendor guarantees that the IPs never get blacklisted or blocked. The infrastructure also provides very reliable and highly-available IPs. The best feature of GeoSurf is the ability to target Instagram and other platforms that use age verification. GeoSurf offers Chrome and Firefox extensions for switching IPs. The interface is good and comes with analytics on the landing page. You can customize the session time and alter the port number as needed.
The main disadvantage of GeoSurf is the lack of mobile IPs and incompatibility with SOCKS5. There is no trial version either, but it is a very reliable brand that has been in business for more than a decade.
SmartProxy might be a newcomer in the market, but it offers various proxies with configurable features, even for the small priced plans. The pricing plan is traffic-based and is cost-efficient too. This vendor’s main product is the rotating residential type, with 40 million IPs covering 195 locations. You can use unlimited proxies, but they are from the entire pool. Thus, the chances of an IP getting flagged are higher. However, due to the non-shared subnetwork, bulk flagging or banning is not possible.
The interface is simple and yet has good configuration options. It offers whitelisted IPs and authentications based on the plan. For simplicity, you can choose the Firefox or Chrome extension. The disadvantage is the inability to customize the session time. It is not compatible with SOCKS5. The geo-targeting option is also comparatively limited.
Most of the proxy vendors offer peer-to-peer networks, but NetNut offers residential IPs from ISPs. NetNut combines with DiviNetwork to offer very fast proxy speed, but it does not have a huge volume of IPs. The vendor has two plans; request-based and bandwidth-based. If you are looking for a cost-effective package, you can choose the larger ones. And, they come with a personal account manager too.
Beyond speed, it has good stability and better data center performance than most of the vendors. They feature IPs with good availability at any time. Since requests get routed to the load-balancing super proxies, the chances of getting a positive response are higher. You can run multiple concurrent sessions, and the vendor claims that customers have sent 30 million requests per day. It also has a Chrome Extension for easy use.
The disadvantage of NetNut is the incompatibility with SOCKS5 and the availability of whitelisting function only in the expensive packages. If you are ready to pay for the most expensive package, NetNut is a great option.
Stormproxies offer three proxy types; private dedicated proxies, back-connect rotating proxies, and rotating residential proxies. The vendor has multiple cost-effective plans with unlimited bandwidth. While the bandwidth is unlimited, the number of IPs has a cap. If you choose the smallest plan in the catalog, it offers just five proxies per month, but the fee is just $10 per month. If you choose the most expensive plan, you can get 400 proxies per month for $400.
Stormproxies have more than 70K proxies, and it supports both username, password, and IP authentication. The main disadvantage of this model is the availability restriction at certain geographical locations. It does not support the SOCKS5 protocol, either. The vendor promises an optimized network with multi-threaded tools and customized packages. The service is appreciable, but it has a very limited interface with no analytics and limited configuration options.
Luminati is one of the major players in the market, with more than 40 million residential IPs. Among the top proxy providers, it is the second-fastest and oldest known provider of proxies. It is reliable and secure.
The proxies cover all protocols, including SOCKS5, HTTP, and HTTPS. It is also compatible with ASN. Beyond residential IPs, the vendor offers volumes of mobile IPs. If you are looking for a 100% guarantee, you can choose the Unblocker type.
The only downfall is the price. Even the smallest plan’s starting price is $500 per month as commitment and $12.50/GB for residential proxies. If you want to choose mobile IPs, the prices go as high as $30/GB.
Beyond these five, there are numerous other reliable proxy vendors in the market. Remember that just because a service provider is on the top list, it does not automatically make it a perfect match for your requirements. Go through the features in detail, and pick the one that fits your requirements and constraints.