If you’re thinking of using residential proxies to generate an income from web scraping, there are several things that you should know. Let’s start with some basics.
What exactly are proxies, and why are they vital for web scraping?
All of your devices have an IP address that gives them a unique identity when connecting to the internet. You can use a proxy to route your requests through the provider’s servers. In doing so, websites cannot view your IP address and instead see that of the proxy, allowing you to perform web scraping anonymously.
There are two main types of proxies, namely datacenter proxies and residential ones. The latter uses IP addresses of real devices, which provide better data access. On the other hand, datacenter proxies are produced by datacenter servers and are bound to be blocked in bulk.
In general, you need proxies for web scraping because they:
- Allow you to make more requests without getting blocked
- Enable you to access localized data or content
- Allow you to hold unlimited concurrent sessions on the same or different sites
- Reduce your chances of getting banned from websites
So, how do you use proxies when web scraping? Read on to find out.
The Importance of Proxy Pools
Like using your own IP address to scrape websites, using a single proxy won’t do the trick. It’ll limit the number of simultaneous requests that you can make as well as your geotargeting options. Also, you risk getting blocked as with your own IP address.
That’s why it’s crucial to choose a proxy provider that offers a large pool of proxies. The exact size of a proxy pool that you need depends on various factors, such as the number of requests you’re planning to make and the nature of your target websites. For example, the bigger sites with more sophisticated defense mechanisms against bots will ask for larger proxy pools.
The type of proxy also plays a role. For example, datacenter proxies come from datacenter servers, and many users can exploit them at the same time. This makes them easier to detect.
Why Use Residential Proxies?
As their name suggests, residential proxies are based on real devices’ IP addresses . While they tend to cost more than datacenter proxies, residential proxies are preferred for their security and reliability. You can use them to simulate real users and access geo-restricted content.
Also, profits from web scraping operations increase by 300% due to higher quality data and faster data acquisition. These networks are at least 2,000% larger than datacenter proxy networks. This allows reaching the global data market, which is valued at upwards of $36 billion.
In short, residential proxies offer the following key benefits:
- Access to a wide range of global IPs in your proxy pool
- Bypass anti-scraping measures with servers that mimic real users
- Protect your anonymity when browsing online
- Rotate your IP addresses periodically to distribute your requests
Types of Proxies
Public Proxies Aren’t Worth the Risk
Another decision you’ll have to make is to choose whether to use public, shared, or dedicated proxies.
It’s widely recommended to avoid public or ‘open’ proxies. Not only are they of low quality, but they do carry cybersecurity risks. These proxies are available to anyone, making them prime for slamming websites with dubious requests. This inevitably makes them easily blocked and banned. Even worse –public proxies are often infected with malware.
Whether to use shared or dedicated proxies will depend on:
- The scope of your project
- Performance requirements
- Your budget
Shared proxies offer affordability, while dedicated proxies are ideal when high performance is a priority. Sot’s up to you to do the research and determine which type suits your needs better.
How to Make Profit From Proxies
You can find a myriad of different ways to make money with proxies. Of course, it’s important to stick to ethical methods. With this in mind, here are some ideas.
A set of private proxies, coupled with SEO skills, allow you to scrape the web for information on keyword positions and rankings on SERPs (search engine results pages). This information can be sold or used within your own company to perform analytics, thus saving money otherwise spent paying for a service.
Social Media Automation
Proxies can be used to power your social media campaigns. You can lift repetitive tasks from your schedule if you combine social media tools with proxies. Also, they can help you to kick off organic reactions and followers.
Server Load Testing
Organizations use server load testing to strengthen website security and stave off attacks. If you have some coding skills, you can use a proxy pool to offer a testing service in this area. Many large companies employ their own teams for DDoS and server load testing, but there are many smaller businesses that would pay for the service.
Secure socket layer (SSL) encryption is paramount for any website on the internet today. Sites are verified to be secure with an SSL server certificate, which costs money to acquire. Your potential clients can purchase your proxy as a certified site instead of having to buy separate certificates for each of their domains.
Caching Static Content
This method requires considerable technical expertise but is worth looking into. Here, your clients will be companies that own sites with lots of high-quality images or other large content. With a reverse proxy, you can store that content to provide faster access for the visitors to the website.
There are various other ways to increase profits with residential proxies. Take a moment to think outside the box and see what kind of solutions you can come up with.