You probably have heard about a proxy countless times and have a slight idea about how it functions. But, are you aware of what is a reverse proxy? Whether you do or not, in this article, we will tackle this term and discuss everything associated with it.
Let’s define the term proxy first before going forward.
A proxy is an intermediary mechanism that stands between a computer (which has an IP address) and a server on the internet.
Your proxy server also comes with an IP address—but it is in the public domain. The IP address of the proxy server is essential for several business functions, which include security, customer experience, etc.
There are different types of proxies out there, but we will be focusing on rotating proxies even though it seems self-explanatory to a certain extent.
A rotating proxy is a proxy server that delegates a new IP address from a pool of proxies for every connection. What it means is that you can launch a script to send 10, 000 requests to different sites and receive 10,000 different IP addresses.
Rotating proxies provide three essential features:
- Filtering and Firewalling
- Sharing of connections
What are their Benefits?
- Your IP is rotated each time you send a request when web scraping—that takes away the issue of IP bans.
- They are more reliable than a single server.
- They’re difficult to detect.
- They keep all your information safe and secure.
- Their cache memory can remember sensitive information like a password. This, however, may not seem like a severe problem as they are capable of restricting the external server from accessing this data.
- They may be incompatible with your local network.
Importance of Rotating Proxies for Web Scraping
Businesses perform web scraping and collect data for different reasons—for competitive analysis, brand protection, and much more. When they embark on the mission to gather intelligence from websites online, more often than not, they get blocked by target servers. This is due to as they send multiple requests from a single IP, and consequently reaching limits that are implemented by target servers.
To avoid this, you’ll have to use a vast amount of proxies—rotating proxies in this case. With that in place, each request goes with a different IP address, with your real IP address masked. When businesses scrape for web data, they will no longer experience potential IP blocking, because each request is coming from a unique IP address.
How IP Rotation works
When you connect to the internet through your Internet Service Provider, you’re assigned an IP address from a group of IPs. When you disconnect and reconnect to the internet, your ISP will provide you with the new, next available IP address from the pool of IP addresses. Essentially, this creates an IP rotation.
IP address rotation is seen from the perspective of outgoing traffic. This is so because the source of IP is the primary foundation of internet destination when it comes to communication. A load-balancing occurs between incoming and outgoing traffic, including distributions of equal resources when you consider role-based control lists.
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Web Scraping with Rotating IP—Good Practice for Business
Web scraping is practised by many companies; they leverage this approach to check competition, monitor online conversations on particular topics and then analyze gathered information. However, businesses have to be smart about their web scraping operations.
More often than not, the targeted websites put in place all sorts of anti-web scraping measures to prevent scrapers from extracting their content. Multiple requests to the data source from a single IP will simply not cut it. However, by rotating IP addresses, you can significantly increase your chances of successfully extracting data from the websites. Each time you send out a request, it goes with a new IP address, reducing your chances of getting blocked. This is the best practice for businesses without malicious intent.
What’s more, it will be difficult for modern marketing to exist without web scraping, as this provides businesses with the opportunity to get ahead in different spheres of endeavour.
No matter what data mining software is in use, web scraping is a process that takes an enormous amount of time and resources. Imagine that you’re almost completing a web scraping process and boom, the connection times out and all the data collected gone. This can be frustrating, and it usually happens when you overuse one single IP address.
When businesses use proxy rotation, they strengthen their chances to operate on websites without being undetected. Companies can even set the rotation interval of a proxy which will rotate a large pool of IP addresses (proxies) as required.
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Of course, there are plenty of proxy service providers that include rotation system with their proxy solutions. Hence, if you are thinking to save up time on the setup and would like to concentrate on the gathered data solely, invest in premium rotating proxies. It’s definitely worth the price if you are indeed serious about web scraping and rely on it in day to day business tasks.
As we probe into “what is a reverse proxy,” it benefits for business cannot be overemphasized—they come handy in several business situations. But rotating proxies make it seem like a piece of cake. As long as the setup is in the correct order, you stand a high chance of not being detected—and you can collect the desired data.