Customer data in large amounts and in real-time is likely the most important asset of any online brand. This is because this data can make fundamental decisions that can spur growth, success, and continuity.
A fineproxy.de is considered one of the most important tools for gathering valuable data. When brands do not pick the right proxy service provider, their data gathering process usually becomes a tedious exercise that ends in futility.
The path of data extraction is not an easy one because no one, naturally, wants to share data; hence picking anything short of the best proxy tools can result in challenges such as time wastage, restrictions, or even outright bans.
Today, we will see what proxies are and how you can make the best choice.
What Is A Proxy?
A proxy is a tool or software that can serve as an intermediary gateway between you and the rest of the internet. As middlemen, proxies take your request, modify it, and send it out using their internet protocol (IP) addresses and locations.
They are usually equipped with multiple addresses and locations to use different ones for different request transfers easily. That way, the target servers will not tell it is the same user making repeated connections.
Consequently, they are a favorite for many companies who use them for the following reasons:
- To prevent inevitable breaches and add to their security layers
- To ensure anonymity during sensitive tasks and online operations
- To overcome internet restrictions such as geo-blocking
- To increase connection speed and boost overall performance
- To balance the load and incoming traffic
- To regulate employees’ usage of inappropriate or unsecured networks and websites.
What is Web Scraping?
One important operation which every online brand needs to carry out regularly and which proxies are known to be an integral part of is web scraping.
By definition, web scraping is the process of collecting an enormous amount of data from multiple sources. These sources generally include websites, servers, key marketplaces, social media pages, etc.
The data is usually collected in different unstructured formats and later converted to structure, parsed, and saved easily to read format such as spreadsheets.
Upon analysis, the extracted data can then be used in underlining key business decisions such as:
- Performing price and competition monitoring to maximize revenue
- Conducting market research before new product development or new market penetration
- Monitoring reviews and brand assets to ensure customer satisfaction and brand protection
- Setting up dynamic pricing strategy to increase sales and revenue
- Carrying out sentiment analysis to create customer-oriented products
- Generating leads to use for email marketing
The Role of Proxies in Web Scraping
We have mentioned that proxies are important in web scraping, but what exact roles do they play? Proxies help in many ways, but we will focus on the most important two:
- Granting Access to Restricted Content
This is likely the most important role of proxies because to have comprehensive user data, there is the need to look at different parts of the internet. Some of these parts may be within your reach, while others will be restricted. Proxies serve to ensure that all the parts of the internet one need to scrape are free and accessible.
Also, some brands stay in locations that some servers forbid from accessing their contents. This is popularly known as geo-restriction, and it means the affected brands will be unable to reach the data they need on their own because of where they reside. In this case, proxies, by changing locations, can make it possible for the affected brand to browse those restricted contents appearing as if they were in a different location.
- Providing Anonymity
Quantum Marketer posted most businesses that use proxies for web scraping do so because proxies are good for masking IPs and browsing the internet anonymously. This is most important when performing very sensitive operations. Once an IP has been concealed, it becomes difficult for the internet to identify who performs what operation.
5 Important Things to Consider Before Picking a Proxy Service Provider
Below are 5 things you need to keep in mind when trying to pick a proxy service provider. It is widely believed that a proxy service that fulfills all 5 conditions is an excellent option and can promote brand growth.
- Customer Service
Proxies are great and generally straightforward, but like every piece of software, it is bound to experience technical errors from time to time.
Also, if you are trying proxies for the first time, or trying a different proxy, or your brand does not have too many tech people, then you want to make sure that the proxy service you are opting for responsiveness and highly supportive customer service.
A great customer support system is important to help you solve issues and enjoy the full capabilities.
- Size of Proxy Pool
A rotating pool is important to prevent servers from detecting an IP and then blocking it, and usually, the higher the size of the proxy pool to be rotated, the better the proxy. Picking a proxy service with a large proxy pool size, such as Oxylabs, will help you stay anonymous and protect your brand.
- High Speed
Proxies are generally used for complex activities that should normally take time. Picking a proxy with excellent speed is important to help you save time and stay productive.
- Efficient Security
This is something to consider before choosing both the security of your data and your company needs to be a priority. A good proxy provider ensures that the data you are receiving and your information on the web is secured and safe.
- Affordable Pricing
While it is important to pick the best proxy provider, it is not advisable to break the bank for this purpose as this might not be all that your business might need. While some proxy services charge per gigabyte, others allow unlimited traffic for a certain amount, and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
However, the best proxies offer competitive prices that return the best value for your money.
All proxies confer various benefits and depending on which proxy service you choose, you could enjoy these benefits more with one proxy than the other. The 5 factors above are what you might need to consider before selecting a proxy; however, be sure to avoid free proxies if you can afford the paid ones. They say that free proxies offer few benefits with lots of headaches and slow connections.