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Is it ethical to use a VPN or a proxy server to scrape web data?

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Sandra Pique

12-29-2021

A platform uses "tools" to browse the web content of another platform and grab the information it finds. The behavior that meets these characteristics is defined as "network data scraping". Unlike the long and numb process of manually obtaining data, web crawling uses intelligent and automated methods to obtain thousands or even millions of data sets in a shorter time.

Although the Internet world has established a certain code of Ethics (robots protocol) through its own agreements, the legal part is still being established and improved. Web crawling is like any tool in the world. You can use it to do good or bad things. Web crawling itself is not illegal, but it is important to follow ethics when doing so. Consider reading their terms of service and reading the robots.txt file.

Network crawling has become a severe challenge today. The website does its best to identify and prohibit robots. Detect modes, set restrictions, change HTML, avoid text walls, replace static content with dynamic, use captcha -- and so on.

How to avoid anti grab tools?

1. Extend your request

Due to the high request frequency, web scraping is often prohibited. The website will recognize the access frequency of abnormal users and prohibit IP. At this time, if you do not replace the IP, you need to extend the request frequency. Of course, there is a decline in work efficiency.

2. Use proxy for data capture

If you use an IP frequently for data collection, the website will shield your IP address or add it to the blacklist. Therefore, when you want to capture data efficiently, the best solution is to use a proxy server to replace different IP for data scraping. Roxlabs provides two types of IP use, namely rotation and stickiness. IP rotation can automatically change different IP addresses for each connection request. Sticky IP sessions will keep the IP address unchanged for a long time (up to 30 minutes). For network crawling, using rotation sessions is more suitable for business scenarios.


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