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Computers and Technology

Data Collection And Proxy Network: All You Wanted To Know

What is the difference between a proxy network and a virtual private network (VPN)?

VPN: VPN is the abbreviation for “virtual private network.” It’s a method of encrypting, authenticating, and protecting data so that we can utilise a public network as a private network. It creates the illusion of a private network over a public network. It allows users to connect to a private network from a distance.
When going onto the internet from a public location such as a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or any other location that provides free public Wi-Fi, you should use a virtual private network (VPN). A virtual private network (VPN) establishes a tunnel that hides your internet activities, including the links you visit and the files you download, from cybercriminals, businesses, government agencies, and other snoops.
  • VPN protects data through encryption, authentication, and integrity.
  • PTTP (Point to point tunnelling protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 tunnelling protocol), and other protocols are used in VPN.
  • VPN can be used with a firewall.
  • The term VPN refers to a virtual private network. It creates the illusion of a private network over a public network.
  • The IP address of the client is not hidden by VPN.
  • VPN establishes a secure connection between users.
  • VPN provides a high level of protection.

Proxy:

A proxy server is a computer or router that acts as a gateway between the client and the server. It is one of the technologies used to establish a firewall and helps prevent an intruder from infiltrating a private network. Actually, the proxy server utilises the anonymous network id instead of the client’s actual IP address (i.e., it hides the client’s IP address) so that the client’s actual IP address cannot be revealed.
  • A proxy does not guarantee or provide any level of security.
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), and more protocols are used in Proxy.
  • Browsers can use proxies.
  • Over a public network, it does not simulate a private network.
  • Instead of the client’s actual IP address, the Proxy uses an anonymous network ID (which means it hides the IP address of the client).
  • Proxy, on the other hand, does not construct a tunnel between end-users.
  • Proxy provides no level of security.

What is a proxy network, and how does it work?

A proxy server acts as a middleman between your device and the internet, ensuring that your browser never makes direct contact with the websites you visit. When you send a web request, it goes through the proxy server first. The proxy then forwards the response to your device after sending your request to the appropriate web server.
Proxy servers preserve your privacy and increase the security of your local network by acting as mediators. Other useful functions of proxy servers are listed below:
  • You can restrict access to select websites and safeguard your network from hackers with firewall and web filtering capabilities.
  • Multiple devices can be connected to a single network via shared network connections.
  • Data caching: You can speed up your browsing by saving copies of websites.

Proxy types you can use for web scraping?

Choosing the best proxy provider might be difficult because there are so many possibilities. Nonetheless, there are different ways to classify proxies.

Proxies that are based on IP location

Proxies allow you to send requests to third-party IP addresses. So, depending on the objective of your scraping, we can look at two proxy types.
  1. Datacenter IP addresses: These are the IP addresses of servers, as the name implies. These servers are physically housed in data centres. The primary purpose of data centre IP addresses is to conceal your location from the websites you crawl. They can be used to scrape company data.
  2. Residential and mobile IPs: To begin, you should be aware that these IP addresses are difficult to obtain, which is why they are significantly more expensive than data centre IP addresses. The ISP assigns desktop residential IPs to a residential address, whereas mobile IPs are received through the device’s mobile network. Such IPs allow for the access and crawling of information that people see when visiting a website from their location or using a mobile device.

Proxies that are open, shared, or dedicated

Public proxies, often known as “open” proxies, are of poor quality and offer little security. They are public and are widely used for illicit crawling, bot and DDoS assaults, and other activities. As a result, they are frequently banned by service providers.
Proxies that are shared or dedicated are far more secure. The option you choose here is determined by the requirements of your project. If you’re on a tight budget and only need proxy service sometimes, you can acquire a shared proxy and use the provider’s IP addresses as needed. However, because shared proxies are also used by other clients of service, you may require a customised solution if you want to scrape a large amount of data.

How are proxy networks used to collect data?

Competitive intelligence: Corporate entities that operate in the framework of an industry desire to know what their competitors are up to without their knowing or altering publicly available data. Companies can use proxies to gather information such as the number of downloads for a new app or product reviews.

Search engine monitoring:

Proxy networks allow organisations to observe which keywords are trending in a particular area, what search results pages a given target demographic is seeing, and what sponsored or unbranded content has the highest click-through rates (CTRs).

Ad verification:

Annually, huge quantities of money are spent on digital marketing initiatives. However, the sad reality is that substantial portions of marketing money are squandered on advertising that is never seen by their intended audience or is mistakenly altered in some way. Companies can use a proxy network to view the web through the eyes of an Argentinian consumer. For example, and ensure that the copy, images, and language are all correct.

Price comparison:

Businesses can use proxy networks to route traffic through localised peer IPs, allowing them to see flight costs presented by competitors to a customer in NYC. Because this is a real person, prices are more likely to be correct, allowing them to compete more effectively.
Proxy networks are sometimes misunderstood to be used solely for data collecting by enterprises. While this is a critical use case, it is also a common misunderstanding. Other applications for proxy networks include :
  • Proxy networks are used by businesses to keep an eye on unlawful brand references, third-party piracy retailing, and intellectual property infringements.
  • To ensure that the material, graphics, and language are served to target audiences in specific geolocations as intended.
  • To route traffic through a real-peer user device to see how a target audience interacts with a particular app in a specific GEO and ensure a seamless user experience.

What happens if I collect data without a proxy network?

Data collection can be done without the use of a proxy, but only to a limited extent. The reason for this is that you are most certainly using a single IP address, if not a few. The required volumes of data increase when you run a business of any size and want to collect data to be more competitive and in line with current consumer trends. When you start submitting tens, hundreds, or even thousands of requests for data from the same IP or set of IPs, you’re in trouble. Typically, target sites would flag your IP addresses as potentially harmful and then either block you or serve you false information on purpose.

Is there a cost-effective proxy option?

Yes, some individuals and corporations believe that employing a proxy network is an extremely costly activity, and this is true. But it doesn’t have to be that way. First and foremost, it is determined by the sort of proxy network you select. For example, our Smart proxy is the most cost-effective, particularly for organisations working in stealth mode.’

Conclusion

Many people have misconceptions about proxy networks. Hopefully, this article was able to assist you in deciphering some of them. Allowing you to comprehend what a proxy is and what value it may add to your company.
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