Web scraping can be a powerful tool for extracting data, but sometimes you may run into issues with sites blocking your requests. This is where proxies come in handy! Proxies act as an intermediary between you and the sites you want to scrape. They help mask your identity and prevent blocks.
In this comprehensive tutorial, we'll cover everything you need to know about setting up and integrating proxies with ParseHub for smooth web scraping.
Why Use Proxies for Web Scraping?
Here are some of the main benefits of using proxies with your web scrapers:
- Avoid blocks – Rotating proxies helps prevent target sites from recognizing and blocking your scraping activities based on IP address.
- Scrape more data – Proxies allow you to send more concurrent requests without getting flagged as a bot, letting you extract data faster.
- Maintain anonymity – Proxies keep your real IP address hidden from sites you're scraping.
- Access restricted content – Proxies can help you bypass geographic restrictions and scrape content only available in certain regions.
Overview of Proxy Providers
There are many proxy services out there, but in this guide we'll focus on setting up BrightData, Smartproxy, Proxy-Seller, and Soax with ParseHub. Here's a quick rundown of each provider:
BrightData offers reliable, high-quality residential and datacenter proxies starting from $500/month. Some key features:
- Rotating proxies to avoid blocks
- 72M+ fresh IPs available
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- dedicated account manager
Smartproxy provides affordable residential proxies starting from $75/month. Features include:
- 55M+ IPs in 195 locations
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Private proxy networks to avoid blocks
- User-friendly dashboard
Proxy-Seller has a wide range of residential proxy plans from $50/month. Highlights:
- 15M+ IPs from major cities
- Fast 1 Gbps network -arguments
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Free proxy tester tool
Soax offers a robust infrastructure and APIs for proxy management. Pricing starts at $300/month. Notable features:
- 155M+ IPs across 195 locations
- Customizable rules like sticky sessions
- Real-time monitoring and analytics
- 99.9% uptime SLA
Configuring Proxies on ParseHub
Now that we've covered why proxies matter for web scraping and provided in-depth overviews of some top providers, let's get into the steps for setting up proxies within ParseHub on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.
Here is the complete process for setting up proxies on ParseHub for Windows:
- First, sign up for a proxy service like BrightData and grab your hostname/IP and port credentials from their dashboard.
- Download and install the ParseHub desktop app on your Windows machine if you haven't already. You can grab the latest installer from https://www.parsehub.com/dashboard.
- Once installed, launch ParseHub and start a new project for the site you want to scrape. Click the “+” button to create a project and then enter the target URL.
- ParseHub will automatically analyze the site and identify data to be extracted. Select the data elements you want to scrape.
- When ready, click on the settings icon in the top right corner and select the “Advanced” tab in the menu that appears.
- Under the “Network” section, click the “Settings” button and choose “Manual proxy configuration” from the options.
- In the HTTP Proxy field, paste in the hostname or IP address provided by your proxy provider like BrightData.
- In the Port field, enter the specific port number assigned to you by the proxy service. This is usually a 5-digit number.
- Click OK to save the manual proxy configuration. ParseHub will now route all scraping requests through your designated proxy server.
- To avoid blocks, make sure to rotate your IPs frequently. Most proxy providers offer browser extensions or APIs to automate proxy rotation, making it easy to programmatically cycle through IPs.
And that's it! ParseHub is now configured to use your proxies for web scraping on Windows.
Here are step-by-step instructions for integrating proxies with ParseHub on Mac:
- Sign up with your chosen proxy provider like BrightData to obtain your unique hostname/IP and port needed for proxy authentication.
- Download and install the ParseHub Mac app if you don't already have it. You can get the dmg installer file at https://www.parsehub.com/dashboard.
- Once installed, open ParseHub and start a new project by entering the URL you want to scrape data from.
- Analyze the target page and select the data you wish to extract with ParseHub.
- Access the ParseHub settings menu and select the “Advanced” tab. Click the “Network” sub-tab.
- Near the bottom, click the “Settings” button and choose “Manual proxy configuration”.
- In the HTTP Proxy field, enter the proxy hostname or IP address provided by your vendor. For example,
- Next, in the Port field, enter your unique proxy port like
- Click OK to confirm the proxy settings. ParseHub will now direct all requests through your designated proxy.
- Take advantage of proxy rotation features offered by vendors like BrightData to avoid scraping blocks. Their Mac apps and APIs make cycling IPs simple.
That's all there is to it! ParseHub is now set up to use proxies from BrightData, Smartproxy or your preferred provider when scraping sites on your Mac.
Follow these steps to configure proxy connectivity with ParseHub on a Linux distribution like Ubuntu:
- Choose a proxy provider and sign up for a scraping package to get your authentication credentials.
- Install ParseHub on your Linux machine. You can install the deb package directly or via APT if you have the ParseHub APT repo configured.
- Once installed, open ParseHub and start a new project by entering a target URL to analyze and scrape.
- Identify the data on the page you want ParseHub to extract. The AI will automatically select elements but you can customize as needed.
- Access the settings menu from the top right corner and select the “Advanced” tab.
- Within the Advanced settings, click the “Network” sub-tab and then the “Settings” button.
- Choose “Manual proxy configuration” and enter your proxy provider hostname/IP in the HTTP Proxy field.
- In the Port field below, enter your assigned proxy port number which is typically 5 digits.
- Click OK to confirm the proxy settings. ParseHub will now route scraping requests through the proxy.
- Most proxy providers have Linux command line tools or APIs that make it easy to automatically rotate proxy IPs as you scrape to avoid blocks.
And that's it for setup on Linux! Follow the same basic steps above to direct ParseHub's web scraping through your chosen proxy solution.
Optimizing ParseHub Scraping with Proxies
Beyond basic setup, there are additional techniques you can use to optimize ParseHub scraping using proxies:
- Create multiple accounts – Distribute scraping across multiple ParseHub accounts to appear more human vs. bot traffic.
- Use sticky sessions – Sticky sessions direct all requests for a site through the same proxy IP to avoid login and state issues.
- Leverage APIs – Many proxy providers have APIs to programmatically manage proxies across accounts and automate rotation.
- Monitor analytics – Use proxy dashboards to monitor usage and identify any blocked or misbehaving IPs.
- Adjust request pacing – Throttle concurrent requests and implement delays to avoid looking robotic.
- Retry failed requests – Program scripts to retry through new proxies when scraping fails or IPs get blocked.
- Whitelist IPs – Request target sites whitelist your rotating proxy IPs to reduce scrapers getting flagged.
With the right optimization strategies, you can orchestrate large proxies pools to scrape massive amounts of data through ParseHub without tripping bot detection.
Tips for Choosing the Right Proxy Provider
With so many proxy services out there, how do you determine the right provider and plan for your web scraping needs? Here are some tips:
- Consider your scraping scale – For large projects, prioritize providers like BrightData with lots of IPs and bandwidth. For smaller scrapers, affordable options like Smartproxy work well.
- Evaluate proxy types – Residential rotating proxies are ideal for most scraping. But datacenter and static proxies have benefits for accessing geo-restricted content.
- Compare proxy locations – Scraping locally? Prioritize vendors with more IPs in your target countries. Need broad coverage? Look for global proxy networks.
- Review management features – If automating scraping, choose vendors with robust APIs and proxy rotation tools. Otherwise simple might be better.
- Assess network reliability – For mission-critical scraping, opt for providers like BrightData with strong SLAs and support. Cheaper services may have more spotty uptime.
- Understand pricing tiers – Look for volume discounts if you need lots of bandwidth. Free trial periods are useful for testing before committing.
Do your homework and match the right proxy solutions to your specific scraping needs.
Avoiding Blocks and Getting the Most from Proxies
Here are some pro tips for avoiding anti-scraping blocks and maximizing the effectiveness of your proxies:
- Rotate IPs frequently – Switch up proxies every few requests or minutes to avoid patterns. Use proxy rotation tools to automate this process.
- Create multiple ParseHub accounts – Spread your scraping across accounts so activity looks more distributed vs. coming from one user.
- Use different proxy types – Mix things up by routing some requests through datacenter IPs in addition to residential.
- Throttle requests – Limit scraping speed to appear more human. Proxy providers often let you customize request pacing.
- Implement proxy whitelists – Have target sites whitelist your proxy IPs so they know requests are legitimate.
- Retry on failures – Use scripts to retry failed scraping requests through a new proxy. Don't give up on errors!
- Monitor analytics – Review usage reports to identify any blocked IPs that should be cycled out of your scraping proxies.
With the right strategies, you can avoid bot detection and gain access to vast amounts of valuable web data.
Integrating proxies into your ParseHub web scrapers provides huge benefits like avoiding blocks, scraping faster, maintaining anonymity, and accessing more data.
We looked at several top proxy services like BrightData, Smartproxy, Proxy-Seller, and Soax that make it easy to get started. Each provider offers key features like proxy rotation, private networks, shared IP pools, and APIs for automation.
The process for manually configuring proxies is straightforward on any operating system – just enter your hostname/IP and port in ParseHub's network settings and you're off to the races. Taking advantage of automated proxy rotation is key for smooth scraping at scale.
With the right proxies in place, you can leverage the power of ParseHub to extract huge amounts of data from even the most challenging sites. Proxies help you fly under the radar so target sites have no idea you're scraping them.
Hopefully this comprehensive, in-depth guide has provided everything you need to know about integrating proxies with ParseHub for expert-level web scraping on Windows, Mac, Linux and more. Let us know if you have any other questions!