The 7 Best Free Proxies for Web Scraping

The 7 Best Free Proxies for Web Scraping
Posted on
Jun 02, 2022

Professional scraping is impossible without using proxy servers, because most websites restrict or block mass scraper requests. We can say with certainty that no web server would send content to a crawler sending high-frequency requests from a single computer.

In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at how proxy servers work, their types, benefits, and how to choose a good free proxy server for web scraping.

What's a Proxy for Web Scraping?

A proxy is an intermediary server for requests from clients looking for resources to the servers that provide those resources.

Because web scraping needs a large number of requests to a server from one IP address, the server can detect too many requests and can block this IP address to stop further information collection.

This is why proxy servers are used to bypass blocking. They allow you to hide your real IP address, ensuring that the server running the target site cannot detect your real physical location.

How Web Scraping Proxies Work

Web scraping proxies intercept the crawler's requests and connect to the target web server on behalf of a pool of other IPs. By doing so, they replace the crawler's IP geolocation.

In this case, the "correct" geolocation has a high chance to get rid of CAPTCHA. After all, CAPTCHA often appears when the client's geolocation seems doubtful or undesirable in the developers' opinion.

It is worth keeping in mind that some types of proxies identify themselves as proxies when sending a request to the target web server. When a website detects that it's being accessed through a proxy server, it may reject the request.

Proxy Requests Redirection

Connecting the proxy server to the crawler application is fairly trivial. The HTTP client of the scraping application is passed a proxy configuration from the data received from the proxy provider. This is the proxy server's host address, port, username and password.

Now the HTTP client will send all HTTP requests to the proxy server and receive responses from the target web server.

Why Do You Need a Proxy for Web Scraping?

You can't do web scraping without proxies on a large scale. And the main reason is that you won't get through the restrictions on multiple requests to a site from a single IP address without a proxy. When you refresh the page a certain number of times, the fraud protection system is triggered. Then the site starts to perceive your actions as a DDoS-attack and blocks access to your pages.

Therefore, it is worth using several IP addresses at once to successfully collect information. But, of course, it all depends on how many requests you want to make.

Scraping public data is legal. If the content is in the public domain and not copyrighted, it can be used legally. It doesn't depend on whether you use a proxy or not. However, the scraped data should be used within the law.

Web Scraping Proxy Types

Datacenter & Residential Proxies

The primary choice of proxy type for scraping is between datacenter and residential proxies.

Residential IPs are IP addresses that're tied to a physical device, such as a phone or a real user's desktop computer. Most online services recognize residential IP addresses as real people, unlike those who use datacenter IPs.

Datacenter IPs are created virtually without being linked to users' devices. Such proxies usually come from data centers and cloud hosting services and are not listed by ISPs.

When choosing a proxy, it is better to focus on the resource you want to scrape. When you start scraping a particular site, try subscribing to datacenter proxies because they are cheaper and can do the job in half the time.

In case of failure or frequent blocking, use residential proxies. Subscribing to residential proxies is justified if datacenter proxies only return service access errors and the cost of residential proxies fits within your budget.

Mobile Proxies

Mobile IPs belong to domains of mobile operators, and web developers avoid banning such IPs. Their fear is that each mobile IP can have tens of thousands of real users. However, not all proxy providers allocate mobile proxies to an individual package.

Rotating Proxies

Rotating proxies mean that the proxy provider substitutes new IPs for an already open connection with a client at specified intervals. Sometimes even for every new request. This is a useful feature because you can get the content in two or three tries, even if the first request ends in an error.

Dedicated Proxies

Dedicated proxies mean that only one client can connect to a given IP at a given time.

Forward Proxies

Forward proxies stand for a proxy that acts as a courier and connects the client and web server independently to exchange messages. In addition to a forward proxy, there are reverse proxies with a subtle difference.

Reverse Proxies

A reverse proxy refers to a server in a data center that intercepts all user requests directly to itself. The reverse proxy does not reach the external network itself but forwards the received client requests to the proxy servers in its local network. Having collected responses from the proxies to the external web server, the reverse proxy returns them to the client.

It can be said that from the client's point of view, a reverse proxy behaves the same way as a forward proxy. But, a different logic is used at the proxy level, whereby the server connected to the client never connects to the web servers on the external network.

Anonymous Proxies

Anonymous proxy server does not pass your IP address to the website but identifies itself as a proxy. As a result, you maintain a certain level of anonymity as long as the website knows they are not getting your information. Because the website knows it is being accessed through a proxy, it may deny your request.

What Proxy Services Should a Beginner Choose?

You might think that finding a good proxy service provider is very difficult. Especially when you consider the sheer number of providers on the market. So here are 4 most important factors to consider when choosing the right proxy service provider:

IP Pool Size

One of the criteria when choosing a proxy provider is the number of proxies available. This is especially relevant if you're working on a project that needs proxies from specific locations.

  • A small proxy pool means that they have a limited number of available IP addresses and may not meet your needs. Plus, a small pool of IP addresses is more prone to IP blocking.
  • A large proxy pool provides more specificity and a guarantee of access to a site by city or country. If you need to access sites in different locations, make sure that the proxy provider you choose has a great proxy pool management system.

Customer Support

You may run into technical problems when working with proxies. Therefore, it is worth working with a provider who offers a good customer support system and who is willing to help you in a difficult time. They should also be ready to help you sort out the technical problem and its cause.

Reputation

A proxy provider that does not operate according to high ethical standards can expose you to significant security risks.

A proxy provider must adhere to an ethical code of privacy to ensure the safety of all its customers. The principles must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Moreover, a reliable provider will require the device owner's consent before redirecting request data using his or her IP address.

Information Collection

A proxy server must collect a minimum of information about you. Of course, all servers collect information about you, but paid and prestigious ones do it to a minimum. And they use it only for their own purposes. Without selling it or handing it over to government agencies.

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What to Expect from a Proxy Lists

Proxy lists help you assign proxies to a user account or when rotating proxies. Such lists come in handy when you give bots, crawlers, and other kinds of software anonymity to perform their tasks.

For purposes such as brand protection, travel aggregation, price comparisons, and other types of data-dependent work, you will need multiple IP addresses. For such cases, having a proxy list can save you time and energy.

Usually, proxy providers have a wide range of proxies in their IP pools. Their number can vary from thousands to millions. Providers can supply proxy lists with the ability to filter by country, type, speed, and anonymity level.

Of course, the first thing you may be interested in is the list of free proxies. But how do free proxy sites generate lists? It's simple. With proxy scanners. This is software that scans the world for open proxies.

We've prepared an overview where you can get lists of free proxy servers:

SSL Proxy

SSL Proxy offers a list of rotating HTTP, HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies and a pool of 8,000+ IP addresses. Proxies rotate IPs based on time or requests. The list is constantly updated to ensure that many users have access to the latest stable proxies.

SSL Proxy List
SSL Proxy List

Features:

  • HTTPS and SSL proxies
  • Fast and slow rotating ports
  • Google anonymity proxies

Pros:

  • High-speed connection
  • High anonymity private of proxies
  • Effective refund policy
  • A large pool of proxy IPs
  • Location support is available across the world
  • Instant proxy delivery
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • Don't support SOCKS proxies
  • SSP types
  • Expensive proxy plans

Price: free plan; premium plan from $3.98 to $99.97 per month.

Open Proxy Space

Open Proxy Space is an option for accessing the public proxy list for anonymous connections. The service provides an updated list of proxy servers with country selection. The list shows HTTP and SOCKS proxies.

Open Proxy Space
Open Proxy Space

Features:

  • HTTP/HTTPS proxy connections
  • SOCKS 4/SOCKS5 protocols
  • Ability to save proxy lists in TXT
  • Cascade/Distorting proxies
  • Flexible API

Pros:

  • Fast speed
  • Undetectable
  • Good customer support
  • Instant delivery
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons:

  • No refunds, all sales are final

Price: free version, but it does not offer a secure or stable proxy list. It's better to sign up for the premium version to get an updated proxy list. Premium costs $4.99 to $7.99 per month.

Proxy-List

Proxy-List provides a list of proxy servers worldwide. All proxies are checked to make sure they are 100% operational. The list includes the anonymity level, city and country where the servers are located.

Proxy-list.download
Proxy-list.download

Features:

  • Proxy API
  • Proxy scraper
  • HTTP, SSL, SOCKS4/5 Proxies
  • More than 1 million proxy lists

Pros:

  • Daily updated proxies
  • Good customer support

Cons:

  • Only 104 proxies with US geolocation

Price: free.

ProxyScrape

ProxyScrape is an online proxy for anonymous network access. It has a user-friendly interface and the ability to sort the proxy list by country. This proxy supports HTTP, Socks4 and 5 protocols. There is a premium version that displays a more comprehensive list of faster and more stable proxies.

Proxyscrape
Proxyscrape

Features:

  • Timeout threshold
  • HTTP proxies
  • SOCKS 4/SOCKS5 proxies
  • Sort proxies

Pros:

  • Up to 60 000 datacenter proxies and 7 million residential proxies
  • Low pings
  • Friendly customer support
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons:

  • According to reviews, customer data may be leaked

Price: free.

Geonode

Geonode is an online proxy access tool for secure data extraction. There is a choice of anonymous or non-anonymous proxy, country selection, proxy listing export in CSV, JSON, TXT formats, etc.

Geonode
Geonode

Features:

  • IP whitelisting
  • Up to 2 million IP addresses in over 140 different countries
  • Residential IPs
  • Customize API reports

Pros:

  • Whitelisting option available
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Simple user interface
  • Supports rotating and static IPs
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Proxy speed and effectiveness need improvement
  • Customer service can be slow
  • Money transfer issues

Price: free trial period of 7 days. After that $7 a month.

SPYS.ONE

Spys.one is a free online proxy application for anonymous network access. The list of online proxies consists of a large number of free HTTP/HTTPS and SOCKS proxies. You can sort proxies based on cities, transparency and hostname, view the latency, speed and uptime of each proxy.

SPYS.ONE
SPYS.ONE

Features:

  • Anonymous free proxy list
  • Proxy list sorted by city, port, and hostname
  • HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS proxy list

Pros:

  • You can always find free SOCKS5 proxies
  • Database with the ability to filter by the specified criteria
  • Ability to check for viruses, check proxy lists and specific IP addresses, Whois, ping, traceroute, etc.
  • No paid options

Cons:

  • The service does not have a distinct API
  • Parsing of pages is prohibited (the service blocks IP-client if the specified number of automatic requests is exceeded)
  • There are no guarantees neither on proxies nor on their quality
  • The built-in proxy checker can make mistakes

Price: Free

Alternative to Free Proxy Lists

Although free proxy services look tempting because they are free, they do not enable data collection on an industrial scale. The IP addresses of the free proxy services you decide to use are most likely already blocked or blacklisted by most websites. Plus, most free proxies do not allow HTTPS connections, which means that the connection is not encrypted.

If you're going to use a proxy for web scraping, consider Scrape-it.Cloud.

Scrape-It.Cloud
Scrape-it.Cloud

Although some of the features are available when you buy a paid plan, you get 1,000 free credits when you sign up. Even free users have access to support and safe and secure IP addresses. You'll also get access to JavaScript rendering & headless Chrome, which will simplify proxy scraper use.

One of the main service features is automatic proxy rotation. With a large pool of proxies you can bypass site speed limits, hide your scrapes and reduce the chance of being blocked by a website. We offer both data center proxies and resident proxies.

Features:

  • Data transmission over secure channels
  • Captcha problem solved
  • 5.000.000+ IPs from all over the world
  • Absolutely anonymous
  • Automatic proxy rotation

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Ongoing support
  • Fast-acting
  • Affordable pricing
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Follows full legal compliance

Price: has a free trial period, paid plans start at $30/month.

Conclusion

Web scraping proxy is a good solution for both individuals and organizations. You can use different types of proxies for different purposes.

Of course, even though most free proxies are in the public domain and can be used for free, it is still worth remembering that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Free proxies have several disadvantages, such as:

  • it is problematic to find working proxies;
  • these proxies are no longer active over time;
  • slow download speed since they are used by a huge number of people;
  • frequent failures due to overloads;
  • high risk of IP blocking.

So, we can say that free proxies are suitable only for testing and short-term use. It is worth careful and cautious selection of proxy services.

Tired of getting blocked while scraping the web?

Try out Web Scraping API with proxy rotation, CAPTCHA bypass, and Javascript rendering.

  • 1,000 Free API Credits
  • No Credit Card Required
  • 30-Day Trial
Try now for free

Get structured data in the format you need!

We offer customized web scraping solutions that can provide any data you need, on time and with no hassle!

  • Regular, custom data delivery
  • Pay after you receive sample dataset
  • A range of output formats
Get a Quote
Alexandra Datsenko
Alexandra Datsenko
Alexandra Datsenko’s profile

I’m a content creator who loves to write about web scraping and techniques for extracting information from websites. Here I will share with you some of my favorite tools, tips, and tricks for data extraction and how to use them in your business.

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