Oxylabs hosted their first webinar about residential proxies usage mistakes and how to solve them. One of the most common mistakes is picking an unreliable proxy provider. To avoid this issue, we covered top things to consider when choosing the proxy provider that perfectly fits your goals and needs. In this article, we will reveal our top tips that will help you make an easy decision.
If you are interested in watching the whole webinar, click here and watch it for free! Improve your knowledge about residential proxies and how to set the right approach to web scraping.
Making it easier to decide
Usually, choosing a reliable proxy provider is a long and challenging task. There are so many criteria to look out for when making the decision. We will try to make this process as easy as possible by suggesting you key focus areas when choosing between different proxy service providers.
Every decision depends on your tasks and goals. Reliability is not that important when planning a one-off job where you need to crawl a couple of websites once. In this case, you can try to choose a random proxy provider without an in-depth research. However, if you are planning to continue web scraping because your business stops without needed data, selecting a reliable proxy provider is crucial.
A few steps to follow: first of all, check out the proxy provider’s website. It is essential that they provide 24/7 support and account managers, service trials, or a money-back guarantee. Also, it is crucial to find out how long this provider is in the business, who they are working with. The LinkedIn page will help you understand who works there. Also, you should pay attention to client reviews on their website or on other sites like trustpilot.com, or proxyway.com. These websites are a great source for evaluating your future proxy provider.
Residential IP pool size and locations
If you are planning to start web scraping, you should decide what locations are your targets. Not every proxy provider has a wide selection of locations. You should anticipate your targets for the future. Otherwise, you will face a lot of issues while web scraping, and you will not get the required results. Furthermore, the constantly growing residential IP pool shows that the proxy provider is expanding and indicates quality, stability, and reliability.
Success rates and speed
As you may know, residential proxies are genuine IP addresses. These proxies are using consumer-grade devices and network connections. Therefore, residential proxies are less stable and slower than datacenter proxies. However, you can test that stability by scraping a sample website that always returns content. If you get timeouts, connection errors with your requests, the problem is with the proxy network itself. A reliable proxy network success rate should be at least 90%. The best proxy providers guarantee 95% and higher success rates.
Just as the success rate, speed also depends on the stability of a residential proxy network. Typical response time for a very lightweight website should be well under three seconds (in this case, only HTML). Keep an eye on how often the speed is slow, or how often your requests completely timeout. A great residential proxy provider should deliver results in under two seconds tops. Do not forget that speed also depends on many other factors.
For example, you should pay attention to content size. If HTML alone is over 1MB, it is almost impossible to get in quicker than in two seconds. Another example is latency. If you are using exit nodes from Europe and accessing websites that are hosted in South America, you will see significant dips in speed.
Integration and support
If you are beginning web scraping, a knowledge base from your proxy provider would be beneficial. Take a look at their documentation and make sure that everything is clear. Maybe they have examples in the language you are writing your scraper with. If you are using third-party software, look for integration tutorials. A reliable proxy provider will always have clear instructions and all information that is crucial for starting to use their proxies and more.
It is essential to understand that you can get help, so ask them if their support team can assist you with your issues. For Oxylabs, the customer experience was, and still is, one of the most important business values.
Wrapping it up
Deciding what proxy provider to choose may be a complicated and time-consuming task. We suggest you consider your web scraping plans. First of all, think of locations and what data you will scrape. Residential IP pool size, success rates, and speed are the things to consider. Only choose a proxy provider that will give you tips on how to achieve the best results, and make sure you can ask them to assist with your issues no matter what.
Oxylabs has a self-service check out for smaller residential proxy plans, making it easier to quickly see how they work. Register here and decide what is best for you. Also, if you have more questions, book a call with our sales team!