Have you ever had to pause your scraping routines because of recurring proxy error codes? That’s a widespread problem, especially if you’re new to scraping with proxies. Since there’s a great variety of status codes, each having a distinctive meaning and solution, it may sometimes get very confusing.
In this article, we’ll go over the most common proxy errors and explain how to fix them. By learning proxy status errors and how to handle them, you can swiftly complete your scraping activities and manage proxy server IPs efficiently.
Briefly, a proxy server error is an HTTP error status. It occurs when the request you sent to a web server via a proxy server doesn’t succeed. Normally, the code reveals what kind of an issue you’ve run into. Since there are plenty of codes, proxy errors may seem quite puzzling. Depending on the error code, you’ll have to develop a solution to deal with it.
Officially, there are five HTTP response status classes. The first digit of the code signifies the category of the response.
|Status code class||Meaning|
|1xx informational response||The server has received the request and is now processing it.|
|2xx successful||The server has received and accepted the request.|
|3xx redirection||Additional actions are required to complete the request.|
|4xx client error||The request contains errors and can’t be executed.|
|5xx server error||The server failed to carry out a seemingly valid request.|
While the 1xx and 2xx class codes are intended for information purposes and don’t require any actions, the 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx codes hint at an issue that needs attention and additional steps to be performed.
It’s noteworthy that in this blog post, we’ll cover only the generic proxy status codes, meaning that most proxy server providers and websites use them. However, there are edge cases when the same status codes are used for different reasons.
100 - Continue
Normally, the 1xx status codes are used when a server is processing a request. However, they are quite rare. The 100 error signifies that the server has already received a request header, and you can proceed with sending the body of the request.
101 - Switching protocols
If you bump into a 101 status code, it means that the client’s browser is requesting the server to alter the communication protocol during transmission. If you receive this code, it means that the server has accepted this request and is now sending you a notification of an acknowledgment.
102 - Processing (WebDav)
If a client is sending complex requests involving multiple requirements, the target server may take some time to process it. In order to avoid a timeout error on the client's end, the server informs the client that the request has been received and is now being processed.
103 - Early hints
The 103 status code means that the server is about to send a final response containing the header fields and included in the informational response.
301 - Moved Permanently
You will receive a 301 error when there’s a permanent redirect set to an original URL. It forwards the user agent to another URL. Usually, such small proxy errors are not an issue, as many scrapers and browsers will follow the new URL.
305 - Use Proxy
The 305 error code pops up when the web server you’re requesting can be accessed only via a proxy.
The 305 error code is deprecated, meaning it shouldn’t be used these days due to security concerns. That’s why the chances of you running into this proxy error are quite low.
How to fix: In this case, a client should connect to a proxy server and re-try the same request.
306 - Switch Proxy
The 306 error code response is a bit different from the 305 proxy error code. It entails that an HTTP client is already using a proxy server, and this code is used to tell that you should connect via another proxy server. Again, this error code is a rare find these days.
How to fix: Connect using a different proxy server.
307 - Temporary Redirect
If you see the 307 proxy error code, it means that you will be temporarily redirected to a different location in order to access the resource.
How to fix: In this case, you should simply follow the redirect link and make the request again.
400 - Bad Request
The 400 error message is a common response signaling that the target server or the proxy server can’t process your request. It can be caused by multiple reasons, for example, invalid formatting, receptive request routing, or malformed syntax.
How to fix: If you encounter this error code, the first thing you should do is scan through your request to ensure it contains all the required information. After that, you can try sending the request again.
401 - Unauthorized
If you stumble upon a 401 proxy error code, most probably, the resource you’re trying to access requires authentication. You can solve the issue by providing authorization details. However, you should keep in mind that scraping data hidden under authentication requirements may be illegal or at least unethical.
How to fix: You need to provide authorization information.
403 - Forbidden
The 403 error message is extremely generic and is used when something’s forbidden, for whatever reason. Since it’s not specified, most of the time, it’s hard to figure out the actual reason. This code might signify that you’re trying to do something only site administrators can do. So you either don’t have permission for this or logged in using the wrong credentials.
404 - Not Found
Proxies return a 404 error code when the online resource you requested is no longer available. It means that the URL is either incorrect, was changed without redirection, or doesn’t exist anymore.
How to fix: If you see this error, you should double-check the URL and try again.
407 - Proxy Authentication Required
You’ll see the 407 status code error when authentication is required. It happens when your scraping tool is not authenticated correctly with the proxy server provider or when you enter the wrong credentials. Another reason for this proxy error is not whitelisting your IPs in the proxy server settings.
How to fix: Fixing this issue is simple. You need to update your proxy server settings by including whitelisted IPs and use appropriate credentials. Besides, you should make sure that all the required information is included in the request. If you don’t succeed in solving this issue for some reason, contact your proxy server provider for assistance.
408 - Request Timeout
The 408 proxy error code occurs when a client hasn’t made a request while a server is configured to wait. A slow request can happen for many reasons, including poor or lost internet connection.
How to fix: You should check your connection and try sending the request again. If this proxy error is persistent, check your web server’s load.
429 - Too Many Requests
The 429 proxy error occurs when a client is sending too many requests within a limited amount of time, using the same IP. This way, a web server considers you a bot and restricts access.
Also, some proxy providers use the 429 status code to rate-limit the customer before reaching the web server. It may be determined by the proxy provider’s terms and conditions.
How to fix: To fix this proxy error, you should rotate your IP address and set time delays between requests.
502 - Bad Gateway
Normally, you would get this error when the server you’re trying to reach acts as a proxy or a getaway and receives an invalid response from another server.
How to fix: If you encounter this error, you should try clearing your cache and cookie files. If it doesn’t help, the next step you can take is to change your DNS and try making a request without using a proxy server.
503 - Services Unavailable
You'll see the 503 status code error when the server you’re trying to access is unavailable. Most of the time, it happens because the server is overloaded with requests or it’s undergoing a planned downtime.
Another reason for this is that your proxy IP has been identified and blocked from the website. In this case, you should try using a different proxy. Also, you can always prevent blocking by rotating your IP.
How to fix: Try rotating your IP address.
Proxy status error codes are quite an unfortunate obstacle on the way to the desired data. Nevertheless, most of them are quite straightforward to address if you know their meaning and basic steps to take when crashing into them.
If you found this guide useful, you may also like this article explaining how to extract data from a website.
What causes proxy server errors?
There are two primary reasons for proxy server errors. The first is a misconfiguration in proxy settings from a client’s side, and the second is an issue from the requesting server end. Further consideration of the status code is required for a more precise answer.
How to fix a proxy error?
There’s no universal answer to this question as every proxy error has a unique status code and requires a tailored solution. However, the most generic advice would be to double-check the request and the information it contains, ensure a stable internet connection, and configure proxy settings properly.
About the author
Maryia Stsiopkina is a Junior Copywriter at Oxylabs. As her passion for writing was developing, she was writing either creepy detective stories or fairy tales for children at different points in time. Eventually, she found herself in the tech wonderland with numerous hidden corners to explore. In her spare time, she goes birdwatching with the binoculars (some people mistake it for stalking, which is why Maryia finds herself in an awkward situation sometimes), makes flower jewellery, and eats many pickles and green olives.
All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.
Don’t forget to save your seat at OxyCon 2022, September 7-8, to join discussions on the most relevant and recently encountered topics of public data gathering! Just like last year, the 2 day virtual event will feature discussions from a plethora of industry-leading guests.
Do you keep running into proxy errors and have no clue what is causing them? Check out this blog post to learn the most common proxy error status codes and how to fix them.
In the 5th episode of our podcast, OxyCast host and Software Engineer Augustinas Kalvis will be talking to Mindaugas Dunderis about proxies and how they go hand-in-hand with public data scraping.
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