According to a 2021 study, bots were responsible for 42.3% of all internet activity, an increase from 40.8% in 2020. Additionally, in 2021, traffic from bad bots linked to fraud, illegal web scraping, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and other malicious activity was nearly double that of good bots. Good bots perform legal and helpful processes such as indexing, lawful web scraping, and automated responses. So it is no surprise that websites are increasingly implementing anti-bot measures such as CAPTCHAs, IP bans, headers, user agent requirements, and sign-in and login requirements, just to mention a few.
Of course, these measures are primarily meant to protect the server from receiving and processing excessive requests, which may lead to the exhaustion of available resources. Still, it can impede data extraction exercises with legitimate causes, such as market research, identifying search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, brand protection, and ad verification. In such cases, it is essential to use tools that can bypass and even reverse the effect of anti-bot measures, one of which is the web unblocker.
What is a Web Unblocker?
A web unblocker is an advanced AI-powered proxy solution capable of automatically and intelligently managing various web scraping processes. So advanced is the web unblocker that it uses an unblocking logic that unblocks blocked access to websites. However, this is only in rare instances, as this tool is packed with features that bypass even the most sophisticated anti-bot systems.
Features of a Web Unblocker
1. ML-Driven Proxy Management
For instance, it has a machine learning-driven proxy management functionality that works as follows:
- The proxy management tool determines the best proxy pool from a vast assortment of available pools that include different types of IP addresses from multiple countries. This tool only selects the pool that will provide unrestricted access to a particular website and guarantee success when extracting data.
- Next, it automatically selects a proxy from the pool, which is used to initiate the web scraping.
- Finally, during the data extraction exercise, the proxy management tool will rotate the assigned proxy by selecting IP addresses from the identified pool in step 1.
By undertaking proxy rotation, this tool limits the number of requests that can originate from the same IP address. It, therefore, mimics human browsing behavior as human users only send a limited number of requests to connect to web pages on a website. This way, the proxy management tool prevents IP bans and facilitates continuous data extraction.
2. Browser Fingerprinting
The web unblocker can create diverse browser fingerprints that store attributes of different users or personas. It does this by utilizing different combinations of headers, cookies, web browser attributes, and proxies. When the fingerprints are delivered alongside a web scraping request, a web server judges it as having been sent by a real user. After all, all identifiers used to link it to a user have been provided.
To put it simply, the web unblocker’s browser fingerprinting capability facilitates the imitation of real website users, thus preventing anti-bot measures from kicking into action. More specifically, this feature helps bypass the header requirement.
3. Automatic Retries
This tool can automatically resend a request if it detects that the initial request was unsuccessful. This is a handy capability in large-scale web scraping, wherein multiple requests are sent at a time. It ensures that data from most, if not all, web pages to be scraped is collected.
5. Maintain Session
A web unblocker maintains sessions by allowing you to use the same proxy to make multiple requests. This ensures continuity regarding elements such as the exact server to which you are connected.
Other essential features that make web unblockers ideal for large-scale scraping include the following:
- The ability to change location, which enables you to access otherwise geo-restricted content. In fact, they support city, country, or coordinate-level geotargeting
- Web unblockers can determine the quality of the response
- They can bypass CAPTCHA codes
A web unblocker is a vital tool for businesses undertaking large-scale web scraping. It boasts features and functionalities that can bypass even the most sophisticated anti-bot system. For instance, it can manage and rotate proxies as well as select the right IP pool to use. This way, it avoids IP bans. It can also bypass CAPTCHAs and mimic a real human website user by creating browser fingerprints. What’s more, it offers the ability to access and collect data from any country. Visit Oxylabs to learn more about their Web Unblocker.