What’s Better: Building a Proxy Network or Using a Provider's Solution?

It's tempting to jump in building your own proxy network head-first. Before you do that, check this article to see if you're ready for the challenge. Alternatively, you can try ready solutions.

What’s Better: Building a Proxy Network or Using a Provider's Solution?
Article content
  1. What Features Does a Proxy Management Infrastructure Need to Have?
  2. Creating an Infrastructure by Yourself
  3. What about a Proxy Provider?

It’s not sufficient to simply gather a pool of IP addresses and hope for the best. Proxies require a lot of maintenance if you want the scraping, or another activity you’re using IPs for, to go smoothly. Badly managed proxies get blocked very quickly and, therefore, lose their value.

Without a reliable and agile infrastructure, you will constantly be facing reliability issues. Thus, the process you are utilizing proxies for will go significantly slower. You can go either of these two ways of solving this issue:

  1. Build your own system from scratch or
  2. Stick to the vendor that will cover some of your needs.

Let’s see which one is better for your project.

What Features Does a Proxy Management Infrastructure Need to Have?

Actually, regardless of the unique needs of the process, the demands for a proxy maintenance solution are more or less the same. The main thing it absolutely must do is to bring back successful responses consistently and as frequently as you need. This requirement lies at the core of continuous and fruitful scraping or another activity that involves proxies.

The minimum effort is to obtain a sufficient pool of IP addresses to cover the required volume of requests. The more proxies you have, the more effortless it is to rotate them, and the lower gets the risk to get banned.

But having many proxies is already not enough. If you want your crawlers to gather the required data effectively, you require a system that will be agile enough to respond to occurring problems.

Comparing different infrastructure features

Hence, today, we have a full list of features the proxy solution should be capable of performing:

  • Ban detection - the system must be able to identify lots of bans. This feature will allow you to spot and bypass obstacles like CAPTCHAs, cloaking, redirects, and other kinds of anti-scraping techniques. In addition to that, the system should have a database of all the websites you’re working with to be ready for all the obstacles. And it’s not the easiest task to get done.
  • Repeating requests - once a proxy faced an obstacle, the system should send another inquiry with a new IP address to retry the request.
  • Headers management - it’s crucial for the system to manage and rotate cookies, user agents, and other details that impact the quality of the results.
  • The duration of sessions - at certain moments, you require to keep a single proxy for a whole session regardless of its length. So it is useful to have a feature that sets the duration of the session.
  • Delays - smartly managed delays are key to successful scraping. They cover up your activity. Ideally, the management tool should be capable of setting delays dynamically, considering the unique features of the site and real-time events. Then you can ensure the quality output and avoid getting blocked.
  • Locations - sometimes you might need to use proxies only from certain countries.

Judging from this quite impressive list of demands, you can see that proxy maintenance is rather complex. You need quite a lot of functions to manage IPs efficiently. So, what is the right decision - building the solution from or at least partly rely on the provider?

Creating an Infrastructure by Yourself

How to create a proxy infrastructure by yourself

It’s a natural response of any developer to that list of features we’ve been talking about earlier. And this solution can work for smaller projects where you don’t need a very big pool of IPs. But when the needs of the task are quite demanding, you begin running into a lot of issues with your IP addresses because developers can rarely quickly create an efficient system that will work as you need it to work.

The first issue you will face is the price of IPs. For a large project, you need a lot of them, and acquiring IP addresses by yourself is rather costly. You most likely won’t feel comfortable with a hundred of proxies - most larger-scale projects require at least a thousand of IPs. Thus, buying IP addresses becomes not just expensive, but time-demanding as well.

Also, you will need to deal with all the server-side management tasks. Once you source servers in the needed locations, you will need to set them up, update and install the software, and configure it as required. Then you will have to manage the IP addresses and servers routing them all the time. That’s quite a lot of work.

Needless to say that the proxies must be as diverse as possible to ensure that you won’t get blocked all the time. That’s another issue to tackle. The network with little or no diversity quickly becomes useless because IP addresses get banned.

And the final boss is flexibility. As we’ve already said, the system needs to rotate proxies and respond to issues. For example, if one IP address is blocked, the algorithm should replace it immediately with another proxy from a different location. It’s a cumbersome process that is not simple to create from scratch.

What about a Proxy Provider?

Of course, a vendor will not give you all the features you need, like block detection. But at least it will cover some of the tasks a decent maintenance system should perform. Considering that most scrapers are capable of performing advanced actions, the proxy provider will ease your job significantly.

First and foremost, it’s way cheaper to use a provider. Infatica offers several packages for projects on various scales. You get to choose the number of IP addresses your project requires for a way lower price than you’d have paid if you were buying proxies. If you don't know how vast the pool should be for your project, you can merely reach out to us, and we will consult you.

Additionally, if a proxy gets banned, you can always replace it with another one thanks to the large pool. Thus, you are relieved from a headache of acquiring new IP addresses all the time. We will do this for you. Also, considering the diversity of Infatica’s locations, the chances of getting blocked are very low.

Having a large pool of proxies you can rotate them frequently to make sure you don’t face any issues, and requests are sent from new IP addresses every time. Hence, you will have the maximum anonymity you could possibly get.

Conclusion

It’s very cumbersome and quite unnecessary to build your own proxy network from scratch. Especially considering that today you can simply use a proxy provider and focus on the goals of your project.

You can trust Infatica on the tech side of your activities. We will provide you with high-quality proxies that are virtually impossible to detect thanks to the large pool of IP addresses. Then you will not have to worry about the performance. Our diverse and secure proxies will ensure that your project will be executed quickly and smoothly.


Olga Myhajlovska

Olga Myhajlovska

Olga Myhajlovska is a freelance writer who likes to focus on the practical side of different technologies: Her stories answer both the "How does it work?" and "Why is it important for me?" questions.

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