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How to use a proxy

It’s not a secret that proxy services have great demand and are widely used by businesses as well as by independent users, but how to actually use a proxy in different cases?

Best proxy providers
Before we start dwelling on the proxy use cases and how to work with them, it is important to know what proxies would be best for you. The market is full of proxy providers, but sometimes it’s difficult to find one that could meet your needs and would offer a great ratio between the quality of services and the price. I would recommend checking some of these providers:

-Smartproxy. Over 40 million IPs from various locations around the world. Low error rate, so these proxies are great for web scraping, SEO, and working with social marketing. Smartproxy offers residential and datacenter proxies, so this provider can meet every need of its clients and is offering a wide range of proxy plans so you can choose what best suits you. You’re paying for the used traffic so you have access to all the proxies in the proxy pool and that’s great, especially if you use proxies for scraping. You can also use their discount coupon SMARTPRO to get a 20% discount for any plan on your first purchase;
-GeoSurf. The provider that is in the proxy market fro over 10 years. GeoSurf has a strong reputation and is often used by various companies around the world. This provider offers only residential proxies that are great when working with automatic tools for social marketing when you’re scraping. You can choose proxies from various locations, such as the US, EU, Canada, and China and you can access 2 million IPs proxy pool. The pool isn’t so impressive but it’s more than enough to see how proxy use can change your business and help you find new opportunities;
-Oxylabs. With 100 million IPs this is the biggest proxy provider in the world. With all of that residential and datacenter proxies, you can really improve various automatic business processes and reach every business goal. Their services are a bit pricey but nevertheless worthed every dollar considering how it can help you out. You can choose between 4 different proxy plans and also use Oxylabs Real-Time Crawler for your web scraping projects.

How to use a proxy when scraping
Web scraping starts with choosing the right web scraping tool for yourself. You should consider all the features the tool holds as well as be aware of what type of websites you will be scraping since some of the websites are more dynamic and complex than others and not every tool can deal with that. You also should choose the tool that you could be able to work with — that means that the programming language that will be used should be more than well-known to you.

When it comes to the use of proxies when scraping, here’s what you should know — proxies hide your own IP so it prevents you from being hacked or from possible data leak. When using proxies, you’re assigned with a different IP address, and as many addresses as you need, which means that it makes it more difficult for the website to detect your tool and a non-human activity there which could lead to the tool being banned and your IP being blocked. What you do is simply set your proxies on the scraping tool you’re using. The steps you have to take might be different on each tool, but you can always check the tutorials or read info from your proxy provider about how to set up a proxy on that specific tool. You have to do this before you start scraping so you won’t get in trouble. Rotating proxies would be the best in this case.

How to use a proxy when working with social marketing tools
Businesses, as well as independent users, use proxies on social networks. Sometimes just for accessing the specific social networks and sometimes because they are working there on social marketing tasks. Most of the time you can’t do all of these tasks manually since that takes lots of time, knowledge, and investment. This is why automatic tools are used. But if you don’t use proxies with them, there is no point in using them at all.

If you’re working on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., you already know all the limitations and other obstacles that stand in your way if you start automating most of your actions. Apart from that there is another problem — from 1 IP address you can create and manage only several accounts but if you’re thinking about having 100 accounts on Instagram to boost your business — you can’t do that with your own IP, you need them more (preferably 100 since it is recommended to use 1 IP per 1 account).

So what do you have to do? First, choose an automatic bot that could manage the automatic tasks you need. If you’re working with social marketing on various platforms and looking for one tool that could work on them all, go with Jarvee. This tool is not only great for these social marketing tasks but also works perfectly fine and fast with proxy services. You can easily manage to add accounts you want to automate as well as add proxies you will be using and let the tool run. But keep in mind that in this case, it is important that every account not only would have its own IP but that IP won’t change. This means that you should use dedicated/private proxies — in that way only you will be able to use that specific IP address assigned for you and in this way you will avoid possible bans or IP flags which are a big problem when working on social networks.

Using proxies is easy when you have a clear knowledge of how they can serve you. You don’t have to be a programmer to be able to set up proxies on your browser, automatic tool, mobile device, etc. You should only follow the instructions that your proxy provider provides or check tutorials of a specific tool you use so you should know all the steps you have to make to make proxies work.

The original article was first published by me on Medium

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