Blocking proxies is a common preventative measure used by multiple website owners, mostly due to security threats. Proxies help you to hide your internet identity when you’re researching crucial business data.
On the other hand, anonymity poses a threat to some webmasters who need to control access to their sites, recognize their clients, and protect themselves from hackers.
So, what is a proxy? How do websites block proxies? And what can your business do to avoid getting blocked bots? Let’s jump right in.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy server acts as a middleman between a user’s device and a target server. The requests you make pass through the proxy server first before getting to your desired website. Proxies help in hiding the identity and location of the user.
In institutions or organizations, proxies can be used to filter information and block users from accessing private sites. A caching system in a proxy stores information accessed from the network.
That way, if another user requests for similar content, there is no need to download again. This increases the performance of the network through speedy feedback.
Types of Proxies
The various types of proxies differ in their functionality. They can also be categorized in different ways, such as paid or free, private, or public. Here are the common types of proxies.
A reverse proxy directs client requests to a specific backend server. It is usually set up behind a private network's firewall. It gives a business extra control and abstraction, ensuring there's seamless traffic between servers and clients.
This is the most popular type of proxy. It enables you to hide your internet identity when you visit a website. The website itself acts as a shield between you and other sources on the internet.
You can then browse other sites through the website. It offers minimal privacy protection, and not all websites can be accessed. To use this proxy, you must access the web proxy page first.
An anonymous proxy is commonly used to hide your internet identity from other devices on the web. It has software that deletes your IP address from the pages you request and substitute with a completely different one.
High Anonymous Proxy
It is also called an elite proxy. A high anonymity proxy offers you the best security on the internet. When using an elite proxy, it cannot be detected as a proxy. Additionally, it blocks cookies from trailing your online activity.
A transparent proxy, also known as an inline proxy or forced proxy, is mainly used in companies for caching, monitoring access to their networks, and authenticating users.
It does not hide your original network identity, and it can be easily accessed. It redirects information without alteration, which means a request to the target server will give your details. Transparent proxies are not visible to individual users.
Another name for this is gateway proxy. It is similar to an anonymous proxy, only that it gives incorrect IP addresses to further help in content restriction.
Suffix proxy is simple to use. It enhances your accessibility to a target web by adding its name to a processing URL. This enables you to avoid web filters and to gain access to websites faster. The suffix proxy saves a user’s past requests and provides the same data in case of a similar search.
How Websites Block Proxies
Here are the main ways websites block proxies.
This requires them first to install proxy software on their servers. The software will then assist them in gathering information on IP addresses. By doing this, it can help to detect and restrict an illegal IP.
Blocking Without Software
When websites opt for this method, they need to enter a script on their web firewall or htaccess file. This denies direct access by altering the configuration of a web server.
This method helps websites to detect and block all proxy and VPN servers. It is an efficient way to block proxies.
Using SonicWall Application
Sonic wall applications enable websites to block proxies either by category, the role they play or by signatures of each site. They are made up of many signatures to restrict access to proxies.
Businesses use this to recognize legitimate clients. How? By putting their digital identity together as they browse. Therefore, it is easy to cut off illegal access on time.
What a Business Should Do to Avoid Being Blocked
Your business can be blocked while extracting data from a website. Here are legal and workaround ways to shield your business from being blacklisted.
The methods below are completely legal and white hat. Many big companies use such methods to get important data without being easily blocked.
Using an IP Rotation Service
This will help you to send your requests using different IP addresses instead of using the same one that can easily be blocked. That way, you get to scrape data from most websites without a problem.
Creating a User-Agent
A user agent is a form of HTTP request that will show the browser you are using and your target site. Most data scrappers don’t use user agents. Therefore, they are easily detected and blocked. It is advisable to use approved user agents for each request you make.
Setting a Referrer
Here, you use this HTTP request header that allows your target site to know your origin. You can set in a way that it will appear as though you are coming from Google, for example.
Detecting Website Changes
Numerous websites keep on changing their layouts due to diverse reasons. Often, this will cause your scrapper to smash. It is advisable to detect these changes when setting your scrapper keenly. And to keep on monitoring the performance of your crawler.
A data scraper will browse way too fast than when a person is browsing. This helps websites to detect scrapers and to block them. Therefore, adjust the crawler’s speed and add delay time between your requests for better results.
In case the other methods here don’t work, you can try out these workarounds.
This will act like a real browser and will allow you to use it programmatically. The most used is Headless Chrome, which acts exactly like the real Chrome. This is an ideal way to scrap impenetrable websites.
Scraping Data Out of a Google Cache
Scraping Google cache data is a perfect workaround for timeless information that is difficult to scrap on sites. This may not solve your problem fully because some sites will instruct Google not to cache their data.
Avoiding Honey Pots
Honey pots are a form of security trap to detect scrapers. You need to up your game since detecting such traps may not be easy.
Blocking proxies may be a losing game in the long run. If a website advertises products or services online, then a lot of information is accessible to everyone.
However, some websites are forced to block proxies to avoid people who want to misuse their confidential information. Some methods may affect both the good and the bad scrapers.
You’re looking for useful data to improve your business. For that reason, you can avoid being wrongfully blocked using the methods and workarounds here.