CAPTCHA and Scraping – How to Do It?

Have you considered using web scraping in your business? The data you gather can be helpful in developing profitable marketing strategies and giving you a competitive edge. Web scraping automates the process, allowing you to gather as much data as you need quickly and efficiently. Combined with a reliable proxy server, you’ll get even better results.

However, anti-scraping methods such as CAPTCHA can easily frustrate your data-gathering process. Let’s take a look at how to sidestep those defenses.

Avoid detection

While it may be difficult to avoid detection, it’s not impossible. Websites typically want to protect themselves from bot activity. Staggering your activities imitates human behavior, thus avoiding CAPTCHA. By appearing to be a human accessing the website, you can potentially remain undetected during your scraping activities.  

Use CAPTCHA solvers

Even though you program your scraping software to deal with CAPTCHA, there are some CAPTCHAs that you won’t be able to avoid. Integrating services like Death by CAPTCHA and Bypass CAPTCHA allow you to connect the service via API to enable automatic CAPTCHA solving during the scraping process. These services come with varying features and price points to fit your needs.

Rotate your IP addresses

Having several IP addresses will make it appear as though the requests are coming from different sources. However, IP rotation is not something you can easily do manually. Instead, it’s best to sign up for a rotating proxy service such as ProxyMesh which has a pool of IP addresses that automatically rotate for you. And in addition to staggering your requests, rotating your IP addresses will allow you to scrape even more efficiently.

Proxy rate limit

You can use rate limiting to avoid triggering CAPTCHA. And if using different proxies simultaneously, you still need to limit the rate of your queries.  However, even with effective rate limiting, multiple similar queries will still raise red flags, regardless of where they appear to originate from. To avoid triggering CAPTCHA, it’s best to set your proxy rate limit at a minimum of 2-3 seconds.

Flying under the radar

Anti-scraping techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated with the significant increase in cybercrime. Websites need to safeguard themselves and as a result, everyone is affected by these security protocols. Pairing a good proxy server with CAPTCHA solvers is a great way to deal with the security issues. There are many CAPTCHA solving solutions available, and most will do the job effectively.   

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