Free proxy lists are like directories of public proxy servers that people can use for different reasons. One of those reasons is web scraping to collect data from websites at scale.
In web scraping, proxies are used for the following purposes:
🔸 IP address switching- Some websites block IP addresses that appear to be scraping their data. With the help of proxies, web scrapers can avoid being detected and blocked by switching from one IP address to another.
🔸 Geo-restriction- Some websites may restrict access to certain pages or content based on the user’s geographic location. By using proxies located in different regions, web scrapers can access and scrape data that may otherwise be unavailable.
🔸 Speed and scalability- Using multiple proxies can allow web scrapers to send more requests concurrently, which can improve the scraping speed and scalability.
🔸 Anonymity and privacy- Using proxies can provide some level of anonymity and privacy by hiding the scraper’s IP address and location from the target website.
🔸 Data aggregation- Web scrapers may use proxies to scrape data from multiple sources and aggregate it into a single database or dashboard.
🔸 Accessing websites as humans – Bots tend to use datacentres to access websites, but real users access websites from their home broadband internet or mobile data plan. By using residential or 4G proxies, web scraping platforms can leverage the same IP addresses.
There are a lot of free proxy lists you can use for web scraping without needing any special credentials. The most important thing you need to consider is the source of the proxy. Remember that proxies take your information and re-route it through a different IP address, but they also have access to all the internet requests you make.
Moreover, some proxies are hosted by hackers or government agencies. Whenever you send your request to a third party, they can easily access the unencrypted data that comes from your phone or computer.
To help you avoid any troubles, we have gathered the 5 best free proxy lists and servers for web scraping in this article. Read on to learn more about each of them and choose the best option for your scraping processes!
Top 5 free proxy lists for scraping
Proxyscrape is one of the most commonly used free proxy lists available. One of the best features of Proxyscrape is that it allows you to download the list of proxies to a .txt file. You can use this to run more than one proxy scrapers simultaneously on different IP addresses.
Proxyscrape also lets you filter proxies based on their 3 anonymity levels:
🔸 Elite proxy- hides the proxy server and the IP address.
🔸 Anonymous proxy- this hides your IP address but doesn’t hide that you’re using a proxy server.
🔸 Transparent proxy- doesn’t hide your IP address.
Another great feature of Proxyscrape is that it has a timeout slider. The latter helps to find out the threshold time out of connecting to the websites. If it takes longer, the connection between the proxy and the website breaks. Accordingly, it’s a feature-packed proxy.
ProxyScrape offers different kinds of proxies: HTTP, Socks4, and Socks5. They update the lists every 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a free proxy list that’s easy to use, Free Proxy Lists can be a great option as it has the simplest website. Free Proxy Lists will allow you to specify a few search criteria- the location, ports, and anonymity options. Besides that, you can sort the free proxy lists by city or region.
This proxy server has mainly HTML and HTMLS proxies, so you’ll need to check other options from our list if you’re looking for SOCKS.
One of the main disadvantages of this website is that you won’t be able to download the proxy list. It includes some of the most basic proxy lists you can find online but it does have a good reputation compared to many of the lists available on other websites.
3. Proxy Nova
As it’s written on their website, Proxy Nova is one of the largest and most up-to-date proxy servers that are free and tested at least once every 15 minutes. The latter increases the reliability of their services.
Proxy Nova provides the free proxy lists in a table form. They can be used to hide your real IP address and unblock some blocked websites because of the location. The best thing about this website is that it doesn’t refresh automatically. There is nothing more annoying than finding the free IP address, then having it disappear because of auto-refresh. You can use good proxies without losing them.
Spys.one provides a database of IPs from more than 170 countries worldwide. It offers more than 800 proxies from each of the top 3 countries on the list- The US, Germany, Brazil, and more from any country you can think of.
The website is divided into subcategories that offer options like free proxies, SOCKS proxy, HTTP and transparent proxies, and HTTPS/SSL proxy to help the users find what they are searching for easier and faster by narrowing down the proxy list.
It should be noted that about a quarter of all proxies have been checked in the last 24 hours and the other quarter within the last week. Some of the smaller and less known countries haven’t been checked in over a month. You can see when the proxy was last checked by having a look at the “check date.”
5. SSL Proxy
The free proxy lists are from various countries around the world, however, their availability is limited. Although it’s written on the website that all the proxies are checked and updated every 10 minutes, they are not. They have been checked within the last hour, which is still not bad at all.
As you can guess from the name, the free proxy lists contain only HTTPS proxies, while the HTTP and SOCKS proxies are offered for purchase.
Users can sort the proxies by country here and use proxy lists that are labeled as either anonymous or elite.
What are the downsides of free proxies?
Free proxies are a popular choice for many users because they offer a way to access the internet anonymously and bypass restrictions without spending any money. However, there are several downsides to using free proxies that can make them unreliable and slow, and therefore error-prone.
One of the main issues with free proxies is that they are often overloaded with users. Since they are free, many people use them, which leads to slow data access and long wait times. This can be frustrating for users who are trying to access websites quickly, as well as those who need to use the proxy for business purposes.
Another issue with free proxies is that they are not always secure. Since anyone can create a free proxy server, there is no guarantee that the server is safe to use. Some free proxies may be set up by hackers or other malicious users, who can use them to steal your personal information or infect your computer with malware.
Free proxies are often unreliable. They may go down frequently, which can disrupt your internet access and cause you to lose data. Since there is no guarantee that the proxy will stay online, it can be risky to rely on it for important tasks.
While free proxies may seem like a convenient and cost-effective way to access the internet, they come with a number of downsides that can make them unreliable, slow, and error-prone. Premium proxies offer much faster data access and most importantly reliability you can count on as you don’t have to switch proxies all the time. It’s important to consider the risks before using a free proxy and to make sure you choose a reliable and secure option if you need to use a proxy server.
Can I scrape a website without using a separate proxy server?
Yes! Hexomatic makes web scraping much easier with built-in datacenter proxies and optional premium residential GEO proxies. They are used to help you hide your real IP address and avoid being detected or blocked by websites.
The great thing about Hexomatic is that this cloud-based web scraping platform is super simple to use, with 100+ automations to help capture data at scale. Best of all, you don’t have to configure it to use a proxy server. Datacenter proxies are already used by default when you start scraping websites.
Additionally, residential GEO proxies are useful for scraping websites that are geo-restricted. For example, if you need to access a website that is only available in a specific country or region, you can use a residential geo proxy with an IP address from that country or region to bypass the website’s geo-restrictions and access the content you need for scraping.
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Content Writer | Marketing Specialist
Experienced in writing SaaS and marketing content, helps customers to easily perform web scrapings, automate time-consuming tasks and be informed about latest tech trends with step-by-step tutorials and insider articles.
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