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Collecting data? Meet the infrastructure behind the scenes of online business data operations

Aviv Besinsky | Product Manager
16-Oct-2019
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Decisions are based on data, and accurate data is based on your proxy solution

Many companies in their attempts to gather data are being blocked or misled without even knowing. Whether you take part in collecting data for competitive intelligence, data verification, performance testing and more, accuracy is a critical element. Guaranteeing the accuracy of your data is as simple as the proxy provider you are using, that is if you are using one at all.

Understanding rate limits, geo-dependent data and fingerprinting is the first step in ensuring data accuracy. In simple words, it is very likely that your business requires a proxy, even if you don’t know it yet.

Rate limit

Companies that require collecting vast amounts of data quickly learn that many of their target sites implement some rate limitation. This means that if you try accessing a website too many times using the same IP address, you will get blocked by the website.

Rate limits are commonly used by websites to protect themselves from situations that could overload them or for preventing non-human activity. Websites might have no problem with the mass collection of data they present, but handling the rate limit will remain something that needs to be solved by the data collector.

Why use a proxy? Proxy networks have huge pools of IP addresses, allowing you to access websites and collect the data you need through many different IPs ensuring each IP stays below the target site’s rate limit.

    Examples Include:
  • Retail and Travel price comparison for internal real-time pricing processes
  • Collecting content from reviews, chats, forums and product descriptions to produce actionable insights
  • Data As A Service - collecting different types of data for specific projects

Geo dependent data

Many websites and advertisements show different content according to the users' geolocation. This includes the language the content is presented in, different ad campaigns for the different regions of the world, different pricing, etc. Other geolocation dependant scenarios can include blocking or allowing access to websites or specific content according to the user’s location.

Why use a proxy? Any company that needs to gather data from websites or ads that have geo-dependant content will need to exit through the right country or even a specific city in order to get the correct data.

    Examples Include:
  • Ad verification for global advertising campaigns
  • Any data collection where the target sites have different content or pricing for varying geolocations
  • Financial services which require access to customer accounts, in most cases accounts can only be accessed through the same geolocation as the account owner
  • Various content, gaming and streaming websites that are open for specific countries

Fingerprinting and sophisticated blocking

Companies that require managing social accounts, marketing campaigns in social platforms or collecting data from social platforms will quickly find a highly sophisticated level of blocking that may stop them from reaching their goals.

Such blocking is usually referred to as fingerprinting, includes systems that know how to identify and cross-check a wide variety of inputs and characteristics in the users’ request, device, location and more. Many legitimate uses depend on accessing social platforms on a mass scale and it’s becoming more difficult to accomplish without constant improvement and development.

    Why use a proxy? In order to operate accounts on most social-platforms, there are a few things to take into consideration, all of which require a proxy network:
  • Using the right type of IPs - there are various IP types (Data center, Residential, Mobile etc.), each one fits different use cases and has different costs
  • Using large and highly diversified pools of IPs
  • Smart and careful usage - requests should be made at the right rate per IP, using the right headers, cookies, protocols etc.
    Examples include:
  • The managing of accounts across social platforms

The potential setbacks of not using a proxy network

    Companies that choose to manage in-house solutions can encounter a variety of issues:
  • Low performance - when managing data collection through a small number of exit points, like employees' computers or a small number of servers, the IPs can easily be ‘burnt’ and blocked. In other cases, these IPs will be identified and provided with false information by the target site.
  • Scale - scaling up your data collection while keeping a small number of IPs means it will take longer to get the data you need, whereas by using a proxy network it is possible to run any amount of concurrent requests
  • Time and resources - managing an in-house proxy network has many disadvantages. Managing a proxy network requires constant monitoring and expertise. At the same time, small in-house networks tend to have a limited number of IPs and therefore low diversity, resulting in low performance and a lot of headaches.
  • Constant development - websites keep adding new technologies to block data collection and keeping up to date with these capabilities requires a lot of time and resources. Part of the routine of proxy service providers is to constantly improve their tools and develop new features to give their customers the highest success rate

Why use Luminati?

    We offer all the resources any company needs for its data collecting operations:
  • A wide variety of IP types that will fit any requirement or budget
  • Luminati’s huge networks ensure the most diverse and flexible solution for changing proxy needs, scaling up or any new requirements companies face.
  • Proxy management tools and software - we have vast experience supporting thousands of customers and their various use cases. In the process, we’ve developed easy to use software and features that provide the highest success rate so you can focus on what matters most, your business.