Nowadays, web scraping seems to represent the golden ticket to valuable data. Extracting helpful information which can later be analyzed is essential for anyone who relies on Internet data to optimize a project or business.
However, many websites don’t want to be scraped. And in response to this widely used process, they have implemented several countermeasures, such as blocking suspicious IP addresses.
With such roadblocks, proxies are essential for any web scraper. By using a vast proxy pool that includes a variety of IPs, you reduce the chance of getting detected and subsequently blocked.
In this article, I’ll discuss a key part of any reliable proxy pool: mobile proxies. First, we’ll look at what they are and what benefits they bring. Then, I’ll present a list of the most efficient mobile proxy providers online.
What are mobile proxies?
When you surf the Internet, your IP address, which acts as a unique identifier, is visible. When scraping, the website knows your IP, and it may block it. A proxy basically sits between your real IP and the server of the targeted page to hide your online footprint.
Due to its speed, a web scraper is likely to raise some red flags and face measures such as rate-limiting. With this procedure, websites aim at reducing the number of requests a device can make within a set time. However, by using proxies and constantly changing them, you can avoid the particular limit and optimize the scraping process.
Mobile proxies use cell tower IPs that service mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets with the connection. Because they have to provide Internet on the go, they constantly swap IP addresses between users. This is what makes mobile IP addresses so effective for web scraping.
When it comes to speed, there are two main types of mobile proxies: 3G and 4G. These are based on the technologies with the same name, with the latter being faster than the former.
Some mobile proxies are devices themselves, such as modems. Once connected to them, you browse via the IP address provided by the modem or other mobile Wi-Fi device. These IPs can also be stored on dedicated SIM cards to provide better security and privacy.
When using other types of proxies, such as datacenter or residential, you should set automatic rotations between them, which ensures better results and more privacy. But, with mobile proxies, you are constantly assigned a new address from the ISP. So, basically, mobile proxies come with their own proxy rotation schedule. However, it’s a good idea to use rotation for mobile proxies because it gives you more control over the requests and the scraping process in general.
Additionally, mobile proxies are more trustworthy. Think about it for a second. Nowadays, mobile traffic is essential for a website’s success, which makes web administrators less likely to block IPs that come from mobile devices. Also, because most cell towers cover large areas, web administrators are less eager to stop mobile IPs. Blocking hundreds of potential visitors because of some suspicious activity is simply something they are not willing to risk.
Best mobile proxy providers
Now that you know the basics of mobile proxies, the next step is to pick one that fits your web scraping needs. I compiled a list of some of the best proxy providers online. The main aspects I considered were pricing, extra features, and proxy locations.
WebScrapingAPI provides a great scraping solution with reliable proxies. The tool offers a proxy pool of over 100 million proxies, which includes residential and datacenter proxies.
With WebScrapingAPI, you pay based on API calls, not bandwidth. And keep in mind that only successful calls count towards the monthly total. Our starter plan is priced at $90/month. It gives the user access to 1,000,000 API calls and the entire proxy pool. Oh, and there’s a free trial!
Targeting geo-specific content is one of WebScrapingAPI’s strong suits. We provide proxies from 40 different countries through our standard plans. However, with a customized package, you can get access to more than 195 countries.
The real upside with WebScrapingAPI is that you have a high-tech data extracting tool and an extensive proxy pool, all in one place. With this advantage, you don’t have to worry about making your own scraper and choosing a separate proxy provider. Instead, you can save time and resources while automatically optimizing the data extraction process.
You can try our product for free! Sign up here and claim your 5000 API calls!
Proxy-Cheap is an accessible and user-friendly platform that provides a dashboard for proxy management. Their offers include unlimited bandwidth on both 3G and 4G technologies.
As its name suggests, the tool provides relatively affordable proxy solutions when compared to other traditional providers. Their cheapest plans are priced at $50/month and include automatic proxy rotation.
Concerning geo-specific proxies, the provider is somewhat limited. It only offers IPs from the US, France, and Lithuania. The European proxies are 4G, while the US ones are based on 3G technology.
AirProxy provides 4G proxies targeted for social media automation and scraping. They also guarantee unlimited bandwidth and the storage of your IP on a dedicated Sim card.
Pricing-wise, they have a different approach. They rent out single proxies for $87 a month, which come with a package of helpful features such as custom rotations. If you are not ready to commit and want to try the service, you can start a 3-day trial for 9.90$.
One of the downsides of the product is that the proxies are located solely in Italy. However, with features like unlimited bandwidth, proxy rotation, and an average uptime of 99.95%, AirProxy is a decent addition to this list.
3G Proxy provides the user with a massive worldwide network of 3G/4G modems. Its infrastructure includes more than 140 mobile operators worldwide.
There are no fixed costs, as pricing is based on how you plan to use the proxies. Factors include bandwidth, geo-location preferences, and useful features such as proxy rotation. The service also includes a free trial to help the user figure out how to use the proxies.
The proxies provided by this tool are backed by real SIM cards, which makes them less likely to get blocked. Additionally, you can manage your proxy through a dashboard and several helpful plugins.
3G Proxy provides worldwide coverage. Their proxy pool includes locations such as the United States, Germany, Brazil, and South Africa, among many others.
RSocks includes 3G/4G proxies, which can be rotated every 5 minutes. The proxies are not limited by data consumption or the number of rotations and are dedicated, which means you’ll not be sharing them with other users.
Their monthly plans range from $40 to $80 and are split based on location. So you have to acquire several plans if you want to scrape data from various parts of the world. However, you can also opt for a free trial. It only lasts one hour, but you get access to everything the provider offers in terms of mobile proxies.
Regarding coverage, RSocks offers some pretty decent options. Their IPs are based in 24 countries, including Germany, France, and the US.
LTE Space is presented as one of the most affordable mobile proxy providers on the Internet. In addition, their proxies feature unlimited traffic and IP rotation every 2 minutes.
As mentioned, they offer competitive pricing and plenty of customization options. For example, their shared proxy plan includes over 2000 IPs and is priced at $9/month. Of course, you’d be sharing the proxies with four other customers.
Unfortunately, on the topic of geo-targeting, their product does not stand out. Their proxies are solely located in Russia, which is not that useful if you are planning large scraping projects outside that country.
DSL Rentals market themselves as the largest providers of high-speed servers for cable, RDSL, and mobile IPs. Some of the features in their plans include unlimited bandwidth, fully anonymous proxies, and IP rotation.
Their starter plan is priced at $65 per week and includes a one-click IP changer and remote desktop access. If you are not ready to make any purchase, you can try their free trial. However, keep in mind that it only gives you access to the service for one hour.
DSL’s proxy pool includes 350,000 IP addresses on 350 locations. These proxies are spread across the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Russia.
Bright Data has one of the largest mobile proxy pools online, with over 7 million mobile IPs worldwide. Their offering includes a proxy manager with which you can optimize your scraping strategy.
Their pricing is based on bandwidth, and you can also pay as you go, which is a good option for small scraping projects. The most affordable plan in the offering is priced at $300/month, but you can also choose from their yearly plans or ask for a customized one.
Their 3G and 4G proxies have worldwide coverage and include IPs from the US, France, Spain, South Korea, Japan, and Germany.
Soax is another provider with an impressive proxy pool, accessing more than 8 million IPs. Their 3G/4G proxies also rotate automatically and have a rapid response time.
As with the previous provider, pricing is based on bandwidth. Their starter plan is priced at $75 and includes 5GB of service. Keep in mind that you can test their plans for $1.99. Additionally, all of their packages have 24/7 support, a proxy management dashboard, and full compatibility with most SEO tools.
Their IPs are spread around the globe, but they also provide even more specific options than other providers. For example, they include proxies from India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. In addition, you have access to precise geo-targeting based on region, city, and even mobile carrier.
Custom Proxy Solutions
Custom Proxy Solutions claims to offer the largest pool of residential mobile proxies in the US. Apart from other proxy providers, they actually own the proxies and pay Internet providers monthly fees. While their product is designed chiefly for web crawling and ad verification, it can also be used for scraping.
Pricing-wise, the service can be expensive when compared to other providers. The most affordable monthly plan is priced at $250 and provides access to a large pool of 4G proxies. These are set to change IP every 30 minutes.
When it comes to geo-targeting, keep in mind that this provider is solely focused on the US. However, their hotspots are placed all over the country and cover many important cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, among others.
Choosing your proxy provider
Data extraction is one of the most effective ways to optimize your projects. However, you need to carefully consider what proxies you’ll be using. With the help of an efficient proxy provider, the process can be smoother and yield better results.
A reliable proxy pool should have as many IPs as possible. In addition, access to a vast amount of locations makes the process even more efficient because you can reach geo-restricted content while further reducing the chance of detection.
Still not sure how proxies fit in the web scraping story? Here’s a great article that explains it all. After reading it, I’m sure you’ll be ready to pick the right proxy provider for you.
In the meantime, why not take a look at WebScrapingAPI’s free trial! It includes 5000 API calls and access to a vast proxy pool!