4 Reasons to Use Proxies For Better Business
Most people understand proxy IP addresses as just a means of attaining privacy or unlocking restricted content online. But, the use of proxies extends far beyond these simple tactics. Proxies offer several benefits that various types of businesses can take advantage of to stay ahead of the competition. In this article, we outline some of the most important ones.
If you already understand the basic concepts of what proxies do, feel free to use the table of contents to jump straight to the top 5 ways your company can use proxies to strengthen security, improve brand visibility and so much more.
What Do Proxies Do?
Proxies are set up to be intermediary IP addresses. An IP address is a unique combination of letters and numbers that identifies all devices connected to the internet. This address can also be used to trace the general location of a user.
Using an intermediary IP address to hide your device’s IP address has several benefits. The three most commonly cited ones are improved security, location switching, and anonymity.
Proxies improve security by placing an extra layer of protection between devices and bad actors looking to hack IP addresses to get access to private information. By hiding a device’s IP address and preventing websites from gaining access to that information, proxies allow a certain level of anonymity during web browsing. And since IP addresses are tied to locations, proxy IP addresses allow you to location switch and avoid restrictions caused by geo-blocking.
There are also more specific uses of proxies. For example, shoe lovers use proxies for snagging some new footwear. Gamers also use proxies to reduce lag, avoid bans and improve their overall gaming experience. Below, we outline some ways you can maximize the benefits of proxies specifically as a business owner looking to capitalize on big data.
4 Great Ways Your Company Can Use Proxies
In an era where data is the new gold, proxies make the mining process easier. Data is invaluable to businesses today, providing them with crucial insights that facilitate smarter decision-making, improve customer satisfaction, and increase net profit.
While data collection can be done manually, technological advancements have made it possible to automatically collect relevant data from web pages. This process, known as web scraping, can be challenging because, for various reasons, some websites are averse to being scraped. Some don’t want their rivals getting access to their data and finding ways of using that data to their advantage and others are trying to protect the information of their users. There is also the fact that web scrapers send requests at inhuman speeds, and therefore look like malware to most websites.
Bottom line? A lot of websites quickly ban IP addresses they associate with data scraping. This is where the use of proxies comes in. By providing alternate IP addresses for web scrapers to work with, they allow the web scraping process to continue uninterrupted.
All sorts of businesses looking to grow in today’s highly competitive market should be harnessing the benefits of proxies for data scraping. Here are a few ways your company can:
1. Building an effective SEO strategy
While there are tons of SEO tools out there, the best way to build an effective SEO strategy is by doing your own research. With a web scraper, you can gather SEO-related data on your own and use the information obtained to figure out which keywords will boost your search engine rankings and put web pages in front of your target audience.
A web scraper saves time and improves efficiency by automatically pulling the data you need from various web pages and delivering them to you in a readable format e.g. an excel file. This can then be further analyzed to find high-yield keywords and detect trends you can take advantage of.
An SEO scraper can also be directed at the web pages of your competitors. Since they are targeting the same customer base as you, gathering data to find out what tactics they are using could help you discover ways to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Collect valuable data on social media
Social media has become a treasure trove of valuable data from which you can learn so much about your existing and potential customers. For instance, by checking out customer reviews, you can figure out ways to improve your services/products to better retain existing customers and attract new ones.
While you can manually read through all the reviews, you will save yourself a whole lot of time and energy by using a proxy-powered web scraper. In addition to saving time, web scraping will produce data organized in a way that might reveal trends and patterns that are likely to be missed during manual data collection.
3. Set competitive prices
Customers love low prices and many will be willing to purchase from a competitor based on this factor alone. The best way to set perfect prices is from the insights gained by collecting relevant data both from your own web pages and competitor sites. You also need to understand your target audience and figure out how much they’re willing to pay for certain products or services.
Using a web scraping proxy, you can collect the data that you need quickly with little effort on your part. Based on the results of your analysis, you can institute strategic competitive prices that will appeal to your customers and set you above your rivals.
4. Prevent data breaches
Apart from the ability of proxies to make the process of data scraping easier, their ability to improve security could also prove useful for your company. When customers share sensitive data with you, they expect you to take all the necessary measures to keep it safe. Data breaches and leakage of sensitive information can deal a huge blow to your company’s reputation and cause you to lose the trust of your customers. With the digitalization of several aspects of businesses nowadays, they are increasingly common.
Making it a policy for your employees to use proxies especially when dealing with sensitive information can add an extra layer of database security, providing an extra layer of protection between your company’s data and hackers that would like to get access to it.
Should I Use a Proxy IP That is Residential?
So far, we might have given you the impression that there is only one type of proxy and that it provides all of the benefits stated above. But, in reality, there are several types of proxies available and the right one for you depends on your use case:
Data Center Proxies
The most common types of proxies are called datacenter proxies. These types of proxies are managed and produced by data centers. They are cheap and easy to acquire, and when it comes to general uses like improving security, they are a great option. But, some websites – notable ones being Instagram and Twitter – associate data center proxies with bot-like activity and completely ban their use. Those that don’t outrightly ban them are quick to block them whenever they detect suspicious activity.
In contrast to datacenter proxies, residential proxies use the IP addresses of real people and are associated with physical residences. These IP addresses are given by Internet Service Providers (ISP). They are less likely to be detected and banned because when you use them to connect to a website, you look like an everyday user. As such, higher volumes of web scraping can be completed using residential proxies. And you can still look forward to improved security and anonymity. The main drawback of residential proxies is their high cost. Learn more about the differences between datacenter and residential proxies here.
Additionally, there are two main types of residential proxies – static and rotating. A rotating residential proxy is the most suitable for large web scraping projects. We explain why in this blog post.
Blazing SEO: Reasons to Buy Proxies
While there are tons of free proxy services out there, it is much better to buy high-quality proxies for your business. Because free proxies are publicly available, they tend to be used by many people at the same time and are associated with slow network speeds. Also, bad actors tend to target these platforms to get access to and hack the IP addresses of their users. And since many people use free proxy IP addresses, the likelihood that they have been banned from websites you want to scrape is high.
Buying proxies, especially residential ones, from a trusted provider is the only way to ensure that you can reap all the benefits that proxies have for your business. Although residential proxies are a more expensive option, they are a worthy investment. As mentioned above, they will allow you to efficiently scrape data at high volumes with lower risks of being banned. And, because they serve as intermediary IP addresses, they can also be used to protect your company’s data!
High standards and services
At Blazing SEO, we offer ethically sourced residential proxies at super affordable prices. We don’t charge extra for bandwidth so all you pay for is the proxy IP address. As our proxies operate at a speed of 1GBS, you can be sure that your projects will be completed quickly and our customer care representatives are always available to help you. If you’re currently looking for enterprise-level customers with data scraping needs for our residential proxy beta test. When you sign up to be a part of the beta test, you get to try out our residential proxies at extra low prices – as low as $2/GB/month!
From providing valuable insights to protecting your customers’ data, the ways to use proxies outlined above can yield huge results for your company. While various proxies exist, each with specific benefits, residential proxies are the best types for growing your business.
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