I was once banned from a golf course. My cousins and I were trespassing late at night and little did we know, police officers do not look favorably on hooligans causing a ruckus. I have never been more terrified in my life. But however scared I was, I knew there was a way to avoid getting the boot from the 18th hole on the fairway. In fact, there were many solutions, we could have hidden behind a nearby tree, shielded ourselves behind a bush, pleaded with the cop rather than argued, or minimized the amount of noise we made. There is always another way, another avenue to take. And while we learned our lesson and never again screamed at the top of our lungs at midnight on a Tuesday, this instance taught me to be cautious. It taught me to stay safe, in both my real life and my digital one. That is why, as an avid proxy user, I like to take care.
When you buy a private proxy, you want to use it to surf the web, watch movies, buy sneakers, and scrape websites for data. Unfortunately, you might engage in some activity that will stick out to search engines and website providers. These activities could actually cause your proxies to get banned. While reputable sites let you exchange banned proxies for free, it is better to avoid bans in the first place. That way, you will not have to worry about pausing your internet session to exchange your IP addresses for fresh ones. In this blog, I will talk you through how to avoid IP bans. While you might still bump up against an overzealous censor and end up with a banned proxy from time to time, you will have a lot more success if you follow these tips. That way, you can surf the web with blazing fast speed.
Table of Contents
First Tip on How to Avoid IP Bans: Avoid Crowded Subnets
Some proxy providers have lots of IP addresses for sale but only a few subnets to offer. While that allows them to serve a lot of people at once, it hurts their customers. Websites often ban proxies when they notice that there are many IP addresses on a single subnet. They shut the proxies down without warning, so you might be up and running one minute and then shut down the next. Avoid this problem by purchasing your proxy from a reputable proxy provider. With hundreds of Class C subnets, along with a mixture of Class B and Class A subnets, reliable providers offer greater success while using a proxy. IP addresses are spread out evenly over subnets, so your proxy has less of a chance of getting banned.
Second Tip: How to Not Get Banned Botting
Proxies and botting often go hand in hand. Bots get a bad rap online, but in most cases, they are completely harmless, and websites and search engines do not care that they are being used. Even Google uses its own bots to search the internet for relevant information.
As you can see, there are a lot of legitimate reasons to use bots online. For instance, you might use them for SEO purposes. Deploying bots to gather SEO information is a great way to get ahead with an online business. Not only can you scrape information for your own company, but you can also sell data to third-party companies.
Unfortunately, there are a slim number of people that use bots for nefarious reasons. These bots are easily spotted, as they will send a lot of requests in a short amount of time. For instance, they might try to make it past a website’s login screen by sending tons of requests in a split second. These requests tip the site off that something bad is happening.
You can avoid this problem altogether by staggering your requests. In the online world, this is referred to as running your requests asynchronously. That is just a fancy way of saying that you need to put a minimum of 1 second in between each request. In other words, you will send the bot for one proxy out, and then one second later, the bot for the next proxy will go out. Then, you will send the next bot and proxy out a second or so later and so on. You will continue this process until all of the bots and proxies are out.
You might have a completely legitimate bot, but if you do not put a limit on your rate requests, you could be sending websites the wrong message. With that in mind, set up a rate request limit for all of the bots that you use. That way, you will not send up a red flag every time you make a request to a site. You will look just like any other site user, which helps you avoid getting banned from a website.
Third Tip: Avoid Getting IP Banned With Natural Referrer Sources
If you are using a bot to scrape data on Google, Amazon, or Craigslist, you have to be cautious, especially if you are sending out a lot of queries. These sites are not anti-bot, but they are on the lookout for malicious behavior. Because of that, they will often block someone who is on the up-and-up. So, what does this have to do with how to avoid IP bans? The key is to mask the fact that you are using a bot. You can do that pretty easily when your referrer source looks natural.
Your referrer source refers to the source that sends the traffic to the website. For example, let’s say that you are scraping Amazon for information. Amazon lists various products on its site, and each product has a unique URL. You could have your referrer traffic come from Amazon itself, or you could go to each URL directly. You could also have all of the referrer traffic come from your website.
Now, let’s think about how it would look to Amazon if a bunch of requests came in from direct product pages or from your website. If they came in quickly, it would look like a bot attack and Amazon would shut them down. On the other hand, if the requests all came in from Amazon, it would look natural and Amazon would not give it a second thought. You would be able to do your business and scrape the site without any problems.
The same is true for any website that you scrape. You need to make sure that the referral traffic looks natural. It does not look natural if you type in a long search string to get somewhere. It is OK to do it once or twice, but if you are going to do it hundreds of times, it will stick out, and the website will catch it. Lots of bots get blocked that way, and lots of private proxies get banned. If you want your proxy to keep running, avoid making this mistake. It is an easy one to make, but it is also an easy one to avoid.
Fourth Tip on IP Ban Proxy: It Could Be Your Location
So, here you are asking the question, why is my IP address banned? While proxies are a fantastic way to stream content from other countries or unblock websites you would otherwise be unable to access, be intentional about where your IP address is located and how you are using it. For example, North America has a massive amount of IP addresses for sale, thus making you stick out less to websites. A great tip for how to avoid IP bans is to purchase your proxy from a reputable site that offers popular locations, like Germany and the United Kingdom.
It all comes down to the law of averages. Site owners know that more fraudulent activity comes from less popular locations, so they keep an eye on web traffic that comes from these areas. If they detect anything that seems strange from these areas, they are more likely to shut it down. While you might be able to get away with some bot activity if your proxy is coming out of New York, the same is not true if you are coming out of Nigeria. It is a good idea to stick with popular geolocations. If you dive into high-risk locations, there is a good chance that one, if not all of your proxies will get banned. Plus, less popular locations have a tendency to run slower than places with better connections. The better your connection, the easier your proxy will be to use.
Final Tip: What to Do When Your IP Address Is Blocked
So, the worst has happened. You were minding your own business, using your proxy at your leisure, when all of a sudden, you get your IP banned. Instead of giving up on using a proxy or botting altogether, here is how to get unbanned from a website.
In order to reverse the ban from a website, we need to ask another important question: how to change an IP to avoid bans. The simplest way to get around a ban is to change your IP address. Now, with the help of a proxy, this is a painless process, especially considering that most reliable proxy providers sell proxies in bundles of 5 or more. This means that you are never going to be one address at a time, providing you with a backup should your IP address get banned from a website. Changing your IP is a speedy process. All you need to do is follow the steps given by your proxy provider. For most internet browsers, changing the IP is as simple as copying and pasting the address into the appropriate section of your settings. Before you take drastic measures, try out this simple fix, and afterward, remember to keep in mind the above tips about how to avoid IP bans in the first place.
Final Thoughts on IP Bans
I never stepped foot on another golf course after my run-in with the law. I was young. I was naïve and I had no clue how to be cautious in the face of authority. Still, I am glad my little youthful misstep occurred, it taught me to make smart choices and avoid making similar mistakes when I can. These tips for how to avoid IP bans will help guide you through the many corners and crevices of the internet. It is not about avoiding proxies or bots altogether, it is about knowing how to use the technology and purchasing that technology from reputable sites. Browse the internet and scrape data with intention. Take it from someone that was almost arrested stealing a golf flagstick, you are better off taking precautions and taking measurable steps to avoid disruptive bans.