How do I manage proxies when scraping Trustpilot?

When scraping websites like Trustpilot, using proxies is essential to avoid IP bans, since frequent requests from the same IP address can be flagged as suspicious activity by the website's security systems. Proxies help in rotating IP addresses so that the requests seem to come from different users.

Here's how to manage proxies when scraping Trustpilot:

1. Choose the Right Proxies

There are several types of proxies you can use:

  • Residential Proxies: These are IP addresses provided by ISPs to homeowners. They are legitimate IP addresses and are less likely to be blocked.
  • Datacenter Proxies: These come from a secondary corporation and offer private IP authentication. They are faster but more prone to being blocked because they don't correspond to a real user's internet connection.
  • Rotating Proxies: These proxies change IP addresses at every request or after a set period, which is great for scraping because it reduces the chance of being detected.

2. Get a Proxy List or Use a Proxy Service

You can either subscribe to a proxy service or create your own proxy list. Proxy services provide APIs and often manage proxy rotation for you. If you opt to create your own proxy list, you'll need to handle rotation manually.

3. Implement Proxy Management in Code

Python Example with requests

For Python, you can use the requests library along with a list of proxies:

import requests
from itertools import cycle
import traceback

proxies = [
    # ...

proxy_pool = cycle(proxies)

url = ''

for i in range(1, 11):  # Example of making 10 requests
    proxy = next(proxy_pool)
    print(f"Request #{i}: Using proxy {proxy}")
        response = requests.get(url, proxies={"http": proxy, "https": proxy})
        # Process the response here
        # Log an error message or retry with another proxy
        print("Connection error, will try with a different proxy")

JavaScript Example with node-fetch

In a Node.js environment, you can use node-fetch along with a proxy-agent:

const fetch = require('node-fetch');
const HttpsProxyAgent = require('https-proxy-agent');

const proxies = [
    // ...

let currentProxy = 0;

const url = '';

for (let i = 0; i < 10; i++) {  // Example of making 10 requests
    let proxyAgent = new HttpsProxyAgent(proxies[currentProxy]);
    currentProxy = (currentProxy + 1) % proxies.length;

    console.log(`Request #${i + 1}: Using proxy ${proxies[currentProxy]}`);

    fetch(url, { agent: proxyAgent })
        .then(response => response.text())
        .then(data => {
            // Process the data here
        .catch(error => {
            console.error('Error:', error);
            // Handle error or retry with another proxy

4. Respect the Target Website

It's important to be ethical when scraping. Here are some best practices:

  • Rate Limiting: Don't overwhelm the website with too many requests in a short period; add delays between your requests.
  • User-Agent Rotation: Rotate user-agent strings to further simulate requests from different browsers.
  • Comply with robots.txt: Check the website's robots.txt file to understand what the site owner allows to be crawled.

5. Handle Proxy Failures

Proxies can fail, so your code should handle these cases gracefully. You may need to retry with a different proxy, log the failure, or take other corrective action. Implementing a backoff strategy is also recommended.

Legal Considerations

Before scraping Trustpilot or any other website, make sure you are aware of the legal implications. Trustpilot's terms of use may prohibit scraping, and you could be subject to legal action if you violate these terms. Always review the terms of use and consider seeking legal advice.

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