How To Unblock Websites With A Proxy Service

Unregulated or unstructured web scraping causes websites to block the IP address associated with the web scraper. This blacklisting prevents future access to the sites. At the same time, employers and schools often block access to websites to improve productivity. Some governments also institute blanket bans that prevent their citizens from connecting to certain websites, while some websites practice geo-blocking. Unbeknownst to many, however, these restrictions can be bypassed with a proxy service.

What is a Proxy?

Offered by a proxy service provider, a proxy server or proxy is a software or computer that is found midway, at least figuratively, between a web client (browser) and a web server. It is designed to intercept communication between a browser and a web server. In most cases, the proxy not only intercepts the communication, routing requests and responses through itself but also assigns a new, unique IP address that effectively masks a user’s real IP address.

There are different types of proxies, namely:

  • Reverse proxies
  • Forward proxies
  • Transparent proxies
  • Residential proxies
  • Datacenter proxies
  • Rotating proxies
  • Static proxies
  • Private/dedicated proxies
  • Shared proxies
  • Anonymous proxies
  • High anonymous proxies
  • SOCKS proxies
  • HTTP/HTTPS proxies

Unblocking Websites with a Proxy

It is thanks to the fact that proxies assign a new IP address, anonymizing the browsing experience, that they are used to access geo-restricted websites or unblock blocked sites. For instance, if a proxy service provider assigns your computer an IP address associated with a different country, you can access content from geo-blocked websites that previously were only accessible to residents of that country. At the same time, the different IP address enables users whose real IP addresses had been blacklisted to access the sites that had blocked them. 

It is, however, worth pointing out that not all proxies are capable of this function. This is because some, like reverse proxies and transparent proxies, are not designed to assign a new IP address or anonymize the browsing experience. Rather, reverse proxies are meant to add an extra layer of security to the server as well as increase loading time by caching frequently accessed files. On the other hand, transparent proxies block access to specific websites without modifying the nature of the requests.

Best Proxies for Unblocking Websites

In this regard, only some proxies are suitable for unblocking websites. These include:

  • Residential proxies
  • Datacenter proxies
  • Anonymous proxies
  • High anonymous proxies. 
  1. Residential Proxies 

Residential proxies assign residential IP addresses and route traffic through the computers and mobile devices of consenting real users. However, this proxy type is expensive as residential IP addresses are hard to come by. That said, they are fast.

  1. Datacenter Proxies

Datacenter proxies route traffic through powerful datacenter computers, which assign the requested datacenter IP addresses. Unlike residential proxies, which are not easily blocked or blacklisted, datacenter proxies are easily detected and blacklisted. Nonetheless, they are fast and inexpensive. 

  1. Anonymous Proxies

Anonymous proxies identify themselves to web servers as proxies. Still, they hide the user’s real IP address and assign the outgoing requests a new IP address.

  1. High Anonymous Proxies

A high anonymous proxy is a computer that not only masks a user’s real online identity by hiding the real IP address and in its place assigns a new IP address but also does not tell the web server that it is indeed a proxy. 

Avoiding Website Blocks with a Proxy Service

As stated, some practices may result in IP blocking, which blocks access to a website. For example, web scraping is notorious for resulting in IP blocking because it normally involves making numerous web requests. Yet, web servers usually monitor traffic originating from each IP address. The servers deem traffic to be unusual if it comprises numerous requests that are made within a short time. They subsequently display CAPTCHA puzzles and block the IP addresses responsible for such traffic if they persist. So, how do proxies come into play?

By masking a user’s real IP address and assigning a new IP address, proxy servers first prevent a situation where the real IP address is blacklisted. Next, some proxies, namely rotating proxies, periodically change the assigned IP address. This limits to an acceptable figure the number of requests that can be sent from each unique online identifier. 

For the best results, especially in web scraping, rotating residential proxies are preferred. Rotating datacenter proxies can still be deployed, but they are normally blocked as web servers easily recognize them – datacenter proxies are usually linked to bot activity.

Conclusion

Proxy service providers offer solutions that users can use to access websites to which they ordinarily could not connect. These solutions, known as proxies, mask users’ real IP addresses and, in their place, assign new unique IP addresses. As a result, proxies prevent IP blocking during web scraping and can be used to bypass geo-restrictions.

 If you’re curious to explore proxies even further, find more info here.

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