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How to manage bans and get data with Zyte Data API Smart Browser

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By the one and only
September 7, 2021

Data has become an invaluable resource in today’s digital-driven world and obtaining data has become more costly. 

Zyte Data API Smart Browser makes it easier for developers to manage today’s antiban technologies and retrieve the web data they want.

Websites are getting smarter, so they implement website bans and anti-bot measures, making it difficult to access web data. Obtaining access to reliable data has become more difficult, as site owners deploy new measures to hinder your legitimate extraction efforts. 

However, with legitimate web scraping tools, quality data can be transformed into useful knowledge, providing business leaders with actionable insights. For example, price intelligence or price comparison data from an e-commerce website can be used to implement appropriate pricing for a company’s products and services. 

In this post, we will cover the most common measures used by websites. From there, we’ll show you how to overcome them with Zyte Data API Smart Browser.

Common methods websites use to protect their data

Data in the wrong hands can pose a serious risk. Data breaches by malicious players, such as those that use spyware, ransomware, and phishing, can pose a serious risk to both businesses and website users. It’s no wonder that many organizations have upped their web security game using measures such as anti-bots. 

Anti-bot technology and website bans are meant to filter out bad bots and aggressive traffic. It’s often popular sites like e-commerce platforms to make large investments in antibot technologies. 

Defensive measures that get you blocked: 

  • Detailed browser fingerprinting checks such as webRTC and canvas fingerprinting 
  • Captchas and other ‘humanity’ tests 
  • TCP/IP fingerprinting, geofencing, and IP blocking 
  • Human observation methods, such as analysis of mouse movements and detailed event logging, to differentiate automated crawlers from the behaviour patterns of real-life visitors 

Legitimate web scrapers become ‘collateral damage’ in the process, even though you are scraping legally and applying web scraping best practices. This means that getting a hold of reliable data your business needs to scale can be a tough task to manage. 

How to navigate anti-bot measures

Until recently, rotating proxy solutions could handle the most common banning and blocking strategies. But these days, they can be ineffective against anti-bots targeting a browser.

So what else can you do to overcome these measures?

Here are a few methods to avoid anti-bots:

1. Set (and rotate) your user agents

User agents pose as a web browser to extract content from websites. While it may seem rudimentary, some web scrapers forget to set or update their user agents — which websites can detect and subsequently ban by checking for missing or disabled user agents. It’s also important to keep your user agents up to date and rotate between different user agents to avoid a spike in requests (which can be deemed suspicious).

2. Utilize a headless browser

Some websites can be tricky to scrape, detecting minute details such as internet font, extensions, and browser cookies. You can bypass them by using headless browsers. Since headless browsers do not have UI (user interface), you can write your own scripts with tools such as Selenium and Puppeteer, and manipulate the browser to appear like a true user.

3. Switch up your request patterns

If you’re sending one request per second for 24 hours — websites will definitely catch it as bot behaviour, because no real user would use websites in such a manner. Space out your requests by adding random delays between requests.

For example, you can do this on Python using the sleep () and randint () function. 

Overcoming bans with Zyte Data API Smart Browser

There are a multitude of ways to overcome website bans.

However, as websites continue deploying more sophisticated defensive measures, the challenge for developers and web scrapers will be to juggle between multiple tools and configurations.

Aside from being time consuming and costly, this also makes it harder for companies to hit commercial goals and retain great talent.

Because of these sophisticated measures, developers and web scrapers often need to juggle multiple tools and configurations. Battling website bans and anti-bots with a variety of tools is time-consuming and costly, making it harder to hit commercial goals and retain great talent. 

At Zyte, we’re always up for a challenge to help our web data extraction customers. As data extraction experts, developers, and web scrapers ourselves, we understand the pain points that you face when trying to web scrape at scale. 

So we’ve developed Zyte Data API Smart Browser

Why use Zyte Data API Smart Browser? 

It is already clear that websites today are clearly getting smarter.

So how do you manage today’s antiban technologies and retrieve the web data you want, when you want it?

The answer lies in a comprehensive, all-in-one solution — like Zyte Data API Smart Browser

Benefits of Zyte Data API Smart Browser

Here is how Zyte Data API Smart Browser can help you navigate antiban technologies.

Seamless integration and functionality

We’ve integrated smart browser functionality and browser rendering into a single API.

Unlike other solutions, this allows us to effectively manage anti-bots that target the browser layer, and extract content from modern-sites that use JavaScript and client-side rendering. 

Avoid complex banning

We use advanced human-like browsing behaviour to counter today’s aggressive banning and blocking technologies.

Armed with powerful anti-bot and CAPTCHA solution capabilities, it handles today’s tough extraction challenges, without breaking a sweat. 

Reliable performance

Smart Browser is built by developers, for developers. And we use it every day, so it’s battle-tested by our team of over 100 developers.

We leverage its complex anti-ban capabilities to maximise success rates and hack developer productivity. 

Flexible pricing

We offer different pricing plans to fit the needs of your organisation—whether you’re a small to mid-sized business, or enterprise level.

Upgrade as your needs grow, or scale as you see fit. 

Conclusion

Just as big data will continue to play a major role in our day-to-day lives, websites will also mature and become more sophisticated with their defensive measures. 

Instead of spending time managing different proxies, maintaining a proxy library, or resorting to manual ban handling, use a smart solution like Zyte Data API Smart Browser.

This ensures you have the right data you need, when you need it. No more setting up a headless browser infrastructure. And no more reverse engineering of complex Javascript. 

Try our 14-day free trial and find out how Zyte can help you manage bans, save time, and boost success rates on your next web data extraction project. 

Take our Zyte Data API Smart Browser for a test drive. 

Written by Akshay Philar
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