As the business landscape becomes more data-driven, web scraping has moved from being a nice-to-have skill to a strategic practice for enterprises.
Manual data collection is slow and tedious, yet automated tools have to deal with anti-bot measures that stop them. Fortunately, some tools have appeared to bypass those and streamline workflows. In this article, we’ll compare ZenRows and ScrapingBee, two prominent web scraping APIs, to help enterprises make informed decisions.
ScrapingBee is known as a web scraping API that businesses can use to gather online data efficiently. It provides capabilities that include proxies, CAPTCHA bypass, and other features.
Meanwhile, ZenRows has emerged as a suitable and superior ScrapingBee alternative, boasting a more sophisticated scraping toolkit.
Websites deploy CAPTCHAs to differentiate between bots and humans, using image, text, checkbox, audio, or puzzle challenges. They are roadblocks to web scrapers, which they must address to continue accessing data from websites.
Both ScrapingBee and ZenRows provide solutions that help mitigate the challenges posed by CAPTCHA-protected websites without manual intervention. This feature ensures a smoother web scraping experience and enables users to access data from websites with CAPTCHA protection effectively.
However, ZenRows is more effective at running evasive CAPTCHA techniques and also provides solving capabilities.
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between a user and the internet. When using a proxy, the web request from the user goes to the proxy server first, and then the proxy server forwards the request to the target website. The website’s response is sent back to the proxy, which then forwards it to the user. In the context of web scraping, proxies play a crucial role in ensuring that scrapers can access web content without disruptions. They provide anonymity, bypass geo-restrictions, and help in distributing requests to prevent IP bans.
Websites often have mechanisms in place to detect and block seemingly bot activities, including repetitive requests from a single IP address, which is a common signature of web scraping. When a scraper sends too many requests in a short period, it risks being identified and blocked by the target website. By using proxies, web scrapers can distribute their requests across multiple IP addresses, making it difficult for websites to detect scraping activity. This not only helps in evading IP bans but also ensures uninterrupted data extraction.
Both ZenRows and its counterpart offer a critical advantage to enterprises through their provision of proxies to help access content that is only available to specific locations and masking and controlling the amount of traffic that appears to be coming from the same user.
They provide rotating premium proxies sourced from real IP addresses to access and scrape data from sites, avoiding rate limiting and IP banning.
A key difference is that ZenRows offers a wider variety of proxy types, including residential proxies, 4G proxies, private IPs, mobile proxies, and datacenter proxies. That gives you more flexibility to choose the right type of proxy for your specific scraping needs.
The best perk a web scraping API can offer is the ability to bypass anti-bot measures. It should therefore be the highest priority when choosing a tool.
ScrapingBee’s anti-bot bypass capabilities are limited, especially when compared to ZenRows.
With a complete anti-bot toolkit, higher reliability, and efficiency, ZenRows provides enterprises with the robust tools they need to navigate the challenges of web scraping in a way that minimizes disruptions and maximizes the success of their data collection efforts.
Price is an important factor when choosing a web scraping tool.
Both tools cater to a wide range of users with pricing plans tailored to different web scraping requirements, both starting at $49/month. Whether you’re a beginner or a large-scale scraper, you’ll find a subscription plan that fits your needs.
Important to note, they only charge users for successful requests.
However, ZenRows gives you more value for the same price. It has a 20% lower cost per page and provides double concurrent requests for much faster data extraction.
Websites usually pose obstacles to web scrapers in the form of anti-bot measures on websites, requiring companies to implement the right tools. This article has compared two leading web scraping APIs to assist enterprises in their decision-making.
ZenRows emerges as the superior ScrapingBee alternative, offering advanced anti-bot measures and customization options tailored to different team sizes. For enterprises seeking advanced anti-bot capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and customization in their web scraping endeavors, ZenRows stands out as the preferred choice.