How To Create A Proxy In Python - ProxyScrape
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Before diving into the details of proxies, we must know what proxies are. Proxies are a gateway or a tunnel between the user and the Internet. They act as a firewall providing shared network connections and cache data to speed up common requests. A good proxy server keeps the internal network and the users protected from the wild Internet’s bad stuff, thus providing security, privacy, and a lot more depending on the users’ needs.

Let’s understand how a proxy server acts as a security protection device between the server and client computers with the help of an example.

Consider “X” as a client computer, “Y” as a server computer, and “Z” as a proxy server. Whenever “X” wants to request or send something to “Y” directly, “Y” can quickly identify “X” as the sender of the request and gather information about “X.” But what if “X” is first connected to the proxy server “Z”? In this scenario, if “X” requests or sends something to “Y” via “Z,” then “Y” will not be able to identify “X” as the sender of the request. Therefore, it can collect information only about “Z.” This way, “X” can hide and protect its personal information from “Y” by taking the help of the proxy server “Z.” This is how a proxy server behaves like a privacy shield and hides the client’s information.

The Need For Proxies

Companies have to gather large amounts of data to promote their causes in today’s world. It’s frustrating for the companies when they discover they can not get the crucial information, especially when they need it fast. The reason is that some websites restrict scraping as our actual IP address is from a banned geographical zone.

Another reason a company’s server can not scrap sites could be that they are trying to scrap restricted data or using a prohibited device.

Keeping in view the above scenario, it becomes evident that we need a way to conceal our IP address to scrape any website of our choice for our business requirements. That’s where a proxy comes in. It is a third-party server that connects our computer to the Internet using a pseudo IP address.

Creating A Proxy Server In Python

For creating a proxy server in Python, you need to follow the steps given below.

Import Libraries

You have to import the following libraries.

  • A SimpleWebSocketServer
  • A simple_http_server
  • urllib
from simple_websocket_server import WebSocketServer, WebSocket
import simple_http_server
import urllib
PORT = 9097

The SimpleWebSocketServer and the simple_http_server listen to the incoming requests and the urllib module fetches the target web pages.

We can also initialize the port, as shown below.

Get Requests

For creating our own proxy, we inherit SimpleHTTPRequestHandler. We define a function do_GET that will be called for all GET requests. 

class MyProxy(simple_http_server.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler):
   def do_GET(self):
   	url=self.path[1:]
   	self.send_response(200)
   	self.end_headers()
     self.copyfile(urllib.urlopen(url), self.wfile)

Removing the URL slash

The url that we are passing in the above code will have a slash (/) at the beginning from the browsers. We can remove the slash using the below code.

url=self.path[1:]

Sending The Headers

We have to send the headers as browsers need them for reporting a successful fetch with the HTTP status code of 200.

self.send_response(200)
self.end_headers()
self.copyfile(urllib.urlopen(url), self.wfile)

We have used the urllib library in the last line for fetching the URL. We wrote the URL back to the browser using the copyfile function. 

Using The TCP Server

We will use the ForkingTCPServer mode and pass it to the above class for interrupt handling.

httpd = WebSocketServer.ForkingTCPServer(('', PORT), MyProxy)
httpd.serve_forever()

You can save your file as ProxyServer.py and run it. Then you can call it from the browser.

Your whole code will look like this.

from simple_websocket_server import WebSocketServer, WebSocket
import simple_http_server
import urllib
PORT = 9097
MyProxy(simple_http_server.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler):
	def do_GET(self):
	   url=self.path[1:]
	   self.send_response(200)
	   self.end_headers()
    	self.copyfile(urllib.urlopen(url), self.wfile)
httpd = WebSocketServer.ForkingTCPServer(('', PORT), MyProxy)
print ("Now serving at"	str(PORT))
httpd.serve_forever()

Types Of Proxy Servers

There are various proxy servers, but not all work the same way. You need to understand the functionality you can get from a particular proxy server. Other than the datacenter and residential proxies, some of the proxy servers are:

Anonymous Proxy

Whenever we type an address on our browser, our device sends a request to the web host of our destination website. When the web host receives the request, it sends the web page of our target website back to our device.

The web host only sends the page back to us if it knows our internet protocol, i-e, IP address. Thus, the target website knows the general location from where we are browsing because we sent out our IP address when we requested to browse the website.

Most likely, the web host may be able to access our ISP (Internet Service Provider) account name with the help of our IP address.

Advantages Of Using An Anonymous Proxy

There are lots of advantages to using an anonymous proxy server. We must be aware of its benefits to understand how it can help us in our organization or any business. Following are some of the pros of using anonymous proxy servers:

  • The most obvious benefit of using anonymous proxy servers is that it gives us some semblance of privacy. It essentially substitutes its IP address in place of ours and allows us to bypass geo-blocking. For instance, a video streaming website provides access to viewers of specific countries and blocks requests from other countries. We can bypass this restriction by connecting to a proxy server located in any country to access the video streaming website. 
  • Public WiFi may prevent us from browsing certain websites at some universities or offices. We can get around this browsing restriction by using a proxy server.
  • An anonymous proxy server helps the clients protect their vital information from getting hacked by hackers.
  • A proxy server is often used to access data, speeding up browsing because of its good cache system.

Rotating Proxies

We can define proxy rotation as a feature that changes our IP address with every new request we send.

When we visit a website, we send a request that shows a destination server a lot of data, including our IP address. For instance, when we gather data using a scraper( for generating leads), we send many such requests. So, the destination server gets suspicious and bans it when most requests come from the same IP. 

Therefore, there must be a solution to change our IP address with each request we send. That solution is a rotating proxy. So, to avoid the needless hassle of getting a scraper for rotating IPs in web scraping, we can get rotating proxies and let our provider take care of the rotation.

Uses Of Proxies

Some of the critical uses of proxies are mentioned below:

  • Web Scraping

E-commerce websites employ anti-scraping tools for monitoring IP addresses to detect those making multiple web requests.

It is where the use of the proxies comes in. They enable users to make several requests that have ordinarily been detected from different IP addresses.

Each web request is assigned a different IP address. In this way, the webserver is tricked and thinks that all the web requests come from other devices.

  • Ad Verification

Ad verification allows the advertisers to check if their ads are displayed on the right websites and seen by the right audiences.

The constant change of IP addresses accesses many different websites and thus verifies ads without IP blocks.

  • Accessing geo-restricted websites and data

When accessed from specific locations, the same content can look different or unavailable. The proxies allow us to access the necessary data regardless of geo-location. 

Conclusion on Creating a Proxy in Python

We discussed that proxy servers are relays between the client and the server machine. We can use them to monitor and filter the internet traffic. Proxies can also filter out unwanted content and give businesses more control over their networks. We can use them to scrape the web and access the geo-restricted data. Other than anonymous and rotating proxies, the residential and the datacenter proxies give us access to blocked content and web pages. They are widely used as they are ideal for many applications and offer us adequate privacy.