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Proxies: Sticky vs Rotating Sessions

After purchasing a proxy, launching projects such as web scraping projects with proxies is not easy. One of the most critical decisions you need to consider is choosing a suitable session for your proxy, along with other factors such as learning what a bot is, configuring it, and avoiding blocks.

So let’s find out more about two significant proxy sessions, static and rotating, in this article.

What is a Sticky session and how does it operate?

Well, in a sticky session, you will have the same IP address right throughout the session that you’re connected to the Internet. So each time you make a new request, your IP address will not change and will have the same proxy. The positive aspect of a sticky session is that you appear as a legitimate user since you have the same IP address for a longer duration.

What is a Sticky session and how does it operate

Mostly sticky IPs are associated with Datacenter proxies. While residential proxies are continuously rotating, there are exceptions to it. For example, with some proxy providers, their datacenter proxy may last for up to 30 minutes. Then their users could switch to static residential proxies for a certain period. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to guarantee that IPs of residential proxies will remain the same for their entire duration.

So it’s essential to determine what sort of proxies you need for your situation.

What is a Rotating IP session and how does it operate?

Unlike the sticky sessions, which assign one static IP for the entire session, the rotating proxies provide access to a whole pool of IP addresses. Therefore rotating proxies change at a random or fixed interval. To provide you an overview of how the rotation session works, let’s consider the below example. 

What is a Rotating IP session and how does it operate

For instance, let’s assume that you will be given an IP address when you visit a web page. Then afterward, you decide to visit another page, and since it is a new request, your IP address will change.

Some of the significant benefits of rotating proxies are that since the IP addresses originate from different Geo locations that are not related to one another, it gives a greater level of anonymity and security when browsing the web.

Proxy Rotator

Rotating proxies are often confused with proxy rotators. Later is a software application that rotates a collection of static proxies. This software automatically assigns IP addresses to a device and lets you select a cooling time among each IP change. This tool is a valuable addition to datacenter proxies.

Sticky or Rotating sessions for your business?

Those in the eCommerce industry know that their competitors would be scraping for product information from their websites. Although the business owners scrape from their competitors’ websites to grow their business, heaps of traffic can harm the target web server and cause a negative customer experience. Since people use automated bots at a larger scale for scraping, it would slow down the target web server and ultimately lead to bringing down the websites.

To combat such harmful effects by bots, many website owners use antibot measures as a bot could go as far as shutting down a business. Website owners also employ anti-scraping mechanisms to detect suspicious behavior to distinguish genuine web scrapers from bots. Bots usually send a large amount of traffic from a single IP address. This is where you need to use your knowledge of rotating and static proxies.

Use of static proxies for web scraping

As you learned previously, the static proxies have an IP address that doesn’t change for a period till you do not want to change it. So the significant advantage of using static proxies is that it’s hard to detect them as a virtual machine can’t run them. However, to be cautious, you need to be aware that hundreds of requests can arrive from a single IP address in a short period. So the target website servers can recognize this activity as that of a bot and result in a block.

Use of Rotating proxies for web scraping

When you scrape product information from a vast number of product pages, you are likely to encounter a block from target websites. The use of rotating proxies can help you overcome your IP address getting blocked. You will have to use a pool of rotating proxies with a proxy rotator to switch different IP addresses. As a result, you would bypass the anti bot measures implemented by the target website administrator’s website.  

Which of the two proxies is to pick?

Which of the two proxies is to pick

Ultimately your choice depends on your needs, as both types of proxies have their pros and cons. Let’s look at some of their use cases in real world for instance:

Use cases of static proxies

  • Social Media Management: Sticky IPs perform best when managing several social media accounts, such as multiple Instagram accounts. They provide a unique and exclusive IP address for each account that appears as a separate account from an individual user. But in reality, it is managed by the same IP address as the primary account with the same automation tool.
  • E-commerce: There can be promotions and deals from specific locations which would not be possible to access without proxies. When you connect using a sticky proxy and complete the transactions, it is impossible to spam because the IP is from the exact location.
  • Market research – static proxies will be helpful for manual market research. This is when a marketing specialist wants to research the market data through a user’s eye from a specific location. IOP rotation may result in incorrect data as the majority of the marketing content is dynamic.

Use Cases for rotating proxies

  • Web scraping- you may need to scrape many web pages when scraping for price data. This usually takes quite an amount of time, and using a single proxy will likely get you banned. Therefore you can use rotating proxies to exceed the number of requests that you can send for a target website and keep on rotating till you extract all the data.
  • SEO monitoring – In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), when you need to target traffic for various locations across the globe, you can use rotating proxies per location to determine how your site performs. 
  • Travel aggregators –The travel aggregator websites use rotating proxies to scrape prices from different websites using rotating proxies.

Conclusion

Now you have learned about static and rotating sessions with proxies. It is vital to keep in mind that when you need to use an IP address for a continuous duration, proxies with sticky sessions are preferred. In contrast, you would use a rotating proxy when you can not use the same IP address for a longer duration.

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