Gathering data is critical for building businesses, but web scraping manually is tiresome and often leads to IP blocks and bans. Sadly, many proxy services only have limited options and aren’t always trustworthy, even after paying high fees to use them. I recently had the opportunity to test Smartproxy, which promises to not only be trustworthy but also offers high-quality services for a fair price.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Smartproxy. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
Overview of Smartproxy
Smartproxy doesn’t just specialize in one type of proxy service or tool. Between a a variety of proxies, tools, and user resources/tutorials, users get everything they need to scrape the web efficiently. In fact, Smartproxy actually won the 2021 Best Value Provider by Proxyway for their dedication to meeting customer needs.
Some of the main features the service offers include:
- Intuitive dashboard with a quick account setup
- Free geo-targeting
- Unlimited connections and threads
- Advanced proxy rotation
- Numerous informative resources that are regularly updated (blog, setup guides, Quick Start guide, FAQs, and more)
- Free tools with a subscription (Chrome/Firefox browser extensions, proxy address generator, X Browser, and Smart Scraper)
- 24/7 customer support
Smartproxy provides four main products:
- Residential proxies – More than 40 million proxies from over 195 locations. You get access to the entire IP pool with any subscription. These proxies work for most use cases, such as SEO, social media, business scaling, and massive web scraping.
- Datacenter proxies – Over 100 secure U.S. subnets with more than 40,000 proxies that offer both high stability and ultra fast speeds.
- Dedicated datacenter proxies – Maintain control over your private IPs while getting full control of your browser history.
- SERP API with search engine proxies – Master Google web scraping with a full-stack solution that includes residential and datacenter proxies, scraper, and parser. While it works with other search engines, it doesn’t work with Yahoo.
Use Cases and Pricing
If you’re new to proxies, Smartproxy helps you better understand what you can and can’t do along and how to accomplish tasks straight from your dashboard.
It’s refreshing to see that support and resources are so easy to access, which makes learning to use Smartproxy that much faster. Mainly, you’ll use the service for monitoring and improving SEO, verifying ads, improving online security, performing market research, researching the competition, finding travel deals, and protecting your brand.
Overall, residential proxies are the best for web scraping. The advanced proxy rotation prevents blocks and bans to keep your project going. Plans begin at $75/month for 5 GB of traffic.
For more advanced users who need faster proxies, the datacenter proxies are not only cheaper but faster overall. There is a slightly better chance at being blocked with these proxies, but they’re the more cost-effective option for larger scale projects. Plans start at $50/month for 100 GB of traffic.
With dedicated datacenter proxies, you get unlimited traffic and threads but through private IPs. Plans start at $39/month for 25 IPs.
The search engine proxies give you valuable data from Google, other major search engines, and major e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, Aliexpress, and Wayfair. Scraping data from any of these isn’t easy, but Smartproxy’s all-in-one solution ensures you get results. Plus, you only pay for successful requests. Plans start at $100/month for 35,000 successful requests.
Free Bonus Tools
While many proxy services charge extra for additional tools, I was surprised to find Smartproxy includes four highly useful tools to help you make the most of the service. If you hate setting up proxies in your browser, you’ll love the Chrome and Firefox extensions. You can set up sessions in just two clicks. It works with both residential and datacenter proxies.
The Proxy Address Generator lets you install a bulk address generator to your Windows or macOS desktop. It works quickly to put together a list of up to 49,999 proxy list lines with just three clicks. The app works with residential and datacenter proxies.
X Browser is designed to work with residential proxies and lets you handle multiple accounts and browsers while protecting your identity. It’s compatible with both Windows and macOS but only works with the Chrome browser. Once set up, it runs in your notification tray for quick access.
The final tool is Smart Scraper. It’s the only tool you can use without a subscription, but you’ll get the most benefit when subscribing to a SERP Scraping API plan. I was impressed to see that you get data sorting, JSON and CSV data exporting, unique fingerprints, and zero CAPTCHAs and IP bans for free. It’s incredibly easy to use directly from your browser.
Smartproxy in Use
All the features are ideal in theory, but the real test comes in actually using the service. The features, pricing, and free tools all combine to separate Smartproxy from the competition.
It was a pleasant experience setting everything up, and the dashboard really is as straightforward as promised.
All I had to do was select my proxy type, which was residential for my test. After that, I set up a user under “Authentication method.” I could use up to three users or buy more if necessary.
Next, I went to “Endpoint Generator” to generate my proxy list. You can use an authenticated user or a whitelisted IP. You also get to select your proxy location, session type, output format, and the method for copying the list (copy to your clipboard or download as .csv or .txt).
It was just a simple matter of setting up the proxy in my tool of choice, which was my PC in this case. I highly recommend checking out the setup guides if you’re not familiar with using proxies. They have detailed guides for browsers, operating systems, proxy managers, smartphones, and much more. This is all in the Help docs listed on the dashboard.
In less than five minutes, I was ready to start to using my proxies. While datacenter proxies are designed to work faster, I couldn’t ask for more from the residential. Through several tests, requests went through quickly with zero problems. There was very minimal lag, which is impressive. With other proxies I’ve tried, the speed just wasn’t there at all.
Overall, Smartproxy delivers on its promises. Pricing is fair, proxies are easy to set up and use, there’s ample documentation and resources, and proxies are reliable and fast. Honestly, the most impressive part for me, outside of how easy the platform is to use, is the amount of resources available to help users get more of the products. Plus, the free tools included with subscriptions are hard to beat.
You can try Smartproxy yourself today to see how the service makes using proxies simpler than ever without compromising on quality and reliability. With the 3-day money back guarantee and 24/7 customer support team to help you get started, there’s no reason not to give them a try.
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