The 11 best free web scraping tools that can use proxies compared

Oct 09, 2020

Scraper.AI

Website: https://scraper.ai

Scraper.AI is a new player on the market offering a wide variety of features like scraping websites with multiple pages, scrollable pages, authenticated pages and many more. Next to this you're also future proofed as they offer a great API for extracting pages through the API yourself.

Not that technical? No problem, with their unique visual extractor you can extract any data you want without tprogramming knowledge!

Advantages

  • Many features
  • Intu├»tive UI
  • Easy to learn, no extensive tutorials needed to get started
  • Uses Many proxies to give a consistent result
  • Fast
  • Free plan available, cheap compared to others
  • It's a SaaS, no need to keep your browser open for a long time

Disadvantages

  • It's an overall solution, not niche targeting
  • Rather new player on the market

Octoparse

Website: https://www.octoparse.com

A Free, Simple, and Powerful Web Scraping Tool. Automate Data Extraction from websites within clicks without coding.

Advantages

  • Focuses more on niches scraping
  • Fair pricing
  • Consistent results
  • It's a SaaS, no need to keep your browser open for a long time

Disadvantages

  • Steep learning curve
  • Doesn't offer API scraping

Scrapy

Website: https://github.com/scrapy/scrapy

Scrapy is a fast high-level web crawling and web scraping framework, used to crawl websites and extract structured data from their pages. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, from data mining to monitoring and automated testing.

Advantages

  • Most popular python library
  • Open-source

Disadvantages

  • You still need to run your own servers
  • Only for scraping
  • Still need programmers to implement it

Puppeteer

Website: https://github.com/puppeteer/puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Node library which provides a high-level API to control Chrome or Chromium over the DevTools Protocol. Puppeteer runs headless by default, but can be configured to run full (non-headless) Chrome or Chromium.

Advantages

  • Most popular node.js library for scraping
  • Battle tested
  • Open-Source
  • Reliable
  • Direct implementation for proxies

Disadvantages

  • Requires good knowledge of timeouts, scrape processing, ...
  • You still need to run your own servers
  • Only for scraping
  • Still need programmers to implement it

Playwright

Website: https://github.com/microsoft/playwright

Playwright is a Node.js library to automate Chromium, Firefox and WebKit with a single API. Playwright is built to enable cross-browser web automation that is ever-green, capable, reliable and fast.

Advantages

  • Competitor to puppeteer
  • Open-Source
  • Reliable

Disadvantages

  • Harder to use than Puppeteer
  • Requires a lot of tweaking per browser
  • Newer than puppeteer
  • You still need to run your own servers
  • Only for scraping
  • Still need programmers to implement it

Cheerio

Website: https://github.com/cheeriojs/cheerio

Cheerio parses markup and provides an API for traversing/manipulating the resulting data structure. It does not interpret the result as a web browser does. Specifically, it does not produce a visual rendering, apply CSS, load external resources, or execute JavaScript. If your use case requires any of this functionality, you should consider projects like PhantomJS or JSDom.

Advantages

  • HTML parser
  • Famous open-source Node.JS library
  • Good functions for extracting data from a HTML

Disadvantages

  • not really a scraper, you need to render a page using puppeteer and then extract the data

BeautifulSoup

Website: https://www.crummy.com/software/BeautifulSoup/bs4/doc/

Beautiful Soup is a Python library for pulling data out of HTML and XML files. It works with your favorite parser to provide idiomatic ways of navigating, searching, and modifying the parse tree. It commonly saves programmers hours or days of work.

Advantages

  • HTML parser
  • Famous open-source Python library
  • Good functions for extracting data from a HTML

Disadvantages

  • not really a scraper, you need to render a page using puppeteer and then extract the data

Scraper API

Website: https://www.scraperapi.com/

Scraper API handles proxies, browsers, and CAPTCHAs, so you can get the HTML from any web page with a simple API call!

Advantages

  • Reliable results
  • Many proxies available
  • Good at it's single feature, rendering a webpage using it's API

Disadvantages

  • Programming knowledge required

Selenium

Website: https://www.selenium.dev/

Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should) also be automated as well.

Advantages

  • Works well
  • Battle-proven
  • Open-source
  • Available for many programming languages

Disadvantages

  • Older technology
  • Can be a pain to set up

Mozenda

Website: https://www.mozenda.com/

A bigger web data extraction software that's often used by enterprise customers

Advantages

  • Works well
  • Battle-proven
  • Focuses on enterprises

Disadvantages

  • Expensive

Kimura

Website: https://github.com/vifreefly/kimuraframework

Kimurai is a modern web scraping framework written in Ruby which works out of box with Headless Chromium/Firefox, PhantomJS, or simple HTTP requests and allows to scrape and interact with JavaScript rendered websites.

Advantages

  • Ruby (if you use ruby often)
  • Open-source
  • Good documented setup

Disadvantages

  • Not frequently updated anymore
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