Today’s rapidly-evolving tech world is all about data. The internet is swarming with data of all kinds, and knowing what data is valuable and how to gather and utilize data ethically can be challenging.
The concept of web scraping — data extraction from websites — has been around for some time. However, not all approaches to data extraction are legitimate, easy to use, or even safe for customer use.
In the world of web scraping, the use of proxies is standard. Proxies or proxy servers provide an intermediary between a client and a server, effectively disguising a client’s IP address for better web scraping. Proxies can provide clients access to blocked content, such as geographic limitations on data access from certain foreign websites. Proxies can also help clients avoid being blocked by websites since numerous attempts at connections from a single IP are often identified as non-human.
Rayobyte CEO Neil Emeigh has a long history of proxy use and run-ins with sketchy providers who offered little more than poor runtimes and lackluster customer service, and knew that he could provide something better. Beginning as a blazing-fast proxy provider for SEO purposes nearly a decade ago, Neil has built his business into something that offers far more than services for SEO.
“In July of 2022, we officially rebranded as ‘Rayobyte’ from ‘Blazing SEO’ — a name that means ‘the largest finite amount of bytes possible.’ This name better reflects our promise to customers today: no matter how much data you’re looking for, how much bandwidth you require, or how many IPs you need,” Neil explained to The Webscraping Club.
Proxies for multiple use cases
According to surveys, proxy traffic increased by an estimated 60 to 70% across various use cases. Rayobyte aims to make it easy to buy the best private proxies on the market, regardless of the client’s need or budget.
On the starter end, Rayobyte offers semi-dedicated data center proxies for affordable scraping with static IP addresses on non-major sites. These proxies can be shared between three separate users at a time and are incredibly fast. On the high end, Rayobyte offers high-powered, residential proxies — all of which are volunteered by their users — that take care of any management needs or hurdles standing in the way of web scrapers.
“A lot of providers specialize in one type of proxy,” Neil says. Rayobyte has been lauded as having the best data center proxies in the industry. “You could be the best mobile proxy provider, the best residential proxy provider, or the best rotating ISP proxy provider — the trick is to hone in on one thing and become the best at it.”
Today, Rayobyte offers residential proxies, mobile proxies, data center IPs, ISP proxies, and rotating ISP proxies, covering any possible proxy need a client may have.
“It’s all about how reliably you can provide results for your customers,” says Neil. “We go above and beyond to set our customers up with what we know are the best mix of proxies for their use case because ultimately we’re the experts.”
While Neil is well aware that many businesses spread their proxy choices across several providers, he hopes Rayobyte can solidify itself as a solo proxy solution for companies. Being the go-to provider for companies’ proxy needs helps companies reduce overhead, build relationships, and cut overall costs.
Ethics and data acquisition may seem like strange bedfellows. But Rayobyte has dedicated itself to merging the two concepts, ushering in a new era of web scraping.
“Ethical usage means understanding what people are using your proxies for. When most people think of proxies, they think about hacking, someone sneaking into your network to steal private data,” explains Neil. “What they don’t think about is that Google makes all their business from scraping web pages. Pretty much every e-commerce company is using scraping research.”
Many businesses and sites people use daily are built through data scraping. When ethically approached, scraping is simply akin to digital research. When building a business, researching the competition is part of a sound business plan. Companies should look at scraping as competition research on a large scale, using a bot to do the leg work.
For Neil and his team, promoting ethical scraping and proxies is all a matter of education. “It all starts by not letting your users do sketchy stuff. Putting in the automated and manual checking systems will ensure nobody can access private data using your proxies.”
Rayobyte doesn’t attempt to obtain residential IPs through the underhanded means other less-ethical proxy providers may resort to. “Everyone in our residential proxy pool knows that their IP address is being used as a proxy and gets reminded of that every month. They can opt-out at any time, and we only use their IPs if their devices are connected to WiFi, plugged in, and not in use,” says Neil. “Plus, we pay them for it through our Cash Raven app. It’s a much more ethical approach — no one’s being fooled, and no one’s giving anything away for free.”
The proxy market is growing by leaps and bounds. Data influences all industries, and the wealth of data to be found on websites can be helpful in a myriad of ways, from influencing future changes in technology to sociological research.
Rayobyte is disrupting the proxy market by being transparent with its clients regarding data collection habits, use of data, where it is being collected from, and how much it is being collected. Ethical proxies are the wave of the future of the internet, and Rayobyte intends to lead the way into this new age of data collection.