Many websites worldwide restrict content. Some use geo-blocking to comply with national laws like the GDPR and avoid hefty fines. Some use geo-restrictions to enforce licensing agreements and avoid intellectual property infringement. Others implement dynamic pricing, showing localized content to users in specific countries.
Regardless of the reason for blocking or limiting content access, geo-restrictions can pull the brakes on your business operations. Let’s see why before comparing two excellent solutions—proxy servers and web unblockers.
Why is restricted content a hassle for businesses?
Restricted content can prevent businesses from gathering competitive and sales intelligence. For instance, companies looking to expand to foreign markets need accurate, up-to-date data on competitors’ products or services, pricing strategies, brand positioning, and other industry information. Geo-restrictions can hamper their market research.
SEO monitoring is a significant part of that research. Gaining insight into competitors’ online visibility, ranking, high-converting keywords, CTRs, bounce rates, and other performance indicators can help businesses improve and stand out. Not having access to that information means shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.
Fortunately, you can use a proxy server or a web unblocker to bypass geo-restrictions and unlock content worldwide. Let’s see which solution is better.
What are proxy servers?
Proxy servers are server apps that establish secure connections between web browsers and servers hosting the visited websites. They are intermediaries routing traffic through their servers to conceal users’ IP addresses, effectively going around geo-blocks.
How do they work?
When you use a proxy to visit a website, you send an HTTP request to the website’s server via that proxy. An HTTP request is a client-server protocol for requesting a server resource like an HTML file to render the site’s content.
When the target website uses geo-blocking, its hosting server authenticates your location and relays an HTTP status code (HTTP 403) if you don’t have permission to access the requested content.
However, when a proxy sends an HTTP request on behalf of your web browser, the target server instantly provides the HTML file. It detects an IP address from the proxy’s server network instead of your device’s IP address, allowing unrestricted access.
What do proxies achieve?
Mediating HTTP requests enables proxies to bypass geo-restrictions—the primary reason individuals and businesses use them. They hide your IP address, breaking geographical barriers and helping you view and interact with any content.
They’re also perfect for avoiding IP blocks and bans when sending multiple HTTP requests for web scraping. Rotating proxies have a vast pool of IP addresses, changing them at fixed or random intervals so target websites with anti-scraping mechanisms don’t detect and block them.
The same goes for avoiding CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA tests. Besides IP addresses, rotating proxies rotate HTTP headers, preventing target servers from detecting them. That’s valuable when sending thousands of HTTP requests within minutes.
Proxies can also conserve bandwidth through web caching. They save copies of frequently visited websites’ HTML files, reducing latency and delivering content quickly—perfect for web scraping.
What is a web unblocker?
Like proxies, they provide a gateway to restricted content, helping you send multiple HTTP requests without detection. However, they’re miles ahead of proxy servers, using cutting-edge technology to unblock the web. Feel free to check this Web Unblocker article to find out more.
How do they work?
Web unblockers use machine learning algorithms to choose the most suitable proxy pools for specific websites and speed up HTTP responses. They also rotate proxies at intervals.
Additionally, they use dynamic browser fingerprinting to appear as organic users. They combine the best HTTP headers, proxies, browser cookies and attributes, and other parameters to go around geo-blocks, anti-bot mechanisms, and other restrictions.
What do they achieve?
Web unblockers can bypass geo-restrictions, not only on a country or city level. Thanks to extensive backconnect proxy pools (rotating proxies with residential IP addresses), they can provide access to localized content across coordinates worldwide. That ensures undetected, human-like web scraping and no IP blocks and bans.
They can also bypass anti-scraping measures like CAPTCHA tests. You don’t have to worry about blocked proxies or wasted time and resources. You can quickly collect accurate information for boosting your business.
Which solution is better for accessing restricted content?
Proxy servers are excellent for accessing restricted content, but web unblockers are indisputable winners. They have more features and use AI and ML algorithms to avoid anti-bot systems and detection.
Proxy servers are reliable tools for accessing restricted content, helping businesses improve and facilitate long-term growth. However, AI-powered web unblockers make it a breeze with innovative features, taking web scraping to the next level.