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Frequently asked questions about our web scraper tools and services

Is web scraping legal?

Every project we do involves collecting data that’s publicly available, which is 100% legal. But there can be scenarios where a certain website specifically mentions in their terms and conditions that copying or replicating data is not permitted. In such cases we contact the website on your behalf and make sure what we do is perfectly legal. In the case of a particular website terms and condition prohibits automation, we will find alternative data sources or manual resources to get you the same data you are after without violating any websites terms and conditions.

There have been many cases in the past where companies try to act as if they own the data on their websites, when in fact its public knowledge. You can find numerous court rulings to date where judges have decided web scraping is completely legal.

Recently LinkedIn was ordered to let users scrape the data. Read more

We respect each platforms terms and conditions and we want scraping solutions customers to use our service responsibly.

Can you scrape data from any website?

Yes. As long as the data is publicly available information that you can view through a browser, we can scrape it.

How are you different from any other web scraping software or company out there?

We are not a company that sells one single web scraping software for everyone, like everyone else. Most of the off the shelf software out there requires you to have some sort of technical knowledge to configure. Or they only do half of what you want and you are left with another load of manual work that cost you more time than doing the entire thing manually.

Here is what we do differently

  • We also have a free 12 months warranty on everything we do.
  • We also have 30 days money back guarantee.
  • You can talk to us anytime. We are not hidden behind computers.
Do you provide a warranty?

Yes, of course.

We provide a 12-month warranty against defects, so you can test the scraper as much as you want and if you can find a bug within 12 months, we will fix it for free.

How can I save the data I scrape?

There are many ways you can save the data.

The most common options are exporting the data to Excel, CSV or to a database of your choice. If you have a specific data saving option you would like to discuss, we are more than happy to accommodate it.

How fast can I scrape the data?

All our programs have the ability to run on multi-thread mode (that means they run more than one instance in parallel) to increase the speed of the data extraction. However, the actual speed may vary depending on the speed of your internet connection. We are more than happy to test and give you some rough numbers before you start a project with us to see whether you will be happy with the application.

Will a website block my IP address?

Websites usually block your IP address if they see an unusual amount of connections being made from a single IP address. They do this to make sure the website doesn’t slow down for everyone else using it simply because of one single person’s activity. As long as you are using it in a controlled manner, there is no reason a website should block you.

All our programs are already catered to make sure we don’t send huge amounts of requests within a short period of time. For this we use techniques like “random time delays” between requests we send to the website to scrape the data. We also use a technique called “multiple user agent simulation” in our programs to mimic an actual browser behaviour in our scrapers, so the chances you will get blocked by a website are very minimal.

What is a proxy? Where can I buy one?

A proxy is an IP address that you can purchase/rent from the Internet to connect to a website. If you want to scrape large amounts of data from one single website within a short period of time, we want to make sure your IP address won’t get blocked by a website. To do this, we buy private proxies and use them in the scraping program. Please contact us to find out the cheapest and best private proxies to buy with the highest speed.

Will my scraper work in any operating system?

Yes. all our programs are compatible with OSX, Linux and Windows. Please make sure you mention the operating system you will be running the scraper on prior to starting the project.

I’m confused. What exactly is web scraping?

Web scraping (also termed screen scraping, web data extraction, web harvesting etc.) is a technique employed to extract large amounts of data from websites whereby the data is extracted and saved to a local file in your computer or to a database in table (spreadsheet) format.

How does a web scraper work? How does it know what information to collect?

A web scraper basically scans a web page for common HTML patterns to extract information. Our job is to code or teach the program to look for specific text patterns to get the data you need. That’s how it knows to grab the information you instruct us to extract: because we teach/code the program for your specific requirements.How does a web scraper work? How does it know what information to collect?

Can I scrape multiple websites from 1 single web scraper?

Unfortunately there is no concept of a universal scraper that works for every website. Because a web scraper looks for common text patterns that we instruct it to look for, it only knows what we ask it to look for. Sometimes 1 scraper will work on another website only if both the websites have the exact same HTML structure. However, there are no guarantees it will always work.

For instance, an Amazon scraper we build might work with and because both websites have the same HTML structure. But an Amazon scraper will not work on because the HTML structure is different.

Can you automate something that I do on a website to save me time?

Yes, 100%. All you have to do is list down your steps and send them to us, and we will create a software program to automate those steps. You will be amazed at how much time you can save by doing this. This is a very popular service we offer.

Can you keep refreshing a page and notify me if something changes on a website?

Yes. This is another popular option we provide to our customers. We build software that monitors websites and sends you email notifications as well as pop-up notifications from your computer when a certain change happens on a website. This ensures you never miss those important sales or alerts online and you can still continue your everyday routine without being stuck to a computer all day. Scraper does all the hard work for you.

What about CAPTCHA? Can you automatically solve them too?

Yes, we can solve any CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) you see on a website and we use CAPTCHA solving techniques to overcome them in our scraping software.

What payment methods do you offer?

We offer PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Direct Debit as payment options.

Will my scraper work in any operation system?

Yes. all our programs are compatible with OSX, Linux and Windows. Please make sure you mention the operating system you will be running the scraper on prior to starting the project.

Can you create a web based system where I can login and schedule scraping jobs?

Yes, we can. You can do this from our Cloud Portal

Can I get data scraped hourly, daily, weekly or monthly without worrying about anything else?

Yes. Our managed services enable you to have your data automatically scraped on a regular basis. We then simply send the information to you for your observation.

What are your payment terms?

Our payment terms are 100% setup fee upfront (fully refundable under our 30 days money back guarantee) and data extraction fees on delivery of the sample data. All your payments are covered by PayPal Buyer protection program, so you are fully covered for all your payments. Please note that all our advertised prices are in US Dollars. Talk to one of our web scraping experts to find out more about the payment terms, if you have a specific question.

What’s the difference between a generic scraper available on the Internet and the custom scraper you are going to build specially for me?

Generic scrapers available on the Internet don’t take certain things into account such as:

  • how often you want to run the scraper without getting blocked by the website
  • how much data you want to extract within a certain time period
  • what exact data you want scraped
  • whether you need to perform calculations before scraping the data

The scrapers we build are specifically tailored for your requirements. We make sure you can actually achieve your task rather than just paying for generic software. Furthermore, our software comes with 12 months’ warranty – that means you can use the software with the peace of mind that you get the full value out of it.

What if the website changes the HTML structure? Will my scraper stop working?

If a website changes its HTML, 90% of the time the scraper will require some minor modifications. That’s why we have a guarantee to fix your scraper within 48 hours if it needs a minor tweak. The good news is, most of the websites don’t change their HTML structure that often, so you can sit back and relax.