Web Scraping tools are specifically developed for extracting information from websites. They are also known as web harvesting tools or web data extraction tools. These tools are useful for anyone trying to collect some form of data from the Internet. Web Scraping is the new data entry technique that don’t require repetitive typing or copy-pasting.
These software look for new data manually or automatically, fetching the new or updated data and storing them for your easy access. For example, one may collect info about products and their prices from Amazon using a scraping tool.
In this post, we’re listing the use cases of web scraping tools and the top 5 web scraping tools to collect information, with zero codings.
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Why Web Scraping Tools?
Web Scraping tools can be used for unlimited purposes in various scenarios but we’re going to go with some common use cases that are applicable to general users.
1. Collect Data for Market Research
Web scraping tools can help keep you abreast on where your company or industry is heading in the next six months, serving as a powerful tool for market research. The tools can fetch data from multiple data analytics providers and market research firms, and consolidating them into one spot for easy reference and analysis.
2. Extract Contact Info
These tools can also be used to extract data such as emails and phone numbers from various websites, making it possible to have a list of suppliers, manufacturers, and other persons of interests to your business or company, alongside their respective contact addresses.
3. Download Solutions from StackOverflow
Using a web scraping tool, one can also download solutions for offline reading or storage by collecting data from multiple sites (including StackOverflow and more Q&A websites). This reduces dependence on active Internet connections as the resources are readily available in spite of the availability of Internet access.
4. Look for Jobs or Candidates
For personnel who are actively looking for more candidates to join their team, or for job seekers who are looking for a particular role or job vacancy, these tools also work great to effortlessly fetch data based on different applied filters, and to retrieve data effective without manual searches.
5. Track Prices from Multiple Markets
If you are into online shopping and love to actively track prices of products you are looking for across multiple markets and online stores, then you definitely need a web scraping tool.
Web Scraping Tools
Let’s take a look at some of the best web scraping tools available. Some of them are free, some of them have trial periods and premium plans. Do look into the details before you subscribe to anyone for your needs.
Scraper API is designed to simplify web scraping. This proxy API tool is capable of managing proxies, web-browsers & CAPTCHAs.
It supports popular programming languages such as Bash, Node, Python, Ruby, Java, and PHP. Scraper API has many features; some of the main ones are:
It is fully customizable (request type, request headers, headless browser, IP geolocation).
- IP rotation.
- Over 40 million IPs.
- Unlimited bandwidth with speeds up to 100Mb/s.
- More than 12 geolocations, and
- Easy to integrate.
Scraper API offer 4 plans – Hobby($29/month), Startup($99/month), Business($249/month) and Enterprise.
Import.io offers a builder to form your own datasets by simply importing the data from a particular web page and exporting the data to CSV. You can easily scrape thousands of web pages in minutes without writing a single line of code and build 1000+ APIs based on your requirements.
Import.io uses cutting-edge technology to fetch millions of data every day, which businesses can avail for small fees. Along with the web tool, it also offers a free apps for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux to build data extractors and crawlers, download data and sync with the online account.
Dexi.io (formerly known as CloudScrape)
CloudScrape supports data collection from any website and requires no download just like Webhose. It provides a browser-based editor to set up crawlers and extract data in real-time. You can save the collected data on cloud platforms like Google Drive and Box.net or export as CSV or JSON.
CloudScrape also supports anonymous data access by offering a set of proxy servers to hide your identity. CloudScrape stores your data on its servers for 2 weeks before archiving it. The web scraper offers 20 scraping hours for free and will cost $29 per month.
Zyte (formerly Scrapinghub) is a cloud-based data extraction tool that helps thousands of developers to fetch valuable data. Zyte uses Crawlera, a smart proxy rotator that supports bypassing bot counter-measures to crawl huge or bot-protected sites easily.
Zyte converts the entire web page into organized content. Its team of experts are available for help in case its crawl builder can’t work your requirements. Its basic free plan gives you access to 1 concurrent crawl and its premium plan for $25 per month provides access to up to 4 parallel crawls.
ParseHub, apart from the web app, is also available as a free desktop application for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that offers a basic free plan that covers 5 crawl projects. This service offers a premium plan for $89 per month with support for 20 projects and 10,000 webpages per crawl.
80legs is a powerful yet flexible web crawling tool that can be configured to your needs. It supports fetching huge amounts of data along with the option to download the extracted data instantly. The web scraper claims to crawl 600,000+ domains and is used by big players like MailChimp and PayPal.
Its ‘Datafiniti‘ lets you search the entire data quickly. 80legs provides high-performance web crawling that works rapidly and fetches required data in mere seconds. It offers a free plan for 10K URLs per crawl and can be upgraded to an intro plan for $29 per month for 100K URLs per crawl.
Bonus: One more…
Scraper is a Chrome extension with limited data extraction features but it’s helpful for making online research, and exporting data to Google Spreadsheets. This tool is intended for beginners as well as experts who can easily copy data to the clipboard or store to the spreadsheets using OAuth.
Scraper is a free tool, which works right in your browser and auto-generates smaller XPaths for defining URLs to crawl. It doesn’t offers you the ease of automatic or bot crawling like Import, Webhose and others, but it’s also a benefit for novices as you don’t need to tackle messy configuration.
Which is your favorite web scraping tool or add-on? What data do you wish to extract from the Internet? Do share your story with us using the comments section below.