What Is An IP Address?
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is an alphanumeric address used in a particular internet device on the web surfing or web connection. It consists of a string of 4 sets of figures, called IPv4, example:184.108.40.206. splited by periods. The figures range from 0 to 255, as per the 256 bit. Another called as IPv6, means consists of a string of 6 sets of numbers and letters. such as:2002:db8:1:4687:0:268:9:3.
Working as identifiers, IP addresses play a role in internetwork communication. Generally speaking, the internet service provider (ISP) assigns a unique IP address to the device as soon as it connects to the ISP network. Moreover, IP addresses embody location information that can support the network in locating the device.
Why Even Try Random IP Addresses?
In most instances, your IP address is static, which means it doesn’t change when you reconnect to the Internet. This is convenient for average users — but in terms of data collection, it presents a problem: Anti-web scraping systems use web scraping bots’ IP addresses to add them to block lists and discourage the bots from accessing the given website.
Random IP Addresses In Web Scraping
Data collection is crucial in a great number of industries and uses cases:
- Price comparison: E-Commerce businesses progressively use web scraping practices to compare prices with contenders and keep theirs in line. As checking the prices of hundreds or thousands of products manually is difficult to achieve, e-Commerce businesses employ web scrapers to extract price information in almost real-time and subsequently carry out pricing to beat contenders.
- Market research: Web scraping tools can be incredibly convenient for online market research, especially when researchers have to analyze dozens of websites. A web scraper automatically collects data based on a set of rules, making it easier for researchers to gather the accurate and relevant data they need to complete their research.
- SEO keyword research: Businesses can scrape competitors’ websites — especially those ranking high on search engines — and find the right keywords to target. Without using keyword research tools, it is a more efficient search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
- Social media scraping: Social media scraping involves retrieving data such as public profile data or comments on a post. This kind of scraping can be utilized in a variety of ways. For instance, a brand can be conscious of what users are saying about them. Likewise, they can gather data on trends and establish connections with clients accordingly.
- MAP compliance: In order to stay the product competitive in the market, the manufacturer set a minimum advertised price (MAP) for products. It means sellers can not sell a product at a price lower than the set threshold. So manufacturers can keep tabs on this compliance by keeping tabs on prices through web scraping.
Bypassing restrictions is arguably the most common user scenario: Every day, dozens of web resources get blocked for different reasons (such as government restrictions or copyright infringement.) Government authorities typically block these websites in their region only, so changing the IP address (and, subsequently, its geolocation) solves this problem.
Anonymity is becoming significant for more and more people: In an age of web tracking software, a myriad of users are wondering if they’re letting tech companies gather too much data about them. As many as 74% of internet users in the U.S. are concerned about their privacy online. For example, they fear that their online footprint may be tracked and monitored; many users simply don’t want their actual IP address to be visible to recipient servers. IP addresses can help to differentiate and track the given user, so making them random is essential to protect your privacy.
Security is the least obvious factor, but we shouldn’t underestimate it: Malicious third parties can use your IP address to attack you by injecting a vicious code.
How to Generate an IP Address
Whether you’re a casual internet user seeking your privacy online or a business scraping competitor websites, you’ll need to generate an alternate IP address to hide your own. There are several ways to obtain a random IP address:
- Free IP generators: If you search online “random IP generator,” you’ll find many free IP generators which provide random IP addresses for free. However, it is not very safe to use these IPs.
- ISP provider: Another way to generate a new IP address is to let your ISP provide another one passively. For example, whenever you switch off your router or fail to connect the internet, your ISP assigns a new IP address to your device. This method can work for one-off use for a new IP address but not for several different IP addresses.
- Rotating Proxy: a rotating proxy server automatically changes your IP address as its name shows. Based on peer-to-peer technologies, it offers powerful security and privacy. — it is truly excellent in the data collecting process, ensuring that the anti-scraping systems don’t find your web crawler. The weak point of rotating proxies may involve the proxy provider: It’s crucial to work with ethical proxy providers — otherwise, you’re running the risk of using proxies that perform poorly and can easily be detected.
- VPNs: A VPN uses a random IP from a selected location and encrypts your data. However, VPNs are hard to switch if get blocked. They’re significantly more expensive than proxies as well. It’s practically impossible to use them with numerous bots for data collection. If you need to do any kind of scalable searching or scraping, VPNs are less practical.