Discover the top scraping APIs for web scraping, including ScraperAPI, Proxycrawl, ScrapingBee, WebScrapingAPI, and ScrapeStack. Learn about their features, performance, and pricing to find the best scraping API for your web data extraction needs.
In this article, I will recommend the best scraping APIs for web scraping. I am into automation and know the headaches associated with web scraping. To help recommend the best REST APIs for web scraping,
I tested about 20 popular web scraping APIs. I tested their performance in terms of speed, and how perfectly they evade anti-bot and anti-scraping systems, and also looked into other must-have features for web data extraction APIs. The result is a list of the best scraping APIs for extracting data from websites.
What is a Scraping API?
REST APIs for scraping are meant for developers. With it, developers do not have to worry about getting blocked. These data extraction tools handle all forms of evasion techniques and you only get charged for successful requests. While they primarily provide RESTFUL API endpoints, some do have client libraries as SDKs for popular programming languages to make them easier to integrate with support for added functionalities. These APIs are also known as proxy APIs for web scraping.
Best Scraping APIs Test & Compared
|Price||Starting at $29/month||Starting at $25/month||Starting at $49/month||Starting at $9.99/month||Starting at $5/month|
|Location||195+ countries||100+ countries||100+ countries||100+ countries||100+ countries|
|Support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone support|
|Refund policy||30-day money-back guarantee||7-day money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee|
As stated earlier, I personally tested 20 of the top scraping APIs in the market to come up with this list. For each, we go deep into some of the things you won’t know by merely looking at their websites.
ScraperAPI — Best Scraping API for Web Scraping
The API latency speed can go as love as 1.32 seconds, making it one of the fast APIs for web scraping. We tested the API on known difficult-to-scrape websites. Websites protected with the most effective anti-bot systems such as Cloudflare, PerimeterX, Datadome, and Akamai, and it all worked without getting blocked. The secret is just to choose the right proxies from them to use. ScraperAPI supports 3 types of proxies — standard, premium, and ultra-premium proxies. For the difficult-to-scrape websites, I recommend either premium or ultra-premium proxies.
The API is fully customizable with support for geo-targeting for scraping localized data. Currently, ScraperAPI has support for IP addresses from 12 countries in North America and Europe for regular users. Enterprise users can access all countries. While ScraperAPI is stable and reliable, you can’t use it to scrape Facebook and Instagram. I tried it during my test and got the response that scraping Facebook and Instagram is not allowed.
- Strong Anti-bot Bypass System: There is hardly any website that blocks this web scraping API. It uses a mix of high-quality rotating proxies, headless Chrome, captcha solving, and other in-house techniques to avoid getting blocked.
- Autoparse: ScraperAPI comes with autoparse support for Google Search, Google Shopping, and Amazon. For these, you get structured JSON data instead of raw HTML. For other websites, raw HTML is returned.
- Built for Scale: This scraping API is built for both small users as well as enterprises. It can handle over 400 concurrent threads for each user, depending on the package subscribed to. While at it, it remains stable and reliable.
What I Don’t Like About ScraperAPI?
Even though it came out best from the list of scraping APIs tested, it is still not without its fault. However, the major issue with this API is the fact that it does not allow the scraping of Facebook and Instagram. Another issue is its lack of parsing support except for Google and Amazon. Aside from these, it is my top web scraping API choice.
ScraperAPI is a paid tool and how it works is simple. You purchase API credits and then get charged per successful requests. Pricing starts from $49 for 100K API credits. This is the starter plan and comes with some limitations. The service is generous enough with its free trial option. You’re provided 5000 free API credits to test the service without requesting your credit card details.
Crawlbase Scraper API — Best for Structured Data Auto Parsing
Proxycrawl is arguably one of the best scraping APIs for collecting data from websites. This web scraping API has one unique feature that makes it better than ScraperAPI above and any other scraping API on this list. And this has to do with parsing. While most web scraping APIs handles only proxies, browsers, and captchas, Proxycrawl in addition to the aforementioned, also offers a parser.
With Proxycrawl, you might not need to worry about parsing. It does have parsers for some popular websites. For the supported websites, you get structured JSON responses instead of raw HTML that you get from ScraperAPI. The websites you can get structured JSON data include Amazon, Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Quora, Airbnb, eBay, AliExpress, Bing, and Immobilienscout24. For websites not mentioned, you can use their crawling API to get raw HTML.
Proxycrawl also offers a generic scraper for extracting URLs, emails, images, and other content from web pages. Aside from its Scraper API, this data extraction service offers a lead generation API for generating business leads. The Proxycrawl API is a highly stable and reliable API for scraping data from web pages. It is fast and has one of the highest success rates in the market. It is perfect for l programming languages including Python, Java, NodeJS, PHP, C#, Go, and Rust, among others.
- Extensive Autoparse Support: parsing can be incredibly difficult and a non-ending problem. This is because the structure of web pages changes a lot. In fact, what makes web scrapers difficult to manage is how frequently web page structure changes. With this feature, you do not have to worry as Proxycrawl takes care of that on your behalf.
- Smart Proxy: Proxycrawl is powered by its Smart Proxy infrastructure. This is a rotating proxy network that uses a mix of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to avoid blocks. It helps you stay anonymous while scraping data from the web.
- Enterprise Level Software: Proxycrawl has been built from the ground up to support both enterprise customers as well as small scraper users. The service is built to scale up depending on your requirement and this has earned them some high-profile customers including some Fortune 500 companies.
What I Don’t Like About Proxycrawl?
Being an enterprise-level scraping platform, almost everything is built perfectly. However, I still do not like the fact that it does not provide a generic parser. The parsers provided are tailored toward specific websites. If your website of target is not supported, then you’ll have to fall back to using a third-party tool for parsing. For this, ScrapingBee rocks!
Proxycrawl Scraper API Pricing
The Professional plan comes with 1 million API credits. This is priced at $149 monthly and unleashes all of the power of Proxycrawl. It supports over 20 countries for geotargeting, 30 concurrent requests, and premium proxy usage. Proxycrawl provides 1000 API credits free for new users to try out their service.
ScrapingBee — Best for All Geo-Targeting and Powerful Generic Parser
What set ScrapingBee apart from other REST APIs for web scraping is its geolocation support. Most of the APIs for scraping data support less than 30 geolocation. ScraperAPI support 12 countries, and Proxycrawl support 20+. And you only get access to all the locations if you subscribe to higher plans. In the case of ScrapingBee, you can choose from over 195 geolocation regardless of the package you subscribe to. This makes ScrapingBee the best API for scraping localized data.
For parsing, ScrapingBee provides a feature known as extraction rules. With this, you can parse data into structured JSON using CSS selectors. It does have auto-parsing support for Google Search into structured JSON. Aside from the REST API endpoint provided, ScrapingBee also has libraries otherwise known as SDK for Python. For other programming languages, the API endpoint will do.
- Extensive Geolocation Support: Currently, ScrapingBee is the best API for scraping localized data. This is because it supports all countries’ IPs regardless of your subscription plan.
- Flexible Proxy Support: ScrapingBee uses proxies as with others on the list. However, it does not force you to use its proxies. If you have high-quality proxies you’ll want to use, you can use them and save some API credit while still using their web scraping API infrastructure but with your own proxy.
- No-code Scraping Support: With Make, formerly known as Integromat, you can integrate ScrapingBee with over 1000 tools such as Google Sheets, Slack, Dropbox, and Emails, among others. This makes it easy to schedule web scraping tasks without writing a line of code.
What I Don’t Like About ScrapingBee?
With all of the features ScrapingBee provides, it would have been the perfect web scraping API, even better than ScraperAPI. However, it is a little slower than ScraperAPI at the moment. Its anti-blocking system also falls a little below what ScraperAPI can handle at the moment. But this will only be noticeable on a few websites. For most websites, ScrapingBee rocks.
There isn’t any major difference between the pricing of ScraperAPI, ScrapingBee, and WebScrapingAPI. Pricing starts from $49 for the freelance plan with 100,000 API credits. Other plans include Startup ($99) with 1 million API credits, Business plan ($299) with 2.5 million API credits, and the Enterprise plan ($999+) with more than 12.5 million API credits. As a new user, you can try out their service with 1000 free API credits.
WebScrapingAPI — Fastest REST API for Scraping Data
WebScrapingAPI describes itself as the leading REST APIs for web scraping. The term APIs was used for a reason. This is because the service is bundled into 3 different APIs — Scraper API, SERPs Scraper, and Amazon Product Scraper. SERPs Scraper is a specialized scraping API for search engines. The search engines supported include Google, Bing, and Yandex. The Amazon Product Scraper is for scraping product information from Amazon. The Scraper API which is their main product is for every other website.
However, there’s one major uniqueness you’ll come to like about WebScrapingAPI. From my performance test, the API latency speed is very fast. We got some responses in less than a second which is quite good. And the majority of the responses were below 2 seconds. Aside from being fast, the anti-blocking system of WebScrapingAPI is quite effective against the anti-bot systems of most popular websites.
- Powerful Extraction Rules: with the extraction rule, all you need to do is inspect the web page of interest and find out the relevant CSS selectors for your data point. Using this, you’re able to get a response in Structured JSON.
- SDK Integration: WebScrapingAPI provides more SDK than any other scraping API on the list. It provides an SDK for Python, NodeJS, Java, PHP, Go, and Rust. There’s also a separate SDK for Scrapy.
What I Don’t Like About WebScrapingAPI?
I try to find what I do not like about WebScrapingAPI and the number of location support for geotargeting is what I could pinpoint. It currently also does not have mobile proxies in its pool which means that some really difficult-to-scrape websites will be a hard nut to crack.
The WebScrapingAPI pricing is almost the same as that of ScraperAPI. Pricing starts from $49 for their starter package (100K credits). They have the grow package (1 million credits) for $149, the business package (3 million API credits) for $299, and the pro package (10 million credits) for $799 monthly. As a new user, you can try out the service with free 5000 credits.
ScrapeStack — Cheap Scraping API
The Scrapestack is the cheapest scraping API on the list. It is especially good for lightweight usage or on sites that are not too difficult to scrape. For this kind of site, you can get away with using cheap APIs for scraping with no hassle. I have personally tested the performance of Scrapestack and it worked on Amazon, AliExpress, Craigslist, Walmart, Google, and Yahoo. However, I tried testing the API on sites known for their strong anti-bot systems such as Sephora and FastPeopleSearch and got blocked.
This Scraping API is quite a simple option to use. It does not come with parsing or extraction support nor does it offer an SDK for any programming language. You’ll have to access it via the API endpoint. This is not unique to only Scrapestack as most other scraping APIs do not offer SDKs, all they provide are RESTFUL API endpoints— same as Scrapestack.
- Extensive Location: if you need to scrape localized data across multiple countries, then Scrapestack is a good option as it has support for over 100 locations. The countries supported depend on the proxy option you choose — standard or premium proxies.
- Huge Proxy Pool: While it is not clear whether Scrapestack owns the proxy network that powers its scraping platform, the proxy pool is quite huge. There are over 35 million residential IP addresses in the pool through which your requests are routed.
- High-Performing Infrastructure: One thing I appreciate about Scrapestack is how it is able to handle a good number of concurrent threads while still maintaining high performance and speed. This is only possible if the underlying infrastructure is built to scale well.
What I Don’t Like About Scrapestack?
Even though Scrapestack is cheap and actually performs well, it does have its issues. At the time I was carrying out the performance test, the standard proxies didn’t work for Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, and Booking, I had to use their premium option. However, the standard proxies worked on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Walmart, AliExpress, and Craigslist.
As you can tell from the beginning, Scrapestack is cheap. The starting price for Scrapestack is $19.99 with 200K API credits. This makes it one of the cheapest scraping APIs in the market. For more API credits and advanced features, you’ll need to subscribe to a higher package. The professional plan comes with 1 million credits and is sold for $79.99.
For $199.99, you can get the business package with 3 million API credits. There’s also an enterprise package available too.
From the above, you can see our top scraping API picks. There are many others in the market. However, the ones described above are the best from the over 20 scraping APIs I personally tested before writing this article. Fortunately enough, each has support for a free trial without a credit card. You should hop on the free trial first to try out the service before paying for a plan.
FAQs for web scraping APIs:
What is a scraping API?
What are the benefits of using a scraping API?
There are many benefits to using a scraping API, including:
- Ease of use: Scraping APIs are very easy to use, even for developers with no experience in web scraping.
- Scalability: Scraping APIs can be scaled to handle large volumes of data.
- Reliability: Scraping APIs are very reliable and have a high uptime.
- Cost-effectiveness: Scraping APIs are very cost-effective, especially for large projects.
How do I choose the best scraping API for my needs?
When choosing a scraping API, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The type of data you need to extract: Some scraping APIs are better suited for extracting specific types of data, such as product prices or customer reviews.
- The volume of data you need to extract: Some scraping APIs can handle larger volumes of data than others.
- The budget you have available: Scraping APIs can vary in price, so it is important to find one that fits your budget.
What are the risks of using a scraping API?
There are some risks associated with using a scraping API, including:
- Getting blocked by websites: If you scrape a website too often or too aggressively, you may be blocked by the website.
- Copyright infringement: If you scrape data from a website without permission, you may be liable for copyright infringement.
- Data quality: The quality of the data extracted from a scraping API can vary. It is important to test the API before using it for a large project.
How do I avoid getting blocked by websites when using a scraping API?
There are a few things you can do to avoid getting blocked by websites when using a scraping API:
- Use a rotating proxy: A rotating proxy will assign you a new IP address for each request you make. This will help to prevent websites from blocking you.
- Use a slow scraping speed: Scraping websites too quickly can trigger anti-bot measures. It is important to scrape websites at a slow and steady pace.
- Use a variety of scraping techniques: There are a variety of techniques you can use to scrape websites. Using a variety of techniques will help to prevent websites from blocking you.
How do I test the quality of the data extracted from a scraping API?
Before using a scraping API for a large project, it is important to test the quality of the data extracted from the API. To test the quality of the data, you can extract a small amount of data from the API and then verify the data against a known source.