Top 4 Mobile Proxy Providers for Web Scraping

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Mobile Proxies is one of the newest type of proxies used in web scraping. These proxies are usually powered either by volunteer mobile phones or special sim card servers. The biggest draw of mobile proxies for web scraping is avoiding of content blocking, throttling or captchas.

As mobile internet infrastructure is more anonymous and mobile user base is very big blocking mobile IPs is much more difficult. That being said, this also means that mobile proxies are much slower, less reliable and generally more expensive than rotating residential or datacenter proxies.

In this article we'll take a look at what we think are the best 5 mobile proxy providers on the market for web scraping, so let's dive in!

Evaluation Methodology

We'll be evaluating mobile proxies from the perspective of web scraper so our evaluation will be based on few important details: connection speed and reliability, pricing options and available features.

Before we dive into that though, let's take a quick look at what are mobile proxies, what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Mobile proxies are arguably the best proxies when it comes to web scrapers stealth, however they are also often the worst proxies when it comes to speed and reliability. Meaning supporting bigger scrapers can be quite expensive as bigger proxy pools are needed for more connections/retries.

The most demanded feature of mobile proxies is captcha avoiding. Since mobile connections (3g/4g/5g etc) pool network through cell towers often human users can raise the "bot score" of the entire network thus reducing chances of captcha to the rest of the network.

Main disadvantage here is of course that the host server of the proxy is someones mobile phone or a tablet with an iffy connection to the closest cell tower - meaning the connection is much slower and less reliable. This also means that maintaining a sticky proxy for more than few minutes becomes much more difficult which can make some web scraping very difficult.
To counter this some proxy providers offer mobile proxies through sim card server farms, however this does diminish the stealthiness of the proxies as well as it consolidates a lot of proxy traffic through a single cell tower.

In this article we'll be using this evaluation table to help visualize what to expect from each proxy provider:

Feature Example Service
Pool Size How many IPs available in total?
Geo Targeting How many countries can IPs be chosen from?
Anti Bot Bypass Does this service have anti bot service bypass?
Javascript Rendering Does this service provide javascript rendering?
Log Monitoring Does this service provide log monitoring dashboard?
Minimum monthly commitment What's the minimum monthly cost?
Price per GB What's the price per gigabyte of bandwidth used?
50GB Project Estimate Cost Estimate of how much an average web scraping project of 50GB bandwidth would cost
Speed Response return speed (Above or Below or Close to market average
Reliability Rate of connection failures or other errors (Above or Below or Close to market average

#1 ScrapFly

ScrapFly is a web scraping API which can really can be interpreted as a proxy on steroids!
We firmly believe that the future of web-scraping lies beyond simple proxies - a middleware service that does smart proxy selection, solves scraper blocks/captchas and renders javascript is a vital abstraction layer for modern web scrapers.

scrapfly middleware

ScrapFly feels like a proxy but does much more!

Let's take a quick overview of ScrapFly's features and why it makes such a good companion for various size of web scraping projects compared to traditional proxy services that we'll be covering in this article:

  • ScrapFly is using credit based pricing model, which is much easier to predict and scale than bandwidth/proxy count based pricing. This allows flexible pricing based on used features rather than arbitrary measurements such as bandwidth, meaning our users aren't locked in to a single solution and can adjust their scrapers on the fly!
  • ScrapFly provides a choice of either datacenter, residential or mobile smart proxies and geolocation (over 50+ locations) for each request.
  • All ScrapFly HTTP1 requests are automatically converted to HTTP2 requests, which are significantly less likely to be blocked. Where many proxy providers often fail to support HTTP2 in general.
  • ScrapFly offers smart Anti Scraping Protection solution, which solves various captchas and scraping protection blockers if they do appear during the scraping process. What's great about ASP service is that the user only charged 5 credits for successful solutions, meaning this can be applied to every request worry free!
  • ScrapFly offers browser based javascript rendering, which even further reduces chances of being blocked as real web browsers are much less likely to be blocked than HTTP clients. Using browser based javascript rendering also greatly simplifies web scraping process as it reduces engineering efforts needed to understand scrape website - your requests will return the same data users see in their web browsers!

To explore these and other offered features see our full documentation!

Let's start by taking a look how ScrapFly itself looks on our evaluation table:

Feature ScrapFly
Pool Size 7M IPs
Geo Targeting 49+ countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $15
Price per GB per request
50GB Project Estimated Cost $100/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Reliability Above market avg

#2 Oxylabs

oxylabs icon

Oxylabs offers many types of proxies: datacenter, ISP, mobile and residential proxies. It's particularly known for owning one of the biggest proxy pools of 20M+ 3G/4G proxies.

Oxylabs' mobile proxies are known for being a faster and more reliable than market average and it offers some niche features like city based geo-location selection, however this comes at a premium price tag and high minimum commitment:

Feature Oxylabs
Pool Size 20M IPs
Geo Targeting 82 countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $500
Price per GB $25
50GB Project Estimated Cost $1100/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Reliability Above market avg

#3 Bright Data (Luminati)

Bright Data icon

Bright Data (formerly Luminati) is another big name in the proxy world. Like Oxylabs, Bright Data offers many different kinds of proxies like datacenter, rotating residential, ISP and mobile proxies meaning it's good for uncertain projects that might need to adjust proxy needs one month to another.

Let's overview

Feature Bright Data
Pool Size 7M IPs
Geo Targeting 82 countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $300*
Price per GB $35
50GB Project Estimated Cost $1400/Mo
Speed Above market avg
Reliability Above market avg

* Bright Data also offers "Pay as you go" option which lowers minimum commitment to $60GB/Mo but that's $60/GB of data which is double the market average. Unfortunately, this could only be a viable option for rare extremely low bandwidth scrapers.

#4 Soax

Soax icon

Soax is another very similar proxy provider offering residential and mobile (3G/4G) proxies priced by bandwidth. The most attractive feature being that minimum commitment is much lower than of other mobile proxy providers meaning it's a better option for small/medium web scraping projects.

Feature Soax
Pool Size 3.5M IPs
Geo Targeting 100+ countries
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $75
Price per GB $26
50GB Project Estimated Cost $1300/Mo
Speed market avg
Reliability Above market avg

One thing to note that soax' mobile proxies are a bit slower compared to market average but not by much relative to general slow speed of mobile proxies.

Summary

Feature ScrapFly Oxylabs Bright Data Soax
Pool Size (IPs) 7M 20M 7M 3.5M
Geo Targeting 50+ 82 82 100+
Anti Bot Bypass
Javascript Rendering
Log Monitoring
Minimum monthly commitment $15 $500 $300* $75
Price per GB per request $25 $35 $26
50GB Project Estimate Cost $100/Mo $1100/Mo $1400/Mo $1300/Mo
Speed Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg market avg
Reliability Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg Above market avg

When it comes to modern web scraping a classic proxy service is a tough sell. Even with the recent advances in proxy quality these services still fall short compared to dedicated web scraping APIs which can apply additional, smart connection strategies to prevent captchas, blocking or throttling.

ScrapFly's combination of smart connection strategies and extra UX features like Javascript Rendering and Anti Bot Bypass can make even the hardest targets easily accessible while also simplifying web scraping process!

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