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Providing up-to-date, trustworthy, and all-encompassing information to customers in no time is the ultimate goal of all travel industry players. A lot of automated instruments for data gathering are now in use. However, data aggregation comes with its own difficulties, such as the necessity to deal with extensive volumes of information, various restrictions, and security threats. In this article, we discuss how to get over them with just one tool—a proxy. 

What is travel data aggregation, and why do we need it?

Travel data aggregation is the practice of gathering travel-related data, like accommodation options, tickets, car rentals, and others, into one database or platform. There are huge and well-known travel data aggregators like Skyscanner or Kayak. Still, it’s not rare when travel companies use custom-built platforms tailored according to their specific needs. 

Aggregation software uses bots. Those bots access websites of hotels, airlines, and so on, collect all the possible options, and show them to the end user. The process happens in real-time within fractions of seconds as bots send requests way faster than humans. 

The advantages of travel data aggregation include:

  • Offering your clients in-depth data about available housing variants, plane tickets, local events, and more 
  • Simplifying the process of gathering data
  • Reducing time and human resources to look for data
  • Collecting information about trends and customer preferences 
  • Accessing reports and metrics such as average price or seat occupancy rate to better understand your business performance 

Data aggregation not only helps provide your customers with necessary information for them to have a dream journey. It is also an essential tool for travel vendors for in-house use. Companies can gain a lot of insights about current market trends, competitors, and customer engagement levels and upgrade their business strategy and products.

Still, it’s important to address aggregation difficulties:

  • Avoid receiving an IP ban
  • Overcome geo-restrictions
  • Fight latency and speed up the process of gathering data
  • Protect yourself from security issues

Now let’s take a closer look at how proxies deal with all those challenges. 

Proxies to get over data aggregation problems

Proxies to avoid IP blocks

To show data, you must obtain it first. You cannot do it manually, as it’s impossible to process that much data without the help of automated instruments. That’s why data aggregation is impossible without web scraping. You execute scripts that collect information. Your crawlers have to visit websites and make a lot of requests. While making requests, you reveal your IP. It’s a unique identifier of your gadget. A lot of requests coming from the same source act as a signal that scraping is going on. It alters anti-bot systems. A website will definitely ask you to tick a captcha or simply ban your IP. Chances are high that scraping will end here, leaving you behind the eight ball.

Business owners prohibit scraping to prevent their competitors from collecting data and gaining an advantage. If you cannot scrape, you cannot have all the necessary info quickly. Moreover, not all scrapers are ethical. Imprudent scraping may slow a site down, causing trouble for its visitors. Hackers may scrape a site to identify its vulnerabilities. So site owners try to not let scraping happen. 

It means that while scraping travel data, you have to make it look like all the requests come from real people and no bots are in sight. You can do it by using proxies.

Proxies act as a middleman between you and the internet. They intercept your requests and forward them to the target server. In the process, they hide your IP, so sites you visit see the address of a proxy server. You can set your proxy server to rotate an IP every given period of time or per every new request. In such a manner, you will bypass anti-scraping systems as traffic will look human-generated, as if coming from different locations and time zones. This way, you will gain the necessary data. 

DataImpulse offers you more than 5 million IPs. We constantly grow our pool of IPs for you to have enough addresses for successful scraping. We don’t resell the IPs of other providers, so you don’t have to worry that an IP may be blacklisted or slow due to the huge number of people using it. 

Proxies to avoid geo-based restrictions

When collecting travel-related data like accommodation options or car rentals, you have to look for options in various locations. However, it might be a problem to reach foreign sources. A lot of sites have limitations regarding the areas they can be accessed from. If your country is on a blacklist, you can’t gather data, so you don’t have any data to show on your platform. 

Your IP reveals your place of being. That’s why proxies are a handy tool to get over geo-based restrictions. You can choose a proxy server located in a whitelisted location and use it to connect to the target website. The website will see the location of a proxy server while your real one is hidden. You can get data from whatever sources you need without worrying about geo-restrictions. 

At DataImpulse, you can find proxies from 195 locations, including rare ones like Guam or Montenegro. If you need IPs of particular areas, there are country plans available. You can choose the necessary locations while setting up your proxy server. You can also check the total number of IPs available in each location in real-time mode. 

Proxies to add a layer of security and anonymity

Revealing your IP is an unavoidable aspect of data aggregation. By knowing your IP, hackers can find a way into your internal network and steal sensitive data or crash your system. In addition to that, data aggregating means that you have to endlessly visit a lot of sources. You never know what a particular website can host. A source itself may be reliable, but that still doesn’t mean it’s safe. For example, if a site has a comment section or other place where users can input something, bad actors may leave there a string of malicious code. When your crawler visits such a page, the code starts to execute on its own, infecting your device. This is called a stored cross-site scripting (XSS) attack. Not only won’t you get data, but you also risk losing your personal information, money, and reputation. 

Proxies prevent your direct interaction with the external network. As your real IP is hidden, con artists will have a hard time trying to trace you or enter your network. As not only your requests but also websites’ responses go through a proxy, you can configure your proxy to serve as a filter. You can block sources by DNS name, URL, IP address, or type of source. If it seems too much for you or you’re worried that too many sites will stay out of your sight with such settings, you can forget about blocking access to sources and ban certain types of content instead. It’s possible to restrict content based on strings of code or text and objects within images. This will protect your system from harmful stuff. XSS attacks also won’t pose a danger to you because your device does not actually visit a source; proxies do it in its place. There are other security benefits you gain with proxies. If you’re interested, check out the full article about six ways proxies can protect you. All in all, with proxies, you get targeted data without giving up on your safety.

However, an important thing to remember is that proxies must be legally obtained. DataImpulse takes responsibility for what is put up for sale. Our team developed an app that people install and opt to sell us a part of their traffic. They get paid for it. There are some limitations regarding what sources they can visit. We cooperate only with reliable datacenters to provide you with datacenter proxies. We do it all to ensure you have “clean” proxies that aren’t blacklisted or associated with harmful activities like spreading malware.

Proxies to speed up the process of data aggregation

Data collection is a time-consuming task as you have to scrape numerous sources. The difficulty is that you must gather information as fast as possible because options change rapidly. Customers need fresh data, so speed is important. At the same time, there are several reasons you may experience drops in speed. 

For example, speed-related problems may occur when your IP belongs to an autonomous system with unoptimized routes. Speed also depends on the physical distance between the server you use and the target one. When you use proxies, you can exclude autonomous systems that underperform. You can also connect to a proxy that is located closer to the target server. 

On top of that, with proxies, you can have several connection threads at one time. It’s as if you are scraping data from several devices simultaneously. By doing so, you can extract large volumes of data and provide your visitors with up-to-date info.

DataImpulse furnishes you with one-second response time proxies that are fast enough for travel data aggregation. We balance the load on our servers to prevent speed problems and provide you with the feature of excluding autonomous systems. With us, you can have up to 2000 connection threads simultaneously. This way, you can quickly finish assembling travel options and be sure that your customers see relevant data.

Which proxies to choose

Datacenter or residential proxies

Datacenter proxies are addresses generated by the servers of datacenters. Those are organizations that collect information.  

Datacenter IPs have several undeniable advantages:

  • They are the cheapest compared to residential and mobile proxies. For example, you can get datacenter proxies at DataImpulse for only $0.5 per 1 GB.
  • Unlike personal gadgets, datacenters’ servers work 24/7 and are designed to handle large loads, so it’s unlikely for such proxies to stop responding. They are reliable. 
  • Datacenter proxies are fast.

However, those proxies have their share of drawbacks too:

  • They aren’t tied to a particular location or device. It’s much more likely for web sources to detect that you use proxies. It may result in a block, so you will be unable to extract data.
  • Datacenter IPs often belong to the same subnet. This is one more sign of proxy usage. The bad part is that websites may block not one IP but the entire bunch of addresses that belong to this given subnet.
  • Websites may block known datacenter IPs beforehand. 

However, providers develop and get rid of their drawbacks. For example, now providers like DataImpulse offer you randomized datacenter proxies. Such IPs are associated with different subnets, allowing you to create a “real user” look. It lowers the chances of being detected and receiving a ban. At the same time, said proxies still have all the advantages of datacenter proxies.

Residential proxies are IPs assigned by internet service providers. Those are addresses of real households’ devices. They help you mimic human-generated traffic. 

Residential proxies also have their benefits in terms of data aggregation:

  • They are associated with particular locations and devices; they are parts of entirely different subnets. It’s hard to detect this type of proxy. 
  • Websites don’t block them in advance.

It’s harder for detection tools to discern crawlers if you use residential IPs. As a result, it’s much more likely for you to get data and avoid being banned.  

Residential proxies’ weaknesses include:

  • Price: Such proxies are more expensive than datacenter proxies. 
  • Reliability: As people’s devices aren’t online 24/7, your connection may be disrupted. However, providers, including DataImpulse, automatically reconnect you to another address if something goes wrong. Usually, you don’t even notice any delay.
  • Speed: Residential proxies are generally considered fast, but still not as fast as datacenter proxies.

However, it doesn’t mean that residential proxies are necessarily slow and cost a pretty penny. For instance, at DataImpulse, you can get 1-second response-time proxies at a modest price of $1 per 1GB. This is enough speed to perform data aggregation tasks. To save your wallet, you can also get a custom price if you buy 1 TB of proxies and more. 

Whether you choose residential or datacenter proxies depends on your goals. Generally, residential proxies are the first choice when it comes to data gathering. However, the scale of your project also influences your decision. If you don’t visit that many sources, you don’t have to constantly monitor them, or you crave speed, you can try using datacenter proxies. If you still have your doubts, check out our detailed article about the differences between residential and datacenter proxies. You may as well contact our support team by clicking on the widget in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Our managers are available 24/7, and they will answer all your questions. You can also have trials of both datacenter and residential proxies to test them on real tasks and decide what suits you best.

Sticky or rotating proxies

A sticky proxy is a type of proxy server that assigns you a new IP every 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Within this set time period, all your requests come from that one IP. Then you automatically start to use a new one.

A rotating proxy is a kind of proxy server that changes your IP with every request. All your queries come as if from totally different people from different places. That type of proxy helps mimic human-generated traffic.

Here you can find a full article about rotating and sticky proxies. 

When you use rotating proxies, it’s much harder for anti-bot systems to detect that data gathering is going on. That’s why they are usually the top choice when it comes to data extraction. 

To wrap up

Travel data aggregation may be a complicated task due to possible bans, security risks, and latency. To avoid those problems and provide your customers with up-to-date info you can use proxies. They act as mediators between you and the Internet, changing your IP, offering you an additional layer of protection, and speeding up the process of collecting travel data. At DataImpulse, you can find both residential and datacenter proxies and choose what meets your needs. We operate on a pay-as-you-go pricing model, so you pay only for the traffic you actually use. You can integrate our proxies with other tools and adjust settings in a matter of minutes. Click on the “Try now” button or contact us at [email protected] to start.