Evaluating the pros and cons of the top 8 Web scraping tools
Every business needs to manage vast amounts of data. The collating of data is, however, a tedious task. Even if the companies know the process, getting accurate results manually is not possible. That is why there is now a need to use web scraping tools. Web scraping involves accessing the HTML code of a website, following the links, and extracting the data required
These web scraping tools find wide-scale applications in areas like market research, price monitoring, competitive analysis, and lead generation. By automating the data extraction process these tools help the businesses gain valuable insights.
However, before anything choosing the right tool for scraping is important, too.
What are the different types of Website scrapers?
Web scrapers are software or tools that help in extracting huge data from websites. They are efficient and save a lot of time by providing data that can be used to formulate business decisions.
There can be multiple types of website scrapers. Each user's needs are different; hence, the website scraper you choose must match the same. The three types of website scraper available are as follows.
As the name suggests, these tools operate from your browser. The browser-based web scrapers wil run local, and the data remains with you. That is why these browsers are secure and offer better privacy.
However, they usually operate from local IP and are better if you want non-intensive scraping. Along with that, browser-based scrapers are considered to be user-friendly.
Here, the scrapers operate from separate servers. This reduces the chances of your IP getting blocked. These tools are expensive but are more suitable for high-volume data scraping.
If it is hard to decide which type of web scraper to select, you can go for a hybrid. These will offer both Cloud-based and browser-based advantages.
Which are the Top 8 Web Scrapers that are popular and feasible
Let us tell you the top 8 Web scraping tools that are popular at the moment.
- Instant Data Scraper
- Parse Hub
- Scrape Storm
The data scraped is later used in various web apps. The benefit of Bardeen is that it allows you to scrape data required and provide it to other apps automatically. Along with the web scraper tool allows you to enrich the data from multiple links. Some other features that come with the tool are deep scraping, pagination, click actions etc.
The Bardeen.AI tool caters to multiple other tasks like creating other scraper templates, sending data to other apps, etc. It is free for use on Chrome, which is another plus point.
- Allows automation of the process of data scraping
- It can be integrated with other similar apps
- You do not have to pay anything to use
- At present, it is only available on Chrome
Web Scraper is a data scraping tool for developers and coding experts. It can be converted into a module in their Developers tool menu after installation. It is easy to understand the use of the tool. The tool allows the users to create and import sitemaps of the website from which they need data. You can even add selectors for extracting the data. The tool would support text, link images, and multiple data types.
This is, however, a hybrid website scraper so that it would extract data from both the website and server. That implies the tool can be customized as per your needs. The tool has a scheduler along with IP rotation that makes scraping process simple.
Scraped data can automatically be exported to other applications. However, only their browser extension comes free, and if you want full access to servers, you will have to choose any of the plans.
- Available for usage on popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox
- Allows cloud-based and browser scraping.
- You can export data to other applications.
- It is not useful for beginners
Instant Data Scraper
The web scrapers mentioned above offer multiple other benefits above web scraping; though that is good, it also makes the tool highly complex. If you just need a tool to scrape the data, then Instant Data Scraper is suitable. The tool User interface is simple to understand and use.
The tool is suitable for both Chrome, Edge browsers. It is also completely browser-based. Data that is scraped can be downloaded in XLV formats. Most importantly, it is free and takes up very little space.
- Very user friendly
- It can automatically detect the data you want to extract
- Free and takes less space
- It does not have any advanced features
For those who need professional data scraping, browser-based tools are not sufficient.
This tool does not have a browser extension, just desktop clients on Windows, Linux, and Mac. On opening the client, you will see a built-in browser where you will enter the website that is to be scrapped.
On the left side are present the various tools and settings. There is an interactive view of the website so you can select which areas to scrape. You could also preview the items chosen in CSV or JSON format.
After scraping, you can download the data in CSV, Excel, JSON, or API form. Or you could import it into Google Sheets. Some other benefits that you get are scheduled collection, IP rotation, etc. However, any extra functions mean you will have to pay as per your requirement.
- It has a built-in browser
- It comes with multiple export options
- Keeps your IP address secure
The tool is quite similar to Parse Hub but a cheaper version. It does not have web extensions, just desktop clients for Windows and Mac. Just go to the website you wish to scrape the data from the built-in browser, and you are all set to begin.
Octoparse is a hybrid scraper, so you scrape from both browser and cloud as per your need. Once your business expands, you can look at their professional data scraping service.
- Can do both Hybrid and cloud-based scraping
- It has a user-friendly interface
- Offers Tutorial videos to help you get started
- Customer support is slow
Byteline offers more focus on automation instead of working on plain data. It operates on 'Flows' where you get to connect multiple apps. This can be done by a scheduler, HTTP API, and an in-app update.
For the data scraping, you can pick elements from the Chrome extension. You can also auto-rotate between different servers to get reliable results. The tool can export the data into other apps like Google Sheets, AirTable, etc.
The free plan offers 500 actions monthly. However, you can select from their multiple plans if you want to do more.
- A three-step process to scrape the data
- It can be integrated with apps like Mailchimp and Webflow
- It comes with learning resources for beginners
- Does not have a desktop client
Grepsr saves the data that is scraped to the servers. They have a free plan which allows the data to be saved for 30 days. With the paid plans, it rises to 60 and 90 days. Being a cloud-based service, it offers personalized data service.
The tool is beginner-friendly yet has all the high-level features, too. You can download their extension for Chrome.
- It is a good option for beginners
- It has a built-in scheduler to automate the data extraction
- It comes with a personalized data collection service
- Users have reported occasional crashes
This AI-powered web scraping tool comes with a visual no-code interface. It employs AI to find lists, tables, and pagination buttons. Some other features available include an in-built scheduler, IP rotation, Data deduplication, and automatic export
Scrape Strom allows data export into multiple formats like HTML, CSV, SQL, etc. The tool is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. They have a free plan that allows only 100 rows to be exported daily. If your requirement is more, you can select from any of the plans available.
- User friendly
- Allows export to multiple formats
- It has a built-in scheduler
- Limit of 100 rows in the free plan
With time, web scraping tools have become the need of the hour. However, there are many tools available, and you can easily get misled. Instead of choosing the cheapest option, pick up the tool that fulfills your requirements the best.
Handling the web scraping tool is not tough, and some tools have a user-friendly interface. Find out which of the tools is easy for you to work with. With huge amounts of data up for processing, finding the best tool reduces your work. In the future, the scope of these tools is going to rise, and the sooner you jump onto the bandwagon, the better it will be.