Market research

04 August 2020

It takes quite a bit of experience, knowledge, skill and patience to run a business successfully in today’s world. It is hardly possible to do so without understanding the current global economic environment. Largely, your success depends on your market research strategy. It is quite so challenging and time-taking and requires security. Astro is here to share with you some information about what market research is and provide reliable tools to help you shield yourself against blocks and other dangers.

General info on market research

Today, there are lots of affordable and free market research tools and methods. You can use them as part of your market research strategy, which implies search for important business information. It should include the following activities, to name a few:

  • Checking public opinion
  • Checking competitor links and PR campaigns
  • Doing keyword research
  • Doing audience research
  • Doing customer satisfaction research
  • Doing brand research
  • Check pricing information.

These should shed light on how other businesses and your competitors are doing and why. Once you get all this information and check it, you will know what you should and what you should not do to achieve success and avoid trouble.

About data scraping

Data scraping (parsing) is a complex of activities aimed at obtaining all this information from different resources. Here you can face quite a number of challenges.

It is a well-known fact that not all website owners like it when someone uses their information without their consent. For this reason, they use every method to prevent this kind of “trespassing” and stop you from checking their websites. They can simply track your IP address and block it once they detect too many visits from it over a short while.

Or, worse still, they can use some tricks to direct you to a fake page with misleading information about pricing, statistics, etc. It will be quite a while later that you will realize you have been misled (cloaked). Astro offers an arsenal of tools, which can help you scrape data safely and run your business effectively.

Residential proxies

A proxy server is a component, which is intended for hiding a user’s actual IP address behind a different one. If you are connected to the Internet via a proxy server, target websites will see the proxy’s IP-address, not yours. This reduces the likelihood of getting blocked or cloaked.

Residential proxies are just one of the types of proxy servers. They have proved to be very effective in data scraping and therefore market research, because it masks user’s IPs in a manner, which does not make target resources feel suspicious.

A residential proxy server is a PC or mobile device, which belongs to a homeowner and is connected to an IP-address assigned to it by a local ISP. Everyone connecting to such a proxy hides his or her real IP-address behind the homeowner’s IP, and target sites see this address every time you visit their pages.

Astro uses the NAT technology, which helps thousands of users connect to the Internet via the whitelist IPv4 addresses. This solves the problem of the discrepancy between the limited amount of available IPv4 addresses and the much greater number of users. This is beneficial for both users and target websites, because:

  • Websites do not suspect any trick, because they see real users’ IPs and therefore won’t block or cloak you;
  • Websites notice increases in traffic, which looks real to them, because all IPs are real;
  • Websites do not take any action in case they see suspiciously high activity as you scrape. They’d rather enjoy the benefits of high traffic than lose hundreds of visitors by blocking just one IPv4 address.

Astro is a constantly growing network of residential proxy servers. It has expanded to Europe and the Americas, so it boasts a huge pool of residential IPs. Every user can sign up with us at any time, check the plans that we offer and choose the most suitable one for data scraping.

Along with residential proxies, we provide access to so-called backconnect proxies. The technology allows us to automatically select between proxy servers and connect you to them at a set interval of time or with every new session. This adds another layer of security, as it all but rules out the possibility of tracking your residential IP-address.

Residential proxies vs. datacenter proxies

Datacenter proxies are a little more popular because they are more common and cheaper than residential proxies. However, if you are intent on researching markets through scraping, a datacenter proxy is no great option for you. Many websites have long blacklists of datacenter IPs and send users to ban lists for the simple reason they are using datacenter proxies without much figuring out. Therefore, if you try to scrape a website using a datacenter IP, you may lose access to it on the very first day with your market research campaign disrupted.

Astro: we work for you

Astro is available for a consultation on any issues relating to the use of residential, datacenter, mobile, and other types of proxy in market research campaigns. We guarantee non-stop monitoring of the availability of our residential proxies and take steps once we detect a failure. This allows us to maintain 99.9% availability, so everyone can connect to a residential proxy located in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Finland, France, Germany, Canada, and Chile.

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