The Best Web Scraping Tools for 2024
There’s no shortage of web scraping tools out there. And the choice highly depends on individual needs. You can use fully-maintained options that don’t require any programming skills but are still capable of downloading, crawling, and parsing data. Or you can go with a different approach – build and maintain the scraper yourself.
If you’re looking for the right tool for your project, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover three main types of scrapers and curate a list of the top choices.
What Are the Best Tools for Web Scraping?
Depending on your programming skills and the scale of your project, web scraping tools are categorized into 1) web scraping libraries, 2) no-code web scrapers, and 3) web scraping APIs. Each option has its own capabilities and is used in different situations.
- No-code web scrapers require zero programming skills and are very simple to use. They cover all parts of the scraping journey. Just in few steps you can visually extract data using pre-made scraping templates and get the results in formats like JSON or CSV. Most providers include proxies, IP rotation, and anti-detection techniques. However, you’ll get most features only with higher-paid plans.
- Web scraping APIs are the middle ground – they’re easier to use than libraries but still require at least basic programming knowledge. Scraping APIs work by making an API call to the provider’s infrastructure with your target website. In the meantime, the provider takes care of proxy management and anti-detection techniques to retrieve data without fail. Some of them even structure the results, so you don’t have to parse pages yourself.
- Web scraping libraries require programming knowledge. They control one or more aspects of the web scraping process – fetching data, crawling, or parsing. Usually, several of these libraries are used together for full scraping potential. You’ll have to build a scraper (bot), maintain it, and deal with IP blocks or CAPTCHAs yourself. That means you’ll also have to buy proxies and rotate them.
Key Differences of Web Scraping Tools
|No-code web scrapers
|Web scraping APIs
|Web scraping libraries
|Average (sometimes depends on the website)
|Small to average projects
|Small to large projects
|Projects of all sizes you’re willing to maintain
The Best No-Code Web Scrapers
The largest pre-made template database.
Apify is a well-known provider in the web scraping community. It offers a no-code web scraper that is fully capable of scraping and downloading data from various websites.
The provider offers over a thousand pre-made templates for the most popular social media, e-commerce, and other websites. For example, you can scrape public profile data from TikTok, Twitter or Instagram. If you can’t find the right fit, you can either develop your own or request a new one.
Apify has an easy user interface and offers a variety of delivery options. The way it works is simple: you choose a template, mark the data type you need, and how you want to receive it. A handy option – you can also schedule your tasks. For example, to receive an Excel file every Monday via Google Drive.
Even though Apify doesn’t require any coding experience, it’s also customizable for more technical users. You can write or adjust the code, and retrieve your data via an API.
However, Apify has only two paid options – personal and team. Its pricing may be too expensive for users who need to run many tasks or scrape bulk data.
- Data Formats: CSV, JSON, XLS, XML
- Data Delivery: webhook, cloud storage, Zapier, Make, API
- Price: monthly plans starting from $49 with $49 platform credits and 30 shared datacenter proxies
- Free trial: offers a free plan with $5 platform credits
Strongest beginner support.
A well-known no-code scraper provider, ParseHub offers a desktop app that lets you scrape data in a web browser environment. It is a beginner-friendly tool with a visual mouse-based interface.
ParseHub is packed with features. You can schedule your data delivery, scrape interactive websites, navigate between different pages, and more. It’s a cloud-based web scraper, so you can keep your data for up to 30 days on the provider’s servers.
ParseHub stands out for its detailed help documentation. It offers built-in tutorials that will guide you every step of the way, video instructions, API docs with a knowledge base, a customer support chat, and a Q&A section. It even has free web scraping courses.
You can use a free ParseHub version or stick with one of the three paid plans. The first is very limited, but it’s a good starting point to test the tool. The paid versions include more features, but they’re costly compared to other providers.
- Data format: JSON, CSV, Excel
- Data delivery: Google Sheets and Tableau
- Price: the paid plans start from $189 with 20 private projects
- Free trial: offers a free account with 5 public projects
Best value & quick to set up.
Smartproxy’s No-Code Scraper stands out as the best value-for-money provider. Not only is it one of the easiest tools to use, but it also has a straightforward setup.
No-Code Scraper offers two ways to gather data: using pre-made templates via the dashboard or working with a Chrome extension.
The first option comes with templates for Amazon and Google search. The way it works is simple – you enter a few parameters like search query and location, and No-Code Scraper retrieves structured data. The extension lets you create new templates by visually selecting website elements in your web browser.
No-Code Scraper has all the features for small to mid-sized scraping projects: IP rotation, scheduling, many delivery options, cloud storage, and more. If you don’t need all this functionality, there’s also a free version that lets you use the extension with your own IP address.
However, since the provider released the tool not long ago, it lacks features like page navigation or entering data. So, it might not be the best option for complex multi-step workflows.
- Data formats: JSON, CSV
- Data delivery: Email, Webhook, cloud storage, instant download
- Price: $50/month for 13,000 requests ($3.85/1,000 requests)
- Free trial: 3 days and 3,000 requests
The Best Web Scraping APIs
Feature-rich premium scraping APIs.
Aside from having a premium proxy infrastructure, Oxylabs offers four web scraping APIs: Web Scraper API, SERP Scraper API, Real Estate Scraper API and E-Commerce Scraper API. The scraper APIs include proxy management and anti-detection techniques for successful data extraction.
All four options allow you to target any location from the provider’s residential proxy pool, with 195 locations around the globe. SERP Scraper API includes city and coordinate-level targeting for local SEO tasks. It also allows getting data in CSV, but mainly for Google web search results.
Scraper APIs support two integration methods: 1) a proxy server or 2) an API. The second option has more features and on-demand scalability, like retrieving real-time results to your cloud storage without downloading them.
Some handy features are dynamic scraping, a crawler, and a scheduler. The crawler costs the same as using Oxylabs’ regular scraping APIs, and scheduler comes as free option when you subscribe to any of the four APIs.
The pricing is based on successful requests, and you can request a 7-day free trial.
- Locations: 195 with country-level targeting
- Price: SERP, E-Commerce, Web Scraper APIs starts at starts at $49 for 17,500 results ($2.80/1K). Real Estate Scraper API starts at $99 for 76,000 results($1.30/1K)
- Pricing model: based on successful requests
- Data parsing: all types of websites
- Free trial: 7 days
Best value for quality scraping APIs.
No-Code Scraper isn’t the only scraping option Smartproxy has to offer. You can also go for other great performing tools for data gathering: Web Scraping API, eCommerce scraping API, and SERP Scraping API. The APIs cover just about any website.
Instead of setting up IP addresses, you send your query to Smartproxy’s endpoint, which then manages proxies and anti-detection techniques for you. Simply put, you won’t have to worry about IP blocks or CAPTCHAs.
The scrapers are based on Smartproxy’s proxy network, so you can target any country or city from the provider’s pool. They have an in-built parser (except for Web Scraping API), so you can retrieve data in both raw HTML or JSON.
The tools integrate as an API or a proxy server and return the results over an open connection. That means you can collect data using the same connection and get an immediate response. Alternatively, you can use the APIs via templates on Smartproxy’s dashboard.
The prices can seem a bit over the top for a light user, but compared to premium providers, they’re much more affordable. I’d say it’s the best value and price ratio.
- Locations: 195 with country-level targeting
- Pricing: starts from $50
- Pricing model: based on successful requests
- Data parsing: major search engines & e-commerce stores
- Free trial: 3 days
A customizable web scraping API.
ScraperAPI is another feature-rich tool for scraping various websites. It supports the most popular programming languages: Python, NodeJS, PHP, Ruby, and Java. The provider has compiled extensive documentation on how to use the API with every language.
Like most scraping APIs, it automatically handles IP rotation, headers, and retries to fetch you data with a 100% success rate. If you want, you can customize the parameters: adjust headers, establish sessions, and even script some headless browser actions. It’s also able to parse several websites, namely Google and Amazon.
ScraperAPI has a free plan with 1,000 API credits per month. However, you can make up to 5 concurrent connections, so it can handle only small scraping projects. For the first 7-days after you sign up, you will have access to 5,000 free requests to test the API at a larger scale.
Another downside is that the API doesn’t include state or city-level targeting. And it has limited location coverage with only 12 countries. With the two cheapest plans you won’t be able to target locations out of the EU and US.
- Locations: 12 countries
- Pricing: starts from $49/100,000 API credits
- Pricing model: based on requests & optional features
- Data parsing: Amazon, Google
- Free trial: 7 days
The Best Web Scraping Libraries
Best HTTP Client for fetching data.
Requests is Python’s standard for making HTTP requests. It’s one of the most downloaded packages due to its simplicity in fetching data from any given URL.
A great benefit that comes with the library – it aims for an easy-to-use API. It’s also capable of retrieving and decoding JSON data. That’s why you won’t need to write a lot of code.
Requests supports the most common HTTP request methods, such as GET or POST. Aside from being the number one solution for getting data, it also includes a lot of functionalities ranging from SSL verification and connection timeouts to proxy integration and custom header support. It also handles timeouts, sessions, and cookies.
Requests is a standalone library, so it can perfectly function on its own. However, it’s often used with other libraries like Beautiful Soup to cover data parsing.
2. Beautiful Soup
The easiest to use parsing library.
Beautiful Soup is probably the most popular Python-based library for parsing data from HTML and XML pages. It’s very easy to use and requires writing less code to extract data compared to other libraries.
The main advantage of using Beautiful Soup is that it’s flexible and fast. And the reason for that is simple – it has three inbuilt parsers (html.parser, HTML5lib, and lxml) and is light on resources. This way, you don’t put too much load on your device.
Beautiful Soup is well known for its capability to work with broken HTML pages. It can automatically detect page encoding. So, even if your target website doesn’t have encoding or is horribly written, the parser will still bring accurate results.
However, Beautiful Soup requires other tools for your web scraper to work because it can’t crawl pages or make GET requests. That being the case, you’ll need to install an HTTP client, such as the Requests library, which will get you the page you want to scrape.
A powerful headless browser library.
Not only can Selenium load a website but also interact with it: fill in forms, log in, emulate actions, click on buttons, and more. In short, the library has the full functionality of a headless browser.
Selenium is a versatile library: it supports many programming languages like C#, Java, node.js. or Ruby. It also controls major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. If you use Selenium, your scraper will be difficult to detect by websites since it can store cookies and make you look like a real person.
The biggest downside of using Selenium – you’ll need a lot of computing power to use the library. That’s because it controls the whole headless browser. So, if you don’t want to slow down your scraper, use it when necessary.
The Best Free Web Scraping Tools
Some providers offer free subscription plans. A free web scraper can come in different forms – depending on the provider; you can access the tool via a desktop app, dashboard, or a Chrome extension. This option is handy when scraping small amounts of data from websites that don’t use anti-bot techniques.
Free plans are limited in terms of features. For example, you won’t be able to rotate your proxies, schedule tasks, or run multiple projects at once. You’ll lack performance because free plans have fewer credits, so you won’t be able to make many requests. If that’s a deal breaker, you can try using the free trial (usually up to 3 or 7 days). This way, you can test the scraper on a larger scale.