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How to Scrape Wikipedia Data with a Proxy?

2023-09-07 11:34:31

Web scraping is a powerful tool in the data scientist's toolbox. It allows us to extract structured data from the web and use it for a variety of analyses, from trend analysis to machine learning. One popular source of data is Wikipedia, the world's largest free online encyclopedia. However, too much scraping can lead to being blocked by the website. This is where using a proxy comes in handy.

A proxy server acts as a middleman between your computer and the internet. It allows you to make requests to websites indirectly, which can help avoid being detected and blocked by the website you're scraping. This article will guide you through the process of scraping Wikipedia data using a proxy.


To follow along, you will need:

  1. Python installed on your computer.

  2. A proxy service. There are many free and paid ones available.

  3. Beautiful Soup and Requests libraries in Python.

You can install the necessary libraries using pip:

pip install beautifulsoup4 requests

Step 1: Set Up Your Proxy

First, you need to set up the proxy. This will largely depend on the service you're using, so refer to the instructions. Typically, you'll receive a server address and port number to use.

Step 2: Use Requests to Access the Webpage

Requests is a popular Python library for making HTTP requests. It allows you to send HTTP requests using Python, and it can also work with proxies.

Here's an example of how to make a request using a proxy:

import requests
proxies = {
  'http': '',
  'https': '',

response = requests.get('', proxies=proxies)

Replace '' and '' with your proxy's server address and port number. If your proxy requires authentication, you can supply it like this:

proxies = {
  'http': 'http://user:pass@',
  'https': 'http://user:pass@',

Step 3: Parse the HTML with Beautiful Soup

Once you've successfully made the request, you can use Beautiful Soup to parse the HTML content. Here's an example:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')

The prettify() method will print the HTML content in a way that's easier to read. You can then use Beautiful Soup's methods to find and extract the data you're interested in.


By using a proxy, you can scrape data from websites like Wikipedia more safely and efficiently. However, remember to always respect the website's terms of service and scrape responsibly. Too much scraping can put a strain on the website's server and potentially lead to legal issues.