Best Free and Paid Web Scraping Tools and Software

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Web scraping tools automate web-based data collection. These tools generally fall in the categories of tools that you install on your computer or in your computer’s browser (Chrome or Firefox) and services that are designed to be self-service. Web scraping tools (free or paid) and self-service websites/applications can be a good choice if your data requirements are small, and the source websites aren’t complicated.

However, if the websites you want to scrape are complicated or you need a lot of data from one or more sites, these tools do not scale well. The cost of these tools and services pales in comparison to the time and effort you require to implement scrapers using these tools and the complexity of maintaining and running these tools. For such cases, a full-service provider is a better and economical option.

In this post, we will first give a brief description of the tools and then quickly walk through how these tools work so that you can quickly evaluate if these work for you.

The best web scraping tools

  • Web Scraper (Chrome Extension)
  • Scrapy
  • Data Scraper (Chrome Extension)
  • Scraper (Chrome Extension)
  • ParseHub
  • OutWitHub
  • FMiner
  • Dexi.io
  • Octoparse
  • Web Harvey
  • PySpider
  • Apify SDK
  • Content Grabber
  • Mozenda
  • Cheerio
  • Scrapy
    scrapy-web-crawling-frameworkScrapy is an open source web scraping framework in Python used to build web scrapers. It gives you all the tools you need to efficiently extract data from websites, process them as you want, and store them in your preferred structure and format. One of its main advantages is that it’s built on top of a Twisted asynchronous networking framework. If you have a large web scraping project and want to make it as efficient as possible with a lot of flexibility then you should definitely use Scrapy. It can also be used for a wide range of purposes, from data mining to monitoring and automated testing. You can export data into JSON, CSV and XML formats. What stands out about Scrapy is its ease of use, detailed documentation, and active community. If you are familiar with Python you’ll be up and running in just a couple of minutes. It runs on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows systems. To learn how to scrape websites using Scrapy you can check out our tutorial:

    Data Scraper
    data-scraper-logo Data Scraper is a simple web scraping tool for extracting data from a single page into CSV and XSL data files. It is a personal browser extension that helps you transform data into a clean table format. You will need to install the plugin in a Google Chrome browser. The free version lets you scrape 500 pages per month, if you want to scrape more pages you have to upgrade to the paid plans. Download the extension from the link here.

    Scraper
    scraper-chrome-extensionScraper is a chrome extension for scraping simple web pages. It is easy to use and will help you scrape a website’s content and upload the results to Google Docs. It can extract data from tables and convert it into a structured format. You can download the extension from the link here.

    Parsehub
    parsehub-logoParseHub is a web-based scraping tool which is built to crawl single and multiple websites with the support for JavaScript, AJAX, cookies, sessions, and redirects. The application can analyze and grab data from websites and transform it into meaningful data. It uses machine learning technology to recognize the most complicated documents and generates the output file in JSON, CSV or Google Sheets. Parsehub is a desktop app available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users and works as a Firefox extension. The user-friendly web app can be built into the browser and has a well writeen documentation. It has all the advanced features like pagination, infinite scrolling pages, pop-ups, and navigation. You can even visualize the data from ParseHub into Tableau. The free version has a limit of 5 projects with 200 pages per run. If you buy the paid subscription you can get 20 private projects with 10,000 pages per crawl and IP rotation.

    OutWitHub
    outwit-hub-logoOutwitHub is a data extractor built in a web browser. If you wish to use it as an extension you have to download it from Firefox add-ons store. If you want to use the standalone application you just need to follow the instructions and run the application. OutwitHub can help you extract data from the web with no programming skills at all. It’s great for harvesting data that might not be accessible. OutwitHub is a free tool which is a great option if you need to scrape some data from the web quickly. With its automation features, it browses automatically through a series of web pages and performs extraction tasks. You can export the data into numerous formats (JSON, XLSX, SQL, HTML, CSV, etc.).

    FMiner
    fminer-logoFMiner is a visual web data extraction tool for web scraping and web screen scraping. Its intuitive user interface permits you to quickly harness the software’s powerful data mining engine to extract data from websites. In addition to the basic web scraping features it also has AJAX/Javascript processing and CAPTCHA solving. It can be run both on Windows and Mac OS and it does scraping using the internal browser. It has a 15-day freemium model till you can decide on using the paid subscription.

    Dexi.io
    dexi-logoDexi (formerly known as CloudScrape) supports data collection from any website and requires no download. The application provides different types of robots in order to scrape data – Crawlers, Extractors, Autobots, and Pipes. Extractor robots are the most advanced as it allows you to choose every action the robot needs to perform like clicking buttons and extracting screenshots. The application offers anonymous proxies to hide your identity. Dexi.io also offers a number of integrations with third-party services. You can download the data directly to Box.net and Google Drive or export it as JSON or CSV formats. Dexi.io stores your data on its servers for 2 weeks before archiving it. If you need to scrape on a larger scale you can always get the paid version

    Octoparse
    octoparse-logoOctoparse is a visual scraping tool that is easy to understand. Its point and click interface allows you to easily choose the fields you need to scrape from a website. The web scraper can handle both static and dynamic websites with AJAX, JavaScript, cookies and etc. The application also offers a cloud-based platform allows you to extract large amounts of data. You can export the scraped data in TXT, CSV, HTML or XLSX formats. The free version allows you to build up to 10 crawlers, but with the paid subscription plans you will get more features such as API and many anonymous IP proxies that will faster your extraction and fetch large volume of data in real time.

    Web Harvey
    web-harveyweb-harveyWebHarvey’s visual web scraper has an inbuilt browser that allows you to scrape data such as from web pages. It has a point to click interface which makes selecting elements easy. The advantage of this scraper is that you do not have to create any code. The data can be saved into CSV, JSON, XML files. It can also be stored in a SQL database. WebHarvey has a multi-level category scraping feature that can follow each level of category links and scrape data from listing pages. The tool allows you to use regular expressions, offering more flexibility. You can set up proxy servers that will help you to maintain a level of anonymity, by hiding your IP, while extracting data from websites.

    PySpider
    pyspider-web-scraping-tool PySpider is a web crawler written in Python. It supports Javascript pages and has a distributed architecture. This way you can have multiple crawlers. PySpider can store the data on a backend of your choosing such as MongoDB, MySQL, Redis, etc. You can use RabbitMQ, Beanstalk, and Redis as message queues. One of the advantages of PySpider is the easy to use UI where you can edit scripts, monitor ongoing tasks and view results. The data can be saved into JSON and CSV formats. If you are working with a website-based user interface, PySpider is the Internet scrape to consider. It also supports AJAX heavy websites.

    Apify
    apify-sdk-logoApify is a Node.js library which is a lot like Scrapy positioning itself as a universal web scraping library in JavaScript, with support for Puppeteer, Cheerio and more. With its unique features like RequestQueue and AutoscaledPool, you can start with several URLs and then recursively follow links to other pages and can run the scraping tasks at the maximum capacity of the system respectively. Its available data formats are JSON, JSONL, CSV, XML, XLSX or HTML and available selector CSS. It supports any type of website and has built-in support of Puppeteer. The Apify SDK requires Node.js 8 or later.

    Content Grabber
    content-grabberContent Grabber is a visual web scraping tool that has a point-to-click interface to choose elements easily. Its interface allows pagination, infinite scrolling pages, and pop-ups. In addition, it has AJAX/Javascript processing, captcha solution, allows the use of regular expressions, and IP rotation (using Nohodo). You can export data in CSV, XLSX, JSON, and PDF formats. Intermediate programming skills are needed to use this tool.

    Mozenda
    mozenda-scraping-platformMozenda is an enterprise cloud-based web-scraping platform. It has a point-to-click interface and a user-friendly UI. It has two parts – an application to build the data extraction project and a Web Console to run agents, organize results and export data. They also provide API access to get the data and have inbuilt storage integrations like FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox and more. You can export data into CSV, XML, JSON or XLSX formats. Mozenda is good for handling large volumes of data. You will need more than basic coding skills to use this tool as it has a high learning curve.

    Cheerio
    cheerio-parser-web-scrapingCheerio is a library that parses HTML and XML documents and allows you to use the syntax of jQuery while working with the downloaded data. If you are writing a web scraper in JavaScript, Cheerio is a fast option which makes parsing, manipulating, and rendering efficient. It does not – interpret the result as a web browser, produce a visual rendering, apply CSS, load external resources, or execute JavaScript. If you require any of these features, you should consider projects like PhantomJS or JSDom.

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