Smart Proxy Manager FAQ#
Related to SPM Plans#
Q. Can I try Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) before subscribing?
A. With our Starter, Basic and Advanced plans you can try Smart Proxy Manager for 14 days or 10,000 requests (whichever comes first). After that you will be billed automatically for a full month, the request quota will reset to 0 and consequently, your billing cycle will start at the time your trial ends.
Q. Can I use the Smart Proxy Manager service with my own crawler without using Scrapy, Scrapy Cloud, or any other Zyte service?
A. Definitely. Smart Proxy Manager is a standalone service that can be used with any crawler or HTTP client, independently of the rest of the Zyte platform.
Q. Can we have two Zyte Smart Proxy Manager plans under one organization?
A. It’s not recommended to have multiple SPM Plans under one organization. What is recommended is to create another Scrapy Cloud organization and subscribe to the other CXX plan there. This will ensure that both plans are active independently to suit your use-case (separating production and development accounts, for instance).
Q. Can I try Zyte Smart Proxy Manager with a trial account?
A. With our Starter, Basic and Advanced plans you can try Zyte Smart Proxy Manager for 14 days or 10,000 requests (whichever comes first).
After that you will automatically be billed for a full month, the request quota will reset to 0 and consequently, your billing cycle will start at the time your trial ends.
Q. Why did my Zyte Smart Proxy Manager account get suspended?
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) accounts are usually suspended when a customer has reached the monthly requests limit allowed on their plan, before the end of the billing cycle (the billing cycle details are available at the bottom of the Billing Page, in the Monthly Billing section, and under Requests Breakdown section on Smart Proxy Manager’s Usage Stats page). Customers are notified when the request limit reaches 80% of the monthly quota and suspended when they exceed it.
The limits for each plan are available on the Smart Proxy Manager promotional page. If your account has been suspended, you will have to purchase a plan higher than the one you are currently on. Although the billing page will allow you to choose a smaller plan or the same as the one you are currently on, this will not reactivate the Smart Proxy Manager account.
Alternatively, you may choose to not reactivate the account for the current billing period. In that case, the Smart Proxy Manager account with the current plan will be reactivated automatically at the start of your next billing cycle.
After the account suspension, Smart Proxy Manager will start returning 401 errors. On a Scrapy Cloud job’s Stats tab this will be registered as follows:
Q. How do I provide my Credit Card / PayPal information?
A. To provide your credit card/PayPal information, go to your organization page in Zyte Dashboard, then access the Settings from the left panel and open the Subscriptions. On the right panel click on UPDATE in the Payment method section. Check out Step 5 on Billing Page for an example.
Q. Why do I get an error when adding an American Express card?
A. Please make sure you are entering a 4-digit CVV code (for reference: https://www.cvvnumber.com).
Q. Why have I been charged more than the listed price for a plan?
A. For users based out of Europe, a VAT is applied to invoices if VAT number is not provided. This results in an increase in the listed price. If a VAT number is provided, no VAT fee will be applied, except if you are based in Ireland, where VAT always applies. For any queries related to billing please contact our support team.
Q. Can I put my account on hold and pause the subscription?
A. If you would like to suspend your services, you may do so using your billing page, inside your organization’s dashboard. Canceling subscriptions won’t cancel your account. Instead, it will take you back to the free Scrapy Cloud trial, and suspend your Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) accounts until you decide to subscribe again.
Keep in mind that any data contained in your Scrapy Cloud projects that are past the expiration date of a free account will be removed once you downgrade to the free plan.
Q. Will my API Key change when I upgrade or downgrade Zyte Smart Proxy Manager plans?
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager(formerly Crawlera) plans can be upgraded or downgraded anytime and this would not affect the existing API key. API keys are mapped to the account and not to the plans. Any upgrades or downgrades would result in a change in moncurrency and monthly request limits.
It can be changed by clicking on “Generate New API Key” on the Smart Proxy Manager setup page.
Q. Recently purchased Zyte Smart Proxy Manager subscription doesn’t appear active.
A. Please note that it takes a few minutes for Zyte Smart Proxy Manager(formerly Crawlera) instance to be provisioned once payment has been made. When the Smart Proxy Manager instance is being provisioned, you can see the tag “Provisioning” here: <https://app.zyte.com/o/>. When provisioning is complete, you can find the API key and setup instructions at: https://app.zyte.com/o/smart-proxy-manager/setup. If the instance is not provisioned after 15 minutes, please contact our Support team.
Related to SPM API#
Q. How do I change or customize my user-agent?
A. To change your User-Agent you will need to use the X-Crawlera-Profile header with value pass. This will instruct Smart Proxy Manager to use the User-Agent header you send in the request. Check out Using Desktop and Mobile profiles using Zyte Smart Proxy Manager for more detail.
Q. How does Smart Proxy Manager behave in terms of request headers?
A. Smart Proxy Manager will make sure it’s sending the appropriate headers in a request - Meaning it won’t send headers such as x-forwarded-for, or any other proxy-related headers, in order to not appear as a proxy to the target.
Q. How to use Zyte Smart Proxy Manager with headless browsers?
A. Please refer to this page on Using Headless Browsers with Zyte Smart Proxy Manager.
Q. Can I Restrict Proxy Regions to States or Cities?
A. Basic and Advanced Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) plans are supplied with datacenter proxies, and thus only support country-level region restriction. To learn more about this check out Restricting Zyte Smart Proxy Manager IPs to a specific region.
The city-level restriction is possible with residential proxies, provided under custom Enterprise plans and as add-on for any platform plans (Starter subscription and above). You can learn more about residential proxies from the Residential page. If interested in the latter, please contact Sales through the form on the website.
Q. Can I Use Zyte Smart Proxy Manager in Applications Requiring Username/Password Pair?
A. It depends on the application in question, but in most cases, the following configuration works:
Proxy Host: proxy.zyte.com Proxy Port: 8011 Proxy User: <Zyte Smart Proxy Manager API Key> Proxy Pass: <a dummy password or none at all (left blank)>
An example code using the above configuration can be found on Using Smart Proxy Manager with Python page.
Q. Does Zyte Smart Proxy Manager handle cookies?
In Enterprise and the legacy plans (C10, C50, C100, C200) it works as follows:
To store and manage cookies yourself you will need to disable Smart Proxy Manager cookie
handling with the
X-Crawlera-Cookies: disable header. If cookie handling is not disabled,
Smart Proxy Manager will discard the cookies and send its own instead. Check out
X-Crawlera-Cookies for more detail.
Consider also using Smart Proxy Manager sessions with cookies in order to use the same IP. Check out Sessions for more detail.
Related to SPM Errors#
Q. How to deal with bans or 503 responses from Zyte Smart Proxy manager?
A. Please refer to this page on How to deal with bans or 503 response from Zyte Smart Proxy manager?
Q. What is the “541 Error for file size too big”?
A. You are receiving this error because you are using Zyte Smart Proxy Manager service for requesting content that is larger than 500MB. To improve the stability and performance of Smart Proxy Manager, we have placed a file size limit of 500MB. If you request content that is larger than 500MB through Smart Proxy Manager, you will receive an error with status code 541 that implies that the response size is too big.
Q. 523 Response “Domain Forbidden” - what does it mean?
A. Some websites have strict policies about crawling and don’t allow requests for data extraction purposes. Therefore, they are not accessible through requests made using Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera).
Q. Many failed requests with 429 code. What does it mean?
A. For each Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) plan there is a limit to Concurrency (Requests that can be made parallel at a time). Concurrency is cumulative of all domains crawled at a time and also requests through different Smart Proxy Manager accounts in the Organization.
Hence when the concurrency is more than the limit of the plan, Smart Proxy Manager gives the error message of 429 (Parallel Connection limit reached). You would need to lower the concurrency or upgrade to higher plans to have higher concurrency.
Q. Why do I get a bad_proxy_auth error while making the request using Zyte Smart Proxy Manager?
A. To use Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera), we need to authenticate the Smart Proxy Manager user. This authentication is done using the Smart Proxy Manager API key. This is different than the Zyte API key.
Smart Proxy Manager API key can be found on the Smart Proxy Manager Configuration page.
In cases where there is suspicion of API keys being compromised, you can create new Smart Proxy Manager key by pressing
Generate New API Key.
Related to SPM Usage#
Q. Where can I monitor my Smart Proxy Manager usage?
A. Go to the Zyte dashboard and select Smart Proxy Manager Overview or a specific account you would like to zoom in. If you click on a user, you will be able to review the number of requests per day/month for that user.
Note: Recent Requests section is not populated in real-time. Newly created accounts could be
No usage detected so far message, even after the user has started sending
requests. Please check the page later to give the dashboard some time to catch up on the logs.
Q. How do I measure Smart Proxy Manager’s speed for a particular domain?
A. You can use the crawlera-bench tool. Check the GitHub page for more information on how to use it. Note that you would be consuming Smart Proxy Manager traffic when using the crawlera-bench tool.
Q. Why are requests slower through Smart Proxy Manager than other proxies?
A. If you’re using your own proxies, you may notice a discrepancy in speed between using your own proxies and using them with Smart Proxy Manager. This is because Smart Proxy Manager throttles requests by introducing delays to avoid being banned on the target website.
These delays can differ depending on the target domain, as some popular sites have more rigorous anti-scraping measures than others. Throttling also helps prevent inadvertently bringing down the target website should it lack the resources to handle a large volume of requests.
Q. How to increase the speed of Job running on Scrapy Cloud with Zyte Smart Proxy
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager is a proxy rotator which helps in avoiding bans from the target website by adjusting delays, handling cookies and managing IPs. When Smart Proxy Manger is integrated with spider running on Scrapy Cloud it can lead to a slow down of jobs as it will adjust the delays to ensure crawling is not too fast and does not overburden the target server. Hence, reducing the risk of recognition and bans.
But with Smart Proxy Manager we can control “Concurrency” which is the “Number of requests that can be made in parallel”. This concurrency is based on the subscribed Smart Proxy Manager Plan. To increase the Crawl speed you can increase the concurrency. Concurrency is calculated by monitoring the cumulative request made to all domains from all Smart Proxy Manager accounts in the Organization.
For Scrapy Cloud, Autothrottle is enabled by default which limits the maximum number of concurrent requests sent to the same host domain. To increase the concurrency you would need to disable Autothrottle and set Concurrency settings in “settings.py” through UI as given in this article on Customizing Scrapy settings in Scrapy Cloud.
Each Smart Proxy Manager plan has limits on Concurrency and exceeding it would lead to errors with code 429.
Q. Why does Zyte Smart Proxy Manager slow down my Headless Browser?
A. When a page is opened in the browser with Zyte Smart Proxy Manager enabled, all the page’s resources are routed through Smart Proxy Manager, i.e. images, stylesheets, scripts, fonts, requests to CDNs, traffic analyzers, advertisements, etc. And since Smart Proxy Manager adds throttling to each request (by design, to perform its main purpose of “crawling politely” and avoiding bans), loading a page in the browser can indeed take a significant amount of time.
To speed up the loading time (while also cutting on the plan usage quota), it’s recommended to exclude the aforementioned static assets from being processed by Smart Proxy Manager. For instance, in crawlera-headless-proxy tool, AdBlock and Direct Access features can be enabled to filter out the unessential resources.
Q. How many IPs does Zyte Smart Proxy Manager have?
A. The number of IPs used by Zyte Smart Proxy Manager varies constantly from thousands to tens of thousands. This number, however, is not very relevant as long as it stays above a certain threshold, which allows us to crawl websites.
This question often arises with proxy providers because the number of IPs determines how fast you can crawl a website. With Smart Proxy Manager, the number of IPs doesn’t matter because Smart Proxy Manager (not the user) will throttle down requests so there is a global limit upon which adding more IPs won’t increase the crawl speeds.
These limits are carefully tuned and always revised by Smart Proxy Manager engineers (and automated algorithm) to make sure you can crawl as fast as possible without causing any disruption to the websites.
Q. What’s the difference between Zyte Smart Proxy Manager and regular proxy
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager is a service to download web pages that supports an HTTP Proxy API.
Standard proxy providers typically provide a pool of IPs running simple HTTP proxies (using Squid or similar software) whereas Smart Proxy Manager downloads web pages, distributing requests among many nodes, keeping track of which nodes are blacklisted (per domain), and throttling them to make sure domains crawled politely, which minimizes the risk of getting your crawler banned.
With proxy providers, you have to implement the throttling and blacklisting logic yourself. With Smart Proxy Manager you only configure your crawler to download pages through Smart Proxy Manager proxy and forget about throttling or implementing anti-ban policies. Smart Proxy Manager enables you to crawl as fast as possible without causing any disruption to the sites.
Q. Can I use Zyte Smart Proxy Manager from a web browser?
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager is slow on standard web browsers.
Unlike a standard proxy, Smart Proxy Manager is designed for crawling and throttling requests speed to avoid users getting banned or imposing too much load on websites. This throttling translates to a perception of Smart Proxy Manager being slow when tried in a web browser.
Q. Can I use Zyte Smart Proxy Manager for sites that require login?
A. It is important to be aware that scraping past the login of a site could raise legal concerns. Our Terms of Service state that you may not use our services to access, connect to, or retrieve data from sites that are subject to terms of service that prohibit scraping. When logging in to a site, you may be required to accept terms that prohibit scraping or put other limitations on your use. It is your responsibility to review those terms and make sure you are abiding by any applicable laws and Zyte’s Terms of Service. If you have any questions about this, our legal and compliance team is always available to help and provide guidance.
Q. Does Zyte Smart Proxy Manager count redirects as successful requests?
A. Yes, Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) counts redirects as successful requests.
For example: if a user makes a request through Smart Proxy Manager to
and the response is 302 Found with a location, header to follow
the crawler follows that link through the Smart Proxy Manager account, it will get accounted for
Smart Proxy Manager does not follow redirects by itself, it only executes a single HTTP request, returning its HTTP response. So, if a 3XX response is received, the crawler should decide whether to follow it or not.
Note that if you’re getting many 3XX redirects, you may be able to optimize your spider code to save Smart Proxy Manager requests and make the crawl more efficient.
Q. Does Zyte Smart Proxy Manager solve captchas?
A. Zyte Smart Proxy Manager (formerly Crawlera) does not solve captchas.
However, Smart Proxy Manager will detect redirects to captcha pages (for most sites) and will retry until it hits a clean page. Unsuccessful attempts won’t count towards the monthly quota. This is based on a combination of basic checks (like the response code), some manual rules, and automatic learning.
Q. Why do I see duplicate requests?
A. If you see duplicate requests and if the first request response code is 301 with HTTP and the next one is 200 with HTTPS, then that means the requested website does not allow HTTP. This is how websites with strict SSL work. To fix this please send requests to HTTPS instead of HTTP.