Migrating from Smart Proxy Manager to Zyte API#

Learn how to migrate from Smart Proxy Manager to Zyte API.

Key differences#

The following table summarizes the feature differences between both products:


Smart Proxy Manager

Zyte API




Ban avoidance



Residential proxies



Cookie handling



Session management



Smart geolocation



Browser HTML






Browser actions



User throttling



See also Parameter mapping below for some additional, lower-level differences.

Ban avoidance#

Smart Proxy Manager does a good job at avoiding bans through proxy rotation, ban detection, retrying algorithms, and browser mimicking through browser profiles.

Zyte API improves on it by using an actual browser, if that is required to prevent bans on a particular website.

Zyte API also supports webpage interaction.

Residential proxies#

Zyte API supports both data center and residential IP addresses, and automatically chooses the right type of IP address as needed.

Session management#

Smart Proxy Manager supports advanced session management: you can create and reuse sessions that retain the same IP address and cookies.

Zyte API does not support session management at the moment, it is a planned feature. However:

  • Cookie reuse is often enough for session handling. In fact, Zyte API can be already better at session handling than Smart Proxy Manager for websites that require a browser to generate a valid session cookie.

  • For some scenarios using browser actions can make your code more future-proof, less likely to cause a ban, and require a single request on your end where you would need multiple requests otherwise.


Both products let you choose which country of origin to use for a request.

However, with Zyte API you usually do not need to manually choose which country of origin to use for each request, because Zyte API automatically chooses the best country of origin based on the target website.

Smart Proxy Manager does support a richer list of countries of origin that you can set manually. However, if you let Zyte API choose the right country of origin, it can use additional countries not available for manual override.

For more information, see Geolocation.


You cannot use your Smart Proxy Manager API key for Zyte API, you need to get a separate API key to use Zyte API.

API migration#

The main challenge is switching from a proxy API to an HTTP API.

Because Zyte API has a wider range of features and can hence provide a richer output, you need JSON parsing, and in some cases base64-decoding, to get your data.


If you are using scrapy-zyte-smartproxy (previously scrapy-crawlera), see scrapy-zyte-smartproxy migration below for in-depth migration details.

For example, this is a basic request using Smart Proxy Manager:

using System.Net;
using System.Text;

var proxy = new WebProxy("http://proxy.zyte.com:8011", true);
proxy.Credentials = new NetworkCredential("YOUR_API_KEY", "");

var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("https://toscrape.com");
request.Proxy = proxy;
request.PreAuthenticate = true;
request.AllowAutoRedirect = false;
request.ServerCertificateValidationCallback += (sender, certificate, chain, sslPolicyErrors) => true;

var response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
var stream = response.GetResponseStream();
var reader = new StreamReader(stream);
var httpResponseBody = reader.ReadToEnd();
curl \
    --proxy proxy.zyte.com:8011 \
    --proxy-user YOUR_API_KEY: \
const axios = require('axios')

      proxy: {
        host: 'proxy.zyte.com',
        port: 8011,
        auth: {
          username: 'YOUR_API_KEY',
          password: ''
  .then((response) => {
    const httpResponseBody = response.data

$client = new GuzzleHttp\Client();
$response = $client->request('GET', 'https://toscrape.com', [
    'proxy' => 'http://YOUR_API_KEY:@proxy.zyte.com:8011',
$http_response_body = (string) $response->getBody();
import requests

response = requests.get(
        f"{scheme}": f"http://YOUR_API_KEY:@proxy.zyte.com:8011/"
        for scheme in ("http", "https")
http_response_body: bytes = response.content
from scrapy import Request, Spider

class ToScrapeSpider(Spider):
    name = "toscrape_com"
    start_urls = ["https://toscrape.com"]

    def parse(self, response):
        http_response_body: bytes = response.body

And this is an identical request using Zyte API:


Install and configure code example requirements to run the example below.

using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Text;
using System.Text.Json;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

HttpClientHandler handler = new HttpClientHandler()
    AutomaticDecompression = DecompressionMethods.All
HttpClient client = new HttpClient(handler);

var apiKey = "YOUR_API_KEY";
var bytes = Encoding.GetEncoding("ISO-8859-1").GetBytes(apiKey + ":");
var auth = System.Convert.ToBase64String(bytes);
client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Authorization", "Basic " + auth);

client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Accept-Encoding", "br, gzip, deflate");

var input = new Dictionary<string, object>(){
    {"url", "https://toscrape.com"},
    {"httpResponseBody", true}
var inputJson = JsonSerializer.Serialize(input);
var content = new StringContent(inputJson, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json");

HttpResponseMessage response = await client.PostAsync("https://api.zyte.com/v1/extract", content);
var body = await response.Content.ReadAsByteArrayAsync();

var data = JsonDocument.Parse(body);
var base64HttpResponseBody = data.RootElement.GetProperty("httpResponseBody").ToString();
var httpResponseBody = System.Convert.FromBase64String(base64HttpResponseBody);
{"url": "https://toscrape.com", "httpResponseBody": true}
zyte-api input.jsonl \
    | jq --raw-output .httpResponseBody \
    | base64 --decode \
    > output.html
    "url": "https://toscrape.com",
    "httpResponseBody": true
curl \
    --user YOUR_API_KEY: \
    --header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    --data @input.json \
    --compressed \
    https://api.zyte.com/v1/extract \
    | jq --raw-output .httpResponseBody \
    | base64 --decode \
    > output.html
import com.google.common.collect.ImmutableMap;
import com.google.gson.Gson;
import com.google.gson.JsonObject;
import com.google.gson.JsonParser;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets;
import java.util.Base64;
import java.util.Map;
import org.apache.hc.client5.http.classic.methods.HttpPost;
import org.apache.hc.client5.http.impl.classic.CloseableHttpClient;
import org.apache.hc.client5.http.impl.classic.CloseableHttpResponse;
import org.apache.hc.client5.http.impl.classic.HttpClients;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.ContentType;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.HttpEntity;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.HttpHeaders;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.ParseException;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.io.entity.EntityUtils;
import org.apache.hc.core5.http.io.entity.StringEntity;

class Example {
  private static final String API_KEY = "YOUR_API_KEY";

  public static void main(final String[] args)
      throws InterruptedException, IOException, ParseException {
    Map<String, Object> parameters =
        ImmutableMap.of("url", "https://toscrape.com", "httpResponseBody", true);
    String requestBody = new Gson().toJson(parameters);

    HttpPost request = new HttpPost("https://api.zyte.com/v1/extract");
    request.setHeader(HttpHeaders.CONTENT_TYPE, ContentType.APPLICATION_JSON);
    request.setHeader(HttpHeaders.ACCEPT_ENCODING, "gzip, deflate");
    request.setHeader(HttpHeaders.AUTHORIZATION, buildAuthHeader());
    request.setEntity(new StringEntity(requestBody));

    try (CloseableHttpClient client = HttpClients.createDefault()) {
      try (CloseableHttpResponse response = client.execute(request)) {
        HttpEntity entity = response.getEntity();
        String apiResponse = EntityUtils.toString(entity, StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
        JsonObject jsonObject = JsonParser.parseString(apiResponse).getAsJsonObject();
        String base64HttpResponseBody = jsonObject.get("httpResponseBody").getAsString();
        byte[] httpResponseBodyBytes = Base64.getDecoder().decode(base64HttpResponseBody);
        String httpResponseBody = new String(httpResponseBodyBytes, StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

  private static String buildAuthHeader() {
    String auth = API_KEY + ":";
    String encodedAuth = Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString(auth.getBytes());
    return "Basic " + encodedAuth;
const axios = require('axios')

    url: 'https://toscrape.com',
    httpResponseBody: true
    auth: { username: 'YOUR_API_KEY' }
).then((response) => {
  const httpResponseBody = Buffer.from(

$client = new GuzzleHttp\Client();
$response = $client->request('POST', 'https://api.zyte.com/v1/extract', [
    'auth' => ['YOUR_API_KEY', ''],
    'headers' => ['Accept-Encoding' => 'gzip'],
    'json' => [
        'url' => 'https://toscrape.com',
        'httpResponseBody' => true,
$data = json_decode($response->getBody());
$http_response_body = base64_decode($data->httpResponseBody);
from base64 import b64decode

import requests

api_response = requests.post(
    auth=("YOUR_API_KEY", ""),
        "url": "https://toscrape.com",
        "httpResponseBody": True,
http_response_body: bytes = b64decode(api_response.json()["httpResponseBody"])
import asyncio
from base64 import b64decode

from zyte_api.aio.client import AsyncClient

async def main():
    client = AsyncClient()
    api_response = await client.request_raw(
            "url": "https://toscrape.com",
            "httpResponseBody": True,
    http_response_body: bytes = b64decode(api_response["httpResponseBody"])


In transparent mode, when you target a text resource (e.g. HTML, JSON), regular Scrapy requests work out of the box:

from scrapy import Spider

class ToScrapeSpider(Spider):
    name = "toscrape_com"
    start_urls = ["https://toscrape.com"]

    def parse(self, response):
        http_response_text: str = response.text

While regular Scrapy requests also work for binary responses at the moment, they may stop working in future versions of scrapy-zyte-api, so passing httpResponseBody is recommended when targeting binary resources:

from scrapy import Request, Spider

class ToScrapeSpider(Spider):
    name = "toscrape_com"

    def start_requests(self):
        yield Request(
                "zyte_api_automap": {
                    "httpResponseBody": True,

    def parse(self, response):
        http_response_body: bytes = response.body

Output (first 5 lines):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
        <title>Scraping Sandbox</title>

See Zyte API usage documentation for richer Zyte API examples, covering more scenarios and features.

If you notice your code has become slower with Zyte API, that’s normal, as Zyte API requests usually have a higher latency. If you want a similar or better speed, increase your concurrency, the number of requests you send in parallel, accordingly. See also Optimizing Zyte API usage.

There is no easy way to use Zyte API to drive requests from browser automation tools. If you are using Smart Proxy Manager as a proxy for a browser automation tool, consider using Zyte API for your browser automation needs instead. See Migrating from browser automation to Zyte API.

scrapy-zyte-smartproxy migration#

To migrate from scrapy-zyte-smartproxy (previously scrapy-crawlera), first set up scrapy-zyte-api:

  1. You need Python 3.7 or higher to use the latest version of scrapy-zyte-api.

  2. You need Scrapy 2.0.1 or higher to use the latest version of scrapy-zyte-api.

    If you are using a lower version of Scrapy, please upgrade to a higher Scrapy version, and make sure your code works as expected with the newer Scrapy version before you continue the migration process.

    The Scrapy release notes of every Scrapy version cover backward-incompatible changes and deprecation removals, which should help you upgrade your existing code as you upgrade Scrapy.

  3. Install the latest version of scrapy-zyte-api:

    pip install --upgrade scrapy-zyte-api
  4. Configure scrapy-zyte-api in your settings.py file by including the following settings:

        "http": "scrapy_zyte_api.ScrapyZyteAPIDownloadHandler",
        "https": "scrapy_zyte_api.ScrapyZyteAPIDownloadHandler",
        "scrapy_zyte_api.ScrapyZyteAPIDownloaderMiddleware": 1000,
    REQUEST_FINGERPRINTER_CLASS = "scrapy_zyte_api.ScrapyZyteAPIRequestFingerprinter"
    TWISTED_REACTOR = "twisted.internet.asyncioreactor.AsyncioSelectorReactor"

    If any of these settings already exists in your settings.py file, modify the existing setting as needed instead of re-defining it. For example, if you already have DOWNLOADER_MIDDLEWARES defined, add "scrapy_zyte_api.ScrapyZyteAPIDownloaderMiddleware": 1000, to your existing definition, keeping existing downloader middlewares untouched.

    Also, make sure that these settings are not being overridden elsewhere. For example, make sure they are not defined in multiple lines of your settings.py file, and that they are not overridden in your Scrapy Cloud project settings.


    On projects that were not using the asyncio Twisted reactor, your existing code may need changes, such as:

    • Handling a pre-installed Twisted reactor.

      Some Twisted imports install the default, non-asyncio Twisted reactor as a side effect. Once a reactor is installed, it cannot be changed for the whole run time.

    • Converting Twisted Deferreds into asyncio Futures.

      Note that you might be using Deferreds without realizing it through some Scrapy functions and methods. For example, when you yield the return value of self.crawler.engine.download() from a spider callback, you are yielding a Deferred.

  5. Add your API key to settings.py as well:

  6. Zyte API cookie support is currently experimental. To enable cookie support, you must define an additional setting in settings.py:


    The COOKIES_ENABLED setting must also be True, which is its default value, so make sure you are not setting it to False anywhere in your code.

Your next steps depend on how you want to approach your migration. You can either migrate only some spiders or migrate your entire project at once.

Migrating spiders one by one, incrementally, can be more time consuming, but also less disruptive, giving you time to validate the migration of each spider separately.

If you prefer to migrate only some of your spiders, while other spiders remain using Smart Proxy Manager, use custom_settings or update_settings in those spiders to toggle scrapy-zyte-smartproxy and scrapy-zyte-api:

class MySpider(Spider):
    custom_settings = {
        "CRAWLERA_ENABLED": False,  # Only needed if you use scrapy-crawlera

On spiders using Smart Proxy Manager, you can still drive specific requests through Zyte API instead by setting the following fields in the request metadata:

yield Request(
        "dont_proxy": True,
        "zyte_api_automap": True,

If you prefer to migrate your whole project at once instead of spider by spider:

  1. Disable scrapy-zyte-smartproxy or scrapy-crawlera.

    scrapy-zyte-smartproxy is enabled through the ZYTE_SMARTPROXY_ENABLED setting. scrapy-crawlera through CRAWLERA_ENABLED.

    To disable, find where you define that setting (e.g. settings.py, Scrapy Cloud settings), and remove it.

    Also, make sure you are not enabling those settings on specific spiders, e.g. through the custom_settings class attribute of a spider class, or in your CI environment (e.g. in Scrapy Cloud, which allows overriding settings for specific spiders).

  2. Configure Zyte API to run in transparent mode from your settings.py file:


Regardless of whether you are migrating only some spiders or your whole project, review the code of requests that now go through Zyte API to look for Zyte Smart Proxy Manager headers, i.e. those prefixed with X-Crawlera- (case-insensitive), and replace them with Zyte API counterparts according to the table below.

You can specify those parameters through a zyte_api_automap dictionary in request metadata. For example, to set the geolocation of a request to the USA:

yield Request(
        "zyte_api_automap": {
            "geolocation": "US",

If you find that the migration has negatively affected the run time of your spiders, increase the CONCURRENT_REQUESTS and CONCURRENT_REQUESTS_PER_DOMAIN settings accordingly. If a higher concurrency does not improve your run time, the cause may be rate limiting; if the scrapy-zyte-api/throttle_ratio Scrapy stat is high, you may open a support ticket to request a higher rate limit for your account.

Once you have migrated all your code and are happy with the result, you can remove scrapy-zyte-smartproxy:

pip uninstall scrapy-zyte-smartproxy scrapy-crawlera

And remove any related Scrapy setting from your code, i.e. those prefixed with either ZYTE_SMARTPROXY_ or CRAWLERA_, including those that you used to disable scrapy-zyte-smartproxy in an earlier migration step (no need to disable something that is not installed anymore).

Parameter mapping#

The following table shows a mapping of Smart Proxy Manager request headers and their corresponding Zyte API parameters:

Replacing X-Crawlera-Cookies#

X-Crawlera-Cookies supports 3 values: enable, disable, and discard.

Zyte API cookies replace both enable and disable. The distinction between enable and disable is not relevant in Zyte API, as there are no internal cookies.

discard is equivalent to not using Zyte API cookies.

Replacing X-Crawlera-Profile and X-Crawlera-Profile-Pass#

The behavior of Zyte API is a middle ground between the desktop and pass values of X-Crawlera-Profile: browser-specific headers are always sent (unlike pass, which disables them altogether), but you can override them (unlike desktop, which forces them unless you use X-Crawlera-Profile-Pass), except for the User-Agent header, which cannot be overwritten. See Request headers for more information.

Zyte API offers no alternative to the mobile value of X-Crawlera-Profile.