Stack Overflow is a public platform where its users can ask questions or provide answers and is mainly used by programmers of all levels of experience. It features a lot of Q&A posts on a wide range of topics related to computer programming and has developed a strong programming community. Most solutions found there are practical and also serves to let other users learn more about the particular problem being discussed.
With its active community of over 14 registered million users, there are a substantial amount of questions and answers on Stack Overflow. All of this information would be quite valuable to yourself or to any company in a variety of ways. The most efficient way to gather all of this information would be to use a web scraper bot and with this, you would be able to extract all the data you want. A big problem with web scraping is that Stack Overflow, and most other websites, are usually against scrapers and web scraping and would immediately block any account caught doing so.
The best way to avoid being blocked on the Stack Overflow website when using a web scraping bot, is to use a Stack Overflow proxy. A proxy acts as a cover between your device and the internet. Any website you visit would see the IP address of the proxy server and not your own. With rotating proxies, you can routinely change its IP address to the millions of IPs available in the proxy pool. This means that every set interval of requests your web scraper bot makes, it would have a different IP address.
The best Stack Overflow proxy would be either residential proxies or datacenter proxies depending on what you want. If you want more security and ensure that you won’t get banned, then residential proxies are the best for you but if you want to do things fast then datacenter proxies are the way to go.
Proxies are also generally helpful for maintaining your protection and gaining total anonymity when browsing Stack Overflow and any other website.
Let’s set up a proxy server for Stack Overflow.
To set up proxies in Windows, simply search for “Proxy Settings” in your windows search bar and open the search result.
You are then given two options to choose from: Automatic proxy setup or Manual proxy setup. If you want windows to automatically detect your proxy settings, choose the first option. Choose the second option if you want to utilize a specific ip address and port number.
If you chose the first option, then:
- Turn on Automatically detect Settings
- Turn on Use setup script
- Enter the script address
- Click Save
If you chose the second option, then:
- Turn on Use a proxy server
- Input both server address and port number
- If you have any addresses you would like to visit without a proxy, enter them here
- Turn on Don’t use the proxy server for local addresses check box if you want to access a local server without a proxy
- Click Save
To start configuring your proxy settings in MacOS, simply:
Step 1. Click on the Apple Icon.
Step 2. On the drop down menu, click on “System Preferences”.
Step 3. Click on “Network”
Step 4. Click on “Advanced”
Note: Make sure to connect to your wi-fi first.
Step 5. Click on “Proxies”
This should then redirect you to MacOS proxy settings. MacOS is more straightforward compared to windows. You only have one option which is to manually configure your proxy server.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Select which proxy IP protocol you want to configure. This depends on which protocols your proxy service provider offers.
- Turn on Secure Web Proxy
- Input the Proxy Server Address and Port Number
- Click OK to save the configurations
Note: You may be prompted for your Mac user password to save your settings.
To set up a mobile proxy server for Stack Overflow, simply change your phone’s proxy settings. The browser you’re using for Stack Overflow will automatically copy your phone’s proxy settings whenever you use it. This is applicable for both Android and IOS. Here’s a thorough guide for Android and another one for iPhone.
Note: Make sure that the web browser you’re using for Stack Overflow is set to automatically copy your computer’s proxy settings. Google Chrome automatically does this, so it’s recommended to use it.