The 5 Best Free Proxy Lists for Web Scraping in 2024


When doing web scraping at scale, your bot or scraper will likely need to make a large number of requests to websites in a short period of time. This can quickly get your IP address banned or blocked if the site detects an abnormal amount of activity from a single client.

One of the best solutions is to use a pool of proxy servers to distribute the requests. A proxy acts as an intermediary that routes your web requests through a different IP address, making them appear to originate from the proxy server rather than your own machine.

There are many dedicated proxy services available for web scraping, but if you are looking for a free solution to get started, there are also a number of websites that provide frequently updated lists of free proxies.

In this guide, we‘ll take a look at the 5 best free proxy lists for web scraping based on their quality, reliability, and ease of use. We‘ll also run a benchmark test to compare their performance on some popular websites and provide tips for rotating proxies to avoid IP blocks.

First, let‘s briefly cover the main types of proxies used for web scraping:

  • HTTP proxies are general-purpose proxies that can be used with HTTP/HTTPS traffic. They only work on the application layer.

  • SOCKS4/5 proxies can handle any type of TCP/UDP traffic. SOCKS5 provides authentication while SOCKS4 doesn‘t.

  • Rotating or backconnect proxies automatically assign a new IP address to each request, saving you the work of having to manually switch IPs. This is ideal for high-volume scraping.

  • Residential proxies use IP addresses assigned by consumer ISPs. Since they appear as real users in residential locations they are harder to detect and block.

  • Datacenter proxies return IP addresses that belong to data centers and are easier for sites to identify as proxies and block.

It‘s worth noting that there are significant risks to relying solely on free proxy lists for any production scraping projects:

  • You don‘t know who operates the proxy servers – they could be honeypots, hackers, or other malicious actors looking to intercept your traffic
  • The proxy IPs are often shared with many other users which can lead to slower response times and a higher risk of bans
  • Free proxies tend to have much lower uptime and go offline frequently without notice
  • You may be inadvertently used as part of a botnet for attacks or have your requests injected with spam/ads

So while free proxy lists are a good way to test the waters, for any serious scraping it‘s highly recommended to use a dedicated paid proxy service that offers better security, reliability, and performance.

With that said, let‘s jump into our picks for the top 5 free proxy list providers and see how they stack up!

1. ScrapingBee Free Proxy Pool

Our top recommendation for beginners is actually to sign up for a free trial of ScrapingBee, which gives you 1000 free API calls to their premium proxy pool and tools.

The free plan gets you access to all of ScrapingBee‘s features including:

  • An easy-to-use API to integrate proxies into your scraping workflow
  • Headless Chrome for executing JavaScript on pages
  • Auto-retry failed requests
  • Automatic proxy rotation with a pool of over 20 million ethically-sourced datacenter and residential IPs
  • Geotargeting by country or city
  • Automatic CAPTCHAs handling

You also get 24/7 customer support even on the free plan. Once you exceed the 1000 free monthly calls, you can easily upgrade to a very affordable paid plan starting at just $29/mo for 250K requests.

🏆 Benchmark Results

| Website | Success | Blocked | Errors | Avg Time |
| Google | 92% | 0% | 8% | 8.30s |
| Amazon | 97.8% | 0% | 2.2% | 3.34s |
| Instagram | 95.5% | 0% | 4.5% | 3.30s |
| Top 300 | 99.5% | 0% | 0.5% | 3.34s |

ScrapingBee‘s proxies performed exceptionally well across all of the test sites with a 95%+ success rate, zero blocks, and very fast average response times under 5s. The higher error rate on Google was due to using their special Google Scraping API.

2. ProxyScrape

ProxyScrape offers a huge free proxy list with over 5000 IPs from various countries that gets updated every 5 minutes. The proxies are sorted into different categories (HTTP, SOCKS4, SOCKS5) that you can filter by country, anonymity level (transparent, anonymous, or elite), and SSL support.

One nice feature is the ability to download the proxy lists as a text file for easy integration with your scraping tools. ProxyScrape also provides a free API that you can use to programmatically retrieve a random proxy from the list.

The biggest downside is that you will have to manually handle proxy rotation, configuration (timeouts, retries, etc) and monitoring. There is also no authentication which means anyone can access the same proxy pool.

🏆 Benchmark Results

| Website | Success | Blocked | Errors | Avg Time |
| Google | 47% | 44% | 9.5% | 16.12s |
| Amazon | 39% | 16% | 45% | 20.37s |
| Instagram | 21% | 59% | 39% | 25.55s |
| Top 300 | 48% | 14% | 55% | 13.60s |

The benchmark results for ProxyScrape were quite poor, with high error rates (timeouts, network issues) and a large percentage of IPs blocked by Google, Amazon and Instagram. When the proxies did work, they were also very slow with response times of 15-25s. Not recommended for serious scraping projects.

3. is one of the oldest and most well-known free proxy lists. It maintains a database of over 22,000 free HTTP, HTTPS and SOCKS proxies from around the world.

The proxy list is presented in a filterable, searchable table that you can sort by country, anonymity, speed and uptime. You can click on any proxy to view more details about its host, port, location and status.

There is also a proxy checker tool that you can use to verify if a proxy is working by entering the IP address and port. Other handy tools include a real-time IP address lookup and a "proxies by category" page that groups proxies by country and region.

One limitation is that the proxy list can only be viewed online through their website, there is no convenient way to download or access it programmatically. The user experience also feels a bit dated.

🏆 Benchmark Results

| Website | Success | Blocked | Errors | Avg Time |
| Google | 3% | 0% | 97% | 13.74s |
| Amazon | 22% | 33% | 67% | 16.40s |
| Instagram | 21% | 33% | 65% | 43.74s |
| Top 300 | 25% | 20% | 74% | 12.73s |

The proxies from performed very poorly in the benchmark test with extremely high error rates over 65% across all sites. The successful requests had decent response times, but not nearly enough of them were usable to be viable for scraping.

4. GatherProxy

GatherProxy offers a frequently updated list of free proxy servers with advanced filtering options by country, port, protocol and anonymity level. They also helpfully break out proxies that support SOCKS.

One unique aspect is that they provide historical usage statistics and ratings for each proxy based on past user testing. You can see the proxy‘s average speed, uptime and success rate over time to help identify the most reliable options.

After creating a free account, you can download the proxy list in various formats like text, CSV and JSON for easy integration and access them through the GatherProxy API. Downloading an updated list every few hours and importing it into your scraper is a good way to maintain a pool of working proxies.

Unfortunately, at the time of testing, the GatherProxy website was experiencing downtime and we were unable to collect fresh proxies to benchmark. Your mileage may vary in terms of the current quantity and quality of proxies available.

5. is another stalwart free proxy list provider that‘s been around for many years. Their proxy database contains over 3000 IP addresses that are checked every 20 minutes and removed if inactive for more than 2 days.

The proxy list interface is very barebones but gets the job done – you can filter proxies by country, anonymity, and HTTPS support. There is a "proxy checker" feature but it just links to an external site.

Notably missing is any way to download or access the proxy list outside of copy-pasting from the web page. There are also no advanced features, API access or additional tools provided.

🏆 Benchmark Results

| Website | Success | Blocked | Errors | Avg Time |
| Google | 16% | 46% | 98% | 8.90s |
| Amazon | 11% | 13% | 37% | 21.02s |
| Instagram | 52% | 58% | 38% | 90.70s |
| Top 300 | 17% | 51% | 48% | 10.90s |

The FreeProxyLists proxies achieved better success rates than the other free lists, especially on Instagram, but still had very high error rates close to 50% on average. Response times were decent when not timing out. Usable in a pinch but not the most reliable.

Benchmark Methodology

To benchmark the performance and reliability of the free proxy lists, we conducted the following test:

  1. Retrieved the latest proxies from each of the 5 providers
  2. Selected 100 random proxy IPs from each list
  3. Configured a Python script to route requests through each proxy to 4 target sites:
  • Google search
  • Amazon product page
  • Instagram profile
  • Homepage of 300 sites pulled from Alexa Top 1000
  1. Recorded the HTTP response code, any errors, and total response time for each proxy
  2. Repeated the test 3 times and averaged the results

We tracked the following metrics:

  • % of Successful requests (200 OK)
  • % of Blocked requests (non-200 code)
  • % of Error requests (timeouts, network issues)
  • Average successful response time


As we can see from the benchmark results, there is a wide variance in the quality and reliability of free proxy lists. Most of them had very high error rates, slow response times, and were frequently blocked by major sites like Google and Amazon.

The exception was ScrapingBee‘s free trial proxy pool which performed nearly flawlessly. However, this comes with the caveat that ScrapingBee is a paid service and you only get 1000 free requests per month before needing to subscribe to a plan.

If you do decide to use free proxy lists for your web scraping project, here are some tips to get the most out of them:

  • Combine proxies from multiple sources into a single pool to improve coverage
  • Check for fresh, updated lists at least once per day
  • Implement a monitoring system to track proxy performance and remove non-working IPs
  • Handle errors and retries gracefully in your scraping code to deal with unreliable proxies
  • Rotate proxy IPs as much as possible across requests to avoid blocking and improve anonymity
  • Consider upgrading to a dedicated proxy service for large-scale, mission-critical scraping jobs

Using proxies is essential for any kind of web scraping to mask your identity, avoid rate limits and prevent IP bans. While free proxy lists can work for small personal projects, their performance leaves a lot to be desired.

For business or commercial scraping needs, it‘s best to invest in a proxy service that can provide fast, reliable, and authenticated access to a large pool of IP addresses. Your time (and sanity) is better spent optimizing your scrapers rather than debugging issues with free proxies.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the different types of proxies and how to incorporate them in your web scraping workflow. You can find more tips and tutorials on our web scraping blog.

Happy scraping!