Are you looking to extract data from the Internet but you are keeping an open mind – trying to look for an alternative to Apify to compare and make a choice? Then you are on the right page as we would be describing some of the alternatives to Apify for web scraping below.
The interest in data pulled from the Internet is increasingly growing which has shot the demand for web scraping solutions out of the roof and beyond. This has also led to the proliferation of web scraping solutions in the market each trying to outs the other in features – and marketing which makes it difficult for new users to make the best choice except they are guided, they would end up with the product with the best hype and marketing. One of the popular web scraping solutions in the market is provided by Apify. The solution works quite well but does have its shortcoming just like every other great product out there.
If for any reason you are looking for an alternative to the Apify web scraping solution, then this article has been written for you. Apify itself maintains a page on its website that discusses some of its competitors but after going through this, we can tell you it is written from a competitor’s mindset and did not really capture the details you will be interested in. It is for this reason that we wrote this article to provide you with details from a neutral point of view. Before going into the discussion properly, let take a look at a brief review of Apify and why you will need an alternative.
Apify Review <Pros & Cons>
Here is our Unbaised Review of Apify Web Scraping Solution,
The Apify platform has been developed to make data extraction and web automation easy. It is an open-source platform and its web scraping solution is regarded as one of the best in the web scraping community especially among those that know how to code.
This tool does not only provide you already-made web scraper, it also offers an open-source SDK that you can use to build new tools tailored to your specific project need – and you can get a certified developer to do that for you if you are not skilled enough.
The platform also offers its own proxy service that integrates well not only with the platform’s web scraping solution but with other web scrapers. Most users of this product do not have any bad against the product and from our own usage experience, Apify is among the top solutions for web scraping.
In short, They are indeed a very powerful Web Scraping Solution!
No product is perfect, there are also some reasons that Apify maybe not be good for you.
Why Use an Apify Web Scraping Alternative?
Even with all of the features and things it brings to the table, Apify cannot cater to all of the needs of everyone looking for a scraping solution. In fact, it might interest you to know that Apify has downsides and weaknesses that would make some people not even use it. Let take a look at the reasons one would need an alternative to Apify.
Not Easy for Non-Techies
Pricing is Considered Expensive
Apify has a free tier that offers you $5 monthly but this comes with limitations that could make it useless for your project. Now to the paid plans, it might look cheap at first but if you look at the pricing and the model which is the usage (pay as you g) model, you will see that the cost can quickly add up, making you spend more than you should for if you were to be using another tool.
Shared Proxies Comes with Most Plans
Isn’t it interesting that Apify offers both dedicated datacenter proxies and residential proxies but the proxies that come with its personal plan of $49 and team plan of $499 are shared datacenter proxies? While the proxies are factored into the price for the tiers, you might not be able to use them for some of your tasks as shared datacenter proxies are unusable since they easily get detected – and extremely slow.
Best Alternatives to Apify in the Market
If you have decided you want to make use of an alternative to Apify, then there are many web scraping solutions available to you. Some of which are comparable or even better. In all, every web scraping solution has its strengths and weaknesses and that should shape your usage decision since all working web scraping would still get the data scraped.
- Pricing: Starts at $500 for 151K page loads
- Free Trials: Available
- Data Output Format: Excel
- Supported Platforms: Web-based
The Data Collector service is one of the best web scraping solutions out there that you can use to extract data from popular websites. It is the best alternative to Apify if you are not a coder and also not a technical person. This is because the process of usage is quick easy.
The tool is available as a web-based application. It has a group of specialized web scrapers known as collectors for each of the websites it supports. Some of the websites it supports include social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Walmart, AliExpress, and eBay, among others.
- Pricing: Starts at $30 monthly for 1h daily and 5 phantom slots
- Free Trials: Free limited plan available
- Data Output Format: CSV, JSON
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
The Phantombuster service can be seen to be one of the closest competitors to Apify. Just like Apify, it handles web automation and web scraping. While Apify calls its own web scrapers Actors, PhantomBuster calls its own Phantoms. The Phantoms require you to install PhantomBuster’s browser extension (Chrome to Firefox) in other for it to function.
However, it is a cloud-based solution. One thing you will come to like about this web scraping solution is the list of websites it supports. Just like in the case of Data Collector, this solution has many phantoms for each site it supports. Currently, Phantombuster supports about 20 popular websites cutting across social media, commerce, yellow pages, and discussion forums, among others. This can be used by non-coders.
- Pricing: Starts at $49 monthly for 100K API credits
- Free Trials: 1K free API calls
- Data Output Format: JSON
- Supported Platforms: Web API
ScrapingBee remains one of Apify’s web scraping solution strong contenders. While Apify requires you to install their SDK in other to use their tool, doing so is not a must for ScrapingBee. Just like Apify, ScrapingBee is developer-focused but unlike Apify that is specifically for NodeJS developers, ScrapingBee caters to programmers of other languages and platforms.
In fact, the ScrapingBee service is available as a web API. All you need to do is send it an API request and get the web page returned. You can use its SDK known as the ScrapingBee library to get structured data from web pages. Unlike Apify, ScrapingBee uses its own handles proxies so you do not have to and you only get to pay for successful requests.
- Pricing: Starts at $75 per month
- Free Trials: 14 days of free trial with limitations
- Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, SQLServer
- Supported Platform: Cloud, Desktop
This had made it quite popular among those interested in scraping but with no coding skills. Octoparse provides a point and click interface for identifying some of the data of interest then it will automatically identify similar elements on the page. The tool is not a free tool but as a new user, you are provided a 14 day free trial. Octoparse requires proxies to be added from your end.
- Pricing: Starts at $299 monthly
- Free Trials: 2-weeks free plan available
- Data Output Format: Many formats supported
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
The Diffbot is another alternative to Apify that is worth taking a look at. This tool provides one of the easiest ways to integrate web data at scale into your decision-making processes. With it, you can access data from trillions of web pages by extracting them on demand. As a new user, you are even allowed to use this web scraper for 2 weeks without even providing your credit card details which are impressive. Interestingly, you get full API access as paid users would. They have got an already prepared list of over 243 million companies and non-profit with over 50 data fields. They also periodically crawl e-commerce stores and news websites so that the data you are interested in is available – all you have to do is just ask for it and you get it.
- Pricing: Starts at $49.99 per month
- Free Trials: Starter plan is free – comes with limitations
- Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, Google Sheets, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop, Cloud
ScrapeStorm is not your web scraper – it is a web scraper powered by an AI to make your work easier and reduce manual operation. This tool has been built by an ex-Google crawler team and as such, you can tell that they have got experience under their sleeve by the features this bot comes with. ScrapeStorm can automatically identify data of interest on a web page which would save you the stress of pointing at data you want to scrape.
However, it does come with a point and click interface for manual operation should it not identify the data you are interested in. If you are looking for a tool that supports a range of export formats for files and databases, then ScrapeStorm is the tool for you.
- Pricing: Custom quote
- Free Trials: 30-days free limited plan available
- Data Output Format: CSV, JSON
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
Mozenda has one of the best web scraping solutions in the market and has got many of the Fortune 500 companies and big businesses using their web scraping solution to drive their growth and research including Tesla, IBM, AMD, and many others. The scraping technology offered by Mozenda eliminates the need to have your own web scraper. It is quite fast and could extract data from the web 5 times faster than many of the other solutions.
All you need to do is to identify the data you want whether it is text, files, images, or even PDF documents using the point and click features and the tool will extract and export it in the format you want – JSON, CSV, XML, TSV, and XLSX. They have got data-wrangling support and could even provide you a professional data service.
- Pricing: Freemium
- Free Trials: Freemium
- Data Output Format: CSV, XLSX, and JSON
- Supported Platform: Browser extension (Chrome and Firefox)
From the name of this tool, you can tell what it does – it scrapes the web of its data. And yes, it is one of the alternatives to Apify for those that do not know how to code or want to go technical. This tool comes in two flavors – the cloud scraper that comes with a price tag on it and some advanced features and a browser extension that you can use for free.
The browser extension works quite well and is a good alternative for those that do not have a budget reserved for paying for a web scraper. This tool is quite effective and can be used to scrape from all kinds of websites including Ajaxified webpages.
- Pricing: Free with a paid plan
- Free Trials: Free – advance features come at an extra cost
- Data Output Format: Excel, JSON,
- Supported Platform: Cloud, Desktop
ParseHub is another simple yet powerful solution that can be seen as an alternative to Apify. This one also does not require you to have a coding skill or any other technical skill aside from knowing how to use the mouse to point and click elements you see on the computer screen. Interestingly, it does have a free tier that you can use for free without paying a dime.
However, the true power of this tool is unleashed when you opt-in for their paid plan. With this tool, you can quickly convert a website into a spreadsheet in no time. It is quick easy to use and provides guides on its blog on how to use it for scraping popular websites.
- Pricing: Starts at $139 for a single user license
- Free Trials: Not available
- Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, XML. TSV, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop
WebHarvy is the tool you need if you are looking for a generic web scraper that you can use for scraping all kinds of websites including Single Page Applications. This tool comes with an intuitive user interface that is easy to understand even for first-time users. For scraping data, the tool provides you a point and click feature which you would use to identify some of the data while the tool identifies similar elements for you on the page.
It does not only scrape one page, it does have support for pagination. This tool can also be used for web automation aside from web scraping, making it have the most similar use case to Apify among visual web scrapes. This tool comes with scheduling and intelligent pattern detection.
No doubt, there are many choices you can choose from if you are not OK with Apify. There is no doubt that Apify is one of the best web scraping platforms out there and it has helped a good number of persons extract data from the Internet. We are also a fan of Apify and you can tell that from our web scraper recommendations.
However, they are not the tool for all and if you do not find it good enough or it lacks a feature you want, then you can make a choice from the list of Apify alternatives described above.