Node Unblocker: The Ultimate Tool for Web Scraping

Apr 4, 2024 · 7 min read

What is Node Unblocker?

Node Unblocker is a powerful tool for web scraping. It's a Node.js library that helps you bypass restrictions and access web content seamlessly.

With Node Unblocker, you can easily create a proxy server. This proxy server acts as an intermediary between your scraper and the target website.

Node Unblocker is open-source and easy to set up. It's a go-to solution for many web scraping enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Different Use Cases for Node Unblocker

Node Unblocker is versatile and has multiple use cases:

  1. Bypassing IP restrictions: Some websites block certain IP addresses. Node Unblocker helps you bypass these restrictions by routing your requests through a proxy.
  2. Avoiding rate limiting: Websites often limit the number of requests from a single IP. With Node Unblocker, you can distribute your requests across multiple IPs, avoiding rate limits.
  3. Accessing geo-restricted content: Some websites serve different content based on the user's location. Node Unblocker allows you to access geo-restricted content by using proxies from different regions.
  4. Scraping at scale: When scraping large amounts of data, Node Unblocker helps you scale your scraping operations by creating a pool of proxies.

Core Benefits in Web Scraping

Node Unblocker offers several key benefits for web scraping:

  1. Anonymity: By using proxies, Node Unblocker helps you maintain anonymity while scraping. This reduces the risk of your scraper being detected and blocked.
  2. Reliability: With Node Unblocker, you can rotate proxies and handle failures gracefully. This ensures your scraper remains reliable even if some proxies fail.
  3. Speed: Node Unblocker allows you to parallelize your scraping requests across multiple proxies. This can significantly speed up your scraping process.
  4. Flexibility: Node Unblocker is highly customizable. You can configure it to suit your specific scraping needs, such as setting request headers, cookies, and more.

Creating a Proxy Service Using Node Unblocker

Let's dive into creating a proxy service using Node Unblocker. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Install Node.js and npm on your machine.

Step 2: Create a new directory for your project and navigate to it:

mkdir node-unblocker-proxy
cd node-unblocker-proxy

Step 3: Initialize a new Node.js project and install the necessary dependencies:

npm init -y
npm install express node-unblocker

Step 4: Create a new file named proxy.js and add the following code:

const express = require('express');
const unblocker = require('node-unblocker');

const app = express();

  requestMiddleware: [],
  responseMiddleware: [],

const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Proxy server listening on port ${port}`);

Step 5: Run the proxy server:

node proxy.js

Your proxy server is now up and running on http://localhost:8080.

Publishing to Heroku

To make your proxy service accessible from anywhere, you can deploy it to a platform like Heroku. Here's how:

Step 1: Create a Heroku account and install the Heroku CLI.

Step 2: Create a new Heroku app:

heroku create your-app-name

Step 3: Push your code to Heroku:

git push heroku main

Heroku will automatically detect your Node.js app and deploy it.

Step 4: Open your app in a browser:

heroku open

Your proxy service is now accessible at

Creating a Proxy Pool for Web Scraping

When scraping at scale, using a single proxy may not be enough. You can create a proxy pool using Node Unblocker to distribute your requests across multiple proxies. Here's an example:

const express = require('express');
const unblocker = require('node-unblocker');

const app = express();

const proxyPool = [

let currentProxyIndex = 0;

  requestMiddleware: [],
  responseMiddleware: [],
  prefix: '/proxy/',
  host: proxyPool[currentProxyIndex],

app.use((req, res, next) => {
  currentProxyIndex = (currentProxyIndex + 1) % proxyPool.length;

const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Proxy server listening on port ${port}`);

In this example, we define an array of proxy URLs in proxyPool. The currentProxyIndex keeps track of the current proxy being used. Each request is routed through a different proxy in a round-robin fashion.

Further Customizations

Node Unblocker offers various customization options to tailor it to your specific needs. Here are a few examples:

Setting request headers: You can modify the request headers sent by Node Unblocker to mimic a real browser. For example:

  requestMiddleware: [
    (client_req, client_res, next) => {
      client_req.headers['User-Agent'] = 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/93.0.4577.82 Safari/537.36';
  responseMiddleware: [],

Handling cookies: You can persist cookies across requests to maintain session state. Node Unblocker provides a built-in cookie jar middleware:

const cookieJarMiddleware = require('node-unblocker/lib/cookies');

  requestMiddleware: [cookieJarMiddleware],
  responseMiddleware: [],

Modifying response content: You can modify the response content before it reaches the client. For example, you can remove certain elements or inject custom scripts:

  requestMiddleware: [],
  responseMiddleware: [
    (client_req, client_res, next) => {

Advanced Usage: Headless Browsers

For more complex scraping scenarios, you can combine Node Unblocker with headless browsers like Puppeteer or Playwright. This allows you to interact with dynamic web pages and handle JavaScript-rendered content.

Here's an example using Puppeteer:

const puppeteer = require('puppeteer');

(async () => {
  const browser = await puppeteer.launch();
  const page = await browser.newPage();

  await page.setRequestInterception(true);
  page.on('request', (request) => {
      url: `http://localhost:8080/proxy/${request.url()}`,

  await page.goto('<>');

  // Perform scraping actions

  await browser.close();

In this example, we launch a Puppeteer browser and intercept all requests. Each request is routed through the Node Unblocker proxy server. This allows you to scrape dynamic web pages while utilizing the benefits of Node Unblocker.

Best Practices

When using Node Unblocker for web scraping, consider the following best practices:

  1. Respect website terms of service: Always review and comply with the target website's terms of service and robots.txt file.
  2. Use reasonable request rates: Avoid overwhelming the target website with too many requests. Implement appropriate delays between requests to avoid getting blocked.
  3. Rotate IP addresses: Use a pool of proxies and rotate IP addresses to distribute the scraping load and reduce the risk of detection.
  4. Handle errors gracefully: Implement proper error handling and retry mechanisms to handle failed requests and proxy failures.
  5. Keep your scraper up to date: Regularly update your scraper and Node Unblocker to ensure compatibility with the latest website changes and security measures.

Limitations of Node Unblocker

While Node Unblocker is a powerful tool for web scraping, it's important to be aware of its limitations:

  1. No built-in browser rendering: Node Unblocker does not include a built-in browser rendering engine. For scraping dynamic websites that heavily rely on JavaScript, you may need to combine it with a headless browser like Puppeteer or Playwright.
  2. Limited IP pool: The effectiveness of Node Unblocker depends on the quality and diversity of the proxy pool you use. If your proxy pool is limited or contains many unreliable proxies, it can impact the performance and success rate of your scraper.
  3. Not a complete anonymity solution: While Node Unblocker helps you maintain a level of anonymity, it's not a foolproof solution. Websites can still employ advanced techniques to detect and block scrapers, such as analyzing request patterns or using browser fingerprinting.
  4. Requires maintenance: As websites evolve and update their anti-scraping measures, you may need to regularly update and maintain your Node Unblocker setup to ensure its effectiveness.

Despite these limitations, Node Unblocker remains a valuable tool in a web scraper's arsenal. When used in combination with other techniques and best practices, it can greatly enhance your web scraping capabilities.

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