Status Code Error 403 - How to Avoid?

Encountering an HTTP 403 status code during web scraping signals that access to the requested content is forbidden. This can stem from various factors, particularly when using proxies, as they play a pivotal role in how a website perceives a scraper’s request.

Common Causes of 403 Errors with Proxies

  • Mismatched Request Headers: Websites scrutinize request headers for anomalies. Discrepancies in headers like X-Requested-With, X-CSRF-Token, Origin, or Referer can trigger a 403 error. Aligning these headers with the website’s expectations is crucial.
  • Incomplete Cookies: Session cookies or specific tokens that authenticate a user session may be missing, leading to access denial.
  • Proxy Detection: Some websites have mechanisms to detect proxy usage. If a scraper’s proxy is recognized as part of a known datacenter IP range, a 403 error might be issued as a block against scraping activities.

Reducing 403 Errors with the Right Proxies

  • Rotating Residential Proxies: These proxies come from real devices with legitimate ISP connections, making them less likely to be flagged compared to datacenter proxies. Their dynamic nature allows for IP rotation, reducing the chance of detection and blockage.
  • ISP Proxies: Offering a blend of residential proxy legitimacy and datacenter proxy speed, ISP proxies (static) are assigned by actual Internet Service Providers. This makes them highly reliable, significantly lowering the risk of encountering 403 errors.

Enhancing Success Rates with Advanced Solutions

Services like Bright Data’s Web Unlocker go a step further by not just rotating IPs but also providing unique user agents and fingerprints for each request. This mimics genuine user behavior more closely, helping to:

  • Avoid Detection: By altering fingerprints and user agents, scrapers can evade detection mechanisms that websites use to identify and block automated data collection.
  • Maintain Access: Utilizing such tools ensures continued access to target websites by effectively bypassing common triggers for 403 errors.


While HTTP 403 errors pose challenges to web scraping, understanding their root causes from a proxy perspective opens avenues for effective reduction. Opting for high-quality residential or ISP proxies can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering these errors. Moreover, leveraging services like the Web Unlocker can enhance your scraping operations by ensuring your requests remain undetected, thus maintaining uninterrupted access to crucial web data.

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