Oxylabs vs. Bright Data (for web scraping)

Oxylabs & Bright Data are known for their proxy services and have recently invested in web scraping. How do they compare?


This is the fourth in a series of articles we commissioned from an external developer (although Percival is a former Apifier). We want to create unbiased reviews of other web scraping companies as part of our continued evaluation of the industry.

Oxylabs and Bright Data are primarily known for their proxy services. However, they've recently been making significant investments in and improvements to their scraping API solutions.

But how exactly do their web scraping services work, and does the similar background of these two companies apply to their approach to web scraping?

That’s what we're going to explore in this article.

This article only analyzes the web scraping services provided by Bright Data and Oxylabs. Any other services offered by these companies are not considered, except for their impact on their web scraping offerings.

Oxylabs vs. Bright Data comparison table and summary

Responsive Table for Light and Dark Modes
Features Oxylabs Bright Data
Unlimited Free Plan ❌ (7-day free trial with 5,000 requests for each API offering) ❌ (1,000 page loads per scraper)
Library of ready-to-use APIs
Available data export formats JSON, HTML JSON, NDJSON, CSV
Scrape dynamic web pages (JavaScript rendering)
General Scraper API (for any web page)
High-scale enterprise plans
Cloud Integration (AWS S3, Google Cloud)
Proxy rotation, browser emulation, CAPTCHA bypass
Dataset Marketplace
Schedule one-off or repeating extractions
Scraping API Playground
Pricing Monthly plans with a set amount of requests. Pay-as-you-go options for low-demand users, plus monthly plans for high-demand users.

As the feature comparison table above illustrates, both companies are fairly similar in their offerings, but they can still vary significantly in key aspects such as the size of their API marketplace, their approaches to giving users control over the scraping process, and their pricing structures.

To kick things off, let’s start with an overview of each service and take a quick look at some of their most distinctive features.

Bright Data

Bright Data, a well-known proxy provider, has carved a place for itself in the web scraping world with its API marketplace, which focuses on providing specialized APIs for popular websites such as Amazon, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

While Bright Data offers a respectable API marketplace, it doesn't offer a “general scraper API” adaptable to any webpage.

However, it compensates for this with its Web IDE, a unique feature that allows developers to tweak existing scraper templates or build custom scrapers from scratch.

Another standout feature of Bright Data is its dataset marketplace, where users can purchase custom datasets from specific websites, eliminating the need to engage in the scraping process altogether.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these features and see how they work from a user’s perspective.

API Marketplace

Bright Data offers a collection of 65 APIs focused on scraping popular websites such as Amazon, LinkedIn and Crunchbase.

BrightData Web Scraper API

Using the API endpoints is fairly simple, thanks to the visual API request builder that helps you configure curl requests for Bash, PowerShell, and Windows CMD.

However, one downside is the lack of code examples in popular languages such as Node.js and Python.

While you can figure out the implementation from the documentation, having ready-made examples would be a convenient touch and is almost an expected feature across all API scraping services.

It wouldn’t hurt for Bright Data to add more code examples to their request builder and documentation.

BrightData API Request Builder

Web Scraping IDE

The Web Scraping IDE was a positive surprise for me while playing around with Bright Data’s platform.

The IDE offers a great contrast to their specialized API marketplace, giving developers the freedom to build their own scrapers directly on the platform or tweak the code from existing templates to adapt the scraping logic to their needs.

With Bright Data’s Web Scraping IDE, you're offered the option to either build a scraper from scratch or start from one of their templates, like the Amazon Products template illustrated in the image below.

BrightData Webscraping IDE - Amazon Product Template

After you're done building the scraper you can click on “Finish editing” and access and edit your scraper configuration in the “My scrapers” tab.

BrightData My Scrapers Tab

While I liked the idea behind the IDE, the UI isn’t very intuitive, and the whole process can feel a bit clunky at times.

I sorely missed having the option to work on the template locally and then deploy the code to Bright Data for the final configuration, which is a common feature in other web scraping platforms such as Apify.

Having this option would make for a much better developer experience, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to do that.

Efficiency is part of our code

Regarding the UI, it's often not clear for a new user where to find all the information about their scraper and its runs. A better onboarding process and a less monochromatic color scheme might help users navigate the information about their scraper at a glance.

Dataset Marketplace

Bright Data’s dataset marketplace is pretty straightforward. You choose the website from which you need data from the available list and buy the tailored dataset either through a recurring subscription or a one-time purchase.

However, be aware that the cost for a dataset can be steep, with the minimum order being $500.

BrightData Dataset Marketplace


Oxylabs, like Bright Data, is a prominent proxy provider that's stepping up its web scraping solutions.

Oxylabs offers a more limited library of specialized scraping APIs compared to BrightData, but it compensates for this by offering a general scraper API that can be adjusted to scrape virtually any website.

Additionally, Oxylabs provides an excellent Scraper APIs Playground that makes testing and building your API requests super easy.

To see how this all works in practice, let’s explore each feature in detail.

API Marketplace

Oxylabs’s API marketplace is divided into three product clusters:

  • E-Commerce Scraper API (Amazon and Google Shopping)
  • The SERP Scraper API (Google and Bing)
  • The Web Scraper API (general scraping).

Each product cluster has its own free trial and pricing plan, which consists of three tiers: Micro, Starter, and Advanced, costing $49, $99, and $249 respectively.

Oxylabs API Marketplace

Overall, the pricing model and value proposition of the APIs are very clear and easy to understand.

Sending your first request is as simple as hitting the “Quick Start” button and copying the curl request it provides.

But where Oxylabs really shines is with their Scraper APIs Playground, which we'll explore next.

Scraper APIs Playground

This is easily my favorite feature from Oxylabs and perhaps its most distinctive.

While API playgrounds are not hard to come by, and similar features can be found in products like ScraperAPI, this is the first time I’ve seen one with such a clean, intuitive UI that also provides a live preview of the actual scraped page.

Oxylabs Scraper APIs Playground

Returning to the comparison between Oxylabs and Bright Data, Oxylabs’ Scraper APIs Playground is a great example of what BrightData should emulate to improve the user experience on their platform.

Oxylabs addresses the two main criticisms I had for BrightData: its lackluster UI and the absence of code examples for calling the API in popular languages like Node.js and Python.

Oxylabs’ playground masterfully delivers on both of these features, as illustrated by the images.

Oxylabs Scraper APIs Playground Code Example


Pricing-wise, Oxylabs seems to have a more streamlined and productized pricing structure, similar to other services in the industry.

You pay a monthly fee for a set amount of requests and other relevant resources, such as proxy rotation and access to specific APIs.

Oxylabs pricing

Bright Data, on the other hand, still relies heavily on its sales team.

To get any data collection plan, you must contact them for a quote, and a reply can take up to two business days.

This lengthy process can be a major turn-off for users who want to manage everything themselves and start using the product right away without needing specific quotes.

The price is also considerably above the market average, with 1,000 records costing as much as $7 on the Pay As You Go plan.

In contrast, 1,000 requests on Oxylabs’ Micro plan cost $2.80.

Bright Data pricing

Free plans

Oxylabs’ free trial offers 5,000 free requests, which you have seven days to use.

This free plan applies to each product individually, so, for example, if you want to try their Web Scraper API and the E-Commerce API, you'll get 5,000 requests for each API.

Bright Data’s free trial, on the other hand, puts you instantly on a pay-as-you-go plan where you get 1,000 free requests per API endpoint offered in their API marketplace.

However, the free plan also locks you out of some features and proxy options on the platform.

Despite being quite limited, neither service requires you to provide your payment information beforehand, so you can jump right into the free trial without worrying about your card being charged.

Conclusion: Should you choose Bright Data or Oxylabs?

When it comes to scraping performance, both services deliver on what they promise and offer reliable scraping solutions.

With a more comprehensive API marketplace, Bright Data is more likely to have a ready-to-use API for your use case.

However, due to their pricing structure, the necessity to contact an account manager for a quote, and the high ticket price on their services, it's clear that Bright Data is focused on high-volume scraping users.

Oxylabs offers more accessible pricing compared to Bright Data.

Despite having a more limited selection of ready-to-use APIs, it compensates with its general Web Scraper API.

The downside of Oxylabs is that if you need access to more than one of its web scraping clusters, you'll need to pay for a separate plan for each. The credits available seem to be restricted to the cluster you contracted and are not transferable to other scrapers.

With a more intuitive UI and accommodating prices, Oxylabs might be the best fit for most self-service users looking to scrape a low to moderate amount of data.

Conversely, Bright Data can make sense for large-scale, enterprise-level operations since their prices tend to get significantly more attractive for large-scale scraping activities. Their more hands-on approach to account management, while being a nuisance for low-volume users, can be a desirable feature when you're scraping millions of data points every day and need to ensure the integrity of this data.

Want a better alternative to Oxylabs and Bright Data?

Read more reviews

If you want more comparisons like this, check out Zyte vs. Apify vs. Crawlbase, ScraperAPI vs. Apify, ScrapingBee review: is it worth it?, and Best ScrapingBee alternatives.

Also, check out Apify vs. other web scraping services here.

Percival Villalva
Percival Villalva
Developer Advocate on a mission to help developers build scalable, human-like bots for data extraction and web automation.

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