What Are HTTP Cookies And Web Storage? How Do They Affect My Scraping?

Feb 28, 2023

What Are HTTP Cookies And Web Storage? How Do They Affect My Scraping?

Every day, about 5 billion individuals use the internet actively and engage with HTTP cookies in one way or another. HTTP cookies offer you a streamlined and tailored online experience in many ways; however, some people frequently disregard or misunderstand these features.

HTTP cookies enable web developers to make website visits more convenient and tailored, independent of the user end. Together with the advantages that HTTP cookies provide, security issues should also be taken into account. Many people are concerned about the privacy and security of their personal information, a topic that has gained more attention in recent years.

Developers cannot avoid cookies in any way. A cookie is just as crucial to the internet as any language. Both for the programmer and the user, cookies have made our journey more accessible and better. Simply put, a cookie is basically textual data about a website. Some data is retained in your local system when you visit a particular website. This enables the website to recognize you when you return and display the results based on your preferences. Cookies have a lengthy history on the internet and have excelled in their development. 

The web page is requested from the server when you visit a website. Every request is different for the server that receives it. As a result, even if you visit a dozen times, the site will still treat each request as unique. Given the volume of requests at it, it is apparent and rational not to save every user's data on the server. The same information might be excessive if you never return.

So, the server transmits the cookies and the response saved on your local machine to uniquely remember you. The server will now respond to you appropriately the next time you contact it since it will remember you.

Why use Cookies?

Cookies were developed because developers required data on the user to improve their experience. You select the English option in the website's language menu. You might need to switch languages five times if you access the same site five times daily. As a result, this data is stored on your system as a cookie. The server will therefore be aware the next time you send a request that you wish to view the website in English. Cookies are crucial in this situation.

Using an HTTP Cookie

HTTP Cookies are tiny data packets transmitted from a web server to a user's browser. They are often referred to as web cookies, web browsing cookies, or just cookies.

A user's web browser will typically keep a cookie delivered from a server as a way to preserve continuous data about the user even after they leave the provided website, even though it relies on how a website or app uses cookies. A user's login information, the products in their cart, or the settings tab and preferences are a few examples of the kinds of data that a cookie might store.

A server transmits a small amount of information called an HTTP cookie (also known as a web cookie or browser cookie) to a user's web browser. The cookie could be saved by the browser and sent back to the same server with subsequent requests. For instance, an HTTP cookie is typically used to determine whether two requests originated from the same browser, keeping a user signed in.  

In many cases, cookies are essential for websites requiring a login and custom themes. To know a bit more about HTTP cookies, it is crucial to read out their primary uses, such as management of sessions, personalization, and tracking.

User's interactions with a single website are referred to as sessions. This covers a variety of operations, including logging in and adding items to shopping carts. Users can browse the web more efficiently as a result of not having to waste time on monotonous tasks.

HTTP Cookies and Web Scraping

Web scraping or data extraction is a process used to retrieve vast amounts of data from different websites and download and save the information in a computer database.  Web scraping can take a very long time if you manually copy and paste a lot of data onto a website where you need to be allowed to save the page. Therefore, they favor online scraping tools or software requiring less time to use. Moreover, websites may occasionally include significant priceless information; thus, these tools can greatly simplify your search.

One of the critical components of web scraping is to match human behavior. In any other case, web servers may detect web scraping as dangerous bot behavior, increasing the likelihood that it would be stopped. You may still receive error messages from targeted websites, although web scraping action is not blocked.

The correct HTTP cookies must be utilized when accessing data to necessary web pages in order to access the required data. There is a reasonable risk that the user may flag your web scraping activity as suspicious if they visit a page inside a website and the response does not include cookies from the main web page.

Developers can use appropriate cookies to simulate an utterly distinct user for each request. The most significant aspect is that all Python libraries have built-in HTTP cookie management that you would use to send requests.


Both developers and end users can benefit significantly from HTTP cookies. They have been on the internet for a while and offer opportunities to comprehend people's interests and enhance their user experience. Using web scraping operations requires knowledge of how web storage and HTTP cookies work. However, according to Rainproxy, a trusted proxy provider, when it comes to IP blocking, you can easily avoid it by using the correct proxy network.

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