As a frequent web user, you must have encountered interruptions when accessing an online service too often, asking you to prove that you’re not a robot. This disruption often causes users frustration or confusion, especially when they don’t understand what’s causing them and whether they are trustworthy.
This article explains what CAPTCHA is and the associated triggers, and how to avoid it so you can enjoy surfing stress-free.
What Is CAPTCHA and How It Works
CAPTCHA is short for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. It is an online test to discern whether a user is a human or a computer program. Although these tests are relatively easy for humans, bots wouldn’t manage to answer them correctly.
CAPTCHA was introduced to the internet to combat automation bots. Individuals and companies use bots to replace repetitive tasks that humans should handle. Since these robots are automated, they are much faster than humans.
However, bots have numerous downsides as cybercriminals can often use them for illegal activities like spam, fraud, and theft.
Types of CAPTCHA
The goal of CAPTCHA is to help websites avoid spam. CAPTCHA prevents bots from stealing digital content and posting hateful comments, among other harmful things. While it’s an excellent tool for preventing automated activity, it’s not ideal for people dealing with legitimate research.
Below are some of the common CAPTCHA types you may have interacted with before:
- Image CAPTCHA
This is the most popular type you’ll find online. Google’s reCAPTCHA asks users to identify objects in images and click on the squares with the item of interest, e.g., bridges, trucks, planes, etc.
- Math CAPTCHA
As the name suggests, this type requires users to solve a simple mathematical problem correctly, e.g., “2+12”.
- Time-based CAPTCHA
These record how long a visitor spends filling out forms. But since bots respond much faster than humans, CAPTCHA notices and rejects them.
- Social media login CAPTCHAs
Some sites ask their clients to sign in with their social media accounts. This is the strictest type and most annoying to users who don’t want to share their private data elsewhere.
This type isn’t easy to discover since they are hidden using CSS attributes by actual users. Honeypots are designed to lure cyber attackers and study the hacking attempts used. So when bots meet honeypots, they automatically report themselves as bots.
Cons of CAPTCHA
While it’s great at preventing malicious bot activities, CAPTCHA makes things harder than they need to be for innocent visitors. Here are the key cons of using CAPTCHA:
- They waste users’ time
CAPTCHA wastes people’s time in numerous ways. Say you want to buy a limited edition shoe from a famous brand and encounter a CAPTCHA test. You’ll have to take time to solve the test while hundreds of bots are already completing purchases. The result is often an “out of stock” message.
- They hurt the user experience
Imagine a potential client shopping on your website and encountering a CAPTCHA test. If they give the wrong answer, they’ll have to do another test. They’ll likely not shop with you again by the time they are done. Worse still, they may give up as soon as they fail the first test.
- They can hurt your business
Since CAPTCHAs take time to solve, your customers will soon become frustrated. This translates into an estimated 40% lower conversion rate, meaning you’ll generate fewer leads and sales altogether.
How to Avoid CAPTCHAs
Although CAPTCHAs are easily triggered by suspicious activity, you can still manage to avoid them. Below are a few precautions to make surfing time more enjoyable.
- Check for honeypots
Since honeypot CAPTCHAs are hidden with CSS, you must ensure your bot checks every CSS element before interacting with it. If the visibility is turned off and the display is hidden, it’s likely a honeypot.
- Make the requests at random times
One easy way to avoid triggering CAPTCHAs is to randomize your request times. Since bots are known to be extremely fast and repetitive, your best bet is to delay each request. This way, you won’t overwhelm the website.
- Use rotating residential proxies
CAPTCHAs identify bots by their speed and repetitive visits to sites via the same IP address. So, the best way to avoid a Captcha is by using reliable proxies to avoid Google reCAPTCHA. And this is where rotating residential proxies come in. These proxies rotate such that your IP address changes with each request or after a certain period. This way, it will look like numerous humans are surfing from their homes, thus avoiding CAPTCHAa triggers.
The Best CAPTCHA Proxies
Your best bet to avoid running into CAPTCHAs while surfing or doing your research is to use rotating proxies. So if you want a place to buy residential proxies, look no further than IPRoyal. Our residential IP addresses come from real devices, meaning you’ll never get blocked.