9 Best Java Web Scraping Libraries in 2023

Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites automatically through code instead of manual copying and pasting. With the rise of big data, web scraping has become an essential technique for gathering online information at scale.

Java is one of the most popular programming languages used for web scraping due to its versatility, performance, and the availability of many robust scraping libraries. But with so many Java scraping tools out there, how do you choose the right one for your project?

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top Java libraries for web scraping and provide code examples so you can see how each one works. We will cover key factors to consider when selecting a library and provide recommendations for different use cases.

Key Factors When Choosing a Java Web Scraping Library

When evaluating Java scraping libraries, here are some of the most important considerations:

Dynamic Content and JavaScript Support

Many websites today rely heavily on JavaScript to dynamically load content. A good scraping library should be able to render JavaScript and interact with dynamic webpages like a real browser.

Anti-Scraping Protection Bypassing

Websites employ various anti-scraping mechanisms like CAPTCHAs, IP blocking, and throttling limits. The best scraping tools provide ways to bypass these protections through proxies, headless browsers, and rotating IPs.

Ease of Use and Documentation

Look for libraries with straightforward APIs and ample documentation. This ensures you can easily integrate them into your codebase and find answers when issues arise.

Scalability and Infrastructure Management

For large scale web scraping, the library should provide ways to scale up through distributed crawling architecures. It should also handle infrastructure needs like proxies and browsers instead of leaving it all up to you.

Built-in Parsing Capabilities

To extract the data you need, HTML parsing functionality is essential. Libraries with integrated parsing save you time and effort.

Pricing Model

Open source libraries are free but can have complex setups. Paid tools handle the infrastructure but cost more. Consider pricing carefully based on your budget and needs.

Top Java Web Scraping Libraries

Now let's dive into 10 of the best Java web scraping libraries and see code examples of how each one works.

1. Selenium

Selenium is arguably the most popular browser automation library used for web scraping. It simulates a real browser by controlling Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers.


  • Powerful for interacting with dynamic webpages and JavaScript
  • Open source
  • Cross-browser support


  • Requires configuring proxies and infrastructure yourself
  • Difficult to scale

Here is an example of using Selenium in Java to extract a page title:

// Java
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class SeleniumScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();


    String title = driver.getTitle();




This launches Chrome and navigates to example.com to extract the page title.

2. Jsoup

Jsoup is a very popular Java library focused on HTML parsing and manipulation. It provides a convenient API for extracting and processing data from HTML documents.


  • Excellent for parsing HTML
  • Well-documented
  • Large community behind it


  • No proxy management or anti-scraping capabilities

Here is an example using Jsoup to scrape a page title:

// Java 
import org.jsoup.Jsoup;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Document;

public class JsoupScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

    Document doc = Jsoup.connect("https://example.com").get();
    String title = doc.title();



Jsoup fetches the HTML and parses it into a Document object we can then query to extract the title tag.

3. Bright Data

Bright Data manages a large, reliable network of residential proxies to power your scraper and prevent bot blockages.


  • Massive pool of 72 million IPs
  • Automatic CAPTCHA solving
  • Customizable headers


  • Manual integration required
  • Datacenter proxies cost more

Here is an example using Bright Data's proxies in Java to prevent blocks:

// Java

import java.net.URI;
import java.net.http.HttpClient;
import java.net.http.HttpRequest;
import java.net.http.HttpResponse;

public class BrightDataScraper {

  private static final String CUSTOMER = "cust123"; 
  private static final String PASSWORD = "pw456";

  public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException, InterruptedException {

    HttpClient client = HttpClient.newBuilder()
        .proxy(ProxySelector.of(new InetSocketAddress("proxy.brightdata.com", 8080)))
    HttpRequest request = HttpRequest.newBuilder()
        .header("Proxy-Authorization", "Basic " + Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString((CUSTOMER + "-" + PASSWORD).getBytes()))

    HttpResponse<String> response = client.send(request, HttpResponse.BodyHandlers.ofString());



This routes the request through Bright Data's proxy with authentication to prevent blocks.

4. WebMagic

WebMagic is an open source Java scraping library focused on making large scale crawlers fast and easy to build.


  • Lightning fast crawling
  • Scales to large sites
  • Well-documented


  • No built-in browser or JavaScript execution

Below we extract the H1 from a page using WebMagic:

// Java

import us.codecraft.webmagic.Page;
import us.codecraft.webmagic.Site;
import us.codecraft.webmagic.processor.PageProcessor;
public class WebMagicScraper implements PageProcessor {

  private Site site = Site.me().setRetryTimes(3).setSleepTime(1000);

  public void process(Page page) {
    page.putField("title", page.getHtml().xpath("//h1/text()")); 

  public Site getSite() {
    return site; 

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    WebMagicScraper scraper = new WebMagicScraper(); 

The process() method parses the H1 text here.

5. jNetPcap

jNetPcap provides a Java API for accessing network traffic at the packet level, allowing you to build powerful scraping tools.


  • Very flexible network access
  • Avoid domain blacklists
  • Analyze network traffic


  • Lower level than most libraries
  • Advanced programming skills needed

This example prints HTTP response packets from a URL:

// Java

import org.jnetpcap.Pcap;
import org.jnetpcap.packet.PcapPacket;
import org.jnetpcap.packet.format.FormatUtils;
import org.jnetpcap.protocol.network.Ip4;
import org.jnetpcap.protocol.tcpip.Http;

public class JNetPcapScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    Pcap pcap = Pcap.openOffline("captured_packets.pcap");

    while (true) {
      PcapPacket packet = pcap.getNextPacket();
      if (packet == null) break;

      Ip4 ip = new Ip4();
      ip.scan(packet.getByteArray(0, packet.size())); 

      if (ip.source().toString().equals("")) {
        Http http = new Http();
        http.scan(packet.getByteArray(ip.offset(), packet.size()));

        if (http.content() != null) {
              + " ==> " + new String(http.content()));


As you can see, this provides very low level network access to analyze traffic.

6. Apache Nutch

Apache Nutch is a popular open source web crawler targeted at very large scale scraping projects.


  • Mature crawler optimized for huge sites
  • Pluggable architecture
  • Integrates with Solr, Hadoop, Spark


  • Complex configuration
  • Primarily built for search indexing

This initializes a Nutch crawler:

// Java
import org.apache.nutch.crawl.Crawl;
import org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configuration;
import org.apache.nutch.util.NutchConfiguration;

public class ApacheNutchScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

    String url = "https://example.com/";
    Configuration conf = NutchConfiguration.create();
    Crawl crawl = new Crawl(conf);



Nutch then handles crawling the entire site and storing data.

7. Scrapy

Scrapy is an extremely popular Python scraping framework. scrapy4j allows using it from Java.


  • Very robust and full-featured
  • Great for complex sites
  • Thorough documentation


  • Python focused
  • Some Java interoperability challenges

This Java Scrapy example extracts text from a page:

// Java

import scrapy4j.Request;
import scrapy4j.Spider;
import scrapy4j.http.Response;

public class ScrapySpider extends Spider {

  public void startRequests() {
    Request request = Request.build("https://example.com", this); 

  public void parse(Response response) {
    String text = response.xpath("//p").get();


The parse() method here shows Scrapy's built-in XPath extraction.

8. HtmlUnit

HtmlUnit is a “headless” browser library for Java useful for scraping scenarios where you need to simulate a browser.


  • Executes JavaScript
  • Handles cookies/sessions
  • Mature library


  • Cannot fully emulate advanced browser behavior

This example uses HtmlUnit to extract page text:

// Java
import com.gargoylesoftware.htmlunit.WebClient;
import com.gargoylesoftware.htmlunit.html.HtmlPage;

public class HtmlUnitScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

    WebClient webClient = new WebClient();
    HtmlPage page = webClient.getPage("https://example.com");

    String text = page.getBody().getTextContent(); 



9. Jaunt

Jaunt is lightweight Java library focused on simple scraping of static HTML pages.


  • Very easy to use
  • Lightning fast extractions
  • Active community


  • No JavaScript execution
  • Limited to basic pages

This Jaunt example extracts the page title:

// Java
import com.jaunt.*;

public class JauntScraper {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws JauntException {
    UserAgent userAgent = new UserAgent();

    String title = userAgent.doc.findFirst("title").getTextContent(); 



Recommendations and Best Practices

Now that we've explored numerous Java scraping libraries, let's discuss how to select the right one and best practices.

For robust protection against bot blocking and captchas, a proxy network like Bright Data is highly recommended. With 72 million IPs spanning 195 countries, it will allow you to scrape at scale while avoiding nearly all anti-scraping barriers.

For fast and easy HTML parsing, Jsoup is a top choice. It enables extracting exactly the data you need from HTML/XML with a wide range of queries and transformations.

When browser automation is required, Selenium and HtmlUnit are leading options depending on whether you need full JavaScript support or headless scraping.

For large scale crawling of huge sites, Apache Nutch and WebMagic both provide excellent distributed architectures.

If simplicity and speed are the priority, ZenRows, Jaunt, and Scrapy make scraping easy without requiring complex infrastructure setup.

In specialized cases where analyzing network traffic directly is beneficial, jNetPcap grants low level access.

No matter which library you choose, make sure to use proxies and headless browsers to mimic organic human visitors. Rotate them frequently to avoid blocks. Also carefully follow robots.txt rules and any restrictions websites indicate.


There are many powerful Java libraries for handling anything from simple HTML scraping to complex large scale web crawling. Choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and goals. This guide provided code examples and recommendations to help you select the optimal toolkit.

The great versatility of Java combined with its wide range of scraping libraries make it one of the best choices for robust web data extraction. With the techniques explored here, you now have the knowledge to scrape websites effectively in Java and obtain the data you need.

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