BotDefender, anti-scraping software for commerce


Protect your store from the automated retrieval of your prices by competitors.
Stop being outpriced every time you make a move. Best suited for retailers.

Not Protected
Very easy to extract
the price from the site
Protected with BotDefender
Hard or impossible
to extract the price
Your Page
Product page from
a typical online store

Watch on YouTube.

Getting started

REST API (learn more)


  • {page} identifies the page where the price is located.
  • {prices} is a semi-colon separated list of prices to be protected.

The response is the list (newline separated) of HTML snippets to be inserted in place of the original price. The GET request must be authenticated using Basic Authentication with the login/password provided by BotDefender.

Tip: cache the response for 24h for best performance.

Tar pitting

Tar pitting is a basic protection method made available by BotDefender. The snippet returned by BotDefender contains the logic for a JavaScript callback to retrieve the price from the BotDefender servers. From the end-user viewpoint, the process is unnoticeable; it's merely a tiny extra call, much lighter than say, Google Analytics, or any similar web tracker.

Technically, it means that the HTML of your site does not contain the prices any more. Thus, it forces your competitors to request content from BotDefender servers. However, by doing this, they become very visible to us. Indeed, no real customers is going to grab hundreds (if not thousands) of prices every day from your site.

When BotDefender detects an automated retrieval attempt, that is, a number of requests that is abnormally higher than what a human could possibly need, BotDefender gradually slowdowns the delivery of the prices, that is, BotDefender throws your competitor into a tar pit.

Tar pitting is better than simply denying connections, because it's much more complicated to bypass. Let BotDefender trigger all sorts of Heisenbugs in your competitor's scraping tools.

Stop competitors from getting your prices

stop being outpriced customer acquisition costs are higher than ever. Why should you lose a costly customer acquisition just because your competitor always aligns itself $1 below your price?

stop price wars if your competitors react in near real-time to your prices, then anytime you lower a price, they will lower their price as well. Let competitors pick other opponents to run their price wars.

drive competition crazy reverse-engineering BotDefender takes 1000 more time than setting it up. Keep competition distracted for months, while you make decisive moves on your core business.

it's free, no catch the Express Plan is free and does not expire. No hidden costs or catch involved. We have a paid plan with extra features but the Express Plan is fully functional.


Obfuscation is a more advanced protection method. The snippet returned by BotDefender is an intricate price of HTML and JavaScript designed to be very hard to decipher, no matter if it's the raw HTML or the DOM (Domain Object Model) that are analyzed.

Advantages of obfuscation over tar pitting are:

  • Zero overhead caused by an extra HTTP request to be made by the end-user. The snippet is self-contained and does not require any external resources to be rendered as the price.
  • Zero downtime as the snippet is self-contained; it does not matter whether the BotDefender servers are up or down: the mechanism keeps working without any dependency on BotDefender.
  • Zero leakage when obfuscation is used Lokad cannot collect any information about your web traffic. As far as data leakage is concerned, it can't be made more secure than that.

Lokad recommends obfuscation for high-traffic websites.