If you are super concerned about your privacy on the Internet, you have either considered using a proxy or VPN.  Both of these offered increased security for stable internet connection, but the integral question is how they differ. it is crucial to know the difference between VPN and proxy servers when selecting the appropriate tool for the right job.  

Proxy servers and VPNs protect user identities and are regarded as the top tools for secure content access. Since both of the services get the job done quickly and efficiently, people tend to speak them interchangeably.  However, it is important to note that one protects your privacy and the other one does not. So let’s dig deeper in Proxy vs VPN and how are they different.  

Proxy and VPN Defined

 Both VPN and Proxy are online services that efficiently mask your IP address by rerouting the traffic through a remote server.  Proxy only works for a single application or service while VPN fully secures your internet traffic and encrypts it for extra privacy and security.

 What’s the proxy server and how does it work?

When you are browsing on web, your computer connects directly with the website and starts downloading pages for you to read. A proxy server is the perfect gateway between the user and the internet. This intermediary server lies between the end user and the pages they visit.  When using the server computer will first send all your web traffic to the proxy first.  The proxy directly passes on the request to the website, downloads all the information, and passes it back to you.

 By efficiently masking IP addresses, proxy users allow to bypass content monitoring and restrictions.  In this way, users can easily view all the geographically restricted content.  The proxy server set up like firewalls or web filters and completely protects the data from cyber-attacks.

 Types of Proxy Servers

 Generally, there are three main types of proxy servers:

  • HTTP Proxies- They are specifically for the web pages.  If you set up your browser with an HTTP proxy server, all the web traffic will be rerouted through it.
  •  SOCKS Proxies- These proxies are not solely for web traffic but also work best at the application level. Although they have the specialty to handle all kinds of traffic, they are much slower than HTTP due to higher load.
  •  Transparent Proxies- these proxies are often set up by parents or employers to monitor the user activity and block access to certain content. These are distinct proxies as users are generally not aware of them.  Most often they are used in hotels and cafes to authenticate users on public WIFI and also to save bandwidth.

Moreover, private proxies are also available but they aren’t as secure as VPNs. Instead, they only offer a single IP address that they can use solely. It ensures that users remain easily traceable  but separate Ip address has its special benefits.

What’s VPN  and how does it work?

 Like the proxy server VPNs also reroute the internet traffic and efficiently mask the IP address so websites are not able to see your original IP address.  However, in the case of VPN, the internet traffic runs through an encrypted tunnel between the remote VPN network and the user’s computer and device making it an effective solution for complete security.  

 A good and reliable VPN service ensures that the users can securely browse the internet especially when using public WIFI. Through the use of VPN, your ISP can no longer see your browsing history.  This robust encryption will protect you from government surveillance, website tracking and protect your full fledge data from hackers or snoopers. Thus, VPN provides increased privacy and security.

VPN vs Proxy

ProxyVPN
 Main PurposeProtects the browser and data of the specific applicationProtect the entire traffic on the device
Encryption no yes
 Good forPrivate Web Browsing Preventing ISP tracking Changing IP address Private Web Browsing  Changing IP address

When making a decision between a proxy and VPN, small and large-scale business should take care of the  following aspects:

Security

Proxy servers can hide your identity from the website but one main thing they don’t encrypt your web traffic. Using public proxy results in a less secure connection than connecting web server through browser.  VPNs are a safe and secure solution because they encrypt all your web traffic before sending it to the client and also hide your identity from ISP.

Privacy

Both VPN and proxy servers hide the IP address and handle data in multiple ways. The proxy servers act as a middleman between the internet and the user.  Although they hide IP address but does not secure the data that is sent and received.  While on the other hand, VPN protects the full fledge data with end-to-end encryption and masking of IP addresses.  Even if the hackers have the data they will be unable to decode the information and cannot intercept the data.

Speed

Proxy is a single server that can be used by multiple people at a single time. This can result in poor connection and delays.  And if it’s a free proxy then it will be even slower.  But in the case of a good VPN, the connection speed is far better.  The top 10 VPNs offer the best protocols and fast connection for reliable service.

 Frequently Asked Question

 Is VPN better than proxy?

Yes, VPN is comparatively much better in terms of security and privacy.  It reroutes your traffic through a VPN server and encrypts your traffic.  A proxy server routes your traffic through a mediating server but doesn’t offer full fledge protection.

Do you need proxy if you have VPN?

 No, as all the top-rated services do the same thing as proxies with all other advanced functionalities. Moreover, you could use a proxy extension for a quick IP change.

 Are proxy servers safe and secure?

 From privacy violations to malware, free proxy servers pose serious security issues. While some of the servers offer complete anonymity, some come with substantial risks.
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