When it comes to privacy, the two primary technologies that most people consider are proxy and VPN. Most of you might have encountered the terms proxy and VPN in your personal and professional life. And one thing that we would like to share with you is that they aren’t the same.
With ever-increasing online security problems, the internet community and companies are becoming more aware and are looking for solutions to safeguard the privacy of users surfing the web.
VPNs and proxies both provide more privacy than you may otherwise have, enabling you to browse the internet anonymously by masking your IP address, However, they do it in different ways.
In this article, we will be comparing proxy and VPN and observing how they are different from one another. However, before comparing them, let’s understand what is a Proxy and a VPN.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy serves as a gateway, making it perfect for surfing the web anonymously and accessing restricted content. Proxy servers are proficient at hiding the IP of users and also help to access geo-restricted material.
They enable users to circumvent content limitations and monitoring, or they impose website content limitations — for example, you can’t access specific websites during business hours.
So, next time if you are at your office and unable to surf Facebook from your company system – don’t worry. Your company is using Proxy servers for that.
What is a VPN?
The network connection that encrypts data transmitted to or received via the internet is a VPN or virtual private network. It enables you to view websites and utilize programs and applications safely and anonymously, independent of the network you’re on.
Consider it a secure courier, collecting data from a website and safely delivering it to your computer.
It also conceals your IP address and lets you alter your location to access geo-restricted material. For example, suppose your favorite program isn’t accessible on Netflix in the nation you’re visiting.
Remote access also works with an “office IP address.” A VPN encrypts all data going in and out of your operating system.
Now, it’s time to know how both works?
How Does a Proxy Server Work?
When most people refer to proxy servers, they are referring to HTTP proxies. These web proxy servers utilize the internet to visit a website and then transmit information to your browsers.
These allow you to get to geo-restricted sources on the internet on your browser. In contrast to a VPN, a proxy connection is not encrypted. It functions solely to connect your PC to your final server.
Consequently, although an HTTP proxy conceals your information and data from the website, it does not protect essential data.
How Does a VPN Work?
When talking with the VPN server, the VPN client employs data encryption, allowing remote access to the website or data you choose. An intermediary’s services assist both parties. While the client conceals your inquiry from your router and internet service provider (ISP), the VPN server conceals your identity from the website or service you’re accessing.
It makes a significant difference in terms of security while utilizing any public Wi-Fi network. With a VPN, online shopping, banking, and even exchanging business emails over an open network are far safer.
Because the VPN encrypts your connection, prospective hackers cannot “eavesdrop” on it and collect sensitive data such as your account number or, worse, your password.
Additionally, it stops your ISP or company from eavesdropping on your traffic and online activities by monitoring router data.
If your firm employs a VPN-enabled router, you may use a VPN to connect remotely to your workplace network and remotely access office files, the CRM, or other applications.
With 41% of respondents in the USA and the UK, most respondents utilize a virtual private network (VPN) at least once per week. This indicates that VPNs are not used exclusively for specific purposes but are effortlessly incorporated into everyday internet surfing activity.
Comparison Between Proxy and VPN
Now, let’s compare VPN and Proxy side by side.
|Parameter of Comparison||VPN||PROXY|
|Security||It provides encryption, authentication, and security standards.||It gives no level of security.|
|Anonymity||Yes||Yes, but Limited|
|Works with||The firewall of the operating system||Web Browsers|
|Ease-of-use||Extremely simple to use, ideal for beginners.||Configuration and server location changes need some technical expertise.|
|Speed||Your connection may lag somewhat due to the time required to encrypt and decode your data, but this will be scarcely visible with a reliable VPN. Additionally, the appropriate VPN will circumvent network congestion and ISP throttling to accelerate impacted connections.||Average performance, depending on the server.|
|Protocols used||IPsec, PTTP, L2TP, and so forth.||SMTP, FTP, HTTP and TELNET.|
|Other security features||Depending on the provider, these features may include an automated kill switch, automated Wi-Fi protection, DNS leak prevention, no-logs policy, and Obfsproxy.||None|
Which is More Powerful – a VPN or a Proxy?
For enjoying better security and privacy while surfing the web, a VPN is the ideal choice. While proxies are extensively used to disguise IP addresses and circumvent geo-blocks, their lack of security and encryption leaves users susceptible to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Also, proxies cannot be used to access streaming services such as Netflix.
Proxy server operators have access to all of your internet traffic and often maintain records that may be used to track your behavior. This is particularly dangerous if you are torrenting since you may face legal repercussions.
Premium VPNs adhere to a stringent no-logs policy — they do not store any records of your activity, ensuring that your data cannot be traced back to you.
When you use a proxy, any sensitive information sent through your connection is accessible to both the server owner and anybody monitoring your connection. VPNs encrypt your data end-to-end, making it entirely unreadable for spies and attackers.
Additionally, a proxy server will only secure and anonymize traffic originating from the browser on which it is configured. Still, a VPN will secure and anonymize all data on your network.
While VPNs are relatively simple to configure and allow you to change your virtual location with the press of a button, proxies need you to repeat the configuration procedure each time you need to connect to a new server.
A VPN and a proxy redirect your traffic via a distant server and mask your original IP address. However, a VPN outperforms a proxy server in several ways. If you value your safety and confidentiality, you should choose a VPN.
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