I have a habit of learning about the things and then sharing with other, hence keeping the tradition alive today I will explain the working and the difference between a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Proxy Servers . After reading this article I hope you will be able to decide which one should you choose and why.
Both VPN services and proxy servers are used to reroute the internet traffic and change your IP addresses. But, these services are very different in working and application. A proxy server can be used for bypassing region and IP-based restrictions, but it doesn’t ensure complete safety.
These days the news headlines are filled with the privacy risks posed by our own governments, hackers, malware, and others. Couple these risks with the staggering amount of data being collected by Google, Facebook, NSA, etc. and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a compromised internet access That’s why, in such times, use of advanced security mechanisms has become necessary.
Whenever we talk about privacy, we often talk about services like VPN, Tor, proxies, etc.
VPN vs Proxy Server:
VPNs and proxies are dedicated to keep you anonymous and enhance the level of privacy in your digital life. In layman terms, both these services connect you to a remote computer. But, VPN and proxies work differently.
What is the use of Proxy?
A proxy, also called a proxy server, is a special server that acts as a middleman between your computer/smartphone and a web-based website or service. You can think of it as a web filter that is applied to your web browsers.
Lets’ say you have connected your PC to a proxy sever, this will act as your web activity is coming from an IP address of the proxy server not from your PC.You can easily setup proxies in your web browser or operating system. You can also specify the addresses of websites that need to be accessed via a proxy server.
A proxy server doesn’t encrypt your traffic, so your communications remain open and unencrypted. By using the right tools and skills, a hacker can still trace you. That’s why a proxy isn’t recommended for tasks that are intended to be completed with high levels of privacy. Compared to VPN, proxy servers are cheaper.
Another thing–a proxy connection is configured on a program-to-program basis. So, you can’t configure the entire PC to connect to a proxy. If you’re thinking to redirect the entire internet connection, proxy servers aren’t a good idea.
You are advised to use a proxy server for using region-restricted websites and services. You can also use a proxy for breaking IP-based restrictions. You can either go for free services like HideMyAss or choose better and commercial services like BTGuard.
What’s the use of a VPN?
Before talking about the differences, let me tell you a VPN’s similarity with a proxy server. Just like a proxy, a VPN makes your web traffic look like as if it’s originating from a remote location. So, it lets you bypass geographical and ISP-based restrictions. That’s pretty much all about their similarities.
Going one step ahead of a proxy, a VPN passes 100% of your internet traffic via the VPN servers. It’s done be replacing your local ISP routing for all programs. This means that unlike a proxy, a VPN lets you cloak your browsing, email client, torrent downloading, Netflix, etc. at the same time.
Talking about the security arrangements, VPN’s 100% encrypted tunneling encrypts all your traffic and routes it through the VPN servers.
I hope you found this article helpful .
comments are appreciated 🙂