Users use VPN and proxy servers to conceal their identity, but what's the difference between them? Making the proxy and VPN comparison, which one is best for you? Let's see what is both and why people use each one.
Why compare VPNs and Proxy Servers
First of all, it's best to explain why we compare proxies and VPN as a startup. The reason we compare them is that both achieve a common goal, hide your IP address from the websites you visit.
When you visit a website, you can get a general idea of your location from your IP address. Proxies servers and VPNs will hide this information by giving the site their own IP address instead of yours.
As for people who want to hide their IP address, it depends on what the user wants to achieve by his anonymity. Here's where the proxy confrontation comes with VPN. While both achieve a similar goal, the way they do the process is the one that will make you choose the best for you.
Understanding Proxy Servers
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is an "average person" located between you and the websites you are visiting. Typically, you can find proxy servers online on a website. Click on them, enter the site you want to visit and they carry you there.
Proxy servers work by downloading the web address you give them, then connect to this site and load its content. Then forward these details to you so you can browse the website.
The main advantage of proxy servers is that you are not directly connected to the site, so it does not see the IP address of your home. Instead, it sees the IP address of the proxy server, keeping your site secret.
If you visit a proxy service site, it often asks you which country you want the proxy server to come from. This is more than just an innovation, it can be used to trick websites and services by seeing you come from that country.
If you want to access a site but are blocked in your country, you can use a proxy server located in the country of that site. When the site controls where you are, it sees the proxy server instead of yours. It then provides the proxy server with access to the site and gives it the details, which are then passed on to you.
The Benefits of Proxy Servers
If you just want to unlock a website, a proxy server can do it simply and quickly. You do not need to install anything, just visit a free proxy website and choose a server from those in the country where the site comes from. This is an extremely short-term solution for a site that is causing you a problem.
Because proxy servers can be found online, you can use them from any operating system. No need to install any software, just go online and find a server!
The disadvantages of Proxy Servers
Unfortunately, if you want to get more than just a simple visit to an anonymous site, a proxy server can not help you. Even if you use only proxy servers to browse the internet, you will find that any long term use at the end will be slow and aggravating. If you want to continue anonymous browsing across multiple websites, you will find in the long run that proxy servers are a waste of time.
What is VPN?
Surprisingly, VPNs work similarly to proxy servers. Your data is transferred to a server, transfers it to the destination, then receives the answer and gives it to you. The main difference between a VPN and a proxy server is, however, the way the data is transferred.
When using a VPN, you first install the VPN software on your computer. When you turn it on, the software will encrypt the data you send to the VPN server, making your data illegible to prying eyes. This is called "tunnel" and helps us to imagine it as a natural tunnel in the real world.
If you drive your car on the open road, anyone on the side of the road can see who is in your car, its model and the traffic sign. But if you go to your destination through a whole tunnel, no one outside the tunnel can know who leads, the sign, etc.
The advantages of a VPN
As you can imagine, VPNs are fantastic to cover your internet activity. Instead, a proxy server does not anonymize your activity until your data reaches the server itself, which means that whoever searches your data in advance (such as the hacker) can see what you are doing. Because a VPN creates a tunnel from your computer, none even your ISP can see what you are sending.
This means you can have a secure, encrypted connection wherever you want. You may already know how hackers can steal people's identity through public networks, but with a VPN, you do not have to worry about it. If someone monitors your connection, they will see useless scraped garbage.
The disadvantages of a VPN
Unfortunately, this luxury is not cheap. The cost of using a VPN is expensive and only if it is used enough is worth investing in.
Not only that, but your computer needs to encrypt all of your data to use it. This means that you need to install software on your computer to use a VPN. In use, you may notice a decrease in performance as your computer encrypts the data before sending it.
Proxy vs. Proxy VPN: Which is the best for you?
If you want to access a site that is blocked in your site and you are not trying to hide your data from anyone, using a proxy server will cover you. The basic options are free and you can use them almost on any computer or device.
Although it is not best for privacy, if there are no particularly sensitive actions, it's fine, for example if you want to use the Netflix of another country.
If you want to make long-term tours, VPN is what you need. It offers a secure, anonymous connection with additional levels of protection to be safe.
Manage your finances or send personal information via a public connection WiFi is usually dangerous, but a VPN enables you to do whatever you want, no matter where you are. Those that are worth using are not cheap, but if you search you will find a remarkable VPN to invest.
Protecting your privacy on the internet
If we have to answer what is the best choice between proxy and VPN, there really is no clear winner. The answer comes depending on the browsing habits and what exactly you want from an anonymous service; Once you understand it, the answer will be much easier!