This article Proxy Vs. VPN will tell you what’s the difference between Proxy and VPN? and Which is best VPN or proxy for your need.
Proxy servers and VPNs are tools that are useful for online anonymity and security.
Proxy servers and VPNs might seem similar on the surface, especially to those who are not very tech-savvy. They both route internet traffic to a separate computer/server before going to the intended destination. However, the devil is in the details. That’s right, proxy and VPN difference is in the details!
Table of Contents
Proxy Vs. VPN: What’s a Proxy server?
A proxy acts as the go-between your computer and your internet traffic’s ultimate destination. The traffic goes from your computer, through various hops and servers until it reaches the proxy server. The proxy server, will in turn re-broadcast the traffic to the ultimate traffic address destination. The website (destination) you are accessing will be able to see the proxy server’s IP address and not your actual IP address. Internet traffic will then flow back to the proxy server and back to your system.
- As a stand-alone program
- Directly through the web
- As a browser extension
Proxies are used for internet services and browsing. However, they must be installed and configured for very application use. There are different types of proxies…some for web traffic and other agnostic of the type of protocols that go through their servers. No matter the kind of proxy server, they all serve the same purpose – Altering your IP address!
Proxies are good at hiding your IP address and assists in accessing any geo-restricted content. If for instance, you login into a proxy server from a particular country, the destination website will think that the traffic has originated from that specific country. Oxylabs has a good way of getting around and explaining what a proxy is, so we urge you to go see their article.
What’s a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) performs several functions, some of which are similar to those of a proxy server. A VPN service provides an app/client/program, that the user runs on their computer/system. The program modifies any outbound internet traffic. The VPN encrypts the traffic with military-grade encryption.
Internet traffic leaving your computer (after encryption) will look like gibberish to any snooper. After the encryption, the VPN works as a proxy. The encrypted traffic will go to the chosen VPN server. The traffic is then decrypted and sent to the traffic destination server. To the destination server, the traffic will appear to have come from the VPN server. The traffic will then flow from the destination to the VPN server and back to your computer/system. In this case, the VPN server will encrypt the response for your computer to decrypt.
The process of decrypting and encrypting can, at times, add some overhead to the overall network traffic and thus affecting the overall network speed.
- Related: What is VPN Service or Connection? Why you should use it
- 5 Point guide to buying a VPN service
Proxy Vs. VPN: Difference between Proxy and VPN
VPNs and Proxies both have their place. Proxies are ideal for simple internet browsing, in cases where speed is everything and security is not the primary concern – you basically want to get past geographical-restricted content by masking your IP address. On the other hand, a VPN is ideal where there are serious security concerns. They ensure that your information and the IP address doesn’t leak out. A VPN will keep hackers and government monitors at bay.
There are many differences between a VPN and a Proxy. Here are our top FOUR.
1.Proxy Vs. VPN Performance: Processing time and Network Speed
A proxy adds significantly little processing time or latency. Due to this, most of your original network speed is retained. A VPN, on the other hand, will at times add latency and in turn, decrease the download speed due to the encryption and decryption process. In fact, the stronger the obfuscation and encryption, the slower the network speed.
Proxies require configuration. If this is not the case, you will need to use different and separate proxy types for uses such as torrenting, browsing, gaming (online), etc. These will require management on a per-application basis. VPNs once installed in a system will take care of any outbound internet traffic. It won’t really matter the program from where the traffic originates.
VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and data. The tool will protect you fully from any information leaks between your destination servers and your computer. In contrast, proxies don’t encrypt data and traffic and thus don’t offer such protection.
Proxies are cheaper as compared to VPNs. Proxies, in most cases, are free or very cheap. This is due to processing power and the fact that their load on servers are minimal. Most VPNs, on the other hand, are paid subscription services. Free VPNs options, in most cases, will have bandwidth limitations.
- Related: Top 10 VPN Services that make you anonymous
- 5 Best Free VPN Services
- Top 5 Free Proxy websites
- 6 Best Private Proxies for anonymous browsing
Which is best VPN or proxy?
That depends on your requirement. If you need the best security, VPN is the best for you. When you need the speed, Proxy is the best for you.
Both proxies and VPNs will allow you to have some degree of privacy by allowing you to access the internet anonymously. However, how they do it is a bit different…that’s Where proxy and VPN difference comes in! Proxies work best for misdirection and IP masking while VPNs offer military-grade encryption of data and traffic.
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