Concerned about online privacy? Unsure if your browsing activity can be traced by hackers, authorities, or businesses? Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy server to shield your internet service provider address and location from prying eyes. However, it’s important to understand the distinctions between the two.
While both options can provide identity protection, only a VPN encrypts your online activity. This ensures your browsing history remains private. Choose wisely and stay secure.
What are VPNs and proxy servers?
Learn how to keep your internet activities private with VPNs and proxy servers. While both tools are effective, they operate differently. Proxy servers act as gateways between your device and the internet, hiding your IP address. On the other hand, VPNs encrypt your data and reroute your internet connection through a remote server. Whether you want to browse securely, stream anonymously, or download files safely, knowing the difference between these tools is crucial.
If you want to keep your identity hidden, using a proxy server can be incredibly helpful. When you visit a website, access a streaming service, or use a file-sharing site, the site only sees the IP address of the proxy server you’re connected to, which means your true address remains unknown. This keeps your identity and physical location private from these sites and apps.
There are various types of proxies, but three of the most commonly used ones are listed below for your reference.
- HTTP proxies. With HTTP proxies, you can effortlessly access blocked sites and geo-restricted content. Say you’re unable to watch an online video because it’s restricted in your current location. A proxy server lets you sneakily log onto the site hosting the video, without revealing your original IP address. But remember, using this method may go against your content provider’s user agreement.
- SOCKS5 proxies. Did you know that SOCKS5 proxies can access more than just websites? You can also use them to access video streaming services, file-sharing sites, and even online games. However, keep in mind that connecting to an app through a free SOCKS5 proxy may be slower due to fewer configuration options and slower infrastructure.
- Transparent proxies. Have you unknowingly used a transparent proxy? It’s possible. These proxies are often set up by employers, parents, schools, or libraries as a means of filtering internet content or blocking access to certain websites.
VPN and Proxy Difference
#1 VPNs encrypt your information
The top advantage of using a VPN instead of a proxy server. By enabling a VPN, all your online activities and data transmissions will be encrypted, preventing anyone from snooping on your internet usage. This enhanced security is particularly important when handling sensitive information, such as banking or credit card details. With a VPN, hackers or cyber attackers won’t be able to access your personal data, giving you peace of mind whenever you browse the internet.
However, encryption standards can be different: there are services with weak, 64-bit encryption and the top ones with AES 356 encryption. Military-grade encryption for a VPN is not particularly appropriate, as it takes more time to encrypt data and decrypt it. The ideal solution today is 256-bit encryption, such as VeePN. You can install VPN for browsers, for almost anyone, and be safe. A good VPN can easily remove website blocks and protect your data without compromising internet speed. This is the benchmark for the perfect VPN, which VeePN is a good fit for.
#2 Proxy connections can be slower
Did you know that both proxy servers and VPNs can potentially slow down your browsing? It all depends on how many users are accessing these services. But be careful when opting for free proxy connections, as they may come with lower security and slower infrastructure due to a lack of support and configuration options. Stick with reliable and trusted options for a smoother browsing experience.
#3 VPN providers do not store data about you
Protect your online privacy by selecting a VPN provider with a strict no-log policy. This guarantees that your browsing history and shared files remain confidential and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. Avoid free proxies that may compromise your privacy by monitoring your traffic and sharing your data with third parties. Choose a trustworthy VPN provider that guarantees no logging and safeguards your online activities.
#4 VPN usually costs more
Free VPNs may be an option, but paid services offer greater data privacy, more secure connections, and better performance, according to tech experts. The reliability of free VPNs is questionable, as they typically use just one VPN connection (PTTP). In contrast, paid VPNs can provide users with stronger data encryption, making them more secure. Choose a paid VPN service for peace of mind when surfing the web.
Proxy vs VPN: Which is Right for Me?
Protecting your personal and business data is crucial nowadays. But with so many options available, how do you know which tools to invest in? Proxies and VPNs can provide an extra layer of security and privacy for your information.
If you’re looking to enable remote work for your team while keeping your company resources secure, consider setting up and maintaining a VPN. This way, your users can access the network with peace of mind.
On the other hand, if you are concerned about the sites accessed by your users, using a proxy server may be a better fit. Protect your data and privacy using the proper tools for your security objectives.
Now that you’re familiar with the differences between a proxy and VPN, you can make an informed decision about which tool is best for your needs. Both proxies and VPNs offer extra security and privacy, so it’s up to you to decide which option works best for your use case. Keep in mind that free services come with fewer configuration options and slower infrastructure than paid services.