What Is The Difference Between A Proxy And A VPN

The Internet can be a horrible place with numerous ransomware and scareware. As per the Risk-Based Security Report, Data breaches in the first half of 2020 exposed 36 billion records.

Additionally, the 2021 Data Risk Report estimated that unprotected data and poor cybersecurity practices make companies vulnerable to data loss. Even if it’s not the case, Internet Service Provider keeps an eye on your e-content.

Therefore, security and privacy are essential for an individual and a corporation. For internet traffic safety, revolutionised VPN technologies (Virtual Private Network) and Proxy are using at a larger scale.

Both are user-protected and allow you to appear as if you are using content from another location. VPN and a proxy have also secured your privacy by hiding your IP address in several ways. 

You must have specific thoughts in your mind while using data security tools. What to use? Proxy or VPN? Which is more beneficial? Be aware! Though they look similar, proxy and VPN are different in many aspects.

Let us dwell more on an article to understand both separately and check which one is better for users.

proxy vs vpn

Proxy vs VPN

Definition of Proxy Servers

A proxy server acts as an intermediary or a gateway between you and the internet. It is a bridge linking your device and the website you are visiting.

In a typical scenario, your search engine connects you to a website on the front end and start downloading web pages on the back end. However, it confines geographically restricted web pages from browsing.

On the contrary, proxy servers perform IP masking and misdirection by rerouting traffic of specific websites. They hide your IP address so the websites cannot comprehend your original IP or location. As a result, you can retrieve web pages anonymously to continue your online activity.

Through the proxy, you can access a website of USA by sitting in Australia. It also helps to protect your web traffic from cyber theft. 

Organisations have a bulk of information while performing remote activities. This information can is if the IP address is accessible. Poxy servers help to hide the original IP address to set a seal on security.

The proxy also helps to cache the content of websites that a user often browses.

HPPT and HTTPS Proxy Server

HTTP proxies support HyperText Transfer Protocols. A browser sends a request to a proxy server to open a particular website.

HTTP proxy work with the client and server—for instance, the client type in the web browser to access some information. HTTP protocol will send the request for access to the webserver through a URL link. The server will respond to that link and forward your requested information back to you. You will receive the resource in HTTP format.

HTTPS (S supports secure SSL connection) or SSL proxy are forward sensitive information. It uses fan or end to end encryptions against eavesdropping or any other outside intervention during data transmission. It refrains Internet Service Providers from accessing or using the saved information of the user.

Socks Proxy Server

Sock is a well-known type of proxy. Usually referred to as “Socket Secure”, Sock proxies are well known and widely used data transfer protocols. It creates a Transmission Control Protocol connection to route traffic.

These servers do not support the direct use of a proxy. They transform information into the purest version. That's why the Socks proxy server is anonymous.

However, specific bots do not support Sock proxy. So, you need to make sure whether the bot is supporting proxy or not.

Transparent Proxy Server

Also known as inline, interception, or forced proxy, a transparent proxy transfers your information with the proxy's IP address. They do not modify your data on a web server. Therefore, the website can read your IP.

However, transparent proxies do not provide any privacy protection. Such proxies are common in Wifi hotspots to grant permission to particular people.

Other Proxy Servers

Apart from three major categories, other types of proxies are:

  1. Residential proxy Server: These proxies use the actual IP address of the computer. They do not hide your IP address.
  2. Data Center Proxy Server: They have computer-generated IP addresses. It is widely using for incredible internet speed.
  3. Distorting/Anonymous Proxy Server: It removes certain information for the client on his request. It passes a false IP address to the website to let you surpass geographical restrictions.
  4. Public Proxy Server: These are the most unsecured and unreliable proxies. Their data can be stealth easily.
  5. Private Proxy Server: Such proxies require authentication before using them. A proper service provider offers them.
  6. Dedicated Proxy Server: It cannot share by several clients at one time. It saves IP from being banned by websites.
  7. Shared proxy Server: These are the cheapest proxies. Multiple clients can use the proxy on a shared version.

Definition of Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN connection is like a Proxy. However, where Proxy redirects web requests, VPNs are capable of routing all your network requests.

It works on the operating system level, which means it can revert the traffic coming from your browser or background app and encrypt your valuable information against surveillance.

VPNs create a secure tunnel between your computer, internet and ISP provider. It protects privacy by concealing your IP address, obscuring your location, and encrypting your traffic between you and the VPN provider with a purpose that no one else can access it.  

Proxy vs VPN: A Fair Comparison

The difference between a proxy and a VPN is not easily identifiable. A user requires a thorough understanding before using any of these.

Pro-Privacy

Proxy servers and VPNs hide your IP address and provide a basic level of privacy by protecting your sensitive data. VPN provides additional remote security against all network traffic.

Cybersecurity

Both VPNs and proxy servers block access to malicious websites. VPN encrypts your traffic on all networks, whereas proxy fails to do so.

Speed

Proxy servers can be faster than VPNs because they are not encrypting your entire data. For video streaming on Youtube or Website, use a proxy server.

Free Proxy Servers vs Paid VPNs

Free VPNs come at the cost of privacy and security. Top-notch companies, despite providing free VPN services, restrict their applications. On the contrary, Premium VPNs have a well-managed infrastructure to provide you with better encryption. 

On the contrary, free proxy servers do not yield ultimate security. You may use a free proxy for minor tasks.

Internet Usage

People usually use proxy servers to control the online activities of employees and children by restricting websites. However, VPN does restrict not only remote activities but also secure connections against third-party espionage.

Circumvent Content Restrictions 

Proxy servers help to access geo-restricted content but not all sites like Netflix. On the other hand, VPN can do this well. Express VPN is widely using to unblock websites.

Scope of Proxy vs VPN

Proxy works on the application level. It only secures sites on which it is activated upon. It does not encrypt your data altogether. VPN works on the operating system level by ensuring all the traffic on your internet.

Drawbacks of Proxy

Unquestionably, a free proxy server is helping to obstruct IP addresses; it adversely affects the speed of the internet while browsing or downloading data to a personal device. High ping and traffic on the proxy servers take a little longer to load, which may irritate a user to a certain extend.

Moreover, the proxy is likely vulnerable to e-attacks. Its shield is not as strong as a VPN. It allows fraudsters to theft your information from the network.

Additionally, the proxy only reroutes those sites at which it is activated; it does not encrypt your traffic. Only VPN is capable of defending your entire data with all weapons.

Proxy VS VPN: which Is More Beneficial?

According to GlobalWeb Index, 500 million people globally hide their IP addresses, and fifty per cent of them are VPNs users. It has a distinctive advantage over proxy for high stake tasks.

One of the leading benefits of VPN is the encryption of all traffic over your network. Data only transfers through an encrypted tunnel between the computer and the remote network.

 Using a VPN connection is better than using a proxy because it provides remarkable security against surveillance from ISP, government agencies and cyber theft. It checks every request and blocks anything dangerous, like malware. 

VPN is highly recommended for household and professional use. If you want your employees to work online on a secure platform, VPN is the right choice. Always prefer VPN to watch your favourite movies or to chat without any hesitation.  

Selecting the Right Tool is Critical

If you are interested in absolute privacy along with secure connection, work with VPN providers having a “No- Log Policy.” These service providers pledge to restrict your data from tracking for third party surveillance.

The selection of the right VPN is a bit trickier and hectic. For this reason, we have prepared a list of widely using VPNs with which you can be benefitted easily. Choose a VPN as per your requirements.

If you would like to have an in-depth analysis, we would encourage you to check our Best VPN Page.

1. Express VPN

ExpressVPN - Best VPN Provider

Great technology comes with great power. Whether you are a homie or a working professional, ExpressVPN frequently uses for remote security. While playing games, chatting with friends or submitting assignments, IPS will not check your activates if operating ExpressVPN. It works on your mobile, personal computer and IOS devices.

Above all else, using a VPN is manageable and accessible from anywhere without any geographical restrictions, as it enables in around 94 countries. These VPN providers have a diverse team that is all time ready to answer your query or resolve any problem.

If you don’t like the VPN service, don’t worry. The company will provide you with 30 days money-back guarantee. Though the Express is expensive, it is worth buying. 

2. NordVPN Service

NordVPN Review - Top VPN Service

NordVPN offers highly private, encrypted and safe internet services to customers. Whether you are watching a movie on Netflix or browsing websites, NordVPN provides an additional layer of privacy over your content.

It owes better Internet with a competitive pricing pool. You can enjoy the vast services of NordVPN just by spending a tiny amount on it. In addition, the VPN has an extra shield of protection against malware and cyber-attacks. Nord is widely using for geo-blocks.

NordVPN also offers 30 days money-back guarantee along with a free trial for its customer.

3. Surfshark VPN

SurfShark - Best For Streaming

Another extensively using VPN is Surfshark. Though the company is in its evolutionary phase, facilities are worthy of mentioning. Being a “No Logs” service provider, Surfshark does not collect data from its clients.

It provides anonymous and safe browsing with the number of protocols attached to its domain. Surfshark is compatible with all kinds of devices, including Windows, Linux, Macintosh and IOS.

No doubt, the customer support features is adding a feature in its cap. As far as speed is concerned, Surfshark proves to have extraordinary internet speed.

It is also feasible to pocket even for a homie. It offers valuable services for $3.75, the lowest price in the market. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use VPN and proxy together?

You can simultaneously use VPNs and proxy servers, but you do not need both unless receives instruction from system administration.
Some VPNs sell proxies on their platform, such as Scrap Box. You need to turn on your VPN and set up Scrap Box using proxies for your operations.
Using VPNs and Proxies together will dually increase the security of all networks while slow down the speed of your internet. You may use both for severe protection but not for something as streaming video that requires speedy connections.

Aren’t VPN and proxy the same?

Although they work similar, both proxy and VPN are different from each other. Both hide your IP, but proxy does not ensure complete encryption of online activities.

How do I set up a proxy and a VPN Server?

Look for the finest proxy or VPN services on the browser. We would recommend you to work with ExpressVPN.
• Sign up for VPN/Proxy connection.
•Download an app (if required)
•Go to Settings
•Select Network
•Click VPN/ Proxy
•Provide details of your VPN/ Proxy service provider
•Connect to a server.

Are free VPNs safe?

No, it's not safe to use a free VPN. Free service providers need to earn money. If they are not making from selling VPN, then they earn in other ways. Free VPNs connections can be infected with malware or failed to hide your IP for unblocking content. They may also hijack your browser and track your data for surveillance.

Can a proxy server be hacked?

Proxies servers are not safe. Bad proxies may risk cybercrimes and identity theft.
Proxy providers always have an eye on your online activity. They might use it against you, or in the case of proxy hijacking, cybercriminals can access all your information for their benefit.
Owing to its drawbacks, people prefer using paid VPN over an accessible proxy server.

Do you need a proxy server if you have a VPN?

A VPN masks your identity and also encrypt your data at the same time. In comparison, a proxy can only disguise your IP address. Therefore, if you are already using VPN, then proxy would be an unnecessary step.

Conclusion

Though proxy and VPN are primarily using for the same purpose, VPN is working one step ahead. The biggest argument to use a VPN over a proxy is to encrypt all your traffic.

However, make sure to spend time before purchasing any additional layer for your data protection. Use the internet for proper research and choose wisely.