Proxy or VPN: the difference and features of technologies

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Protecting online privacy is gradually coming to the fore. Some Internet users want to hide their digital footprint, others cannot access a certain resource blocked in a particular country. Despite the sufficient variability of masking methods, two specialized technologies have gained the most popularity – proxy and VPN. Each of them is characterized by its unique features, which will be discussed in this article. This information will make it easier for you to purchase a VPN or datacenter proxy.

Features of proxy servers

The proxy acts as an intermediary between the remote server receiving the request and the user’s device attempting to gain access. As a rule, a proxy masks the real IP address of its user. In order to connect to the network, an anonymous type network identifier is used here.

A distinctive feature of a proxy is the lack of encryption of data that is transmitted over the Internet. Since this method provides a relatively small degree of security, anyone has the opportunity to inspect the traffic that passes through the connection.

Benefits of using a proxy:

  1. Hiding the user’s real IP address.
  2. Increased protection when visiting a malicious website, as network data is subject to thorough filtering.
  3. The ability to access content blocked by geographic location, usually when using proxies of other states.
  4. Efficiency in the implementation of circumvention of various web restrictions.
  5. Reducing the time it takes to load a website.
  6. Increase your privacy when you surf the web regularly.

Disadvantages of using a proxy:

  1. The vast majority of proxy services do not use encryption technology. The result of this is an increased risk of interception of network data.
  2. The owner of the proxy server can get acquainted with the real IP addresses of users and track confidential data.
  3. A connection presented as a public proxy server often becomes unstable due to a large number of connected users.
  4. Certain websites may block the proxy.
  5. Proxy servers that are provided for free often have a low level of reliability.

VPN technology

VPN involves the creation of a private secure channel between devices connected to the Internet. When connecting any user device to a VPN, be it a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, network traffic enters a secure tunnel. Thanks to this approach, even the Internet provider will not be able to get acquainted with the transmitted data, banking information, and other actions taken as part of web surfing.

All data that enters the VPN is subject to prior encryption. The information is then collected by the ISP. Ultimately, the information is processed by a VPN server connected to the Internet on behalf of the user. This causes the site to treat the VPN server as a source of traffic.

A virtual private network (VPN) has the following features:

  1. Network traffic is carefully encrypted.
  2. The user has the opportunity to visit a site, access to which is limited geographically.
  3. High level of confidentiality due to the substitution of the real IP address.
  4. Many VPN services are available to regular users without having to pay for their services.
  5. The ability to safely use public wireless Internet access points.
  6. Additional configuration is not required. All you need is to download a special application to your mobile device.
  7. VPN technology, compared to a proxy, is more expensive because it uses encryption. Although free services provide their own tools, they have to deliberately reduce the data transfer rate.

Pros of a VPN:

  1. Traffic is encrypted according to the standard used by the US government, military organizations, and Swiss banks.
  2. The IP address is securely hidden, there are ways to prevent leaks even if the VPN goes down.
  3. A good service bypasses any restrictions, even when connecting a VPN in China.

Cons of VPN:

  1. Encrypting all traffic sometimes significantly reduces the speed.
  2. The VPN server decrypts the traffic to understand what you need, and some of them save logs (at least partially).
  3. A great VPN service is obviously more expensive than a free service.

When to use a paid VPN?

You should use it in all cases when you need an unlimited channel and traffic, and with reliable protection. In countries where censorship is too severe or the government controls providers. To access absolutely any content. When transferring confidential information and payment data

Proxy vs VPN: the main difference

Both proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) provide quick access to the Internet sites of interest to the user, hiding his real IP address and location. These are the only similarities.

The main difference between a proxy and a VPN is that VPN uses encryption. With its help, all traffic is pre-encrypted from everyone, including the Internet provider.

The proxy server, in turn, is a fairly simple tool for occasional use at high speed. However, a VPN is noticeably better in terms of privacy. This is primarily due to the fact that a secure tunnel protects the integrity of the traffic, encrypts it, and also simplifies authentication.

After connecting a proxy or VPN, check your new IP address and location, these data should be different from the original ones, without using services. You can quickly check, for example, in a search engine, find “check the speed of the Internet”, they show this data.

What is better for bypassing a ban on a site: VPN or proxy

Basically, sites can be inaccessible to you for two reasons:

  • a personal ban by IP;
  • blocking access due to your geolocation.

Both of the tools we are considering today will help bypass the blocking for the reasons listed. However, when choosing a VPN for these purposes, the speed of the Internet connection will noticeably decrease. Pages will load slower, connection may be interrupted.

Tasks like watching a sports broadcast on a foreign channel site can already become a problem due to a slow connection. Tasks such as automated SMM promotion, parsing, and other complex processes where connection speed is important cannot be solved with a VPN.

For serious work on the Internet, it is definitely worth using only proxy servers. They do not slow down the connection, they speed up the process by caching data. Plus, private proxies are highly reliable and uninterrupted.

Wrapping up

If anonymity and privacy are in the first place for the user, it is better to use a VPN. Experts recommend installing a VPN even with such shortcomings as speed drops and connection failures. Proxy is almost devoid of such disadvantages, however, the safety of personal data leaves much to be desired. If your choice is a proxy, will help you choose a reliable and efficient solution. The company has over 10 years of experience in providing proxy services to clients from various industries and for various purposes.