The function of both VPN and Proxy servers seems alike. But technically speaking, their features are not the same. Although both of these services conceal user identities and IP addresses from hackers, a VPN works more efficiently than a proxy. This actively demonstrates that a VPN is safer and more secure than a proxy.
Proxy and VPN: A Quick Glance
When it comes to privacy protection, a VPN is the best. A VPN protects your online browsing activities and personal information. But the proxy’s working mechanism is quite different. It works on an application level. While both of them hide your IP address, a VPN protects you one step further by redirecting your data through an encrypted tunnel. We can use a proxy for browsing the internet. But remember, it is not as secure and safe as a VPN.
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Let’s have a look at the striking differences between VPN and proxy.
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What Is the Use of a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is a software system that functions as an intermediary between the website you visit and your device. As we all know, any device that is connected to the network has an IP address. Likewise, the proxy server has its own IP address as it is a computer on the internet.
We come across a variety of websites: some are accessible, while others are not. If we want to access a website, we have to show our IP address. To avoid such situations, we can seek the help of a proxy server. It works as a relay between the end-user and the internet. Just like a gateway, a proxy connects you to the host-server. A proxy also helps to speed up access to a resource through catching.
How Does a Proxy Work?
The proxy server is hidden from the users. When you connect to a network, all your traffic goes through a proxy server. It enables you to access any website with a different IP address. However, the proxy server doesn’t encrypt your traffic and it only reroutes traffic from a single app with which you have configured your proxy. It should be noted that a proxy works at the application level.
Forward Proxy Server
A forward proxy server is also known as an open proxy server. Forward proxies directly send client requests to a web server. Users can connect to forward proxies by going directly to a web proxy address or by configuring their Internet settings. Forward proxies allow users to bypass firewalls and increase their privacy and security, but they can also be used to download illegal materials such as copyrighted content or child pornography.
Reverse Proxy Server
A reverse proxy server is a type of proxy server that is installed in close proximity to several other internal resources. Clients need not communicate directly because this proxy transparently handles all the requests of clients. Varnish and Squid are the two most common reverse proxies.
The reverse proxy server can be used when a website blocks direct connections as a security measure. Reverse proxies identify immoral or illegal content and will prevent access to such sites. It is also helpful to stream internal content to the users.
In addition to these, there are different types of proxy servers like HTTP Proxies, SOCKS Proxies, Transparent Proxies, DNS Proxies, and so on.
Virtual Private Network, aka VPN
A VPN works just like a proxy. Using a VPN protects your privacy while also ensuring the security of your data. VPN software protects your data by masking your IP address, encrypting it, and routing it to servers via secure networks. However, unlike a proxy, a VPN works at the operating system level, which means it redirects all traffic, whether it comes from your browser or a background app. To prevent hacking, a VPN hides your IP (Internet Protocol) address. It protects and hides your online activities. A VPN creates a virtual tunnel that hides your online activities, such as the links you click on a website or the files you download. Simply put, a VPN protects your data and IP address by creating a secure and encrypted connection. It’s even more effective than a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
In this age of online everything, being digitally secure should be your aim. We cannot simply trust all VPN and proxy service providers. Proper research is essential before installing it on your device. So many VPNs are available in the VPN market.
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VPN and Proxy Services: A Comparison
- A VPN will make your device extra secure by encrypting your traffic. But a proxy doesn’t encrypt your data and traffic.
- By creating a secured encrypted tunnel, a VPN blocks third parties (hackers, snoopers, etc.) from accessing your personal data and information. In this way, you can escape from government surveillance and other cyber issues. But a proxy can’t block these cyber attacks as it doesn’t pass the data, which is not encrypted.
- A VPN performs at the operating system level, rerouting all of your traffic through a VPN server, whereas proxies operate at the application level, rerouting only the traffic of a specific app or browser. VPNs can be slower than proxies because they must encrypt your sensitive data.
- One noted difference is that the VPN has both free and paid versions. While a proxy is always a free service.
- A VPN connection is more reliable, whereas proxy server connections frequently perform poorly.
Is VPN more secure than Proxy?
When it comes to security, without any doubt, one can say that a VPN is more secure than a proxy. If we compare proxy with VPN in terms of providing security and safety, of course, VPN will win. This is because of the fact that a VPN redirects your data through an encrypted tunnel, thereby adding an extra layer of protection to your device. On the other hand, a proxy just passes your data without encryption and makes your data vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Is it advisable to use both VPN and Proxy together?
The VPN and proxy will work together. But, at the same time, adding a proxy service with a VPN will definitely slow down the entire working mechanism. We might not get significant benefits as the proxy slows down your internet connection. So, it is better not to use a VPN and a proxy together.
Advantages of VPN Over Proxy
It is advisable to use a VPN to encrypt your traffic. Another important point to consider is that a VPN has its own software but a proxy does not. Although the proxy hides your IP address, the proxy owner can see the client’s IP address. But in a VPN, the IP address is completely hidden.
As the proxy fails to encrypt your traffic, it can be hacked very easily. A proxy hacker works just like the original proxy. Actually, proxy hacking can be used to deliver pages with malicious content.
When it comes to connection, VPN has a more stable connection than a proxy. You can enjoy a seamless and uninterrupted internet connection. And also, the connection drops more frequently when you use a proxy. On the other hand, a VPN has a reliable connection. In short, we can say that a VPN is more secure than a proxy.
To sum up, everything that has been stated so far, a VPN service is more trustworthy than a proxy. While both of these look alike, a VPN assures guaranteed service in terms of security and privacy. If your data is not encrypted, your security is in danger. In that aspect, a VPN is far better than a proxy.
In short, a VPN can beat a proxy with its performance.
One thought on “VPN vs. Proxy: Major Differences Between VPN & Proxy”
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