You don’t like online surveillance, do you? When you want to download something from torrent, it bashes you hard on your face. In case you use a public wifi connection, the online restraints hinder you from browsing what you want.
You know how smart people can get. The modern day digital liberalists have found out multitudes of solutions for the menace referred to as online surveillance. Two predominant options are VPN and proxy server. Maybe, you are a novice into the field that you can’t differentiate between them. That’s exactly why I have published this article to assist you.
VPN vs Proxy Server
Before I delve into the significant differences. I hope you know the full form of VPN; it’s Virtual Private Network. In the literal sense, proxy means authority given to a person to act as someone else (of course, you can get a tinge of the idea here).
What is VPN?
I am not going to be rhetorical about the topic here. I already published a detailed article on the basic information about VPN.
The very purpose that people use VPNs is to camouflage the data trackers to make your traffic appear as it comes from a fake location. Owing to the encryption of data, no one can impose surveillance on what you do online.
Almost every VPN is set on the operating system level. Meaning, you will have its advantage over the entire device where you set it up. No matter what application or software you use on that particular computer or smartphone, your identity, IP address, and most of the times the location also remain undecipherable.
VPN servers need processing power and bandwidth to safely guard your data for transfer. For the same reason, you need to pay a small monthly fee to enjoy the benefits of a flawless VPN.
What is Proxy?
The proxy or proxy server also conceal your location by making the traffic look like coming from another place. Of course, it can hide your IP address. There end the similarities!
A proxy server simply acts as a middle man between your device and the internet. It just plays a little trick to change your location and IP address but never encrypts the data. That means, when you connect to a public wireless network, the host can track your online activities despite you connecting to a proxy server.
You can use proxies for trivial tasks like fooling an online game by changing your IP to get an extra chance or mislead a streaming service to virtually allocate you to another location. The lack of encryption keeps people away from proxies for high-stake online activities.
Your internet service provider and government can always peek into what you are upto online. As you already read, proxies just teleport, but don’t encipher.
On the contrary to OS-wise VPNs, proxies are application-based. You won’t have the concealed identity all over your device. When you change from one software to another, you will have to activate another proxy to keep on relishing the sweetness of anonymity. It increases the headache of a user especially when he/she has to use a myriad of applications. In case one has to use only a single application with no data-encryption capability, proxies look good.
The most common proxy protocols are HTTP and socks. The former just works over the web traffic. For example, you can inject them to your browser using an extension or by manual method. Once you do, it will take over the traffic happening in and out of the web browser. On the other hand, socks servers can pass along any traffic they get. HTTP is the oldest and the fastest among the two.
What should You Choose; VPN or Proxy?
It all boils down to your purpose. What do you want to do with your internet connection? In case you merely need to change your IP address, you can go with proxies. Bear in mind, it doesn’t work if you close the setup application and open another one. Proxies can kick away targeted advertising like a cakewalk.
Still, I don’t recommend using proxies (yeah even the paid ones). Why? The only reason I restrain myself from proxies is the lack of encryption. I am dedicated to fight against online surveillance here. Then how can I promote something that favours it?
Let’s look at the bright side; VPNs. They offer the complete protection with every feature a proxy can possibly offer. Most of the VPN follows strict no logging policies and one could never find what you do online.
Nowadays, ISPs throttle the speed of your connection if you use it for torrenting. With VPN activated on your device, they get no idea about your doings. And, it becomes impossible for them to stifle the network speed.
We all use multiple applications on our devices. Proxies function as an in-app service which goes unavailable when you shut off a particular application. VPNs arise no such issues. You can use as many apps as you want without being scared of someone at the other end peeking at your online log.
If you ask me for advice, I will definitely go in favour of VPN. They offer a colossal of features more than even the best proxy in the market does today along with the top-notch security.
Security Tip:- Don’t go with any free proxy service or VPN. You are dealing with data online. If you want to keep them safe, I recommend you choose a renowned paid Virtual Private Network. You can opt NordVPN, because it is one of the most secure and safest VPN providers in the market. Even it is remarkably inexpensive and definitely an option worth considering.
What do you think? I hope I have cleared your confusion. You might have heard the terms VPN and proxy a thousand times when you went over cyber security articles. As you already read, they are quite different services. You may perceive them to have the same purpose but no! If safety is your concern, you know what you should do. Yeah, subscribe to a premium VPN service, period.