VPN vs Proxies: What is best to get around geo-restrictions and boost online privacy? Give people a problem, and they are sure to come up with a solution. It can’t be any truer than in the case of Internet users. Every week, there’s some news or the other about Internet privacy breach, online security threats, hacking, and so on. Alongside, there’s also news about how to beef up Internet security and protect against hackers with VPN and proxy servers. While there several technologies that protect against online threats, most people don’t know how to make proper use of them because of misinformation.
VPN vs Proxies – Intro
There are various ways to protect your Internet activities. VPN and proxy servers are just two of them. However, the two technologies work in two different ways. For the best performance and security, the right tool must be selected for the right job. To be able to do this, you first have to know how the tools work.
Both VPNs and proxy servers help you spoof your online location and make it seem like you are connecting from a different location. But that’s not the end of it. Let’s take a look at the difference between a VPN and proxy servers. Watch the video below for a simple VPN vs Proxies comparison, courtesy of ExpressVPN.
Proxy Servers Hide Your Location, Not Your IP Address
A proxy server is a server that positions itself between your computer and the destination of your Internet traffic and makes it seem like your Internet activities are coming from somewhere else.
For instance, if you are physically located in New Jersey but want to stream content that’s geographically restricted to people in the UK, you could easily have your way by connecting to a proxy server located in the UK, and then connecting to the site. This works by making your Internet traffic seem like it is originating from the remote computer and not your own server.
Proxy servers are best suited to simple tasks like watching geoblocked videos, bypassing content filters or IP-based restrictions. Several people now use proxy servers to unblock Netflix and other streaming services, especially if they are located outside the United States.
There’s no other function of a proxy server besides hiding your geo-location. In fact, you do not even need to configure your computer for the proxy. Only configuring the application that you want to use with a proxy is enough. A proxy server does not secure your traffic, does not encrypt data, and does not protect against online threats. Anyone can snoop on your sensitive information and also hack into your network. If you use a proxy server for online protection, it is a huge mistake.
In fact, if you visit WhatIsMyIP.network, your public IP address will still be visible after setting up proxies on your computer.
VPNs Encrypt Your Web Traffic
Virtual Private Networks also make your web traffic seem like its coming from the destination of the remote server, but there’s a lot more that a VPN does. A VPN is set up at the operating system level, and the traffic of every application that connects through the same network will be encrypted. This includes web browsing activities to online games to even the Windows Update in the background.
VPNs offer the highest level of Internet security. The web traffic passes through a heavily encrypted tunnel between the computer and the remote network, making it ideal for any activity that needs an extra layer of security. Whether you make payments online or use public WiFi, a VPN will make sure no one is able to snoop on your traffic, not even your internet service provider.
While proxy servers are a lot easier to set up and use, VPNs require a decent hardware setup and a fast Internet connection for the best performance. Since encrypted traffic consumes more data, using VPNs can make your internet speed slower than average. A VPN is also more note expensive than a proxy server because it performs a lot more functions. While proxy servers are usually free, VPNs cost at least a few dollars a month which is about the same amount of money it takes to buy a delicious Chalupa from Taco Bell!
VPN vs Proxies
Connecting to a VPN server is the way to go if you want ultimate online privacy and security. Proxies are a simple solution that will allow you to unblock certain sites that would normally not be available in your region. However, VPN helps you hide your identity, fully mask your IP address, encrypt your web traffic, and even unblock blocked sites and apps.
Proxy servers are cheap (usually free) and are salient for simple tasks like bypassing geoblocks, but if you want all-round protection for your online activities, a VPN is the best solution. Do not use a proxy server believing it will protect you against online threats, because it will not. Even though a VPN is more expensive and takes a while to get the hang of, there can be no better alternative when it comes to Internet security.