The Internet is without a doubt the most beneficial invention of telecommunication technology, but with everything new, comes the fear of unknown. The Internet, while being the most reliable and easiest way of being in touch with the world, also becomes a dark place when in the wrong hands. Multiple kinds of security and privacy issues are related to this very subject. Different ransomware attacks, online stalking, and data breaches are common threats that all the users have to face.
The most common way of avoiding such threats is using a third-party service like a VPN or Proxy. Although both of them perform a very similar job of protecting the user’s data and keeping it secured, they are practically very different from each other. Due to their similar purpose and usage, many people mistake and get confused that “Are VPN and Proxy the Same?” Here, this article will be helpful for you in understanding the differences between VPN and proxy. You might also be able to make a better choice for you out of the two options.
As you go to the network settings in your computing device, you will find some options to control and change those settings while using a “VPN” or “Proxy”. If you’re someone who highly values his privacy and cannot ever compromise on it, you must be looking forward to setting up a VPN or Proxy server. So, let’s dig deep into what these third-party servers are and what type of different services they offer?
What is a Proxy?
Generally, whenever you type anything in the search box and hit the search button or tap open any of the given links on the web, your device connects to the respective website to load the page via internet servers directly and your data goes out in the open. To avoid this very exposure, you can use a proxy server.
The Proxy is basically a third-party server that acts as a bridge between your internet connection and your device. Whenever you load the webpage using a proxy, the data information goes first to the proxy servers. This way you can prevent the direct connection from being established. The proxy server then forwards the request to the targeted sites protecting your initial information. It helps to download and forward only the relevant information.
A proxy server is usually ideal for people having privacy issues and some other related internet issues. Some pros of using a proxy server are:
- You can easily mask your geographical location and misdirect the websites. The proxy is capable of hiding your actual IP addresses and instead sends a different location details to the requested website.
- This way proxy also helps their users to bypass the geographical content restrictions. You can view and load those webpages that are banned in your country by the government or some other authorized personnel.
Although the proxy works in your favor there are some reasons not to use such proxy servers.
- Sure, your private data information is protected from the internet servers but what about the proxy servers? Of course, someone is responsible to monitor and manage all the information sent to or from the proxy servers by the users. Can you vouch for that owner or manager as a trusted person?
- The web traffic that is sent to and from the proxy server is unencrypted which makes it easy to be hacked by a skilled hacker. He can intercept the sensitive data information in transit and use it as he pleases.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a third-party client that establishes a safe and secure tunnel for you to access websites without risking your confidential data. With the help of a VPN server, it is easy for users to replace their local ISP routes. VPN is capable of encrypting your data information to make your network traffic secure.
The data encryption feature significantly pulls the attention of the majority of people towards using the VPN server over the Proxy server. Using an updated advanced VPN for routing all your web traffic helps you to avoid any malware or phishing activities and protect you from scams.
Are VPN and Proxy the Same?
VPN and Proxy servers are quite similar. In both cases, your device establishes a connection that includes a third-party server as a mediator. Your privacy is protected by the server and your confidential data information is prevented from leaking out in the open.
But the point of difference between the VPN server and the Proxy server is major and cannot be simply ignored. Where the proxy server only offers to redirect your web requests, a VPN connection is highly secured with your data being encrypted and well protected. Moreover, it is capable of routing all the network traffic and making it anonymous for the Internet Servers.
Which One is Better?
Both the servers provide a better level of privacy than what you might have in a direct connection. These servers protect your privacy by giving you access to internet services anonymously. They are capable of masking your IP address but the way, the job is done, is quite different.
A VPN server is somewhat superior to the proxy server in various aspects. Besides rerouting your network traffic, giving you access to geographically blocked data content, and masking your IP addresses, the data encryption feature is pretty valuable. So when you’re buying service to have safe and secure access to the internet, VPN indefinitely offers a higher level of security and thus gets the privilege of being “Better”.
If you’ve been ever asked, “Are VPN and Proxy the same?” Well, now you can easily differentiate between the two and also know for yourself which one is better for you. Privacy and security are the two things that matter most for people these days because of the high potential risk of data hacks. Whether you talk about your own sensitive data or your business data information, it needs to be protected either way.