Proxy vs VPN
When your internet privacy has become a concern, the use of proxies or VPNs are suggestions that come up. But in comparing proxy vs VPN, which is the best for your company’s intentions? Note that while comparing both tools, you need the best of each for your analysis as not all of them provide equal performance. For example, 84% of tested VPNs in a survey leaked the IP addresses of the users. Since brand protection and optimum security are the norms due to the rise in security concerns, it’s important to ensure that you are protected with the best privacy tool at the time.
Table of Content
2. VPN vs Proxy: Setting Them Up
3. VPNs Are the Most Secure Choice
Even though it’s reasonable to ensure your privacy and security, the choice of the best tool is a bit of confusion. Even though proxy vs VPN have the same basic feature of ensuring privacy and enhancing security, they have some basic differences. These differences are the key to determining which tool is best and for which purposes. So in this article, we would define and explore the similarities and differences between proxy and VPN, and for which occasion is one better than the other.
Proxy vs VPN: Definitions
What Is a Proxy?
A proxy acts as a tunnel between you and the internet, routing all your requests through the server before they get to the web. This way, your IP address changes before it connects to the website, hiding your real IP.
For a regular internet user, a proxy gives you advanced levels of privacy and with the right configuration, all requests are also encrypted. You can also have access to geo-blocked content with a proxy even if your real IP doesn’t have clearance to access the information. This is possible if you choose a proxy server that is located in a required location.
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On a business level, proxies are handy for brand protection and are also useful in market research. When collecting data for analysis, it’s common to get blocked by the sites you are extracting from and this can be frustrating but with a proxy, you can overcome this problem. Using a proxy with your web scraping tool makes it seem like the multiple requests are organic and from multiple users. So you can extract without raising red flags.
In summary, a proxy is used to keep you anonymous on the web and helps to bypass site blocks. They are also used with web scraping bots to imitate organic users and extract data from sites.
Proxies and Their Types
- HTTP Proxies: HTTP proxies handle just web pages, so if your browser is set up with HTTP proxy, all internet traffic would pass through the server. This type of proxy is useful to access restricted content by changing location.
- SOCKS Proxy: SOCKS proxies are not only limited to web browsers but can also be used for applications. You can use it with a game, P2P platform, or on a web streaming app. Since they handle multiple types of traffic and have a higher load, they are slower than HTTP proxy.
- Transparent Proxy: these types of proxies are unnoticed by their users. They are used to monitor the online activity of children or employees by the parents or employers respectively. This proxy blocks access to certain sites or access to certain information. They are also used by hotels and cafes for user authentication for those on public Wi-Fi, and companies can set them up to save bandwidth too.
What Is A VPN?
A Virtual Private Network is a private network over a public infrastructure that allows users to exchange data across the public networks as if they were connected to private networks. Just like a proxy, a VPN makes internet traffic seem like it’s coming from a different location. This way you can have access to geo-blocked information, and your security is better just like with a proxy.
However, a VPN unlike a proxy doesn’t just process traffic from your browser. It processes every connection from every app on the device and creates an encrypted tunnel for communication between the device and a remote network. This way even if the requests are intercepted by a third party, it will be almost impossible to decipher the data. Since VPNs route all traffic through the server, they make your internet connection slow.
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For a regular internet user, the use of a VPN would increase privacy by encrypting exchanged data and give access to geo-blocked content. For business purposes, a VPN would help keep the devices of employees secure as they connect to other networks. Unlike a proxy, businesses that depend on data wouldn’t benefit from a VPN for data extraction as it’s not meant for this purpose.
In summary, a VPN will mask your original IP address and transmit your requests through a different one so you can stay anonymous. You can also have access to geo-blocked content just as with a proxy but unlike a proxy, all requests from your device are encrypted.
VPN vs Proxy: Setting Them Up
Even though both VPN and Proxy perform the same basic task, they are made with different purposes and users in mind. Proxies are made for businesses and so are more sophisticated and complex to set up. With proxies, efficiency is the primary goal, not just a beautiful interface.
VPNs are made for single individuals and so ease of use is key. Because of this, you can easily set up a VPN and it’s easier to use. All you need to do is install and with a few clicks, you are ready to go.
Key Differences Between a Proxy and VPN
- With a VPN, all your traffic is encrypted while proxy servers don’t encrypt all your data. With a VPN, ISP, government, hackers, and other third parties can’t have access to your data as you are protected adequately. A proxy doesn’t protect you this much so sensitive information shouldn’t be exchanged with a proxy connection.
- VPNs function on the level of the operating system, rerouting every traffic from your device. Proxies on the other handwork on the level of applications and only reroute traffic from a specific app.
- VPNs are not as fast as proxies as they need to encrypt your data heavily. However, there are ways you can improve your connection speeds when using a VPN.
- VPNs are paid services while many good proxy servers are free.
- A VPN gives you a more reliable connection, while that of a proxy server drops frequently.
- With a VPN, you not only ensure that your true identity is masked, but you also ensure that your internet requests are encrypted. A proxy on the other hand also gives you anonymity and allows for web scraping operations by organizations.
VPNs Are the Most Secure Choice
VPNs, just like proxy servers provide you with anonymity as they mask your real IP address when you send internet requests. The IP that sends and receives the request is that of the VPN. Unlike proxy servers, a VPN doesn’t just process requests from an app but routes all traffic from your device so you are fully covered. You also get the best levels of encryption by using a good VPN so that even if your requests or data gets intercepted, your privacy would remain intact.
LimeVPN is a service provider that takes your online security and privacy to another level. They offer you a NAT firewall and Hotspot protection to prevent attacks from hackers through loopholes. The 256-bit encryption keeps your data secure even in the event of a hack so your privacy doesn’t get compromised.
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There are over 20 VPN locations in 10 counties to choose from, so you can stay anonymous and still have access to geo-blocked content by choosing the IP server in another country.
For even better user experience, you get up to 10 Gbps speed connection and a 24/7 live human support to help you in the event of any problems. They are 8 VPN protocols you can choose from and there is a detailed setup guide for you on how to configure them on every device.
On LimeVPN pro, you get fresh and clean IPs that are dedicated to you alone. For even better security, you can use TOR over a VPN with this service. DDoS attacks are a risk and LimeVPN offers you DDoS protection so that you can defeat even the most complex DDoS attacks. You also have unlimited P2P file sharing and private downloads using torrents without traces.
With the high rise in online security threats, individuals and organizations need to ensure that their online activities stay secure. Access to geo-blocked content is also an endearing feature of both proxies and VPNs but after comparing proxy vs VPN closely you would see that their goals differ.
While proxies are great for use to stay anonymous, they also help companies in data extraction. VPNs on the other hand are meant for use by individuals and they provide complete encryption to the device they are installed in. So if anonymity and privacy are your main aim, make use of the best VPN. But if you are an organization that needs anonymity and performs web scraping activities, a proxy would be best for you.