Nothing is safe in the internet world. In fact, the internet could be a scary place if you don’t follow any security recommendations. Experts suggest that installing an internet security suite solves most of the hacking and malware related trouble. Up to some extent, it’s true, but the fear of ransomware and botnets can’t be left out.
Our work computers, personal devices, even smart home devices were under near-constant attacks from various hacking threats like ransomware and botnets. So, if you care about security, then you might be thinking about setting up a VPN or a Proxy Server.
VPN vs Proxy – What’s the Difference & Which One is Better?
Most of the users confuse between the VPN and Proxy servers. VPNs and Proxies do the same thing, but they are different. In this article, we are going to explore some of the details of VPNs and Proxy servers. We would know how both of them are different from each other.
What is a Proxy Server?
Proxy servers act as a middleman between the website you are visiting and your device. The device could be anything like your computer or smartphone. Proxy servers force your internet traffic to go through a middle-man (a remote machine), which is used to connect you to the host server.
In this way, Proxy servers mask your real IP address to make it appear as if it was originating from different locations. Proxy servers were useful to unlock geo-restricted websites.
On the downside, proxies don’t encrypt your traffic between your computer and the proxy server. That means Proxies were less valuable on the security front because anyone could snoop on your traffic.
Also, proxies only work on the application level, and it doesn’t work on the operating system level. For example, you can configure web browser, Torrent client, and other proxy-compatible applications to use proxy servers. But, you can’t force every app to use proxies.
What is a VPN?
Unlike Proxies, VPNs also reroutes your internet traffic through a remote server. The process to hide the IP Address remains the same, but the similarities end here. Unlike Proxies which works on an application level, VPNs work on the operating system level. That means, VPNs redirect all your traffic, whether it’s originating from your web browser or a background app.
The key thing that differentiates VPNs from Proxies is encryption. VPN connections encrypt and secure all your traffic between the internet and your device. That simply means that web trackers or ISP monitoring your internet activity can no longer see what you are doing.
Although VPNs were superior to Proxies on the security front, they are not without their downside. Compared to Proxies, VPNs can be slow because they need to encrypt your data. Also, VPNs are usually paid, whereas proxies were mostly free.
So, these are the key differences between Proxy and VPN. I hope this article helped you! Share it with your friends also. If you have any doubts, let us know in the comment box below.