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Understanding the Differences between VPN and Proxy

The IT Universe Writers

A VPN and proxy help users mask their IP addresses when they are browsing on the internet. While both of them appear to be much similar to a user on the surface, there are many differences between a VPN and a proxy. Below is a brief guide to how these two differ. This will help you decide which one is the most beneficial.

VPN vs. Proxy

Both VPN and proxy allow you to mask your IP address when you are using the internet. This means that it will appear as if you are accessing a website or service from a different location. However, where a proxy simply hides your IP address, VPN encrypts the traffic and makes it more secure to browse the internet. This means that using a VPN will be the ideal choice for activities, which call for superior data encryption and pro-level protection, while a proxy will suit the low-risk and recreational usage scenarios.

Simply put, a proxy and a VPN offer you the same functions, but with different levels of encryption and security features. You can even use a proxy and a VPN at the same time on your device but doing so is more likely to choke your internet speed rather than offering a double layer of protection. Therefore, it will be better to decide which one is right for you based on your requirements along with masking your IP address and internet browsing activities.

How Does a Proxy Work?

A proxy server acts as a mediator between your internet activities and the rest of the internet. It works to hide your internet browsing activities and make it appear as if you are using the internet from a different location. The most striking benefit of using a proxy is that your IP address will be anonymous and your geographic location will be masked. However, it is not enough to hide your internet activities from a tech-savvy person who can decode your proxy. Therefore, proxies are recommended for low-risk internet browsing activities where data protection and security do not matter much.

Using a proxy will be a good option if you see that a specific web page or its content is not accessible in your region. This happens because some sites and services block certain IP addresses based on their geographic location from accessing the content on their servers. Using a proxy will help you to bypass any such geographic location limitations easily, so that you can access the content or web page you want. This can be ideal for using a live video streaming service or online gaming site. None of these activities require much security therefore, you can simply use a proxy to access the site or content you want.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN also works just like a proxy, in that it masks your internet browsing activities and IP address to let you access content from any location as per your needs. However, you also get the added benefit of data encryption when using a VPN. When you activate a VPN on your device, it encrypts all of your information and secures your internet access completely. This means that you can expect a much superior level of data security and privacy by using a VPN than what you will get using a proxy.

VPN solutions can help protect and encrypt your browser history, emails, as well as any third-party apps that you use to connect to the internet. In other words, you can secure all your web activities using a VPN. This also means that using banking apps and sending other kinds of sensitive information over the internet will be more secure when you use a VPN. At the same time, sharing such sensitive data can be vulnerable to cyberattacks when you use a proxy.

It is widely known that the data laws and international privacy vary by a great margin from country to country. There has also been a steady rise in data thefts and cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can hack an unsecured network easily and steal all your personal information. This can put you at great risk, especially if you use the internet to access and share sensitive data related to your business. Therefore, you should use a VPN to get a secure channel for all your internet activities.

While a proxy can be good enough for personal uses, a VPN will be ideal for businesses that rely on the internet for data transmission and other transactions. Remember that using a proxy in a business environment will only hide the IP address and not secure the web activity, which means that your data will be at great risk of being stolen. In fact, any proficient internet user can break through the proxy protocols if they needed to. Furthermore, set up a VPN for your internet activities and stay safe from cyberattacks and other potential threats.