A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network that protects user identifications by rerouting the traffic and helps you to connect to a remote computer. If we talk about a Proxy, it also does the same job as like VPN. But there is a difference. This guide helps you to find the difference between a proxy and a VPN. Also, it explains why VPN is a more reliable and stronger service than that of the Proxy, so read on.
Difference between a Proxy and a VPN
With advanced technology and modern digitalization, the internet has now become one of the most essential services that play a great role in every aspect of our life. And because of this, we do almost all big and small work through the internet. But it also cannot be denied that the internet nowadays seems like a scary place where we are surrounded by lots of malware and ransomware. They always try to intrude on the devices while browsing or downloading files.
In order to abstain from these snooping things, we use a VPN software or a Proxy service that provides a higher level of privacy. Both services allow you to access the internet services anonymously by concealing the Internet Protocol address in various ways.
So, the question arises that if proxy servers and VPN connections perform the same job then why they are called different. Basically, they are different and here the similarities come to end.
What is a Proxy Server?
Proxy software makes it easier for people to overcome Internet censorship. It can make you anonymous on the internet, making the connections more secure and private.
A proxy server is a server that acts as a middle man between your computer and the server that you are trying to access. In this case, the websites can’t detect your original IP address and it seems to come from any other location.
For example, suppose you are currently located in Mumbai city and you need to access the website that is only limited to the people located in the United States. In this case, you need to connect to a proxy server that is located in the United States. After that, connect to that website. That way, the traffic coming from your web browser looks like coming from the remote computer.
Proxy service is quite helpful for the region-restricted websites and it is highly reliable for the task related to low-stakes. As we mentioned earlier, the proxy server uses anonymous network ID, so it bypasses the simple contents filters and services that are based on IP restrictions.
In order to make it more clear, let us take an example. Assume you are five friends and playing an online game where you receive a daily in-game incentive bonus when you vote the game server on a server ranking site. But according to the game policy, you can only vote with your IP address notwithstanding whether other player names are used. Luckily, there is a proxy service using which all the five friends can easily log in their vote and get the in-game incentive bonus. It could happen because the web browser of each person appears to be originating from any other IP address.
Apart from these plus points, there is also some downside to the proxy server. The proxy server is not much reliable for high-leveled tasks. Although, it hides the IP address and works as a mute man lies in the middle for Internet traffic. But, it does not support the encryption protection to encrypt data between your device and the proxy server. Therefore, a proficient and experienced programmer can quickly block sensitive data in transit and keep it.
The proxy service is basically based on an application by application basis. It means that you can’t configure the entire PC while connecting to the proxy.
There are two main types of proxy that are commonly used. These proxy server protocols are HTTP and SOCKS. The HTTP Proxy is the oldest and most wide-spread proxy server. It has been designed basically for web-based traffic so that it could detect the suspicious content easily. The most interesting thing of an HTTP proxy is that it allows you the encryption protection using the SSL certificate, whereas the SOCKS server doesn’t support encryption security.
What is a VPN server?
A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is essential to stay invisible or anonymous on the net.It will encrypt all the data that your device sends so that it will not be hackable. It hides and protects your identity online.
Virtual Private Networks is somewhat similar to the Proxy server, herewith it also offers an extra layer of privacy and security to the internet activity. The VPN functions at the OS level where it occupies the entire traffic connection of the computer it is configured on. That indicates, the VPN captures the network traffic of each application running on your computer that extends far beyond a single web browser.
Additionally, the VPN server encrypts the network traffic between the internet and the computer due to which the whole process passes through an extremely encrypted tunnel. It provides 100% assurance to the protection of data from the Internet Service Providers and the prying eyes of Intruder on internet activity. And that way, sensitive and private information of every single user would remain preserved.
Because of having all these advantageous services, it makes the VPN as the most ideal server for any kind of high-level network use. Although VPN offers a high amount of security, nevertheless, it also comes with some kinds of drawbacks. The VPN is a slower server as compared to the proxy and it is so because of the encrypted connection status. Furthermore, in order to use full encryption protection, the VPN usually comes with a paid version while the proxy servers are free.
VPN vs Proxy
The actual difference between a proxy and a VPN is that a Proxy service lets you hide your IP (Internet Protocol) address and it reroutes the entire network connections anonymous. Whereas a VPN connection has major benefits over the proxy. It not only hides your IP but also provides better encryption to the network between the computer and its servers so that no snoopers or hackers could harm your device.