Proxy or VPN – What To Choose?

Proxy or VPN
Proxy or VPN
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2022)

With the global development of the internet, there are more and more sites where we leave our sensitive data, more trackers, and more applications that are watching us without our consent and use our data so that it sometimes seems that they get to know us eventually better than we ourselves do. As a reaction to this, more and more users become more concerned about how to protect their privacy.

One of the modern approaches is the technologies that provide a more private connection – VPN or proxy server. They work in a bit different ways but eventually provide similar advantages as it comes to privacy. In today’s article, we’ll have a look at what they are, what they have in common and how they differ one from another, and what is the best solution for you.

What is a proxy server?

A proxy server works as an intermediary gateway between users and the internet. Proxy servers have their own IP address, so the original IP address of the user is hidden. A proxy server is also additionally set up in a way to protect your data from hackers.
There are various types of proxy servers:

Forward proxy

This type of proxy is used to get the data to users of a specific network, having one point of entry.

Transparent proxy

Transparent proxies work without affecting the user’s experience, that a user may not even be aware of this. This type is often implied by companies to their corporate networks to provide a basic level of anonymity to their employees. Nevertheless, this proxy is considered more vulnerable to certain types of cyber attacks, including SYN-flood DoS attacks.

Anonymous proxy

This type of proxy provides an entry-level degree of anonymity. The identity of the user and the device information is hidden.
High anonymity server

This type provides a higher level of anonymity than the previous one by means of erasing your information before accessing the site in question.

Distorting proxy

This type hides its identity from the site you are willing to visit by distorting its IP. Distorting proxy does well, when you want to hide your location, and may also make you seem as if you were accessing from another country. However, some sites do not want distorting proxies to access them.

Datacenter proxy

This type is a proxy that is based on a data center rather than being connected to ISP. They show a high level of performance but not a maximum level of anonymity.

Residential proxy

With this one, you get an IP address of a specific device. They are more reliable than other proxies but usually cost something.

Public proxy

They are usually free, but their performance is often reduced due to lots of users using them simultaneously, and they are also considered less secure.

Shared Proxy

This option is similar to the previous one. Several users access the same IP and it is usually free.

SSL proxy

A proxy based on a security shell layer to provide a secure connection between the client and the server, encrypting and decrypting data between them.

What is VPN?

A virtual private network is another service that provides you with secure internet browsing. It also makes you seem to access the internet from another place, but it works like a tunnel for your data that encrypts it while it’s running through it. VPN is a popular solution among users that don’t want that their data is tracked by anyone, want to use a wifi connection in a public place, or to access content that is blocked in specific regions.

Although both services provide you with ways of secure browsing, they work in different ways and hence there are several significant differences between them, as it comes to privacy, security, and performance.

Security

Proxy helps you conceal your identity, but they don’t encrypt your data. Using a public proxy can be even less secure than just browsing with your browser. On the other hand, encryption is one of the key features of a VPN, so even your ISP won’t know anything about your activity.

Privacy

As mentioned earlier, a proxy server works as a gateway, that hides your identity somewhere in the middle, so that it works only on the site you are visiting. With VPN even your IP is hidden and your data is encrypted so that it can’t be intercepted even by your wifi router.

Speed

Both proxy and VPN are usually presented on the servers used by numerous users at a time, so the speed may be reduced. Hence the solution here will be finding the right service provider.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, VPN may be considered a more advanced solution than a proxy server. It’s the best option to choose if you deal with sensitive data. If you don’t need a highly sophisticated solution, but just a way to make your web browsing anonymous, a proxy server will do as well. If you feel more interested in VPN and are looking for a good VPN provider, we can recommend virtual private network from HostZealot hosting provider.

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