What are Proxies and VPNs? How They Work & How to Use Them?
Dec 20, 202113 mins read
In today’s world of fast-paced-evolving technology, it has become challenging to secure your identity, especially in the digital world. The infinite networking horizons and the world wide web (WWW) have complicated security officials and organizations. They deal with massive critical data of the users like the government organizations, security firms, intelligence, protective bureaus, etc., via two of either source’s proxies vs. VPNs.
Network engineers initially intended that the proxies and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide security and intermediary protocols to furnish secret and sensitive security tasks. When there is goodwill behind any invention and creation, minds are threatening to break these protocols.
The proceeding section of this article will discuss in-depth insights into the usage, characteristic features, functionalities, and operational implementation of the proxies vs. VPNs. But before that, let us understand the terms proxies vs. VPNs in brief.
Proxies are specialized servers of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server that work on the firewall mechanism. It is an intermediary covering the blanket of networking or the middle layer between the two users on the Internet.
In the domain of networking in computer science, proxies are the software applications coordinating the internet user requests to the respective resource triggered to respond to those particular requests.
Proxies act like the request carriers who awaits the requests generated from within the firewall client. As soon as it gets the request from the client, it transfers it to the remote server to fetch the required response. When the proxy server receives that response, it hurriedly sends it back to the user who has generated that particular request.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a networking security framework developed over physical networks. It provides strict security for the internet protocol (IP) data transmission between the network servers. You can use VPNs to communicate data via a protected communication mechanism securely.
VPN is a sealed covering over the existing communication networks like the Internet. It can feasibly furnish the transmission of secure information across the usual public networks. In routine life, the dedicated private lines of network communications were used previously by the organizations. But now, VPNs have transformed the way of carrying information to remote servers and are more secure.
VPNs have built-in security algorithms of software cryptography that convert the information anonymously while carrying it from one internet node to another. Exceptional communication of sensitive information between remote internet users has become even safer with the help of VPNs as it was in the past.
A VPN and a Proxy server are not alike. Both of them have different functionalities and features. I have discussed the comparative analysis of Proxies and VPNs below.
- Root Functionalities of the Proxies vs. VPNs
Internet Protocol (IP) is your identity, like who you are, your residential address, online activities, etc. A proxy’s function is to mask this information from online users. When you attempt to open a web page, your device sends the request to an ISP (Internet Service Provider), then the ISP checks your request and provides your IP address to the particular website you want to access. The website then permits you access.
Proxy Server develops the exchange between your ISP and the website you want to access. The ISP provides the IP of your proxy server rather than the IP of your device. Therefore, it is like your proxy visits the website, not you.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is similar to a proxy server.
The best thing about VPN is that it conceals your IP address and encrypts all the data between you and the website, which is the main difference between a proxy and a VPN..
Features of Proxies vs. VPNs
I have discussed the main features of Proxies and VPNs below.
- Information Encryption
The main and the most beneficial feature of a VPN is data encryption. All the data will be encrypted of your browsing that you send or receive will be encrypted. No one will be able to see what you are doing online. It helps you get protected from any threat like hackers, different businesses, government firms, or anyone else.
- Online Privacy Enhancement
A VPN provides you with total privacy with a no-log policy. The “No-Log” policy means that the provider promises not to track and reserve your activity while doing something online via the Internet. It means that those providers have no data to give to anyone else who wants to know about your online activities or any activity through the Internet. A free proxy may monitor and sell data to a third party.
- Gain more Flexibility with Purchased VPN
Free VPNs are available if you want to connect. However, different experts recommend a VPN provider that charges a fee because paid services are more secure and beneficial for data privacy. Free VPN security can be unreliable because multiple providers use only one connection PTTP (Point-to-point tunneling protocol). At the same time, Paid VPN provides more reliable data encryption.
Features Of Proxies:
A proxy works as a firewall between your device and the Internet that secures your data. Otherwise, hackers will easily access the data through your IP address and penetrate our device or network.
Private Browsing History
Using multiple different proxies helps you save from getting overwhelmed by unwanted ads or the group of specific IP data.
Ingress to the Content of Specific Location
With an associated IP address, you can designate a proxy server with another country. In this way, you may appear like you are in that country which gives you access to all the content of the computers in that country.
- Limit the Browsing Access of the Organization Employees
You can use VPNs to limit the browsing access of the organization’s employees and will increase their efficiency while they are at work because they will be able to focus more and perform well. So, during working hours, they may not waste time visiting inappropriate or deviating sites. In this way, the organization can enhance its productivity and revenue ultimately.
- Information Encryption
Usage of Proxies vs. VPNs
Usage of Proxies:
VPNs are more secure as compared to proxies, but still, they are in drift. Using these tools have their benefits. You can use a proxy for the following purposes;
Imitating Public IP Address
Whether you want to mask your IP address for privacy or get rid of any online tracking, the proxy best serves this purpose. You can easily swap your IP address without interfering with any technical setting.
Content Access from Different Locality
You can also access content from different locations through proxies, just like VPNs. Well, a proxy is not strong enough to diversify the limit of your access to the Internet. So, that would cause difficulty to access the intentionally occlude content. Although, proxies perform very well for quick tasks. For instance, If you want to know the local news from anywhere, you can change your online location using a proxy.
Transpose Location Without any Cost
The proxy services that are available especially for individual use are primarily free of cost. Although hundreds of locations are not present for free, four to five different locations are available. Hence, a proxy is the best tool to use if you want to hide your IP address for the time being.
Usage of VPNs
VPN has lots of benefits to use and has become so in demand nowadays. Some of the reasons why you should use a VPN are as follows;
Secure Unsafe Data
You can use VPNs to secure your private information like your bank details, private messages, emails, passwords, etc., which is always a threat of being misused by cybercriminals. For this purpose, these criminals need a link, unprompted or unwanted cookie, or an email. VPNs apply Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to encrypt all your data through your network.
Access the Location Limited Content
Some of the most popular streaming websites such as, Disney Plus, Netflix, etc., have limitations on who can view their content at which location. Therefore, some of the content may be viewable by others and restricted for you to consider.
You would also face that problem while watching a YouTube video where you can see a message like, “This video is not available in your country,” this is due to the content owner’s choice of making their content unavailable for that particular region. However, you can use VPN to overcome this problem by masking your IP address and connecting to the specific server to view the content.
Enhance Network Speed
Encryption and decryption of a VPN can minimize the speed of your network. But you can speed up your network by using ISP (Internet Service Provider) throttling. It means that ISP willingly slows down the speed of your network. So, VPN can hide your viewing content from your ISP, and in that way, ISP can’t throttle your Internet connection and cannot restrict your internet bandwidth.
Operational Implementation of Proxies vs. VPNs
As we all know that, all the networks have different unique IP addresses. The proxy server can hide the IP address and manage the requests on your behalf. At the same time, VPN Encrypts your data and gives an impression of emerging from different locations thoroughly.
Proxy only allows apparent obscurity. To make your data completely safe and hide your identity, VPN is the best choice.
- When to Opt. for What: Proxies vs. VPNs
As we have discussed the differences between proxy and VPN above, choosing which one is best for you may be easy. If you want to mask your IP address, then VPN and a proxy server both work well. But if you wish to hide your IP address from a particular website and are also worried about your slow browsing speed, then the proxy server is best for you.
If you are worried about cost, it will be better to choose an accessible proxy server that will hide your IP address from four to five different sites or apps. However, if you want to hide your browsing activities, VPN is the better option for you. Because VPN encrypts your data when you are online while proxy doesn’t.
A VPN is more reliable and efficient for securing your data. If you want to reach multiple sites online, such as bank accounts or credit card portals, VPN is best because it hides and encrypts your data. As with many paid VPN services, it is more secure to make your personal and sensitive information safe from any threats from cybercriminals or hackers.
This article has discussed all the details about a proxy server and a VPN (Virtual Private Networks), including its comparative analysis, features, usage, operational implementation, etc. They both have their unique features and uses. A proxy server like ProxyCrawl hides your data and acts as a medium to send requests on your behalf. At the same time, VPN has the best quality of encrypting your information which makes it more reliable and secure than a proxy server.