Still confused with the difference between a VPN and a proxy? Don’t worry, you are not alone. There are still a ton of people out there who are puzzled among the duo. Let us begin with the easy stuff first which is defining a VPN and a proxy.
Though their facilities are roughly similar, it is quite necessary to have idea about the knowledge between the differences and similarities between the two. The actual purpose of both, a VPN and a proxy server, is to facilitate with a connection between the client requesting a website and the computer server where it is stored on by hiding a client’s IP address to protect it from intruders.
The common differentiating factor between them is that a proxy server enables you to hide, mask and make a user anonymous on the internet by hiding his/her IP address. Some features in a proxy server are Firewall, network connection sharing, data filtering and data caching. This was a huge success in the countries where citizens’ had limited access to websites on the internet.
On the contrary, a VPN has its advantages over a proxy server. It creates a tunnel over the public networks between computer servers. That tunnel is created from the encapsulation of the data packets by an encryption protocol. PPTP, SSL, TLS and IPsec are a few encryption protocols which help in encrypting the data. This aids in high-routing of speeds to transfer data securely.
What Is a VPN?
An acronym for Virtual Private Network, its function is to enable an internet user to explore the web without outsiders blocking or controlling your transmission of data. By diverting your connection through an encrypted protocol, a VPN enhances your browsing options. The client initially interfaces with the public internet through an ISP which starts a VPN connection with the company’s VPN server using client software.
Building up one of these protected connections, if you need to sign into your private corporate system, is amazingly simple. The client initially interfaces with the public internet by an ISP, at that point it starts a VPN connection with the organization’s VPN server utilizing the client software. Thus, the customer software on the server sets up the protected protocol, enables the remote client access to the internal network and you are on driving seat to start browsing through a VPN.
A VPN enables its clients to safely board-on to a private system and offer information remotely through open systems. Similar to a firewall which ensures your information on your PC, VPNs secure it on the web. Keep in mind that a VPN is actually a WAN, a Wide Area Network, the front end holds a similar usefulness, privacy, and outlook as it would on the private system.
The only sole reason for which a VPN is used because it provides complete anonymity when one browses web applications/websites through it.
- Websites banned in specific regions are made accessible.
- Through a VPN, your privacy is protected, by encrypting your IP address, from the government and network surveillance agencies.
- Censorship is ceased.
- Maximum servers available.
- Maintenance cost gets lowered, when a VPN is created.
- Filters are bypassed.
- VPN creates flexibility, since any employee of any organisation can visit any webpage either at home or his workplace.
- VPNs aid you when downloading torrents.
Does VPN boost your internet speed?
If you suspect that your VPN is making your internet speed lag by bandwidth throttling, the proper way to end this is by using a VPN connection. Thus, your ISP would not have the capacity to assess the information being transmitted through your system, so throttling gets lowered. Therefore, a VPN enables you to have fun with faster online speed.
Security protocols developed as VPNs
IPsec (IP Security): These are defined programs of protocols which facilitate with data authentication, integrity, and privacy. It operates in two modes, the transport mode, and tunnel mode. The transport mode encrypts the data packet by itself whereas tunneling mode encrypts the complete data packet as a whole.
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol): It works alongside with IPsec. The IPsec handles the transport mode which deals with encryption, confidentiality, and integrity while L2TP paves the tunnel enabling the transfer of data.
SSH (Secure Shell): It generates the VPN tunnel as well as the encryption protecting it. Users are granted access to transfer their information through routing the traffic from unresponsive fileservers in an encrypted gateway.
PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol): Unlike L2TP and IPsec, it does not do encryption. Only the data packet is tunneled and encapsulated.
Secure Socket Layers (SSL) & Transport Layer Security (TLS): These two protocols function with a handshake method. An SSL handshake is accomplished before the commencement of ant SSL session. This results in the formation of cryptographic specifications. Through these specifications/parameters, the exchange of encryption keys, session authentication and the creation of a private connection are enabled.
What Is a Proxy?
A proxy or ‘Proxy Server’ is a server that acts as a go-between the web browser and the website to be accessed. It functions by interfacing through one of these servers, your PC sends your request to the intermediary server which at that point creates your request and returns your demanded website.
It also has the same purpose and advantages as that of a VPN. Sharing connections on a LAN, accessing restricted websites and anonymous browsing are some advantages to jot down.
How VPN Is different from Proxy?
Now, the major question arises. If both of them are used for the same reason and have very similar functionalities, why are they referred to as two different things? Because they are contrasting when their certain aspects are compared.
Those aspects are online security and privacy, internet freedom, network speed, device compatibility, reliability, and stability. We will see the differences between each of the two regarding every perspective.
- A VPN enables you to access any website blocked anywhere on the planet, thereby granting you complete online freedom.
- Proxy servers work under specific boundaries and are unable to bypass firewalls, so you are not free using a proxy as you might think so.
Online Privacy and Security
- VPN encrypts your IP address thus, it is impossible to phish any data or intrude your confidential information. Encryption is done to 100% on a VPN.
- Anybody can intervene your secret data on a proxy server which is why privacy does not exist there. The proxy provides a low-level wanted security because some proxies give the availability of SSL. If an SSL connection is not there, everything is potentially in danger of a cyber-attack.
- A VPN gives you the opportunity to facilitate you with a boost of internet speed, which is fairly significant (As described above).
- Certainly, due to multiple servers, your internet speed surely faces a lag when using a proxy server. The continuous routing of traffic from your PC to the intermediary server causes this.
- A VPN operates under all OS, ranging from Chrome to Microsoft Edge, and gadgets/devices.
- A proxy works only with specific web browsers, the popular ones, of course, i.e Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc.
- As described above that it ensures your internet freedom and online security and privacy, therefore a VPN is 100% reliable.
- A Proxy server is unreliable. Obviously, now you know why.
- A VPN is completely stable since encryption is done only once. Therefore, it does not get disturbed frequently.
- Proxy servers frequently crash down due to the traffic on the intermediary servers which do communication back-and-forth, i.e from the client and transferring it to the destination.
So these are the traits which differentiate between a VPN and a proxy. Its onto you now to choose any of the ones you want. My recommendation will be to opt for a VPN since it is better than a proxy server from a major perspective.