Proxy vs. VPN: The Difference Between VPN and Proxy?

December 16, 2018 by Bilal Muqeet

VPN and proxies are terms a frequent user of the internet would come across. 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.

It is necessary to know VPN vs. Proxy to understand the difference and comparison between the two’s. 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.

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 massive success in the countries where citizens’ had limited access.

Also, a VPN has its advantages over a proxy server. It creates a tunnel over the public networks between computer servers. PPTP, SSL, TLS, and IPsec are a few encryption protocols which help in encrypting the data.

What Is a VPN?

The function of a Virtual Private Network is to enable an internet user to explore the web without outsiders manipulating your transmission of data. It diverts your connection through an encrypted protocol. The client initially interfaces with the internet through an ISP which starts a VPN connection with the company’s VPN server using client software.

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 data on your PC, VPNs secure it on the web. Keep in mind that a VPN is a WAN so, the front end holds usefulness, privacy, and outlook as it would on the private system.

Advantages of a VPN

  • 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.
  • Maximum servers are available.
  • VPN creates flexibility since any employee of any organization can visit any web page either at home or his workplace.
  • VPNs aid you when downloading torrents.

What Is a Proxy Server?

A proxy functions by interfacing through one of these servers, your PC sends your request to the intermediary server which at that point creates your application 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.

VPN vs. Proxy Comparison

VPN Proxy
Trustworthy in regards to network security. Not secure enough.
Easy to bypass restricted content without leaving any traces. Simply unblocks certain websites and compromises over your anonymity.
VPNs operate under most devices and operating systems. Proxies work with the popular browsers in the market.
They can work from anywhere on earth. Proxies operate under limited circumstances.
VPNs provide full end to end encryption, thus ensuring your security. A hacker or any offender, can intervene with your data transmission.
Dedicated speed promised. Frequent network delays and slow pace.

Security protocols of VPN

IPsec (IP Security): 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. Additionally, 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. This results in the formation of cryptographic specifications.

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 an SSL session.

How Makes a VPN different from Proxy?

Now, the question arises. If both 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.

Network Freedom – A VPN enables you to access any website blocked anywhere on the planet, thereby granting you complete online freedom. While proxy works under specific boundaries and is unable to bypass firewalls, so you are not free using a proxy as you might think so.

Online Security – VPN encrypts your IP address; thus, it is impossible to phish any data or intrude your confidential information. On the other hand, anybody can intervene your secret data on a proxy server.

Fast Speed – A VPN gives you the opportunity to facilitate you with a boost of internet speed, which is relatively significant (As described above). But, your internet speed faces a lag when using a proxy server because it acts as an intermediary.

Device Compatibility – A VPN operates under all OS, ranging from Chrome to Microsoft Edge, and gadgets/devices. On the contrary, a proxy works only with specific web browsers, the popular ones, of course, i.e., Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, etc.

Stability – VPNs stand stable and reliable in most situations. Proxy servers frequently crash down due to the traffic on the intermediary servers which do communication back-and-forth.

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.

Final Words

Therefore, these are the traits which differentiate between a VPN and a proxy. Its onto you now to choose any of the ones you want. However, our recommendation will be to opt for a VPN since it is better than a proxy server from a major perspective.

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