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VPN vs. Proxy: What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Use?

Nowadays, it’s essential to think about your internet privacy and security and take the necessary steps to protect your online activity and identity. Hacking is becoming more widespread, and two popular tools to cope with it are virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxies. In order to choose the best one, let’s learn more about the difference between VPNs and proxies, it can help you find the proper solution.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

The first tool that helps users create a secure and private connection on the internet is a virtual private network or VPN for short. This service encrypts all of your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server that’s operated by the VPN provider. It means that hackers and other third parties can’t intercept and access your data since your IP address is hidden.

Using VPN can be beneficial for several reasons, including the ability to avoid online censorship and restrictions related to your location. Advanced features are also worth noting, and split tunnelling, for instance, allows you to choose which traffic goes through the VPN or directly to the internet.

Privacy and Security

A high level of security and privacy is one of the best advantages of VPN services. They use advanced encryption protocols, protecting your information, so it’s almost impossible to get your data for hackers and third parties. Also, most VPN providers have a no-logs policy. It means they do not keep any records of your online activity and don’t track your actions on the internet. Moreover, you can learn how do you know your phone is being tracked to protect yourself even more.

Speed

Slow internet is something many users of VPN struggle with. VPNs can be slower than proxies due to the encryption of your internet traffic, causing a delay in your internet speed. However, it’s possible to find VPN providers with fast and reliable connections, so it’s not that problematic.

Ease of Use

It’s easier to use VPNs than proxies. Most providers have user-friendly apps and software that are not hard to install on your device at all. With just a few clicks, you can easily connect to the VPN server you need.

Compatibility

VPNs are compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems. It’s not difficult to find apps and software for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even browser extensions. So using VPN on multiple devices is not a problem.

Proxies

While connecting to a proxy server, your requests are sent to the internet on your behalf, and you get the response to your device after it was sent to the proxy.

There are several benefits of using a proxy, including faster internet speed. The best Proxy service for scraping is often used by companies to ensure faster internet speed for their employees and manage internet traffic.

Privacy and Security

It’s worth noting that proxies don’t provide the same level of security and privacy as VPN services. It’s a significant disadvantage that your online venture can be monitored by third parties since proxies don’t encrypt your internet traffic.

Speed

Even though the lack of traffic encryption is a disadvantage when it comes to privacy, it means that your internet connection is going to be faster. However, it can still be affected by various factors. They include the number of users on the server, the distance between your device and the server, and so on.

Ease of Use

Manual configuration is another disadvantage of proxies, so it’s more complicated to set up than VPNs. If you’re not tech-savvy, it may not be as user-friendly for you as VPN services. 

Compatibility

Unlike VPN services, proxies may not be compatible with all devices and operating systems. Besides complicated manual configuration, blocked access to some websites and services for proxy servers is also worth mentioning.

Which One Should You Use?

When you’re looking for the best tool for online privacy and security, you need to rely on your needs and preferences. Both proxies and VPNs have their own advantages and disadvantages, and if privacy during online sessions is your #1 priority, it’s better to choose VPN. On the other hand, if you appreciate the high speed of your internet connection, the proxy is the best option. Just make sure you do your research and choose a reliable provider with the level of protection and features that are suitable for you.

Shehbaz Malik
Shehbaz Malik
A computer science graduate. Interested in emerging technological wonders that are making mankind more approachable to explore the universe. I truly believe that blockchain advancements will bring long-lasting revolutions in people’s lives. Being a blogger, I occasionally share my point of views regarding the user experience of digital products.
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