Difference Between Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Proxy

Both VPN and Proxy are used to connect to a remote system where one can access the host system from a remote location. However, VPNs are superior than Proxy servers because a VPN can protect your privacy and security by routing your traffic via a secure VPN server and encrypting it. A Proxy, on the other hand, just routes your traffic via a mediating server and it does not provide any additional security.

Read through this article to find out more about VPN and Proxy and how they are different from each other.

What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

A virtual private network connects a private network to another public network, which allows users to transmit and receive data as if their computers were connected to the private network physically.

  • Increased functionality, security, and control of the private network are all advantages of using a VPN.

  • VPNs are normally used by telecommuting employees to gain access to resources that are not available on the public network.

  • Although encryption is popular, it is not a requirement of a VPN connection.

A VPN is built by using dedicated circuits or tunneling technologies to construct a virtual point-to-point connection over existing networks. Some of the advantages of a wide area network (WAN) can be obtained using a VPN accessible over the public Internet. The resources accessible within the private network can be accessed remotely from the user's perspective.

One can use a VPN to protect their IP address by allowing the network to redirect through a particularly configured remote server run by a VPN host. If you surf online with a VPN, the VPN server becomes the source of your information, which means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third-parties cannot view the data you send and receive online.

What is a Proxy?

A proxy server is a server program that acts as an intermediary between a client seeking a resource and the server that provides that resource.

  • Rather than connecting directly to a server that can provide the desired resources, such as a file or a web page, the client sends the request to a proxy server, which analyses it and executes the necessary network operations.

  • Proxies are used to simplify or manage a request's complexity, as well as to provide additional benefits like load balancing, privacy, and security.

  • Proxies were created to provide distributed systems a structure and encapsulation. When a client requests a service, a proxy server acts on the client's behalf, possibly disguising the real origin of the request to the resource server.

Difference between VPN and Proxy

The following table highlights the major differences between Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Proxy.

DefinitionVPN is basically a mechanism to simulate a private network over a public network. It includes the implementation of encryption and authentication to connect to the network and access the remote system.A Proxy server does not imitate a private network over a public network. A proxy does not guarantee any level of security. There is no provision for encryption or authentication.
ProtocolsVPN uses protocols such as PTTP (Point to point tunneling protocol), L2TP (Layer 2 tunneling protocol), etc.Proxy servers use protocols such as FTP (File transfer protocol), SMTP (Simple mail transfer protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), etc.
FirewallVirtual private network uses firewall for its execution. VPN is compatible with firewalls.Proxy servers do not use firewall.
IPVPN does not hide the IP address of a client.Proxy servers use anonymous network IDs, which means they hide the IP address of the client.
SecurityVPNs provide high level of security and are more secure as compared to Proxy servers.A Proxy does not provide as secure a connection as VPN does.


A VPN produces the illusion of a private network over a public network. It establishes a secure connection between the end-users. A proxy server, on the other hand, acts as a gateway, making it perfect for simple tasks like anonymous online browsing. VPN connections are stable and dependable, while proxy server connections are prone to failures.

Updated on: 22-Aug-2022


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