Proxy vs VPN: What are the main differences?

VPNs and proxies both provide a better level of privacy than you may otherwise have, allowing you to browse the Internet anonymously by masking your IP address in various ways. However, the manner in which they do this is completely different.

A proxy serves as a gateway, making it perfect for simple tasks such as anonymous online browsing and maintaining (or evading) content restrictions. Proxy servers are ideal for viewing geo-restricted material since they excel at IP masking and misdirection. They enable users to circumvent content limitations and monitoring, as well as impose website content restrictions, such as the inability to access particular web pages on business time.

Your computer's VPN client builds a secure connection with the VPN server, replacing your local ISP routing. VPN connections, unlike proxy servers, encrypt and protect all of your network traffic, not simply HTTP or SOCKS calls from your browser.

When you need to use the WIFI at a local coffee shop, utilising a VPN instead of the possibly entirely unsecured local WIFI offers another layer of anonymity — who knows who is lurking on that network, drinking coffee and waiting to steal your credit card digits?

Differences between VPN and Proxy

  • Proxy servers do not encrypt your traffic, whereas VPNs do. A virtual private network (VPN) shields you from ISP monitoring, government spying, and hackers. Because proxies don't have this capability, they should never be utilised to handle sensitive data.

  • VPNs operate at the operating system level, rerouting all of your traffic through a VPN server, whereas proxies operate at the application level, rerouting only the traffic of a single programme or browser.

  • VPNs must encrypt your sensitive data hence, they are slower than proxies; however, there are ways to improve your Internet connection and browsing speeds.

  • Many proxy servers are free, but VPNs are typically expensive (free VPN providers have limits and tend to harvest your data).

  • A VPN connection is more dependable, but proxy server connections are more prone to failure.

  • VPN is superior because it protects your privacy and security by routing your traffic via a secure VPN server and encrypting it. A proxy just routes your traffic via a mediating server and does not provide any additional security. VPNs, unlike proxies, also safeguard all of your traffic at the operating system level. In the proxy versus VPN discussion, the latter is unquestionably superior.

VPNs and proxies could be used simultaneously, although configuring them might be difficult. We also advise avoiding using because the proxy server would merely add another middleman to your Internet connection, slowing it down without providing any substantial benefits. When utilising them, it's best to use one or the other.