Both Proxies and VPNs protect users’ IP Addresses and are suitable for accessing sites with geographical restrictions. However, they are not the same thing, even if most people use the two interchangeably. So, what is the difference between buy proxy and a VPN?
Before understanding the difference, let us single out the definitions of each.
The initials stand for Virtual Private Network. A VPN reroutes all internet traffic coming into your computer using a remote server. It hides your original location to prevent websites from seeing your original location.
AVPN operates at the system level, which means it redirects all the traffic you receive, be it from a background app or a browser. Also, it encrypts the traffic between your device and internet source. Thus, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) doesn’t see what you do online. It only detects you are connected to a VPN.
A Proxy Server
Proxies serve as relays between your device and the website you visit. The traffic passes through a third party machine, which you use to connect to the host server. Therefore, proxy servers hide your original IP, and the website you sign into sees the Proxy’s IP.
Unlike VPNs that work at the system level, proxies work at the application level. Which implies it only reroutes the traffic originating from a single application. Also, it doesn’t encrypt traffic.
There are three types of proxy servers; the HTTP proxies, SOCKS proxies, and Transparent proxies.
The difference between the two
Encryption of traffic- A VPN will encrypt your traffic, but a Proxy Server will not. This is because a VPN secures you from any ISP tracking, hackers and government surveillance. On the other hand, proxies hide the original IP. Therefore, proxies should not be used when handling any sensitive information.
Level of functionality- The two operate at different system levels. A VPN functions at the operating level, while proxies operate at the application level. Therefore a VPN works to reroute all the traffic from your device, while a proxy server will only reroute traffic coming from a particular browser or application.
Cost- VPNs need a payment, while most Proxy Servers are free. Note that there are free VPNs, which we wouldn’t advise you to use. Most free services tend to have limitations and could unmask your address after some time.
Online security– By using a VPN, you enjoy better internet security because of the use of powerful encryption, most of which fit into military-grade encryption. On the other hand, most proxies do not use any encryption. Those that do use SSL encryption which is not trustworthy.
Connection and browsing speed– Unfortunately, VPNs tend to be slower compared to proxies. They work more leisurely because they need to encrypt all the data from your device. Nonetheless, there are several ways through which one can improve the browsing speed and internet connection of their VPN.
Proxies do not impact on the connection speed because they do not have to send requests to the internet, especially for locally cached pages. Sometimes the proxy server could load slowly due to overcrowding
Reliability– In terms of reliability, VPNs are more reliable than proxy servers. Most proxy servers have poor connections that drop frequently.
Additional features– Proxy servers lack other features, while VPNs have features such as AppsKiller, KillSwitch, and DNS leak protection. These additional features increase security and ensure better privacy. They also add to the user experience.
Both VPNs and proxies work similarly, because they hide your IP Address, and reroute your traffic. By looking at the differences above, a VPN is superior to proxy servers. We recommend using a VPN. Nonetheless, if you are looking to just merely hiding your IP address for casual browsing, you could opt for a proxy server.