Let the debate begin! Proxy servers vs. VPN apps: Who’ll win? Both are handy encryption and IP-hiding technologies that provide the ability to obscure a user’s online identity with the intention of accessing blocked or restricted content.
Both methods have been experiencing a boost in popularity thanks to the worldwide need for privacy and the proliferation of streaming platforms and multimedia libraries. While they have similar functions, proxies and VPNs are not the same, and you are about to see why.
What is a proxy?
A web proxy is a functionality added to a browser that provides the user with the chance to hide its real IP address by handling Internet requests through a server located between the person using the online-powered device and the broader network, in this case, the Internet.
The web proxy is the intermediary server – also known as the proxy server – that will receive the user’s data and send it to the pages and services that it enters. The tool represents a basic level of anonymity at the time of browsing.
Proxy servers are way simpler than any other form of IP address hiding, although they are not as versatile and feature-packed as other tools, such as VPN. Since they are more basic, they are also cheaper.
These tools are helpful at the time of bypassing censorship and bans (such as government prohibitions to visit specific pages, or school’s blocking of games and social media platforms,) and that’s why they have become trendy.
On top of that, web proxies have been widely implemented as a way to defeat geo-blocking restrictions throughout the Internet. Numerous sites and multimedia libraries, like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer, divide their content depending on the user’s area. Proxies can bypass these geo-controls since the mentioned pages will see their IP address and not the users.
What is a VPN?
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are online services that come in the form of apps or clients. They have software that the user installs in its system with the intention of hiding its traffic and IP address to earn extra privacy, anonymity, and security.
VPNs use technologies known as protocols, such as OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec, to create a computer-generated tunnel for the IP number and shared online content to pass through, protected from hackers, governmental surveillance agencies, online advertisers, Internet Service Providers, and other external agents that may be harmful or threatening.
By hiding the user’s content and IP address, VPNs provide privacy and anonymous browsing since the IP number represents the most evident way to track a user online. On top of that, Virtual Private Networks can give the customers another IP from a country of its selection.
Just like proxies, VPN apps can also offer unblocking capabilities: users can access blocked international content by connecting to a virtual VPN server from a specific nation. They have more security features and configuration options, too.
Differences between a Proxy and a VPN
- Proxies are more straightforward, whereas setting up a VPN may be a tad more complicated (without requiring much time or being much of a hassle, though.)
- Proxies can only hide web traffic, whereas VPNs encrypt all user’s traffic.
- Proxies are established and configured in the web browser’s settings, while VPN apps require client software.
- VPNs can offer security features such as DNS leak protection, split tunnelling, kill switch, and Wi-Fi protection. Proxies don’t go that far.
- Proxies are a little cheaper, but VPNs are also affordable.
- Proxies are destined for users with little system resources, whereas VPNs can satisfy more needs.
- Proxies are a temporary solution, while VPNs usually provide long-term service.
Proxy vs. VPN: Who wins?
It depends on what you need. If you want to unblock a site or a game at your school to take advantage of one free hour, a proxy is more straightforward. However, for long-term privacy and protection, there is no question that a VPN is your best choice.
If you are searching for a reliable VPN brand, look no further: IPBurger provides privacy and security solutions. It implements a strict no logging policy, and its top-end encryption will make sure that no details about your online identity or your traffic get leaked around the web.
IPBurger is an up-and-coming security company that is well-prepared to provide multiple types of IP addresses to users, including shared and dedicated ones. You can access Skype, Facebook, Netflix, the BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other services without hassle, and there are various plans and packages offered: you can opt for the fresh, dedicated, shared, and unlimited VPN modes.
In conclusion, both proxies and VPN service providers can help you hide your IP address, and doing that has numerous advantages. However, they work differently, and Virtual Private Networks are better all-around privacy and security suites.
With VPNs, users can protect themselves against DNS or IPv6 leaks, they can configure a kill switch to deactivate their Internet connection in the event of a VPN malfunction, they can connect several devices at the same time, and they can unblock content and sites in a higher number of countries. Bottom line: the Proxy vs. VPN battle is won by the latter.