When cybersecurity and online privacy becomes an issue, Proxies and VPNs are two primary tools many people consider.
With all the security concerns, the internet community and businesses are exploring ways to protect themselves from the risk caused by these issues.
Using proxies and VPNs may be a very reasonable approach, yet there is some confusion over using the two tools.
Also, there are many residential proxies and VPN services available, such as Stealth Gurus. Therefore, it is crucial to know more about these tools and what is best for your needs.
Even though proxy and VPN both enhance privacy and security levels, they also have several differences. Knowing the differences between the two can help you determine which one you should use and when.
The Difference Between Proxy and VPN
Proxy and VPN are two similar tools that differ in several key aspects. For instance, both tools keep your IP address hidden; however, only a VPN can redirect your internet data using an encrypted tunnel.
A proxy serves as an intermediary between you and the internet. Therefore, you will connect to a proxy server first instead of connecting to a website directly.
Then, the server accesses the website and returns the data it gets. It utilizes its IP address to do so.
On the other hand, a VPN uses an external server that sends all connections through itself. These connections are encrypted using modern cryptographic algorithms, which creates a secure tunnel between you and the websites.
What is a Residential Proxy Server?
A residential proxy server utilizes an IP address given by an ISP, not a data center. These addresses are connected to an actual physical device, such as a desktop computer or mobile phone.
With a residential proxy, the website you are connecting to cannot tell that you are using a proxy. Instead, it will appear as if you are connecting through a standard IP. This is because security systems trust residential IPs assigned only to real residential addresses.
Proxy Server Advantages
- Easy Configuration
A lot of proxies do not require a lot of setups. By using a web proxy, you just enter the website’s URL, and it will take you to the website you want to go to using the same browser window.
- Your IP Address is Hidden
If set up properly, a good proxy server can hide your IP address from the websites you visit.
Proxies usually do not impact performance as they do not hide your data. Therefore, they are an excellent way to quickly avoid restrictions on particular websites, often faster than through a VPN.
Most proxy servers are free and accessible. They do not charge a bandwidth fee and only have an extra latency.
Proxy Server Disadvantages
- No Encryption
Proxies often do not encrypt data. Therefore, your ISP, government, or anyone prying on your network can see your browsing activity.
- Logging and Malware
Several proxies make money by inserting malware or ads in the web pages, while some log user activity and IP addresses. Likewise, a transparent proxy will send the server your location and IP address.
- No Support
Proxies usually do not have advanced features and customer support networks, just like a high-quality VPN, as most of them are free.
They are application-specific, which means they will only redirect the traffic sent from your browser window.
What is a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
A VPN also redirects your internet traffic using a remote server and keeps your ID address hidden so websites won’t be able to determine your original location or IP. It functions on the operating system and redirects all the traffic, whether from a browser or background app.
A VPN conceals your traffic between your device and the internet. Hence, the IPS monitors your activities on the internet and collects information.
In addition, the encryption safeguards you from website tracking, government surveillance, and any hackers or snoopers who might hack your device. In addition, a VPN gives you superior online privacy and security.
Find out more about the reasons to use a VPN.
- Conceal Your IP Address
Once you have chosen a location, you will be assigned a new IP address. This enables you to bypass geographical restrictions or censorship on particular content.
With a VPN, your privacy is protected as your data is encrypted. This makes your data unreadable to your ISP or anyone snooping on your network.
- Advanced Features
Several VPNs have advanced features, such as kill switches, obfuscation, and ad-blockers tools. These features help to protect your privacy.
- Accountable Providers
VPNs often have a customer support system to help you if you experience some issues.
- Slower Speeds
A VPN can slow down your connection speeds because of the overhead introduced by the encryption protocols.
- Quality Variation
Sometimes, using a free VPN can be more harmful than not using a VPN at all. It is because some free services are hazardous as they gather and share your internet activity and inject malware into your device.
- Logging Policies
VPN services have different logging policies, and the privacy they offer will depend on their policy. Some VPNs can gather identifying information, such as connection timestamps or IP addresses, to identify users.
- Higher Cost
You have to pay a monthly subscription for a good VPN.
The Difference Between Residential Proxy and VPN
Proxies and VPNs are both excellent tools to protect your privacy and information while using the internet. They may be similar to each other; however, each has its advantages and disadvantages.