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What is a VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network extends a private network across a public network. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if they are directly connected to the private network, and thus are benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. VPN is a safer and way more beneficial manner to protect your data, keep your speed and secure your hardware, than using proxies.
What is a Proxy?
On the other hand, proxy acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource available from a different server and the proxy server evaluates the request as a way to simplify and control its complexity. Proxies were invented to add structure and encapsulation to distributed systems.
Why is VPN better than a Proxy?
Ofcourse, VPN is more reliable than Proxy, although both of them are used to surf the Internet anonymously, but VPN works differently which makes it more reliable than proxy sites. Both VPN and proxy hides your real IP, but VPN traffic is encrypted while normal proxy doesn’t offer encryption.
Using a VPN can protect all these:
- The websites you visit
- The videos you watch
- Files which you have downloaded and uploaded
- Your email addresses
- Your browsing type (ex: - video, audio, web, photo, social, torrent, etc.)
Proxies don't allow you to create a secure channel through which your data can travel, however, vpn provides you a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPN are much faster than proxies. VPN encrypts all data (ex: - Surfing, IM, FTP, etc.) to and from your computer, whereas proxies only encrypts http (WWW) traffic.
This chart will show you the main differences between VPN and proxies, and why you should prefer a VPN:
|Security||Very low. On SSL connections all data is encrypted, but on non-SSL nothing is encrypted. Beware!||Bank-level encryption|
|Speed||Usually slow due to over trafficked servers||Very fast and performance oriented|
|Privacy||Proxy operator can intercept your private data||Best possible. Your data is totally encrypted and therefore masked. Your ISP can’t monitor your activity|
|Content Access||Circumvents basic geo-restrictions, not 100% reliable||Unblocks all content restrictions|
|Stability||Unstable – frequent downtime and risk of crashing||Super stable – 99.9% uptime|
|OS/Device Support||Limited to the browser||Works on all systems (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers) and routes all traffic through VPN (within apps too)|
For more information, check out our very complete blog post on the comparison between a VPN and Proxy.