You might have seen VPN and proxy servers everywhere by now. Both of them protect your privacy, your identity, and so on by hiding your real IP address.
It makes many people confused: What are the differences between a VPN and a proxy? And which one is better? Don’t worry! We’re here to provide answers.
Proxy vs VPN: What are they? And how do they work?
A proxy server is go between you and the internet. Instead of connecting to a website directly, you connect via proxy server first. All information you get would be through the proxy server..
Much like proxies, a VPN, or virtual private network, uses an external server that sends all connections through itself. These connections are encrypted with modern cryptographic algorithms and create a so-called secure tunnel between you and websites.
Because of that, the websites detect the IP address of the proxy or VPN instead of the IP address of your connection system.
Proxy vs VPN: The similarities and differences?
- Both proxies and VPNs are online services that hide your IP address and improve your anonymity online. By using them, you get a different IP address and keep your own IP hidden.
- Both proxies and VPNs overcome website and geolocation blocking. Many websites block traffic in areas such as school, work, or even the country. For example, in China, you can unblock Facebook, and many people use VPNs or proxies to access Facebook and other popular websites.
- A proxy works only with a single app or service, while a VPN server will affect your connection systems, no matter which app you are using. Proxies, on the other hand, only affect the traffic from apps where you set them up.
- Proxies allow making many connections at once. Because the proxies are app-based, you can buy and use bulk proxies at the same time. So you can do many commercial tasks like e-commerce and social media account registration, web scraping, retail online shopping, affiliate marketing, and so on. On the other hand, VPNs are most suitable for personal use – to improve online security.
- VPNs don’t hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. This means when you hide your identity, you don’t want that websites realize you are connected to a VPN server. Although it might make you anonymous, it’s easy to be suspended and blocked. Otherwise, a residential proxy server makes you look like a request from a normal person living in a specific area.
Proxy vs VPN: Comparison of the Quality
Which is faster?
There are some types of proxies by source in the market such as data center proxies, residential proxies, mobile proxies, and static residential proxies.
- Data center proxies using servers in powerful data centers will most likely be faster than a VPN.
- Besides, a residential proxy will be slower than a VPN. It borrows the connections of real people living anywhere on the planet, who don’t always have a fast and stable Wi-Fi or 3G/4G/5G connection at hand.
Which is more reliable?
- HTTP proxies using HTTP protocol are the most frequent proxy type but are not secure. The hackers still steal your data through them. If you work with sensitive information, you shouldn’t use this proxy type. Moreover, its proxy server connections drop more frequently. But as long as you buy proxies from a reliable provider or proxies using SOCKS5 HTTPS, they are generally safe. Remember to don’t go the free route – it’s not worth it.
- Because VPNs have sophisticated encryption methods, connecting through a VPN server is undoubtedly more secure in most use cases.
Conclusion, Proxy vs VPN: Which is better?
A VPN and a proxy are similar because they both reroute your traffic through another server and hide your IP address. The better one depends on what you work with and you want to achieve.
Without a doubt, if you care about your privacy and security, you should choose a VPN. But if you need to do bulk tasks that involve automation at the same time, proxies will be much suitable for that. You also can use both of them at the same time to increase the level of security.
So, let’s make the choice based on your needs. Good luck!