The nuts and bolts of how the internet operates is not something many people think about. The problem is that the beautiful puppy images, 24-hour news updates, and wonderful internet discounts come with the inherent risk of data security breaches and identity theft.
That’s why many people use a VPN or proxy server to ensure their privacy. Even if they have nothing to conceal, many internet users dislike being watched or followed. No one can see what they do online when their traffic is encrypted.
Proxies and VPNs offer privacy, but they do it differently. The distinction between proxy and VPN capabilities is that proxies are conduits between the internet and users. On the other hand, VPN traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel and the user’s device, making VPNs an effective network security solution.
Knowing when to use a proxy or a VPN can be confusing. Still, to choose properly, you must first understand the differences.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server acts as a connection gateway for users and the internet. As a result, it aids in the prevention of cyber-attacks on a private network. In addition, it’s a server that acts as an “intermediary” between end-users and the web pages they browse on the internet.
A proxy server serves as both a firewall and a filter. It safeguards the data that enters and exits your computer or network. It then follows a set of rules to keep you from having to reveal your digital address to the rest of the world.
Hackers and other undesirable actors can only view the proxy’s IP address. People on the internet cannot directly access your data, schedules, apps, or files unless they know your IP address.
Many benefits come from using proxy servers. First, it ensures improved security since it acts as a barrier between your computer and the internet. Hackers may easily obtain your IP address without them, which they can exploit to attack your computer or network.
People who use proxies also have access to geo-restricted content: You can set up a proxy server with a different country’s IP address. You may effectively imitate being in that nation and have complete access to all of the content computers in that country are permitted to have.
If you run an organization, you can ensure that employees do not have access to view sites that are inappropriate or distracting. In addition, these websites may be incompatible with the values of your firm. For example, several organizations have placed restrictions on social networking sites such as Facebook and others to avoid time-wasting temptations.
What is a VPN?
VPN is a representative term for “virtual private network.” It creates a secure connection during public networks usage. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your true identity on the internet. The encryption is carried out in real-time.
VPNs function by creating a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node in another area, which may be hundreds of miles distant, allowing you to appear in another location. This perk gives you internet independence, allowing you to access your favorite applications and websites while you’re on the road.
A VPN covers your IP address by allowing the network to route it through a VPN host’s specially configured distant server. When you use a VPN to log on to the internet, the VPN server becomes your data source.
Using VPN ensures that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties will not be able to detect the sites you visit or the data you transmit and receive through the internet. A VPN acts as a filter, converting all of your data into gibberish. Even your information is collected, it would be unintelligible
Although your Internet service provider may appear trustworthy, it may disclose your surfing history to advertising, the police, the government or third parties. In addition, cyber thieves might also target Internet service providers: Your personal and confidential information may be compromised if they are hacked.
Proxy Server vs. VPN
Proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs), on the surface, appear to be the same thing since they both route requests and replies through an external server. Proxy and VPN also allow you to access blocked websites in your country of residence. On the other hand, VPNs offer superior security against hackers since they encrypt all traffic.
A VPN will be a better choice if you need to continually use the internet to send and receive data that must be encrypted or if your firm needs to divulge material that needs to be hidden from hackers and corporate spies.
A proxy server may suffice if an organization only needs to allow its users to access the internet anonymously. A proxy server is a preferable option if you want to know which websites your team members are visiting or make sure they have access to sites that ban people from your country.