VPN vs Proxy What’s the Difference?

Aren’t they the same thing? This question might pop up in your mind as soon as you read the topic. Sure, their purposes are quite similar; they are in actuality, very different from each other. Both VPN and a proxy are used to tackle the modern cyber issues. You see, online privacy is something very hard to achieve. A VPN or Proxy would help you do that by giving anonymity and several other services.

But what sets them apart? After all, they do the same thing right? Basically, the difference comes in the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’. Let me explain what both of them do before moving on to the major differences.

Starting off with a Proxy; it is simply a web filter. It basically uses a computer to direct your data through it. This conceals your IP address identity, and the other computers IP is used. Now that your IP is no longer used, any area restrictions on websites are also disabled. Here, no specific encryption is used or applied on the data, thus, allowing for more numerous and various traffic.

A VPN is a more modern approach to anonymity and web filter. It builds an ultra secure tunnel right from your home to the portion of internet you want to access. It does this through encrypting ALL the data passing through that tunnel so that no intruder can spy on your personal info. Once the client is downloaded, it is only a matter of clicks before it is up and running. Then, whatever you do relating to the internet, may it be a browser or a program, would be secured.

The following are the most significant differences between the two:

Security: Pertaining to this, a VPN is like a bank vault. Once you connect to it, every single piece of information sent or received is well protected. The encryption used is usually at least 256-bit but can be raised up to 2048-bit for highly secure connections. A proxy however, gives very low security and almost no encryption.

Privacy: Like security, a VPN provides complete privacy of your data. No one, not even the ISP, knows what you are doing. With a proxy however, anyone can intercede and intercept private information.

Online Freedom: Here, both of them stand pretty much equal. Both of them can access any website from around the world, and no geo-restriction will now be a problem for you. However, a proxy might fall behind in bypassing some of the stronger firewalls.

Speed and Compatibility: The VPN is great for increasing internet speeds and works with all OS. This makes it highly efficient and compatible. The Proxy significantly reduces speed because of the high traffic on servers. Moreover, most proxies are made for specific browsers only.

Costs: This might just be the only sector in which the Proxy stands superior. You see, a proxy is almost always free. If not, then it is definitely cheaper than a VPN which is expensive, especially when a premium version is to be downloaded.

All in all, a VPN wins hands down. More efficient, reliable, stable and most of all worth the money; it is definitely the better choice.