The Internet is often a cause of worry in today’s world with the constantly growing security concerns. It can be quite a scary place, posing a severe threat to personal information, and can cause botnet or ransomware attacks on our work or home devices.
Under these circumstances, it is natural for businesses and online communities to look for means to protect their digital presence and secure their data. Users are becoming more alert and seeking the best way to ensure optimum safety while browsing the web–hence ensuring that you end up choosing the right tool becomes imperative.
VPN and proxy servers are the two most significantly important tools for online security. At first thought, it would seem like there are two sides of the same coin–both providing enhanced security and privacy to users. But if we dig deeper, they are very different in terms of functionality and application.
To put an end to the raging debate of which one is better–VPN or Proxies, we have summarized all the information you would need in this article to help you make a well-informed choice. Let’s discuss their features, differences, advantages, and disadvantages in detail.
What are Proxies?
Proxies act as a filter or gateway between you and the internet. Consider it like an intermediary that hides your identity and lets you surf the internet anonymously–thus enhancing your privacy and security. Proxy servers can be an excellent means of IP masking or redirecting IP addresses. They help users bypass geographic or device restrictions, enabling access to contents that would otherwise not be accessible. Proxies also let users browse the internet anonymously, restricting websites to trace users and collecting data or personal information.
What is VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is also like a mediator between you and the internet, providing enhanced privacy, security, and anonymity to users. A VPN client secures sensitive user data by establishing an encrypted channel with the servers, therefore replacing users’ local ISP routing. VPNs are quite a handy tool while browsing completely unsecured open Wi-Fi networks – they provide anonymity and encrypted safety while surfing the web. However, VPNs are only beneficial for single users. Businesses and particularly those into data gathering will not benefit from this, making them redundant for commercial use.
Using Proxies: When and Why?
Proxies are ideal for any kind of online browsing or surfing the web for geo-restricted or device-restricted content. They hide users’ IPs and maintain their anonymity. However, free proxies are not extremely secure and users should not share any sensitive information or personal data while using them.
However, private dedicated proxies are extremely secure, provide optimum privacy, and reduce bandwidth immensely while browsing. This makes proxies an ideal tool for commercial use or for businesses. Users can also share a dedicated proxy with a close group of friends or family and enjoy premium benefits without having to pay a hefty price.
Using VPNs: When and Why?
VPNs are ideal for anyone looking to not only hide their online data but also to encrypt it. VPNs encrypt the data being transferred by a device while browsing the internet, making it a superb choice for individual users. VPNs come handy if you are looking for that extra security layer when browsing open networks or public Wi-Fi. They also remove geo-restrictions and help bypass access to region-restricted content.
VPNs are not ideal for businesses that operate on web data collection or if you need to curate a vast amount of data in a short time. However, they can help you bypass censorship or country-restrictions and provide better security during transactions or for sharing sensitive data.
Advantages of Using Proxies
- IP masking or rerouting to help users be anonymous while browsing the internet.
- Grants access to geo-restricted and device-restricted content easily.
- No need to install software or clients.
- Provides enhanced security during online activities.
- Cost-efficient–there are even free proxies for those on a budget.
Advantages of Using VPN
- End-to-end encryption for enhanced security.
- Hides IP and lets users browse the internet anonymously.
- Safer to use in public networks
Disadvantages of Using Proxies
- Hides IP but does not provide encryption.
- Free proxies are not completely secure and can have a lower speed.
- Other user’s fraudulent activity can affect you if you are using free proxies.
Disadvantages of Using VPN
- VPNs are costly. Users need to pay a heavy price for premium services.
- Users can face a loss in speed while using VPNs for online activity.
- You need to download and install an additional VPN client on your computer to access the services.
- Different software provides different security levels–an uninformed choice might turn into a poor investment.
- Since it uses additional software, most often, you would need high hardware configuration to run VPNs smoothly.
- Not ideal for commercial use or for businesses.
Why are Proxies the Best?
If you have read carefully till now, you will notice that proxies are much more versatile for regular users. The downsides that come along are mostly issues one can face while using free proxies. Using dedicated or paid proxies diminishes those risks too. However, if you do not share sensitive data or do any transactions, we recommend free proxies for enhanced privacy and security.
The above-stated disadvantages that come paired when using VPNs will give you a rational idea of the shortcomings you can face if you choose VPNs over proxies. Choosing the right VPN provider is a nuance, and you can easily lose money or make an awful choice. For a higher notch of security, paid and dedicated proxies are ideal and highly recommended.