What is better: VPN or proxy?

What is better: VPN or proxy?
Both technologies protect. But they do it differently.

Quite recently, few people were concerned with online anonymity, or wanted to enhance safety and simplify their work. But the way the world develops now makes many users pay attention to their online presence.

So we discover connections via VPN or proxy server, and this discovery solves quite a number of problems. But few users want to get deep into details, to understand differences and similarities in the technologies, and what benefits you can derive from both of them.

In this blog post we'll tell in details, what differs private proxy from VPN, and what is better.

What differs VPN from proxy?

Both technologies employ the same approach: they substitute your IP address and become a layer between you and the Internet. Now, you have obtained anonymity, anti-fraud systems don't notice you, while malicious software and wrongdoers face the intermediary server.

But these technologies perform differently. In case of virtual private network, you get connected to it, and VPN — to the required website. Connection via anonymous proxies uses an additional server that becomes an intermediary. The website you are surfing will see its IP. All users working with a private network will have the same addresses. A private proxy has one owner.

Proxy servers and virtual networks vary in depth of the settings, operating speed, availability and variety of services. You should know exactly, what tasks you will use the technology for, and what conditions it is supposed to meet.

So, what is VPN?

You are anonymous, no matter where you are. But everybody else is anonymous, just like you.

If you look deeper into the virtual private network, you'll see that all its pros and cons result from the technology employed. In the virtual private network, your request is encrypted and is sent to the network server. There, it is deciphered and sent to the website you need, and then all these actions are done in the reverse order. The outcome is complete anonymity, when no one understands what data you obtain.

The main advantage is evident — the information is encrypted enhancing your security. Only the virtual network, through which you get connected, knows what you were doing online, and even the provider doesn't suspect of your actions.

The virtuality of the network gives you technical capabilities to quickly change locations. It's easy to use VPN via browser extensions and separate applications.

But the technology also has serious disadvantages. Encryption slows down the speed, software products and extensions are still not quite stable, and can crash and lag. Reliable, proven services don't come cheap and are offered at a price tag higher than premium implementations of the second technology. The biggest trouble is that in virtual networks, IP addresses are common for all users. That's why it's easier for websites to understand, when the anonymizer is used, and to ban the address thus prohibiting access to the portal for all users of this VPN connection.

Now let's talk about the proxy

Proxy connection gives the anonymity you don't have to share with anybody.

A proxy is your Internet intermediary. After the setup, it transfers its own IP address instead of yours, and at the same time filters the incoming information, protects against attacks, speeds up work through saving content in the cache. An individual address allows to use a proxy not only to ensure anonymity, but to perform jobs without the risk of bans. You can manage subscriptions and, multi accounting, parse (collect and classify) data: search results by geolocation, keywords or any other information you require for business.

This technology doesn't need applications. The connection is set up in the operating system or in the web-browser. The degree of anonymity depends on the type of server and protocol. There are several options that differ by their security level:

  • HTTP proxy is a standard solution; it's widely distributed, but not the most safe because it doesn't have traffic encryption.
  • HTTPS proxy features higher level of encryption and is used to transfer secret information.
  • SOCKS5 is the most advanced proxy format with a high level of data encryption.

You can choose anonymous IPv4 or IPv6 proxy servers. The first is more widely spread, while the latter is faster and has more addresses. But it's difficult to decide what proxies are best – it all depends on your tasks. A new format is supported not by all websites, while IPv4 proxies are more versatile. If you've chosen IPv6 proxy, the checker will help you find out, whether the websites you need are compatible with the protocol.

In addition to these issues, there is a threat that a proxy server turns out to be compromised. But it is easy to avoid, if you choose a reliable provider that validates its servers and offers its users the tools to independently validate proxy servers.

For example, you can buy proxies at Proxy.Market that meets both requirements. Besides the options we've already discussed, the company also offers shared proxies that are several times cheaper than IPv4 proxy checker.

What to choose?

To give a decisive answer about what is better — anonymous proxies or virtual private network – is the same as finally deciding on who is cooler: a bear or a shark, Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan. It depends.

VPN is easier to use, it hides traffic and offers total encryption, but a good solution doesn't come cheap. Besides, it's not always convenient to share IP with other users, especially if you have to replace IP for work.

A proxy server has more flexible settings, it is faster and more stable, and it has a personal address. And even the top proxies cost cheaper than VPNs.

So decide on your tasks, and then choose what is best for them. Use reliable services for either proxies or VPN, and be attentive to what you buy.