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Unterschied zwischen VPN und Proxy. Eine einfache Erklärung.
Haben Sie jemals eine Nachricht auf YouTube oder Netflix gesehen, dass dieses Video für Ihr Land nicht verfügbar ist? Oder haben Sie sich mal gefragt, wie anonym Ihre Internet-Aktivitäten eigentlich sind? Ein VPN oder Proxy bietet hierfür eine einfache Antwort. Beide verbergen Ihren tatsächlichen Standort, sodass es so aussieht, als würden Sie das Internet an einem anderen Ort verwenden als an dem, an welchem Sie sich tatsächlich befinden. Wie genau funktioniert es und was für Möglickeiten haben Sie? Was ist ein VPN oder ein Proxy? Um VPN oder Proxy besser zu verstehen, ist es gut, sich ein allgemeines Bild von der Funktionsweise des Internets im Allgemeinen zu machen. Um eine Website auf Ihrem Computer anzuzeigen, senden Sie gleichzeitig eine Reihe von Anfragen durchs Internet, indem Sie beispielsweise “” eingeben oder auf einen Link klicken. Eine solche Anforderung besteht aus mehreren Schritten und verwendet verschiedene Arten von Geräten. Über den Router bei Ihnen zu Hause oder im Büro erreicht Ihre Webanfrage den Server, auf dem die Website gespeichert ist. Neben Ihrer Webanfrage senden Sie auch Informationen wie die IP-Adresse Ihres Computers und Ihren Standort, damit der Webserver weiß, wohin der angeforderte Inhalt gesendet werden soll. Wenn Sie nicht möchten, dass der Webserver weiß, dass Sie die Anforderung gesendet haben, die Webseite jedoch weiterhin angezeigt werden sollen, können Sie einen VPN- oder Proxy-Server verwenden. Beide arbeiten als Zwischenstation, um sicherzustellen, dass die Anforderung nicht auf Sie zurückverfolgt werden kann. Dadurch wird das Surfen im Internet viel anonymer und Sie erhalten mehr Privatsphäteresse geweckt? Noch mehr Tipps und Informationen zu den Themen Datenschutzund Arbeitswelt finden Sie auf unseren Social-Media-Seiten! LinkedIn InstagramWie funktioniert ein VPN? VPN steht für Virtual Private Network. Es erstellt einen verschlüsselten Tunnel für den gesamten Internetverkehr von Ihrem Computer. Dies bedeutet, dass alle Internetanforderungen, die Sie über diesen Tunnel stellen, an den VPN-Server gesendet werden. Ihr verschlüsselter Internetverkehr sieht dann aus wie eine Sammlung nicht lesbarer Zeichen. Nur Ihr Computer und der VPN-Server können den Code entschlüsseln, welcher für andere nicht lesbar ist. Wie funktioniert ein Proxy? Ein Proxy ist wie ein VPN – eine Zwischenstation zwischen dem Benutzer und dem Internet, um Ihren Standort anders aussehen zu lassen. Sie senden erneut eine Anfrage für eine Website an den Proxyserver und leiten diese an den Webserver weiter. Wenn der Webserver versucht, Ihre Anforderung zurückzuverfolgen, kann er nur bis zum Proxyserver zurückgehen. Der Unterschied zu einem VPN besteht darin, dass ein Proxy einfacher und weniger sicher ist. Sie müssen einen Proxy für jede Anwendung installieren (Webbrowser, E-Mail, Agenda usw. ), während ein VPN den gesamten Internetverkehr anonymisiert. Darüber hinaus verbirgt ein Proxy nur Ihre IP-Adresse, indem er sie durch die IP-Adresse des Proxy ersetzt. Proxies werden nicht verschlüsselt, weshalb Ihre Anonymität nicht immer gewährleistet ist. Ihr Internetanbieter oder jemand, der das WiFi-Netzwerk in öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln sucht, kann Ihren Internetverkehr weiterhin sehen oder abfangen. Der Vorteil eines Proxys ist, dass er für Ihren Computer nicht so schwer ist wie ein VPN und das Internet daher nicht langsamer wird. Ein VPN kann sich erheblich auf Ihre Internetgeschwindigkeit auswirken, da es jede Anfrage verschlüsseln und entschlüsseln muss. Ein Proxy kann problemlos für einfache, weniger auf den Datenschutz bezogene Aufgaben verwendet werden. Für die sichere Nutzung des Internets ist es wichtig, einen zuverlässigen Proxy zu verwenden. Unzuverlässige Proxies können Ihre Daten verkaufen oder Viren injizieren. Unterschiede zwischen VPN und ProxyEin Proxy und ein VPN sind sich sehr ähnlich, es gibt jedoch deutliche Unterschiede. Die wichtigsten Unterschiede haben wir daher kurz für Sie zusammengefasst. VPNProxyEin verschlüsselter Tunnel für Ihren Internetverkehr, der den Anschein erweckt, als würde der VPN-Server die Anforderung stellen Blendet nur Ihre IP-Adresse aus. Der Internetverkehr kann für den Internetanbieter oder Hacker weiterhin sichtbar seinSichert Ihren gesamten Internetverkehr von Ihrem Computer ausgehendWird pro Anwendung installiert (Webbrowser, Online-Spiel)Ist schwerer und kann Ihr Internet verlangsamenWenig Unterschied in der Internetgeschwindigkeit, wenn es sich um einen guten Proxy handeltAlternative zum VPN und Proxy – LeitzCloudMit LeitzCloud benötigen Sie kein VPN oder Proxy, um von einem anderen Ort auf Ihre Dateien zuzugreifen. Sie können Ihre Dateien durch schnelle Synchronisierung an jedem Ort und auf jedem Gerät öffnen und bearbeiten. Darüber hinaus werden Ihre Dateien in hochsicheren Rechenzentren mit ISO 27001-Zertifizierung gespeichert. Wir arbeiten außerdem vollständig unter Einhaltung der Datenschutzbestimmungen der DSGVO. Die Sicherheit Ihrer Daten hat bei und höchste Prioritä starten
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VPN vs. Proxy vs. Smart DNS: What’s the Difference?
Click here for a quick summary A Quick Guide – VPN vs. Proxy vs. Smart DNS: What’s the Difference? When you’re trying to unblock geo-restricted content online, there are three main options to use:VPNs provide you with more anonymity and encrypt your data. They’re user-friendly and can be used for many streams in many countries. However, they might slow down your connection and be blocked by certain servers can help you browse anonymously and are quite fast, but they don’t provide online safety or privacy and can be challenging to set up. They’re also often blocked by DNS doesn’t slow down your connection and can’t get blocked by websites. While they’re easy to use, they don’t encrypt your data and won’t hide your online behavior from other all three services provide the same end goal of streaming blocked content from anywhere in the world, they do so in very different ways. Depending on the amount of privacy, security, and speed you require when accessing streams, one service might be preferable over the recommend VPNs, as they provide this unblocking service with the highest levels of anonymity, privacy protection, user-friendliness, and security. Check out our full review of NordVPN, one of the most secure and proven “no log” to take a deep dive into the differences between VPNs, proxies, and Smart DNS? Want to know when you should use one over the other? Read our full article to find you cruise along the internet highway, you’ll notice a lot of digital roadblocks have been put up to stall you on your trip. As the internet continues to evolve, so does the technology that restricts internet content based on your geographical location. While it is getting easier for governments to enforce censorship and businesses to implement restrictions online, an entire industry has emerged to help users break through these digital what are the main services in this industry used to unblock international content? There are three: VPNs, proxy servers, and Smart DNS. While they serve a similar function, they do so in very different ways. Depending on your needs and desires for privacy and security, some services are more suitable than others. So what are the differences between Smart DNS, proxies, and VPNs? When should you use one over the other? What are the pros and cons of each? What’s the Difference Between a VPN, Proxy, and Smart DNS? To explain the basic differences between these three services, look at this scenario: Let’s say that you’re on a business trip in a foreign country and you want to live stream your favorite TV show. When you navigate to your streaming provider (Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. ), you find that you can’t access the site at all from the country you’re in, or it has an entirely different library of content. The service has been geo-blocked. To access your home provider’s catalog, you have three options: a VPN, a proxy server, or Smart DNS. 1. A VPNThis is the safest and most secure way to access content from abroad. A premium VPN — we’ll use ExpressVPN as an example — allows you to access its Virtual Private Network (that’s what VPN stands for) and stream through their servers. ExpressVPN masks your real IP address and assigns you a virtual one, for example in the US. This unblocks American content while also keeping you completely anonymous. All the while, the VPN is encrypting your activity and countries like China, Iran, and Russia take censorship very seriously. It’s no coincidence that VPNs are illegal in these countries. A VPN allows citizens of authoritarian governments to bypass politically constructed barriers to access content that would otherwise be unavailable. It also creates anonymity for VPN users. Even if government authorities got their hands on the server used to access the censored sites, all they would have is unreadable data from an anonymous IP VPN just scored a top spot on our list of the best no log VPNs, which means they don’t keep any records of user activity. It’s also important to note that ExpressVPN, as well as Surfshark and CyberGhost (two of our other top five recommendations) also have Smart DNS services they include in their VPN subscriptions. We’ll look at Smart DNS vantages and disadvantages of using a VPN for unblocking contentProsConsGood VPNs provide a high level of anonymityMonthly feeEncrypts your internet connection and activityCan slow down your connection, takes up bandwidthPremium providers have a “no log” policySome (free) VPNs keep logs and sell your dataProtects from third-party snoops and hackersSome websites block VPN serversCan be used with all kinds of websites and appsIllegal in some countriesUser-friendlyEasy to configure, default settings are secure2. A proxy serverA proxy server works similarly but doesn’t provide the same level of security or anonymity as a VPN. A proxy is a computer that stands between you and the internet and relays your activity and requests for you. You’re assigned a new anonymous IP address by the proxy, and all your internet traffic is sent through the proxy server first. So it seems as if your request to watch your television show is coming straight from that proxy instead of your own computer and IP is another way to stream your out-of-country content. However, unlike premium VPNs, proxy servers can log and record all your online requests and activities. So while the rest of the web might not know who you are, the proxy does. If the server falls in the hands of authorities or gets hacked by cybercriminals, all your activity on that server could be there for them to vantages and disadvantages of using a proxy server to unblock contentProsConsFast speeds, good performance overallNo encryption, may keep activity logsProvides anonymous IP addressSome services and sites block proxiesFewer CAPTCHAs and bot checksThird parties could see your activity on serversDoesn’t use a lot of bandwidthPrices can be expensiveConfiguration and setup can be tricky3. Smart DNSSmart DNS also has the ability to unblock streaming content in geo-restricted areas, but it does not mask your IP address, nor does it encrypt any of your data. Smart DNS tricks websites and streaming platforms into thinking your DNS queries are coming from eligible countries by using DNS proxy servers. It blocks certain traffic that gives away your location, while everything else runs as normal through the internet a VPN encrypts and reroutes all of your activity and data through its private tunnel, Smart DNS just tweaks one small aspect of your activity. Though Smart DNS provides no anonymity or extra security, it does offer fast streaming speeds. It will also help you avoid automatic security and bot checks that get prompted by logging in repeatedly from different IP addresses like you do with VPNs and we mentioned before, some premium providers (Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost) can offer you this service if you want to stream without vantages and disadvantages of using Smart DNS to unblock content:ProsConsFast streamingNo encryption or security protocolsMinimal security or bot checksProvides no anonymityNo website or service blocks (yet)Third parties could see your activity on serversOnly used for streaming contentShould I Use a VPN, Proxy, or Smart DNS? Which service you should use, depends on a few factors, with the largest being how much security and anonymity you require. At, it should come as no surprise that we’re partial to VPNs, and for good reason. When you factor in pricing, privacy, security, and performance for each of the services, a good VPN comes out on top. You get the same result of unblocked content, plus a ton of other benefits, usually for just a few bucks a ’s a chart breaking down the differences between the three services. FeaturesVPNProxySmart DNSUnblocks geo-restricted content✔✔✔Provides anonymous browsing✔✔✖Encrypts and protects your online data✔✖✖Has “no logs” policy✔✖✖User-friendly✔✖✔Doesn’t slow down your connection✖✔✔Can be blocked by websites✔✔✖Can change servers on the spot✔✖✖Protects you from third-parties (hackers, ISP, snoops)✔✖✖When to use a VPNBrowsing the internet: If you are browsing the internet or accessing sensitive information online, a VPN will encrypt your data and keep it safe from hackers and nnecting to public Wi-Fi: If you connect to public Wi-Fi or other unsecured networks, a VPN is a must. Cybercriminals often hack into unsecured networks and can access any data you transmit over the network. A VPN keeps your private data secure from these cessing region-restricted content: While proxies may work for accessing certain kinds of region-restricted content, many services have software to block proxies. Some of these services also have VPN blocks, but you can generally use a premium VPN and private browser to get around them. VPNs are the best choice when trying to watch Netflix. The streaming service is constantly blocking proxies and known VPN IPs, and premium services stay on top of this cat-and-mouse passing government censorship: If you live in a country with widespread censorship and online surveillance, only a premium VPN will allow you to safely bypass censorship and hide your online activity from the to use a proxyBypassing a firewall or geo-block: When attempting to access a restricted streaming service or website, a proxy server may be sufficient. However, this is usually only true if you aren’t transmitting sensitive data and don’t need to hide your online activities. Users should also be aware that some services like Netflix have anti-proxy technology and may block connections from known proxy using an outdated operating system: Proxies don’t require you to install software for them to function. This can work in your favor if you have a slow or out-of-date operating system. VPNs can slow your browsing speed, while HTTP proxies barely affect your machine’s performance. There are also caching proxy servers that can store copies of websites you often visit to reduce your bandwidth and boost your machine’s to use Smart DNSAccessing geo-blocked content you trust with high streaming speeds: The real edge that Smart DNS has over VPNs and proxies is streaming speeds. You also won’t be blocked by websites and services like VPNs and proxy servers often are. You’re only tricking the website into thinking your DNS query is coming from a DNS server in a country that is eligible to watch the content (more on that later). The rest of your internet traffic runs normally and at optimum speeds. So if you’re in a country that doesn’t enforce heavy censorship, and you’re just looking to stream, that’s when you’d most likely use Does a VPN Work? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server. The only thing your ISP, hackers, or possibly the government will be able to see, is that your connection is coming from the IP of your VPN server. All your online activities, your real IP, location, and downloads will remain hidden behind the VPN’s encryption and reover, a VPN gives you access to multiple different server locations (often all over the world), meaning you could reach all sorts of geo-restricted pages and services that wouldn’t otherwise be available to all VPNs are created equal. While they each serve approximately the same purpose, multiple extra factors need to be taken into account. We’ll be naming three important considerations you’ll have to think of here: logging policy, user-friendliness, and price. For more information about how VPN providers deal with these as well as other topics, you can read our detailed VPN you want to get started with a decent VPN right away? Have a look at NordVPN. Excellent protection and a large network of servers Nice and pleasing application No logs Visit NordVPN Logging policyThe only party that will be able to see your online behavior when you use a VPN, is the VPN provider. After all, your data traffic is being sent through their server. Therefore, it’s important to choose a trustworthy VPN provider that won’t save any of that information. That would go against everything a VPN stands for: guaranteeing your online anonymity and so-called logs that your VPN provider could be keeping of your data have potentially awful consequences. Governments could force the provider to show them your data. Therefore, it’s always important to check whether the VPN you’re considering using has a “no logs” policy. If that’s the case, they promise not to save your data traffic, so they themselves and others won’t be able to access you wish to set up a VPN connection on your device, you’ll have to download and install a VPN service. Sometimes you’ll have to configure your computer or mobile device in order for the VPN to work. Usually, this is quite a straightforward process: many providers have step-by-step installation guides that you can use even when you aren’t that skilled with computers. As soon as your VPN has been installed and activated, all your online data will be sent safely through the VPN tunnel. It won’t matter which program or browser you use, all traffic is taken care software provided by VPN services can be quite diverse. While one provider might have a simple and structured app that makes for very easy use, other VPNs might choose to add more options to their software, which could make the client slightly cluttered and harder to use. Depending on your own wishes, you might prefer one sort of client over VPN subscription usually isn’t free. Luckily, the prices aren’t too bad: for just a few dollars a month you’ll already have a very good VPN. When compared to a free web proxy, this might seem too much, but you will get extra protection and encryption in return. There are even a couple of very decent free VPNs on the you opt for a free VPN, you should be wary of the VPN you choose, however. Good, trustworthy VPNs often have speed or data limits, but they’re much better than the many fake free VPNs you’ll find online, which often don’t work or are filled with malware. A good free VPN will still give you better protection than a proxy you want complete protection without any limitations, we’d advise you to put aside a few dollars a month and get a premium VPN anyway. Compared to a proxy, a VPN will make your internet experience much safer and more anonymous. If you choose a cheap provider on top of that, like Surfshark, you’ll have the best deal you can Does a Proxy Server Work? A proxy server functions as an intermediary between you and the internet using HTTP, HTTPS, or SOCKS protocols. When you go online with a proxy, you’re assigned an anonymous IP address and all your internet traffic gets sent through the proxy first. Because of this, it seems as if your data is coming straight from that proxy instead of your own computer and true, local IP address. This is how you’re able to unblock restricted content and browse VPN servers automatically encrypt all of your data — protecting it by making it unreadable — a proxy doesn’t normally do this. Since there’s no encryption, a proxy can handle a huge number of simultaneous connections from different users around the world (usually tens of thousands). But all these users can really slow down your internet like VPNs, there are private premium proxy servers you can sign up for (which can be quite expensive) and free public servers that might be interested in your online activity. While there are lots of free proxy servers available, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. Let’s look at those three points:Logging policyOne of the main arguments against proxies is this policy. They have none. While they can provide the same end goal for the user in anonymous browsing and unblocking international content, proxy servers don’t take extra steps to protect your anonymity. This is why a lot of VPN advocates have turned their back on proxy services. Why use a proxy when a premium VPN provides the same service, but with the additional benefit of encryption and truly anonymous browsing? User-friendlinessProxy servers aren’t known to be the easiest to use. Sometimes configuring a proxy server to your device can be a bit tricky, and it’s not quite as user-friendly as VPN software. If you’re a computer novice, you might run into some issues trying to set it ever, if you’re using an old operating system or want to use a proxy on an old device, one benefit is that you don’t need to download and update any software, like with a VPN. And because it’s using HTTP, HTTPS, or SOCKS calls, you’re not eating up much bandwidth or power, so an old computer or operating system would work well with a iceAs the saying goes, you get what you pay for. While there are plenty of free proxy servers available to the public, there are also lots of private proxy servers that charge a fee. If you want to browse anonymously, it may not be a good idea to use a free public server. If they’re not collecting a membership fee to use the server, you could wonder whether their goal is actually to load up as many users as possible for free and sell their online activity to third ’ve always recommended setting aside a few dollars a month for a premium VPN and would recommend doing the same for a proxy server. The last thing you want to do is use a server that could be easily hacked or have a provider that would give up all your history and Does Smart DNS Work? To understand how Smart DNS works, it helps to understand the Domain Name System (DNS) itself. You can read our full article on DNS servers here if you want to learn which DNS servers are the safest, and how to switch them. DNS is like a contact list for the internet and is the foundation that the web was built on. Computers recognize numerical IP addresses, while humans are better with names. So just like your phone organizes your contacts, the DNS system pairs domain names — like — with their corresponding numeric IP address. So when you log into VPNOverview, your computer knows to take you to that stead of masking your IP address and creating a tunnel of anonymity — as a VPN does — Smart DNS redirects your DNS queries to its American DNS servers. Smart DNS is used primarily to unblock websites and digital media unavailable in your country or geo-specific location. So if you’re in Europe on business, you can still watch American Netflix, access your usual library on Amazon Prime or Disney Plus, or listen to North American-based internet radio at your DNS also helps you avoid automatic security and bot checks that get set off when a user logs in repeatedly from different IP addresses. You might also benefit from faster speeds as VPN encryption uses up a lot of bandwidth. Smart DNS allows you to run the rest of your internet traffic through your ISP. Logging policySmart DNS doesn’t have much to log: just your DNS queries and the websites you’ve unblocked. But nothing is stopping them from using your user data for marketing or business purposes. Smart DNS doesn’t have advanced security features or protocols unless the service comes bundled with an additional VPN will largely depend on the Smart DNS service you use. Each one offers different mobile apps and desktop software, but since these services are generally marketed to inexperienced users, they’re made to be user-friendly and easy to install and operate. But while one provider might have a simple and easy-to-use app, others might add more advanced options to their software, making it harder to icePremium Smart DNS services are in the same range as VPNs, anywhere from $3 to $8 per month, depending on the plan that you choose. We’ve yet to hear of free Smart DNS services and would be wary of using one. Again, we’d recommend getting a subscription to ExpressVPN, Surfshark, or CyberGhost (which will likely end up being cheaper), and get a full VPN account plus Smart DNS mmary: Proxy vs. VPN vs. Smart DNSVPNs, proxies, and Smart DNS are all tools that expand your freedom online. However, the way they do this and the degree of privacy and freedom offered are quite terms of privacy and security, VPNs far surpass proxies and Smart DNS. While proxies hide your IP, they don’t offer much else in terms of protection. A VPN takes the idea of a proxy server a step further. That said, if you’re in a country that doesn’t have an authoritarian or oppressive government, and you’re not worried about any third parties seeing your activity, Smart DNS for streaming content can be a fine choice as VPNs provide far more encryption and security than proxies, they may not always be necessary, depending on the task at hand and how you wish to deal with your online privacy. But when factoring in price, privacy, security, and performance, VPNs certainly come out on top. Smart DNS: What’s the Difference? – FAQsDo you have some questions about the differences between VPNs, proxies, and Smart DNS? Click one of our frequently asked questions below and find out the ‘s the difference between a VPN and a proxy server? While both VPNs and proxy servers provide you with an anonymous IP address, only a VPN will encrypt your data traffic for extra security and privacy. A premium VPN also offers many different servers spread throughout different countries, which lets you access more online content. For all the differences and more information on VPNs and proxies (and Smart DNS too), read this full article. What’s the difference between a VPN and Smart DNS? A premium VPN unlocks content by letting you access one of its thousands of servers peppered across the globe. A VPN provides you with an anonymous IP address and encrypts your data traffic for optimal security and privacy. Smart DNS does none of this. It only tricks a website or streaming platform into thinking your DNS queries are coming from a country that’s eligible to access that content. For more information on VPNs and Smart DNS (and proxy servers), take a look at this comparison. Which is better? A VPN, proxy, or Smart DNS? When you factor in unblocking capability, privacy and security measures, speeds, and performance for each of the services, a good VPN wins every time. You get the same end result of unblocked content, but with the benefits of data traffic encryption, advanced security protocols, optimal privacy protection, and high speeds. Read more about the benefits of VPNs, proxies, and Smart DNS here. What is a proxy server? A proxy server is an external server to which you can connect your device to hide or change your IP address. This makes you more anonymous and gives you access to online content that would normally be blocked in your country. For more information, read our article on proxies. What is a VPN? A VPN (virtual private network) is a – often worldwide – network of servers to which you can connect your device to be more anonymous, safe and free online. After all, a VPN changes your IP-address and encrypts your data traffic. This means your identity will remain private and your data safe. This also means you get access to content which normally is not available in your country (if you choose a server in “the right country”). What is Smart DNS? Smart DNS has the ability to unblock streaming content in geo-restricted areas — and does so at optimum speeds — but it does not provide anonymity by masking your IP address, nor does it encrypt any of your data. It blocks certain traffic that gives away your location, while everything else runs as normal through the internet connection.
Proxy vs VPN: 5 Crucial Differences You Must Know – Kinsta
These days, many internet users compare a proxy vs VPN, wondering what they should use when browsing to protect themselves.
In 2020, 84% of consumers said they cared about their privacy and data, and 80% were willing to act to protect it.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and proxies are a potential solution because they add an extra layer between a browser and any data tracking company or government.
But what’s the difference between a proxy vs a VPN? Which option is best if you want to improve your privacy and safety online?
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions and highlight the crucial differences between the two.
What Is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a private network that encrypts any data sent to or received from the internet. It helps you securely and privately access websites and use your programs and apps, regardless of the network you’re using.
Think of it as a secure courier, taking website’s data from the website and delivering it securely to your computer. Just like an armored car would transport cash to and from an ATM.
It also hides your IP (here’s how to check your IP), and allows you to change your location so you can get access to geo-restricted content. Like if your favorite show isn’t available on Netflix in the country you’re visiting.
You can also access your company’s file system remotely with an “office IP address. ”
A VPN works at the operating system level and encrypts all incoming and outgoing internet traffic.
How Does a VPN Work?
How a VPN works (Image source:)
When communicating with the VPN server, the VPN client uses data encryption, which remotely accesses the website or data you have in get an intermediary on both sides. The client hides your query from your router and internet service provider (ISP), while the VPN server hides your identity from the webpage or service you’re using.
It makes a massive difference to security when you’re using any sort of public WiFi network. Online shopping, banking, or even sending work emails through an open network is a lot more secure with a VPN.
Since the VPN encrypts your connection, potential hackers can’t “eavesdrop” on the transmission to steal vulnerable data, like your account number, or worse, your password.
It also prevents your ISP or employer from spying on your traffic and what you’re doing online by tracking the router traffic.
If your company uses a VPN-enabled router, you can use a VPN to remotely connect to your office network and access office files, the CRM, or other software from the road.
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is typically a remote public server accessed through a web app or desktop program that accesses web pages on your behalf.
A proxy server works at the application level, acting as a proxy for a single app (like your browser) at a time.
Many proxy servers don’t support secure HTTPS data transfers, and are, by default, not secure.
How Does a Proxy Server Work?
When most people use the word proxy server, they mean HTTP proxies.
These proxy servers are web servers that access a webpage through the internet and then forward the data to your browser.
How a proxy server works (Image source:)
You can use these to access geo-restricted websites and pages in your browser.
Unlike a VPN, your proxy connection isn’t encrypted. It just acts as an intermediary between your computer and the final server.
As a result, an HTTP proxy will hide your identity from the website but won’t secure any sensitive data.
A SOCKS5 proxy works like HTTP or web proxies, but you can connect it to other applications, not just your web browser.
A SOCKS5 proxy restricts all data transfer to the 5th layer, effectively blocking attempts to tunnel or scan your system using common hacker tools.
Since you’re setting it up at the application level, the program itself must support proxy usage. It doesn’t control all incoming and outgoing traffic the way a VPN does. But you can use it for peer-to-peer file sharing, email, torrents, and more.
A transparent proxy is a proxy set up on a network to control and monitor web traffic. It’s transparent because most users won’t notice that it’s there (until it blocks them from accessing a page).
Schools, offices, and even cafes use these to restrict access to certain websites, like social media or Netflix. Businesses may use one to keep you focused on your job or make sure you don’t use too much bandwidth.
Proxy vs VPN – what’s the difference, and most importantly, which one is best for privacy and safety? Click to see the full breakdown of these two solutions Click to Tweet5 Key Differences Between a Proxy and a VPN
With just the technical definitions, it can be challenging for an average user to tell a VPN apart from a proxy. To help you understand how a VPN is different from a proxy server, we’ve highlighted the major differences comparing VPNs with proxies regarding security, privacy, cookies, cost, and speed.
1. Proxy vs VPN: Security
93% of data breaches could have been avoided through fundamental data security efforts. For a private person, that usually means taking a few extra precautions when browsing the internet.
Especially when using the internet from a public network. But which option is the best choice when it comes to improving your security?
Let’s start by taking a closer look at proxy servers.
Are Proxies Safe?
The short answer is: probably not. Especially if you favor proxy servers because they tend to be free, as opposed to VPNs.
Public, unencrypted proxy servers hide your identity from the website you’re visiting. But they do nothing to encrypt your connection to the proxy server itself.
By using a public proxy server, you risk ending up with a less secure connection than by just connecting to a web server directly through your browser.
Good vs bad proxies
Paid proxy servers with HTTPS connections and password protection are usually safe. But they’re still limited compared to the end-to-end encryption you get with a professional-grade VPN.
Next, let’s take a closer look at VPNs and how they impact your security.
Are VPNs Safe?
Yes, the vast majority of commercial VPNs are safe to use. A VPN loads the data on the server-end and then encrypts the data before sending it to the client on your computer.
Only after the data has been sent through to the client does it decrypt the data for other programs to use. So not only is your identity hidden from the website or service you visit, your ISP, or even the network doesn’t know what data you’re loading either.
All they can see is that you’re loading encrypted data from a VPN. It protects your data from any malicious hackers on an open network, as well as the prying eyes of the government or your employer.
It will also protect your IP address from getting revealed, protecting your computer from DDoS attacks and other brute force attacks.
All this protection may sound like a lengthy process, but it all happens in microseconds. It doesn’t significantly impact your browsing experience. You can even stream movies in HD without any lag or play online games without latency issues.
The only caveat is that a VPN service is only as reliable as its provider. So you should do your due diligence when choosing a VPN.
Remember that you’re giving a company full access to your internet traffic. Choose a VPN provider with a stellar reputation and good privacy practices.
2. Proxy vs VPN: Privacy
74% of Americans have limited their online activity due to privacy concerns.
Locally installed VPNs offer complete encryption of your data from the moment it leaves your computer until its destination. That means it’s a lot harder for people to spy on your data.
Even if you’re on an open WIFI network, the encryption protects your data from being intercepted by malicious hackers.
And since the VPN uses end-to-end encryption, your ISP, router, employer, or government can’t access your data either.
That’s part of the reason why the Chinese government is trying to restrict the public’s access to VPNs. Because when even the ISP can’t snoop on the traffic, there’s no way to control if you’re accessing blocked websites or not.
VPNs will also hide your IP address and location from the website you visit, making it harder to identify you.
Proxy servers just act as a go-between and hide your IP address from the web server you visit.
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Even with a VPN or proxy, you’ll still be vulnerable to device fingerprinting and other techniques used by scrupulous advertisers to show “relevant” ads.
But by hiding your IP address, you at least make it harder for companies to connect the dots.
3. Proxy vs VPN: Cookies
GDPR compliance is one of the new hot topics in the EU business world. And with good reason. Because of this new law, virtually every website that tracks you with cookies has to ask for your permission.
The Guardian cookie prompt
You’ve probably seen prompts like these hundreds of times now.
And here’s the thing about cookies, they’re stored and saved on your computer’s hard drive. Cookies will get downloaded to your computer through the proxy server or VPN.
But with a VPN, the cookie will mistake the VPN’s IP address for your own, which will offer some level of protection against fingerprinting and other digital tracking techniques.
A proxy server will also trick the website into storing a cookie with a different IP address.
So when you start using a VPN or proxy server, you must clear all the cookies on your computer.
If not, existing cookies may interfere with the added layer of privacy. The site will connect it with your original location and IP address and use it to aid in your device’s fingerprinting.
4. Proxy vs VPN: Cost
We’ll look into a few solutions further down the blog post, but as for now, you should know that most available proxies are public and free, while VPN services typically cost between $5 and $12 per month.
If you want to use a proxy server safely, you’ll need to use a reliable premium service as well. Premium SOCKS5 proxy provider IPVanish costs $5 per month, and other alternatives price themselves similarly.
So if you’re serious about security, a VPN still offers the best bang for your buck.
5. Proxy vs VPN: Connection Speed
Another key difference between a proxy and a VPN is the speed of the connection.
With a public proxy server, you may struggle to even get a single megabit per second, while some VPNs offer speeds of 50 Mbps or higher.
While the encryption of a VPN may add a few milliseconds of latency, it isn’t noticeable unless you’re a professional gamer or streamer at the highest level.
In some cases, using a VPN can even speed up your connection. Most major providers use a network of data centers around the world. So if the site doesn’t use a CDN, or the CDN’s closest data center is far away, a VPN connection may be faster.
3 Secure Premium VPNs You Can Start Using Today for Safer Browsing (And One Free Option)
To take your data security seriously, you can use one of these VPN solutions to start browsing safer today.
ExpressVPN VPN service
If you listen to podcasts or watch any major YouTubers, chances are you’ve already heard of ExpressVPN.
It’s one of the biggest VPN service providers globally, and definitely, the most heavily advertised one. But it’s not just ad dollars that ExpressVPN has going for it. Its large budget and customer base also mean it has a robust offering with over 3, 000 VPN servers.
ExpressVPN doesn’t limit your bandwidth, and fast servers mean you can see download speeds as high as 50 Mbps or higher, depending on your internet connection and location.
ExpressVPN costs $12. 95/month billed monthly, and $8. 32/month billed annually.
Connection speed: 50 Mbps+
Trustpilot rating: 4. 7 out of 5, with 6, 100+ reviews
Device limit: Up to 5 devices
Price: $12. 95/month
Free trial: None
NordVPN VPN service
NordVPN is another market leader in the VPN space and with good reason.
NordVPN has repeatedly tested as the fastest VPN available for US users and has over 5, 000 servers in 60+ different countries.
It often offers giant sales on annual plans, making it one of the cheaper VPN services on the market. On top of these, you have the seasonal Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals (if you run an ecommerce, make sure to check out our webinar with WooCommerce agency Sau/Cal on the topic).
NordVPN offers also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Trustpilot rating: 4. 4 out of 5, with 4, 955+ reviews
Price: $11. 95/month
Device limit: Up to 6 devices
Free trial: Yes
Surfshark VPN service
Surfshark is another great VPN service that boasts a fast, reliable connection, regardless of where you are in the world.
SurfShark has over 1, 700 server locations in more than 63 different countries. Bandwidth and devices are unlimited with a single plan, which is something somewhat uncommon for VPN providers. This VPN solution comes also with a built-in ad blocker feature.
At $12. 95 euros per month, the price is roughly the same as ExpressVPN’s.
Connection speed: 40 Mbps+
Trustpilot rating: 4. 3 out of 5, with 6, 410+ reviews
Price: $12. 95/month (special deals run every year for seasonal events like Black Friday / Cyber Monday)
Device limit: None
Free Option: ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN free VPN service
ProtonVPN offers a 100% free and ad-free plan that supports one device and up to three countries.
The free plan also protects your privacy, with a policy of maintaining 0 logs of any user activity and browsing.
Bandwidth and speed are technically unlimited, but since you’re using crowded free servers, the speeds are comparatively slower.
The premium plan includes 1, 077 servers in 50 countries, but some users report slow speeds for popular locations and servers like the US.
The customer reputation isn’t as good as the three alternatives mentioned above.
Connection speed: 20 Mbps+ (Free plan)
Bandwidth: Unlimited (Free plan)
Trustpilot rating: 3. 0 out of 5, with 54 reviews
Price: Free plan. Starting at $4/month
Device limit: 1 device on the Free plan
Proxy vs VPN: FAQs
Do You Need a Proxy If You Have a VPN?
No, you don’t need a proxy server if you’re using a VPN currently. The VPN is already masking your IP address from the servers you access. Also, it encrypts the data and hides it from your ISP and potential hackers.
Can I Use a VPN and Proxy Together?
Yes, technically, it’s possible to use both at the same time. But it’s not necessary and won’t have any significant impact on your security. Instead, it’s likely to drastically slow down your connection, increase latency, and ruin your browsing experience.
Can Proxies Be Traced?
A proxy server will hide your IP address from websites and services that you visit. Someone may still identify your computer or device with fingerprinting, but that’s unrelated to the proxy.
Does a Proxy Hide Your IP?
Yes, both proxy servers and VPNs hide your IP address from websites and services that you visit and use.
Are There Any Free Proxy Servers?
There are thousands of free proxy servers available online, but many are unsafe, slow, or unreliable.
Should I Use a Free Proxy Server?
If you care about your connection’s speed, reliability, and security, a free proxy server isn’t the right choice. Instead, opt for a premium VPN service or proxy.
If you just want to access geo-restricted content, then a free proxy server might be enough.
When it comes to keeping yourself safe and secure online, proxies and VPNs are two words you hear a lot – but what’s the difference? This guide dives deep into the privacy concerns of both to TweetSummary
When it comes to security and privacy, a public proxy server is no match for a premium, encrypted VPN. A VPN costs some money, sure, but it makes up for that in reliability, security, privacy, and connection speed.
Securing your web traffic isn’t just a matter of accessing geo-blocked streaming content. It could also have deeper ramifications into the freedom to gather or share information that’s not accessible in someone’s country.
Do you use a VPN to improve your privacy and security when browsing the internet? What’s your experience?
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