Proxy vs VPN: what are the main differences? – NordVPN
ContentsWhat is a proxy server? What is a Virtual Private Network? The main differences between VPN and proxy servicesIs VPN better than a proxy? Do you need a proxy if you have a VPN? Can I use VPN and proxy together? Should I use a free proxy or a free VPN? ConclusionWhat is a proxy server? Proxy servers act as relays between the website you’re visiting and your device. Your traffic goes through a middle-man, a remote machine used to connect you to the host server. The proxy server hides your original IP address so that the website sees the IP of the proxy (in some cases, the computers of other proxy users are used for this). However, proxies only work on the application level, meaning it only reroutes the traffic coming from a single app you set your proxy up with. They also don’t encrypt your are three main types of proxy servers:HTTP Proxies – These only cater to web pages. If you set up your browser with an HTTP proxy, all your browser traffic will be rerouted through it. They are useful for web browsing and accessing geo-restricted Proxies – These proxies are not limited to web traffic but still only work on the application level. For example, you can set it up on a game, video streaming app, or a P2P platform. Although they can handle all kinds of traffic, they are usually slower than HTTP proxies because they are more popular and often have a higher ansparent proxies – These are a different kind of proxy because their users are usually unaware of their existence. These proxies can be set up by employers or parents who want to monitor users’ online activity and block access to specific websites. Hotels and cafes use them to authenticate users on public Wi-Fi and companies or home users might also set them up to save bandwidth. What is a Virtual Private Network? Like a proxy, a VPN also reroutes your internet traffic through a remote server and hides your IP address so websites can’t see your original IP or location. However, it works on the operating system level, meaning that it redirects all your traffic, whether it’s coming from your browser or a background app. A VPN also encrypts your traffic between the internet and your device. That means the Internet Service Provider (ISP) monitoring your internet activity and collecting data about you can no longer see what you’re doing online – just that you’re connected to a VPN server. The encryption also protects you from government surveillance, website tracking, and any snoopers or hackers who might try to intercept your device. A VPN provides you ultimate online privacy and ’s important to note that both VPN and proxy providers can log user data such as user IP addresses, DNS requests, and other details. You should avoid such providers because they can give this information to law enforcement agencies, advertisers, or hackers if their servers get breached. To keep your activity online truly private, look for a provider that has a strict no-logs main differences between VPN and proxy servicesHere is a quick comparison between the two:VPNs encrypt your traffic while proxy servers don’t. A VPN service protects you from ISP tracking, government surveillance, and hackers. Proxies don’t, so they should never be used to handle sensitive information;VPNs work on the operating system level and reroute all your traffic while proxies work on the application level and only reroute the traffic of a specific app or browser;VPNs can be slower than proxies as they need to encrypt your data; however, there are ways you can improve your connection and browsing speeds; VPNs are usually paid (you shouldn’t trust free VPN services as they have limitations and tend to mine your data) while many proxy servers are free;A VPN connection is more reliable while proxy server connections drop more VPN better than a proxy? Yes, a VPN is better as it provides privacy and security by routing your traffic through secure servers and encrypts your traffic. A proxy simply passes your traffic through a mediating server but doesn’t necessarily offer any extra protection. Moreover, unlike proxies, VPNs work on the operating system level to secure all your you need a proxy if you have a VPN? No. Premium VPN services do the same things as proxies and much more. You could use a proxy for a quick IP change, but keep in mind that not all proxies are safe, and some of them may collect your I use VPN and proxy together? VPNs and proxies can be used together but this can take some work to configure. We also advise against it as the proxy would simply add another middle-man that slows down your connection without significant benefits. It’s better to switch to one or the other when using I use a free proxy or a free VPN? Free proxy and VPN services might come at a cost of your security and privacy. Since developers have to make money somehow, they can snoop on your data in the background, bomb you with adware, or limit the amount of data you can emium VPNs invest heavily in their infrastructure and provide you with top-notch encryption. They offer you a rich server base, 24/7 customer support, and continuous improvement of their services. We recommend avoiding free proxies and free VPNs, as a couple of saved bucks might cost you much more in the long nclusionA VPN and a proxy are similar because they both reroute your traffic through a remote server and hide your original IP. However, a VPN is superior to a proxy server in many respects. If you care about your privacy and security, you should, without a doubt, choose a otect yourself online with NordVPN. Try it now with a risk-free 30 days money-back guarantee!
Emily Green is a content writer who loves to investigate the latest internet privacy and security news. She thrives on looking for solutions to problems and sharing her knowledge with NordVPN readers and customers.
What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy? – Panda Security
As you dig into the networking settings on your computer or smartphone, you’ll often see options labelled “VPN” or “Proxy”. Although they do similar jobs, they are also very different. This article will help you understand what the difference is, and when you might want to use one.
What is a proxy?
Normally when you browse the web, your computer connects to a website directly and begins downloading the pages for you to read. This process is simple and direct.
When you use a proxy server, your computer sends all web traffic to the proxy first. The proxy forwards your request to the target website, downloads the relevant information, and then passes it back to you.
Why would you do this? There’s a couple of reasons:
You want to browse a website anonymously – all traffic appears to come from the proxy server, not your computer.
You need to bypass a content restriction. Famously, your UK Netflix subscription won’t work in the USA. But if you connect to a UK proxy server it looks like you are watching TV from the UK and everything works as expected.
Although they work very well, there’s also a few problems with proxies:
All of the web traffic that passes through a proxy can be seen by the server owner. Do you know the proxy owner? Can they be trusted?
Web traffic between your computer and proxy, and proxy and website is unencrypted, so a skilled hacked can intercept sensitive data in transit and steal it.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is quite similar to a proxy. Your computer is configured to connect to another server, and it may be that your route web traffic through that server. But where a proxy server can only redirect web requests, a VPN connection is capable of routing and anonymising all of your network traffic.
But there is one significant advantage of the VPN – all traffic is encrypted. This means that hackers cannot intercept data between your computer and the VPN server, so your sensitive personal information cannot be compromised.
VPNs are the most secure choice
By encrypting and routing all of your network traffic, the VPN has a distinct advantage over a proxy server. And more than simply anonymising your web activities, a proxy server offers additional functionality too.
Take the Panda Dome VPN service. Not only does it anonymise your internet traffic and help you circumvent geographic filters, but traffic is also carefully inspected and filtered. Our VPN servers check every request and block anything that is known to be dangerous, like websites that host malware.
Routing your web traffic through an advanced VPN helps you avoid malware infections, phishing scams and fake websites. And because Panda’s servers are constantly updated, you are protected around the clock from sophisticated cybercrime attacks.
You can get started with the Panda VPN now – for free – here. And for more help and advice about staying safe online, take a look at the practical tips in the Panda Security blog.
Panda Security specializes in the development of endpoint security products and is part of the WatchGuard portfolio of IT security solutions. Initially focused on the development of antivirus software, the company has since expanded its line of business to advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crime.
Can I use VPN and proxy together? How to set it up – Windows Report
Elena started writing professionally in 2010 and hasn’t stopped exploring the tech world since. With a firm grasp of software reviewing and content editing, she is always trying new things to improve her skill… Read more
Updated: Jan 14, 2021
Posted: August 2020
A proxy server changes your IP address and redirects your network traffic to another server. A VPN does that and also encrypts your data to protect it from eavesdroppers.
You don’t really need to use a VPN and a proxy at the same time for privacy and security unless you receive specific proxy instructions from your system administrator.
To set up a VPN and a proxy simultaneously, you can use a VPN client that has native proxy support. It’s the easiest and most convenient solution.
It’s also possible to configure proxy settings on Windows 10 without installing anything else. Or, you can set up a proxy on Firefox for browsing only.
A VPN comes with numerous benefits, such as privacy and security.
But if you want to become more anonymous online and hide your true identity even from your VPN provider, then you can use a VPN and proxy server together.
By redirecting your proxy connection to a VPN server, you will hide your true IP with a proxy, and the proxy’s IP with a VPN.
This way, you gain two layers of online anonymity.
Wait, aren’t VPN and proxy the same?
Although they work similarly, VPNs and proxies are not the same. A lot of computer users and Google itself often fails to tell them apart.
Both hide your IP address to protect your genuine identity over the Internet. However, this doesn’t automatically ensure privacy and security.
If you use a proxy server to change your IP, it won’t also encrypt your data.
That means that a hacker is capable of intercepting your network traffic to get hold of your email account credentials or banking details, for example.
However, a VPN not only spoofs your IP address but also encrypts everything that flows in and out of your computer.
In case of a man-in-the-middle attack, a cyber-criminal won’t be able to decipher your data even if it manages to acquire it.
Do I need a VPN and a proxy?
In most cases, no, you won’t need a VPN and a proxy at the same time.
If you equip your computer with a premium VPN that has a zero-logging policy, you should be able to connect to a wide range of VPN servers and regularly swap your IP address.
Nevertheless, if you want to raise your anonymity level, it’s possible to reroute your VPN connection through a proxy server.
How can I use VPN and proxy together?
A VPN client with built-in proxy
Sign up for a VPN subscription plan (we recommend PIA)
Download and install PIA on your PC
Right-click PIA’s systray icon
Go to Settings > Proxy
Choose Shadowsocks, click Configure, and pick a location
Or, select SOCKS5 Proxy and specify the Server IP address, Port, User, and Password if required
Left-click PIA’s systray icon
Press the big power button to connect
If you’re interested in SOCKS5, discover how to set up PIA SOCKS5 proxy the right way.
Connecting to a VPN with integrated proxy support is the best way to use both a VPN and a proxy simultaneously.
We used Private Internet Access in our example above because it’s the best VPN with a built-in proxy, offering support for Shadowsocks and SOCKS5.
PIA supports OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, 256-bit military-grade encryption, native port forwarding, a kill switch, split-tunneling mode, and exclusive DNS.
More about PIA:
+3, 300 VPN servers in 48 countries
No logs or leaks
10 simultaneous connections
24/7 live chat support
30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
Private Internet Access
Set up PIA on your PC to easily use a VPN and a proxy together.
Firefox proxy settings
Get a VPN browser addon for Firefox (we recommend PIA)
Install the PIA browser extension for Firefox
Go to Firefox Settings
In the General tab, go to Network Settings
Choose the proxy type and configure settings
Connect to a VPN server
Using a proxy server at the browser level is different from the previous method because it only protects your browser traffic.
Any other Internet-enabled applications will be excluded from the proxy and VPN protection.
Windows 10 proxy settings
Set up a manual VPN connection on Windows 10
Right-click Start and go to Network Connections > VPN
Select your VPN connection and click Advanced options
Scroll down to VPN proxy settings
Select from Automatically detect settings, Use setup script, and Manual setup
Enter the required information and click Apply
Connect to the VPN
If you don’t have a VPN client or if it doesn’t have native proxy support, the next best thing is to manually set up the proxy settings on the Windows 10 VPN connection.
Keep in mind that it’s a different setting than configuring a global proxy server on Windows 10.
You can also set up SOCKS5 proxy on Windows 10 using Internet Options.
To sum up, you can use a VPN and proxy together to add an extra layer of anonymity to your network connection. Just keep in mind that you need a stable Internet connection.
For instance, you can use a VPN client with an integrated proxy server since it’s the easiest way to make changes later.
In this case, we recommend using Private Internet Access (buy here). It’s easy to use and supports both Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxy.
Alternatively, you can configure proxy settings in Mozilla Firefox or Windows 10.
Did you manage to set up a VPN with proxy simultaneously? What method did you use? Let us know in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can two VPNs work together?
Yes, but it’s rare. You can have two VPN apps installed, connect to a VPN server in one app, and then connect to another VPN server in the other app without disrupting the first connection. But it’s more reliable to use a service that supports multi-hop VPN connections, like NordVPN.
Is VPN better than proxy?
Yes, a VPN is better than a proxy. A proxy masks your IP and redirects your traffic to another server. A VPN changes your IP and also encrypts your data to protect it from hackers.
Do I need proxy if I have VPN?
Not really, since a VPN can already do what a proxy does. If you’re looking for a solution to protect your online privacy, a VPN is enough.
Frequently Asked Questions about vpn with proxy
What is VPN proxy settings?
A VPN is quite similar to a proxy. Your computer is configured to connect to another server, and it may be that your route web traffic through that server. But where a proxy server can only redirect web requests, a VPN connection is capable of routing and anonymising all of your network traffic.Dec 12, 2018
Is VPN proxy free?
VPN Plus chrome extension offers unlimited Free VPN proxy to unblock any websites.Sep 24, 2021
Can you use a proxy with a VPN?
To sum up, you can use a VPN and proxy together to add an extra layer of anonymity to your network connection. Just keep in mind that you need a stable Internet connection. For instance, you can use a VPN client with an integrated proxy server since it’s the easiest way to make changes later.Jan 14, 2021