These days, many internet users compare a proxy vs VPN, wondering what they should use when browsing to protect themselves.
In 2019, 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?
When communicating with the VPN server, the VPN client uses data encryption, which remotely accesses the website or data you have in mind.You 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.
This article was written by Matteo Duò and originally published on Blog – Kinsta.