There is great debate as to the ultimate tool that each Internet user should prefer, in order to gain benefits that are related to privacy, freedom and utter security. The best tools to this date are none other but the VPN and the proxy. There are fans of both these alternatives, either worrying about the overall protection layering or about the speed of browsing and streaming content.
What goes without even saying is the acknowledgement that hackers and snoopers have become a lot more sophisticated than they used to be in the past and therefore preserving the rights for privacy, freedom and security can be really hard.
Apart from the exceptionally important issue of privacy and security, there is also the concern about censorship and geographically based restrictions. For example, an Internet user living in India will find it extremely difficult to overcome the prohibitions applied by several US websites (including Netflix, Hulu and other entertainment options). With VPN use or with the use of Proxy, though, such difficulties can be handled effectively.
Below, we are going to take a closer look at both of the methods referred to in the title; all at once, we will shed some light at the pros and cons of each alternative towards finding out which the best solution for us should be. Let’s get started with the use of VPN:
What Is VPN?
VPN or else Virtual Private Network is a tool that many people use nowadays, in order to create a safe pathway for their data to be tunneled online. This tool allows you to send your information online through a protected channel, using encryption and therefore shielding your data. Your IP is masked and so there is no actual danger of having your personal information compromised in any way.
- Overcomes Geo-IP Restrictions Efficiently
- Enables Anonymity and Protects You from Prying Eyes
- Encryption Helps You Stay under the Radar
- Freedom when Sharing and Downloading Data or Torrents
- Can Be Pricey
- Can Slow Down Performance at Times
What Is Proxy?
Proxy is another tool that helps you bypass geographical restrictions online and access content from literally everywhere in the world. The proxy server connects you with the Internet, altering your IP and enabling you to change your personal information towards gaining the access you have been wishing to gain. There are numerous different types of proxy servers, including public ones that are offered for free and others that require some monthly fee.
- Devours Censorship Internationally via Your IP Amendment
- Deals with Sharing and Downloading Torrents Freely
- Can Come for Free or Truly Affordably
- No Encryption Involved and Therefore No Security Layering
- Can Be Dysfunctional
- Requires Manual Configuration to Browsers Every Time
- Your IP Can Be Exposed
Comparison between VPN and Proxy
As we have stated above, there are two major options when it comes to gaining the benefits of anonymity, privacy, freedom from any restriction and security that you want online. The first option has to do with an online VPN service provider and the second one involves the use of a Proxy server. After having outlined both the advantages and the disadvantages of these two options, it is high time we summed them up and went ahead with the ultimate comparison of VPNs vs Proxies.
First of all, there is the matter of security that should be a priority. When it comes to the VPN use, there are different protocols for encryption that allow the data to be perfectly secured. In the case of Proxy service though there is no such thing involved.
So, practically there is no security added to the data sent or received via the proxy server that you are using. This can be a red flag for many Internet users, especially when VPN provides such benefits. The aspect of encryption can slow down the performance of the computer while web surfing and therefore the VPN appears to be slightly slower at times than the Proxies.
Moving forward, there is the aspect of cost that needs to be taken into consideration. Proxies can be found for free and generally they are truly affordable. VPNs on the other hand always come at a price and sometimes this price is not at all affordable.
Nevertheless, the features of the VPN justify the difference in the cost. Whereas the Proxy only offers the chance to unblock restricted websites internationally, the VPN is an integrated solution that aims at fortifying your security while allowing you to surf the web freely and without any restrictions. VPN service providers have got extensive guides and apps that will help you install and start using the VPN in all browsers, while the Proxies require manual configuration when changing browsers.
As you can see, there is a significant difference in what each of the two solutions highlighted in this article gets to offer. If you just need to unblock prohibited websites in your country and you are not interested in shielding your computer against prying eyes and hackers, Proxy servers will do the trick for you.
In any other case, VPN is the suggested solution that will enable you to lift all geographical barriers and at the same time preserve your computer safe and utterly protected. It is up to you to decide what matters the most!
Top-right Image: By Nemo / Pixabay (http://pixabay.com/en/scales-justice-balanced-orange-310963/)