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What is the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

What is the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

What is a proxy?

A proxy server is a computer that offers a computer network service to allow clients to make indirect network connections to other network services. A client connects to the proxy server, then requests a connection, file, or other resource available on a different server. The proxy provides the resource either by connecting to the specified server or by serving it from a cache. In some cases, the proxy may alter the client's request or the server's response for various purposes.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that creates a secure network connection over a public network such as the Internet or a private network owned by a service provider. VPN technology employs sophisticated encryption to ensure security and prevent any unintentional interception of data between private sites. All traffic over a VPN is encrypted using algorithms to secure data integrity and privacy. VPNs are often used to extend intranets worldwide to disseminate information and news to a wide user base

How does one compare to the other?

In this comparison we will refer to our own products and configurations, we won't be talking about free, transparent proxies or other types of configurations.

If you want to be anonymous both methods are fine and doing almost the same thing. We won't be going into a very technical discussion and instead keep the comparison very simple trying to answer most of your questions. So both methods hide your real ip address and make you anonymous. Traffic appears to come from our servers instead of your ip address. None of the methods can be traced back to it's original source so they're doing an excellent job at that.

A proxy must be configured inside an application which supports proxy authentication such as a web browser. Once configured, the web browser will connect to the proxy server and all it's traffic will be routed via the proxy server. All other applications will access the internet outside the proxy server and will show as originating from your real ip. Also, if allowed, Flash / Java / JS / ActiveX applications that run inside the browser can detect your real ip even when the browser runs via a proxy. These type of applications usually request access so be careful with who/what do you allow access when using proxies. It can break your anonymity.

A VPN, once you connect to it, routes all your traffic via the VPN so you are not restricted to a specific application. All applications will reach the internet via the VPN so it applies a system-wide routing making you totally anonymous. A VPN connection is also safer because it encrypts all traffic with a 128-bit (can be raised to 256 bits) encrypted tunnel between your computer and our servers. When using VPNs you are protected against many types of attacks such as "man in the middle" attacks. A "man in the middle" can be even your ISP because he sits between you and the internet thus he's able to filter your traffic and see all packets that go out or into your computer and this could mean your passwords, usernames credit cards etc.

Conclusion

If you just want to be anonymous and you don't care too much about protection and data you send over the internet I would suggest going for our proxies. If however you want to be anonymous and protected I would suggest going for a VPN. Proxies are very good for bots and other software because there's nothing to install and they do the job with minimum or no configuration at all. VPNs are very good for people who care about their privacy such as government agencies or educational institutions, travelers who connect to WIFI spots etc.

Still not sure what to chose?

We're always glad to help so you can simply with your questions and we will try to respond as soon as possible. Don't forget to mention why do you need to change your IP so we can decide what is the best solution for you.

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