Every Internet user has once encountered difficulties when trying to access a website. Difficulties not related to the quality of its Internet connection, but rather to certain restrictions. To circumvent these restrictions, some Internet users use a proxy or a VPN. The two terms, despite their similarities, have differences that sometimes cause confusion among Internet users. Find out in the rest of this article what the differences are between a proxy and a VPN .
- What is a proxy?
- What is a VPN?
- Proxy vs VPN: the points of difference
- 1. Online Security
- 2. Online Privacy
- 3. Online Freedom
- 4. Connection speed
- 5. OS/Multiple Devices Compatibility
- 6. Service stability and coverage
- 7. Reliability
- What you must remember
What is a proxy?
A proxy designates an intermediate server that will allow an application or an Internet user to access the Internet. In this case, the user will first connect to the proxy server and send it his request. This message will then be forwarded to remote servers through the proxy server. This system can be used for several purposes, including hiding your IP address (so websites can’t track you), caching content so pages load faster, or circumventing restrictions and censorship. of certain websites.
What is a VPN?
VPN is an acronym coming from the contraction of Virtual Private Network which means in French, Virtual Private Network. Unlike proxy, VPN goes way beyond solving restrictions issues. This software ensures user privacy on the Internet. The entire process of VPN operation goes through an encrypted and secure tunnel. This is created by the VPN itself from an encryption protocol. The VPN then creates a secure connection over the Internet between your computer and the VPN server.
Proxy vs VPN: the points of difference
The proxy differs from the VPN on many points.
1. Online Security
Most available proxies (about 90%) do not encrypt data. As a result, the level of security offered remains low. Quite the opposite of VPNs that encrypt your data without any exceptions.
2. Online Privacy
The VPN creates a tunnel that encrypts your traffic so that no one can see what you are doing online. This allows you to surf the Internet “anonymously” and securely without anyone being able to see the websites you visit or the files you download. Conversely, the proxy server will only hide your IP address, but will not encrypt your web traffic.
3. Online Freedom
The VPN breaks all restrictions on accessing geo-restricted websites worldwide. This is not always the case with a proxy server which sometimes proves powerless to circumvent certain restrictions.
4. Connection speed
The proxy is old technology. Therefore, the connection speed is not always up to expectations. Unlike, VPN offers better features that can keep your connection speed more or less normal.
5. OS/Multiple Devices Compatibility
When it comes to compatibility, the VPN stands out significantly from the proxy. Indeed, VPN software works on all devices: computer (Windows, macOS, Linux), smartphone/tablet (Android and iOS), TV box, Smart TV, Android TV and game consoles. The field of action of proxies is often limited to computers and smartphones.
6. Service stability and coverage
Unlike a proxy server, a VPN app covers your entire device. In other words, if you connect to a VPN on your computer, all of your web browser traffic and all of your applications will be encrypted. Whether you are on Skype, on Google, on Netflix, on online gaming platforms, or in your mailbox, the coverage is total. The proxy, on the other hand, is able to cover a single website or a single application.
In terms of reliability, the VPN remains above the proxy, as it provides better protection on the web. Unlike proxy, VPN covers traffic from all websites and apps. Also, most VPNs don’t log your traffic, while proxy servers don’t. And finally, the VPN offers a much higher connection speed than a proxy server.
What you must remember
A proxy is a great way to hide your IP address, prevent websites from tracking you, or bypass geo-restricted websites. However, if you want an extra layer of security and boost your online privacy across all your devices, a VPN is more suited to those needs.
The VPN allows you to encrypt your traffic, in particular preventing your Internet service provider from seeing what you are doing online. Also, the VPN can protect you from malicious websites and provides a guarantee that your personal information will never be shared with third-party organizations.