Proxy Vs VPN: What are the 7 Major Differences Between them?

Proxy and VPN are both security services that act as a medium between your PC and the internet. However, there are several differences between Proxy and VPN. In today’s topic, we will be comparing Proxy Vs VPN to understand the difference between them. You will also study what is a proxy, what is a VPN, and more.

One of the major difference between Proxy and VPN is:

  • VPN is configured at the system level. It means, that when you turn on the VPN, all the applications on your PC will connect to the internet through the VPN connection.
  • Whereas, Proxy is configured at the application level. It means you can choose to enable proxy on selected applications only.
Proxy and VPN

For example: If you install and turn on the VPN on your PC, all the incoming and outgoing data is transferred through the VPN server. It means all the applications like web browser, download manager, games, etc., are connected to the web through the VPN.

On the other hand, you can set up a Proxy on a single application at a time. It means you can set up a Proxy on your web browser and let other applications connect through the regular connection.

Nowadays, several VPN Softwares use the feature Split Tunneling for the same process.

Before we compare Proxy Vs VPN, let’s understand what is a Proxy and a VPN first.

What is a Proxy?

A proxy is a server between your PC and the internet that acts as a middle man to retrieve data from the internet without revealing your identity.

Benefits of Proxy:

I am not sure if you are aware or not, but almost every website on the internet uses tracking algorithms to track your location and other details. Most website owners use it only to improve their website and user experience. However, a proxy will hide your identity and receive the data from the internet. That means it protects your privacy.

Proxy Vs VPN, Difference Between Proxy and VPN, What is Proxy

Proxy is also used in large companies for safety and speed. Suppose one of your colleagues in the office searched and browsed a website. The proxy network stores the website cache in its database (proxy server). So, when you search for the same website, it loads faster. Therefore, you will also save a lot of bandwidth.

Another advantage of using a Proxy is that it stores the information of websites visited along with duration. It helps office owners to keep an eye on their employees.

Though the Proxy has several benefits, it does not encrypt the data. This is where a VPN comes in.

What is a VPN?

A VPN not only hides your identity but also protects your data by transferring it through a secure tunnel. 

VPN Security

A hacker can interfere between you and the internet and steal valuable information. Also, the government and internet service providers can track your online activity without your knowledge. Therefore, you require a much stronger security service than Proxy. You need a VPN. 

Check out this article that has a brief explanation of What is a VPN?, the types of VPN, and its Pros & Cons.

7 Major Difference Between Proxy and VPN:

1. Encryption:

Proxy Servers can hide/replace your IP address, but they cannot protect the data transferred to and from the internet. Whereas a VPN sends and receives data/information through a secure tunnel to prevent a third person from interrupting.

Proxy Vs VPN, Difference Between Proxy and VPN, What is a Proxy

2. Proxy and VPNSpeed:

As the VPN sends and receives the data from different servers around the world with encryption, it might slow down the transfer speed. On the other hand, proxies are comparatively faster than VPN.

3. Cost or Price:

Proxy Servers are mostly free. Whereas, you need to pay monthly or yearly fees for using the VPN service as it provides maximum protection. There are also free VPN services, but they have a usage limit.

Check out Windscribe Free VPN Review.

4. Proxy and VPNReliability:

Almost all paid VPN services use a feature called Kill Switch, which disconnects the users from the internet when the secure connection goes down. This way, user privacy remains safe. However, proxy services do not offer such features. Therefore, VPN is a much more reliable option than a proxy.

5. Protection:

When you activate a VPN, it protects the entire PC by encrypting all incoming and outgoing traffic. On the other hand, you can set up a proxy on an individual application only. Both circumstances are handy at times, depending on your requirements.

Internet Security

6. Setting Up:

Setting up a Proxy can be very easy, even for a moderate internet user. Whereas, it is difficult to set up a VPN from scratch. However, you can simply download and install VPN software, which will make it easier to connect and disconnect.

7. Compatibility:

Not all applications support proxy, and you can only set up a proxy on applications which does. When it comes to the VPN, it protects the entire computer, as we have mentioned several times before.

Proxy Vs VPN in a Tabular Form:

Here are the 7 major differences between Proxy and VPN in a Tabular form.

Hides IP addressHides IP address and adds Encryption
Faster than VPNComparatively Slower than Proxy
Mostly FreeBoth Free and Paid (Mostly Paid)
Easy to Set upRequires to download a software
Protects individual applicationsProtects the entire PC network
The application must have proxy supportNo need for Application support
Less Reliable than VPNVery Reliable

Which one Should you use? Proxy Vs VPN:

Well, it depends on your usage. If you are a moderate internet user and don’t want to spend money on privacy protection, you can go for a Proxy Server. However, if you like to transfer private files, download torrents, or run a company, you must use VPN software. Moreover, you shall pick a reliable paid VPN software to effectively protect your privacy.

These are the major differences between Proxy Vs VPN. So, which one do you prefer to use? Proxy or VPN? Comment below and let us know. 

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