Transformed from revolutionary technology into everyday reality, the Internet has acquired the problems that one has to face in everyday life. Too limited or, on the contrary, too wide access to information due to the policy of a particular site, blocking of content on a geographical basis, secret collection of personal data is only part of the iceberg called “access to data”.

Situations where it is important to maintain anonymity or bypass locks can be different. For example, you use Internet banking and do not want scammers to intercept traffic during a money transfer. The only right solution in this case would be to use data protection technologies.

That is why the number of Internet users resorting to the capabilities of VPN and Proxy servers is constantly growing.

But does everyone understand the meaning of these terms and the difference between the technologies behind them?

What is a proxy server?

A proxy is a server on the Internet that becomes an intermediary between the user using it and the World Wide Web. Traffic that enters the proxy server from the user’s computer will go to the global network under the IP address of this server, and not the real source. Acting as an intermediary between your device and the rest of the Internet, the proxy server sends your request supposedly from itself, thus masking the user’s real IP address.

What are the advantages of a proxy server:

1) acceleration of work on the Internet;
2) anonymity of surfing on the Global Network;
3) access to chat rooms and resources where the user is blocked by IP address;
4) viewing sites whose access is closed by IP address (most often by 5) geographical sign).

However, the proxy server does not encrypt traffic going through it to protect data.

What is a VPN?

VPN (VPN) – a connection between nodes (computers) of a network in a secure connection mode, when it seems to a third-party observer that you are in a different place. Translated from English, the term means “Virtual Private Network” – Virtual Private Network.

In terms of data privacy, VPN works much thinner than a proxy server. In addition to circumventing geo-blocking, VPN provides true anonymity and security of the transmitted data.

Using special software protocols, free vpn forms a secure tunnel between the user’s device and the final online resource. And high-level encryption algorithms encode all traffic going through the nodes of such a network.

Differences between VPN and Proxy Server

and at first glance, the only difference between these technologies is the encryption of traffic that passes through an intermediate computer.But in fact, the difference between VPN and proxy is much deeper and concerns the so-called network model of system interaction (OSI network model).

According to this model, all computing systems interact at seven levels, each of which performs certain functions. The topmost, or application layer, provides the interaction of user applications with the network. This includes file sharing, other information, mail forwarding and some other actions. A proxy server provides a connection to each specific resource at this level.

Unlike proxies, a VPN operates at a lower network level, which includes, among other things, the application one. The network layer determines the data transfer paths, therefore, when connecting via VPN, all applications are forcibly connected, and not the single program currently being used.

VPN or Proxy Server?

When choosing any service or application, certain criteria are taken into account. The decision to install a VPN or proxy server is no exception. So, what you need to pay attention to first.

Safety when surfing the Internet. Here VPN is a clear leader with its level of encryption up to 256-bit. Disguising your real IP proxy server also means a certain degree of protection, but it is far from the level that VPN provides.

Confidentiality. Data encryption allows the VPN to protect the transmitted information from sites, hackers and other curious personalities in the virtual world. A proxy is not able to provide this level of confidentiality.

Free access to resources. VPN allows you to go to almost any resource anywhere in the world, even if a serious blocking system is installed there. With a proxy, only geographic blocking can be bypassed, and even then not always. For example, a proxy will not help you access sites that have been blocked for censorship reasons.

Reliability. Due to its technical implementation, VPNs are much more reliable than a proxy server, as a major overhaul is more durable than a cosmetic one. At the same time, even a free VPN will provide you with a higher level of privacy and security than a proxy.