For most people, private proxies and virtual private networks, VPNs, are almost the same thing. However, there are differences between the two tools. And these differences can mean a lot. Moreover, by not understanding these differences, users of these two tools can get into dangerous situations. Therefore, in this article, private proxies and VPNs are explained. In addition, you will learn how and when to use them and which one is better if is any.
What are private proxies?
Private proxies are servers through which you can divert your Internet traffic. They act as a man in the middle, basically, they are situated between your PC and the rest of the Internet.
And while you divert your Internet traffic through them, the rest of the world, in this case – web applications, will see all your queries originating from the proxy server IP and location.
Therefore, your real IP is masked when diverting your Internet traffic through a proxy server. In addition, one feature presented by private proxy servers is that you can connect only one application to divert its traffic through the server. For example, you can use only your Mozilla Firefox browser to connect to a private proxy server, while at the same time, you Google Chrome browser will use your system network connection and connect directly to the Internet.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network or a VPN is a tool used to offer privacy and anonymity by encrypting your Internet traffic and diverting your connection through a VPN server.
Therefore, all your Internet traffic is encrypted and nobody standing between your PC and the VPN server can sniff your traffic. Not even your ISP or local government.
At a connection level, a VPN usually diverts all your Internet traffic, at a system level through its server. Therefore, when using a VPN, you can't divert parts of your traffic through your VPN and the rest of the Internet traffic to use your local Internet connection.
One drawback presented by most VPNs is the decrease in Internet speed due to the encryption layer through which your Internet data passes between your system and the VPN server.
When to use private proxies?
So far, we know that a private proxy server can divert parts of your Internet traffic through the proxy server to mask your IP and hide your real location. Whereas a VPN will encrypt all your traffic, at a system level to create one extra layer of privacy and anonymity. However, each tool is best used in certain circumstances.
For example, private proxy servers are best used when you need to divert your traffic through several IPs. Or when you to mask your real IP. In addition, with certain tools, you can use several private proxies at the same time and use their connections simultaneously.
Therefore, private proxies are useful when you need to perform queries on web applications where you need to mask your real IP or to spoof your real location. Basically, every time you need to use another IP to perform requests to websites or online platforms, private proxies is the best choice.
When a VPN useful?
Virtual private networks, on the other hand, are useful when you need to add one extra layer of privacy and anonymity to your Internet traffic.
A VPN is the best option when you need all your traffic to pass undetected and nobody to interfere with it. Moreover, VPNs are also used for bypassing regional firewalls, such as the Chinese Great Firewall and the Russian Internet restrictions.
However, VPNs can't be used for automating tasks and you can't use more VPNs connections at the same time. Because a VPN encrypts your Internet traffic at a system level, you will need to use one VPN connection at a time. Therefore, you can't use it for automating tools and running several connections through several servers at the same time, as in the case of private proxies.
Private proxies vs VPNs – Which is better?
The answer to this question is relative to your needs. If you are looking for increased privacy and anonymity, then VPNs are the better option. However, if you need servers through which to automate certain tasks and divert your requests, private proxies are the best option.
Therefore, there is no tool better than the other one. It depends on how and who is going to use it. For some users, VPNs are a must to connect securely and freely to the Internet. While for others, private proxy servers are vital in setting their tools to perform online requests to various web applications or websites.
Monday, October 2, 2017