Here, we’ll, look at a few proxy vs VPN key differences. Everyone wants to browse the Internet without putting their privacy at risk. However, not everyone wants to pay for a VPN service. If this describes you, the idea of using a proxy server to go online may have come on your radar. Let’s explore these differences and see what works best for you.
Internet Proxy Vs VPN Key Differences
At face value, proxy servers and VPN services are very similar. Both allow you to hide your real IP address by routing traffic through another location. However, there are several fundamental differences between the two services.
First and foremost, a proxy server provides an application-level of security. This means that only specific applications that you configure to use a proxy will appear as connecting to the Internet from a different location.
By comparison, VPN services like Shielded VPN route all traffic to and from your device through different servers. This ensures total privacy, regardless of what applications on your device connect to the Internet.
Other Proxy Vs VPN Key Differences
- When you use a VPN, all the information you send and receive online is encrypted. However, this isn’t true when using a proxy server.
- Proxy servers are often free to use. However, this comes at the expense of users not knowing who is routing (and potentially analyzing) data sent across the Internet.
- A VPN can be slower than a proxy. However, proxy servers are notorious for dropping connections during peak traffic periods.
Proxy Vs VPN Security
At face value, using a proxy to go online can seem like an easy and free alternative to using a VPN. However, using a proxy can leave your basic security online severely lacking.
Most proxy servers are free to use. Some websites even publish daily lists of the best proxies to use to stream content despite local geo-blocks. However, using free online proxy services can come at a high personal price.
- In 2015, Austria cybersecurity researcher Christian Haschek wrote a script that exposed 79% of 443 free proxies as harvesting user data.
- Cybercriminals are known to use free proxies to stage man-in-the-middle attacks on unsuspecting users.
- When you use a proxy, any information sent from your device over the Internet is viewable to whoever is providing your proxy service.
In simple terms, if you use a proxy to check your emails or buy anything online, your passwords and payment information can quickly fall into the wrong hands.
Using a VPN is the Only Way to Stay 100% Safe Online
The idea of using a free proxy to stream the latest episode of your favorite TV show can seem harmless. However, researchers like Christian Haschek have already proven that most proxy servers are less than 100% trustworthy.
Don’t put your privacy or security at risk by using a proxy. Instead, benefit from total security by using a trustworthy VPN like Shielded for just $2.49 per month.
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.