VPN is mostly oriented to single users and individuals that are not only looking to mask their IPs but are willing to give it an extra layer of protection by encrypting it. Where proxies are mostly used to hide user’s IP address, most commonly used by individuals and organizations for web-scraping purposes.
With globalization striking the general population, security concerns rise to the new altitudes, forcing the internet community and businesses to take drastic measures to protect themselves and focus even more on things like brand protection.
Most definitely this is a very reasonable approach to address this type of concern, yet there is still plenty of confusion over VPN vs. Proxy topic. I bet you have asked yourself, which is actually better, Proxy or a VPN? Let’s dig deeper and find out.
There are fundamental differences allowing us to determine which one and when should be used. In this article, we will aim to define both terms, explore the similarities and differences as well as establish the right choice accordingly to the use-case or situation.
What is a Proxy?
A proxy works as an intermediary that uses IP addresses assigned by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). When you are using a proxy, your requests run directly through the proxy server first, changing your IP and only then connecting to the website.
What is actually a VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a private network that is mainly constructed over the public type of infrastructure, allowing end-users to send and receive data across public networks as if their online devices were directly connected to the private network.
Proxy? Dive in.
In daily life and common use, a proxy allows us to browse the internet with enhanced privacy levels, in addition to that, if a proxy server is correctly set up the user’s internet requests can be encrypted, which of course will improve the general security levels.
Furthermore, a proxy can unlock geo-blocked content, even if the user’s IP address doesn’t have permission to access this type of information. Geo-blocked content becomes fully accessible whenever you operate under a proxy server that is tied to geographical location.
Proxies come in handy for different types of purposes, for example, businesses can effectively use proxies not only to protect their brands but also to perform extensive market research. It comes in extremely handy whenever a company is willing to gather required data, yet faces certain types of blocks or restrictions, the proxies allow us to perfectly overcome this challenge.
Web scraping and proxies are complementary to each other, it comes in handy whenever you are visiting a website and willing to represent multiple users at once. This way you increase your chances of successful data acquisition without raising suspicions to the webserver.
Shortly, proxies remain to be the ultimate tool to enhance anonymity, security as well as to bypass restrictions and blockades imposed on users. Thankfully to its own unique IPs, proxies are widely used for diverse purposes, but one of the most common utilities remains to be data gathering and web scraping since it perfectly mimics organic users.
VPN? More about it.
Like proxies, a VPN will assign users different IP addresses. In addition to that, the use of a VPN will drastically boost the security levels of the user, allowing access to geo-blocked content and so on. Let’s explore the key differences in VPN utilization and benefits.
VPN is a service commonly installed on the user’s device, ensuring that all outgoing internet connections on the device are processed under the VPN service, creating an encrypted tunnel and providing additional security layers for all the data passing through it. This allows us to remove all the unwanted eyes from our spectrum of activities performed.
Key differences between VPN & Proxy.
Where VPN is mostly oriented for single users and is commonly applied by individuals who are looking not only to mask their identity but also to ensure that internet requests, as well as the data passing through, are encrypted.
Whereby Proxies are often used in order to achieve higher levels of anonymity by organizations and individuals to perform web scraping activities and different types of commercial operations.
This being said, you should now have plenty of understanding about the differences amongst two types of privacy and security enhancing “tools”. Both serve different purposes, yet are extremely applicable to the range of activities. Whether it is geo-blocked content or regular restrictions, now you know what and when to apply. Make sure to allocate your resources properly and use the tool of choice to its fullest effect.