What Is a VPN?
What Does a VPN Do?
A virtual private network, or VPN, can hide your IP address so that it looks like that you’re accessing the internet from somewhere other than where your device is located.
A VPN helps encrypt your data when its app is installed on your device and a connection is made. Your data is transmitted to a remote server through an encrypted tunnel. Traffic is routed to its intended destination by the remote server, with the user’s original IP addresses masked.
Since a virtual location is used when you browse the internet, your web traffic is prevented from being traced back to your position. Encryption can also prevent third parties, like hackers, internet service providers, or even government agencies from monitoring your online activity. Even if some bad guys want to snoop on your data, they’d have no idea to whom it belongs and all they could see is random characters instead of real private data.
Anyone can install and utilize a VPN app on their devices, even if they aren’t tech-savvy. Most VPN services can be downloaded and installed in just a few clicks. The configuration is completed automatically because all the data has been preconfigured. All you need to do is to tap the connect button.
How does a VPN Help You?
A VPN Protects Your Data
When a VPN is used on your devices to protect your web browsing, all the web traffic going over your network is encrypted, including your bank account information, private information, and search history. As a result, all your private information will look like random characters without any meaning. It also protects your online privacy from tech giants – they are always distributing targeted ads to you based on your clicks. Likewise, a VPN can prevent your internet service provider from seeing all your online activities.
A VPN Helps You Defeat Firewall, Geo-blocks and Censorship
Many streaming services, such as Netflix and HBO Go, for example, prohibit users from certain countries using their services based on IP detection technology. As you use a VPN on your device to mask your real IP address, the streaming services can be fooled into believing you’re from the permitted area. For example, if you want to use Netflix US in your country, you can make it happen by getting your network connected to a US VPN server.
A VPN Helps You to Browse the Web Anonymously
A VPN implements IP address masking and encryption functions to stop third parties from tracking your activity. That means, as you use a VPN service, all your online activity will be anonymous.
A VPN Helps You to Accelerate Connection Speed
As far as traditional or centralized VPN is concerned, your connection speed through a VPN won’t be surely increased because your data has to cover the farther distance to get to a remote server. Moreover, extra time is needed to encrypt and decrypt your information.
However, that won’t happen with a decentralized VPN. Instead, a peer-to-peer mesh network is used in a decentralized VPN and all data is generated and distributed among users. As a result, data transmission can be done at a higher speed when a decentralized VPN is used.
What Is a Proxy?
What Does Proxy Do?
As soon as you set up your web browser to connect to a proxy, your internet traffic will be routed to a proxy server. Retrieving information from the websites you want to visit, a proxy server can route it back to your device.
In this way, a proxy can be used to partially anonymize your internet traffic. But while a proxy can hide your IP address, it doesn’t encrypt your data, leaving you open to hacking and privacy breaches.
A proxy doesn’t work on your device until client software is installed on your computer. You can also set up a more advanced setting in your web browser. Normally, proxies are less user-friendly than VPNs and can occasionally call for some professional technology.
You can change your virtual positions with a proxy, but it needs repeated installations each time.
How does Proxy Help You?
A Proxy Helps You Bypass Firewalls
Similar to VPNs, a proxy can hide your IP address so that it looks like you’re visiting the internet from other places. Therefore, it plays a useful role in bypassing firewalls on some private networks to browse entertainment and SNS websites. Due to a lack of security, however, your browsing activities won’t be as private as if you use a VPN.
A Proxy Helps You Bypass Censorship
Proxy is usually used to overcome geo-blocks, but it can’t bypass the proxy blocks developed by some companies such as Netflix. There are a lot of websites that still can’t be reached despite the use of a proxy to avoid censorship.
Differences between a VPN and a Proxy
Here is a table summarizing a comparison between VPN and Proxy so that you can get up to speed on which will protect your online security and privacy before web browsing.
|IP Address Masking||√||√|
|Other Security Features||×||√|
|Ease-To-Use||Requires some technical know-how to configure||App for devices, very easy to use, great for beginners|
|Speed||Average speed, depending on server||Depending on applied technology|
Should I get a VPN or a Proxy?
If internet privacy matters to you, don’t hesitate to use a VPN.
Although proxies are widely used to hide IP addresses and bypass geo-blocks, users tend to suffer still from internet attacks or data breaches due to its limited security and lack of encryption. Worse still, a proxy fails to let users visit streaming services like Netflix.
Proxy server operators can access all your internet traffic and keep a log of all your online activities. That’s extremely dangerous.
VPN providers conform to a strict log-free policy and don’t keep a log of your data. That means that they shouldn’t… However, technically, they CAN track your data, but they are just choosing not to. BitVPN, however, eliminates any of the possibility of data tracking due to the blockchain technology upon which it is based. Users’ data is distributed on different servers and each server shares only partial data of users. It’s therefore impossible for BitVPN providers to keep a log.
As a proxy is being used, all the sensitive information concerning your privacy and security is visible to the proxy server owner and those who try to monitor your online activities. A VPN provides end-to-end encryption, making your data unreadable, stopping spies or hackers.
Moreover, a proxy only works on web browsers that have been accessed via the proxy, while a VPN protects all your data on your network.
A VPN is easy to set up and you can change your virtual positions in just a few clicks. However, a proxy needs to be reset whenever you connect to different proxy servers.
In sum, when it comes to the debate of VPN vs Proxy, a VPN is better to use for your online privacy and security.
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