The internet is not a safe place, whether you are connecting from a work PC, home computer, smartphone or even certain smart devices such as home security systems and even internet-connected refrigerators. If you want to make sure that your data stays yours, you want to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a proxy server. But what’s the difference between them?
They both allow you to have an extra layer of security to your privacy than you might have had otherwise. Both allow you to mask your IP in different ways. Let’s see exactly how they differ.
How does a proxy work?
A proxy works as a relay between the site you’re connecting to and your machine. Your traffic passes through a remote server before it reaches the website’s server. Therefore, your IP address is hidden as the website sees the IP of the proxy. This is good for anonymous web browsing and accessing geographically restricted content.
A proxy only works on the application layer, meaning that it reroutes traffic only from the single app it was set up on. However, its main drawback is the lack of traffic encryption.
How does a VPN work?
Similar to a proxy, a VPN also reroutes your traffic through a remote server but on the operating system layer, meaning that all of your traffic is passed through it, regardless of which application it is coming from.
Unlike a proxy, a VPN also encrypts the traffic between the internet and your machine. This means that no one, not even your ISP (Internet Service Provider), can monitor your activity or collect any data about your browsing habits. The only thing they will be able to see is that you are connected to a VPN, that’s it.
If you simply want to access geo-locked content a proxy server will work just fine for you, however, if you want maximum anonymity when surfing the web, a VPN is the way to go. Keep in mind that both proxy and VPN providers can log your browsing info and do whatever they want with this information, so be careful when picking your provider.
VPN Surf has a strict no-log policy, meaning that your private information always stays private.
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