While initially, you might think that a VPN and Proxy are the same thing, given that they both fulfill the role of connecting you to another computer remotely, there are however some differences between the two methods.
Choosing the right one
Almost constantly, you hear news about leaked data, encryption problems, snooping and other such digital-related privacy things. Most of these articles are related in some way to help you improve your internet security, such as making use of a Virtual Private Network when you connect your devices to a public Wi-Fi, but most of the time they fail to provide the appropriate data. They don’t tell us exactly how either VPN or Proxy connections work, and which one to choose for a specific context.
Proxies and VPNs have one important trait that makes them similar, and that is the fact that they hide your true location while you are in the internet.
The proxy server is basically a server which takes an intermediate roll in your traffic flow. This will make your activity show up as if you are from a completely different place. For example, your physical location is in London and you want to access a website that is only restricted to US people. What you can do is connect yourself to a US proxy server, and then you will be able to access that website. Proxies are, as such, nice for activities that do not yield any sort of impressive benefit, like watching YouTube videos that are not available to your region.
Virtual Private Networks have the similar role of hiding your activities by masking it as another IP address. However, that’s the only similarity with a VPN. VPNS are set up on a more system wide way. What this means is that a VPN will be capturing any traffic that goes through your computer, such as accessing games online or even updates that are coming to your Windows operating system.
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