VPN vs Proxy Server: What’s The Difference? Which One Should I Use?

Proxies Hide Your IP Address

Proxies in companies are basically meant to funnel all outgoing traffic through, for several reasons policy enforcing, content caching, monitoring, etc. This is because the traffic is rerouted through the proxy, reinterpreted and then sent to your location. What you get in whole-connection-encryption, you pay for in money and computing power. You can think of it as a web filter that is applied to your web browsers. This will open the VPN window. You can also use a proxy for breaking IP-based restrictions.

VPN vs Proxy Server: Explained

You could connect to a proxy server located within the United Kingdom, then connect to that website. The traffic from your web browser would appear to originate from the remote computer and not your own. Proxies are great for low-stakes tasks like watching region-restricted YouTube videos, bypassing simple content filters, or bypassing IP-based restrictions on services. Several people in our household play an online game where you get a daily in-game bonus for voting for the game server on a server ranking website.

However, the ranking website has a one-vote-per-IP policy regardless of whether different player names are used. On the other side of things, proxy servers are not so great for high-stakes tasks.

Anyone with access to the stream of data your ISP, your government, a guy sniffing the Wi-Fi traffic at the airport, etc. Further, certain exploits, like malicious Flash or JavaScript elements in your web browser, can reveal your true identity. This makes proxy servers unsuitable for serious tasks like preventing the operator of a malicious Wi-FI hotspot from stealing your data. Finally, proxy server connections are configured on an application-by-application basis, not computer-wide.

This is great if you just want a single application to connect to the proxy like our aforementioned voting scheme but not so great if you wish to redirect your entire internet connection. The oldest type of proxy server, HTTP proxies are designed expressly for web-based traffic. Is it recommended for all kinds of internet usage? By using the right tools and skills, a hacker can still trace you. Compared to VPN, proxy servers are cheaper. Another thing—a proxy connection is configured on a program-to-program basis.

You can also use a proxy for breaking IP-based restrictions. You can either go for free services like HideMyAss! So, it lets you bypass geographical and ISP-based restrictions. This means that unlike a proxy, a VPN lets you cloak your browsing, email client, torrent downloading, Netflix, etc.

You can read further about the benefits of a VPN service in our dedicated article. Manually set VPN settings. You will still need to obtain an IP to connect to. This will open the VPN window.

Enter in the IP that you are connecting to. If your VPN requires a username and password, you will be prompted to enter it. What should I do if my Windows proxy settings seem to be infected with malware? You should switch to Linux.

Windows is full of spyware and security issues. With Linux you don't even need to run antivirus software. You install software through a software center so you know that everything is compatible and virus free. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

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