While VPN and Proxy are quite similar, there are some slight differences that set them apart from each other. But before diving into the key differences let’s start with the basic definitions of each of these – 


VPN referred to as Virtual Private Network, is an encrypted format connecting over the internet from a device to a network. It encrypts the data as it routes repeatedly between the client machine and the internet resources a person is using such as web-servers. 


Proxy Servers are servers which are used to obtain webpages by other computers. Their function is to act as an intermediary from a computer to a target server. It does not require any form of communication between the computer and the server. The communication rather happens by the computer requesting a webpage or a file housed on the target server. 

Knowing what both are here is a quick comparison of PROXIES VS VPN’S– 

  • VPNS encrypt your traffic while proxies don’t.
  • A VPN service will protect you and all your sensitive information from ISP tracking, government surveillance, and hackers. On the other hand, the proxies don’t do so. While they do protect you from the hackers but not fully like a VPN does. 
  • Having proxy just makes you less vulnerable to the preying eyes of the hackers. That is why they should never be used to handle any sensitive information.
  • The VPN’s reroute all your traffic and work on the operating system whereas the proxies work on application level and would only reroute the traffic of a specific browser or app.
  • Although the VPNs can be slower in speed compared to proxies because they have to encrpt the data but there are ways you can improve your connection and browsing speed.
  • While the VPNs are both paid and free, it is advised not to use the free services. The reason being they have limitations and could mine your data too. On the other hand, proxy servers are free .
  • A VPN connection is considered to be more reliable as the proxy server connections tend to drop more frequently.

I hope these points are able to sort the confusion which people usually face between a VPN and a Proxy Server.

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Internet and Networking,

Last Update: July 4, 2020