Proxy Servers versus VPN Connections: VPN is the Clear Winner

by on 09/17/2012 in Security, Security Info & Tips

Internet freedom and Internet security are two different things. A virtual private network, or VPN, connection can provide both. It has the ability to allow users the freedom to browse the Internet and access IP-restricted sites. It also provides users security through data encryption. A proxy server, on the other hand, can offer users only Internet freedom. It does not provide any data security measures.VPN Connections

Internet Freedom

When a user connects to the Internet through a device, they are assigned an IP address. This serves as their device’s virtual ID online. The IP address provides information about a user, including their location. A personal VPN connection can mask a user’s actual IP address. This prevents third parties from accessing the browsing history associated with a device as well as its actual location.

By providing a device with a different IP address, a VPN promotes Internet freedom. Some websites are hosted by country-specific servers. Therefore, a French user travelling in the United States might not be able to access certain French websites. A VPN service that provides users with a French IP address can solve this problem.  Similarly, some countries block user access to certain social media sites. An American traveling to one of these countries would not be able to access these websites. Using a USA VPN can allow them access.

Proxy servers provide a similar service. A proxy server masks the actual IP address of a device and provides it with another completely unrelated address. However, this is where commonalities end.

Internet Security

A personal VPN connection creates a tunnel that acts as a conduit between a device and the Internet. It is accessible through desktop as well as laptop computers. These days, mobile users have also shifted towards the use of a personal VPN. By connecting through a VPN, all of the information that is transmitted by a device is encrypted. Therefore, even if the information were to get intercepted, it would be indecipherable.

On the other hand, a proxy server also provides tunneled access to the Internet.  However, it does not have the ability to provide data encryption. Accessing the Internet through a proxy server will prevent geo-location tracking. However, it will not prevent unauthorized users from accessing information on the device.

Deep Packet Inspection

Some Internet service providers, or ISPs, monitor their users’ browsing behaviors. This is done under the pretext of providing better service. Some users tend to consume more bandwidth than others. This can slow down the speed of a connection being provided by a particular ISP. Therefore, ISPs monitor Internet usage and regulate connectivity speed to discourage these users. This process is known as a deep packet inspection.  Because data is safely encrypted when using a VPN, deep packet inspection is thwarted.  The same cannot be said of connection through a proxy server.

Speed

Finally, a personal VPN connection differs from a proxy server in terms of the speed of the connection. A VPN connection is much faster. This is primarily due to the technological superiority that a virtual private network enjoys over a proxy server.

When comparing a VPN service with a proxy server, VPN proves far more beneficial. It offers security and speed that the proxy servers cannot match. Users looking for security and freedom while browsing the Internet should subscribe to a secure personal VPN.

Author Bio: Gary Smith believes the internet should be free and open.  The VPN service he mentions above is one tool you can use to increase your online freedom. Gary strives to inform others about the tools available for avoiding restrictions on the web.  The fastest US VPN Provider can be found at https://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/

One Response to “Proxy Servers versus VPN Connections: VPN is the Clear Winner”

  1. Daniel

    Sep 18th, 2012

    It is also very important to ensure that a VPN provider doe not keep logs, as a lot do.. Making someones privacy pretty much useless ;p Nice post!