Difference Between A VPN And A Proxy

When it comes to protecting your online privacy, there are two terms tossed around VPN and Proxy. Both of these methods are known best for keeping the identity anonymous, hiding the IP address swap it for a new one, connect you to a remote server and allow you to connect to and surf the web as if you’re in another location. however, the functioning ability of both technologies differs from each other. Here this post we go through the exact Difference Between A VPN And A Proxy and how they work.

What is a VPN Service?

A VPN also is known as a Virtual Private Network is a secure tunnel (a private network) between two or more devices across the Internet (public network). When your device (computer, smartphone, tablet or any other) connects to a VPN, all of your traffic gets diverted through a secure tunnel that prevents snoopers, hackers and ISPs from viewing your web-browsing activities, instant messages, downloads, credit card information or anything else you send over the network. In other words, When you connect to the internet via a VPN, all of your internet traffic is routed through an encrypted remote server.

How VPN works

VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.

How VPN works?

When you use a VPN service, Or connect to VPN client your data is encrypted, goes in encrypted form to your ISP then to the VPN server. The VPN server is the third party that connects to the web on your behalf. This solves the privacy and security problem for us in a couple of ways:

  • The destination site sees the VPN server as the traffic origin, not you.
  • No one can (easily) identify you or your computer as the source of the data, nor what you’re doing (what websites you’re visiting, what data you’re transferring, etc.).
  • Your data is encrypted, so even if someone does look at what you’re sending, they only see encrypted information and not raw data.



  • Provides encryption for all internet traffic, ensuring a high level of security.
  • Offers anonymity by masking your IP address and location.
  • Can bypass geo-restrictions and access region-locked content.
  • Suitable for secure browsing, online privacy, and accessing blocked content.


  • May slightly reduce internet speed due to encryption overhead.
  • Usually involves a subscription fee for premium services.

What is a Proxy Service?

A proxy server (sometimes called a web proxy) is either a dedicated computer or software running on a computer that intermediates the connection between an endpoint device and another server from which a user is requesting a service. For example, if you’re trying to visit Google.com, and you’re using a proxy server, your request will first be sent to a different computer, and that computer will forward the request to access Google.com. The data that returns will likewise be routed through that same computer.

how proxy works

Usually, Proxies are used for a number of reasons such as to bypass firewall restrictions,  Filter web traffic, provide anonymity when surfing the internet and more.

How did a proxy server work?

  • When you connect to a proxy server, this asks the user about the remote host with which the user is required to establish a link for the communication (i.e. its IP address or domain name, etc.). It also asks for the user ID and password required to access the services of the proxy server.
  • Now When you send a web request, your request goes to the proxy server first.
  • The proxy server then makes your web request on your behalf, collects the response from the web server, and forwards you the web page data so you can see the page in your browser.
  • When the proxy server forwards your web requests, it can make changes to the data you send and still get you the information that you expect to see.


  • Acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet, providing a level of anonymity.
  • Can be faster than a VPN, as it doesn’t involve encryption.
  • Useful for specific tasks like bypassing content filters or accessing geo-restricted content.


  • Limited security compared to a VPN, as it doesn’t encrypt all traffic.
  • May not work for all online activities, especially those requiring high security.
  • Free proxies can be unreliable and potentially risky.

Difference Between VPN and Proxy

Both VPN and proxy servers will let you access your desired online destination without making your real IP and location known to the websites you visit, Here are some other things you should consider before deciding.

Proxy  VPN
Encryption: No. Yes, end-to-end encryption.
Anonymity: Limited. Yes.
Other security features: None. Depending on the service provider:
Automatic kill switch,
automatic Wi-Fi protection,
DNS leak prevention,
no-logs policies,
Obfsproxy, and more.
Streaming: Sometimes – but will often have trouble bypassing proxy blocks. Yes – VPNs are perfect for streaming.
Torrenting: Yes, but it’s not recommended due to lack of security. Yes – depending on the provider.
Ease-of-use: Requires some technical know-how to set up, and to change server locations. Very easy to use, great for beginners.
Speed: Average speed, depending on server. May slow down your connection due to the time it takes to encrypt and decrypt your data, and the distance your data has to travel, but this will be barely noticeable with a good VPN.
Additionally, the right VPN will bypass network congestion and ISP throttling to speed up affected connections.

The major difference between a VPN and a Proxy is encryption. Each package sends by the user over VPN first encrypt and send over the VPN server to protect it from hackers. But Proxy Server did not encrypt the packet before sending the packet.  So VPN is a safe and secure way to communicate between two computers.

Proxy services mainly reroute traffic so they have few servers to route them through and thus your requests take longer to complete. on the other hand, VPNs have a much larger network of computers that can handle more requests simultaneously thus making them faster.

With Proxies, your internet activities are not hidden because there is no encryption between ISP and you, it basically just bypasses your ISP and connects you directly to the internet. Where VPN provides encryption, authentication and integrity protection to the traffic that routes through a Secure tunnel that is completely anonymous.

Another difference between a proxy and a VPN is – a VPN tunnels all your traffic through a heavily encrypted and secure connection to the VPN server. This makes VPN an ideal solution for high-stakes tasks where security and privacy are of paramount of importance. With VPN, neither your ISP, the Government, or a guy snooping over open Wi-Fi connection can access your traffic.

Unlike a proxy, VPN is set at the operating system level, it captures all the traffic coming from the device it is set up on. Whether it is your web traffic, BitTorrent client, game, or Windows Update, it captures traffic from all the applications on your device.

Proxy functions at browsers while VPN functions at the firewall.

Whereas proxy only hides the IP address. VPNs provide more location option to the user.

The proxy uses protocols like HTTP, TELNET, SMTP and FTP. Where, VPN uses most secured protocols such as PTTP, L2TP, IPsec, etc.

VPN and proxy Which is best?

Overall, Proxies are great for low-end tasks such as IP masking, and accessing region-restricted websites. But, for high-stakes tasks, like protecting your privacy, you will need to use VPN.

  • If your primary concern is security and privacy, especially on public Wi-Fi networks, a VPN is generally the better choice.
  • If you need to quickly change your IP address for specific tasks and don’t require encryption, a proxy may suffice.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.