Difference Between The Best Proxy Server and the Best VPN Service

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Apple and Orange as VPN&ProxyThe main purpose of using both best proxy servers and VPN is to conceal the identity of the user. Many VPN providers also offer proxy service even though there are many public proxy servers that are free to use. Many people struggle with distinguishing between VPN and web proxies. The two are commonly confused as they have some functional similarities between them. Even though both perform a similar function, they differ in the actual processes involved and therefore have different consequences. What complicates the matter even further is that there are a good number of different proxy service types available for use.

Difference Between The Best Proxy Server and the Best VPN Service

An open proxy (or simply proxy) server is typically a computer acting as an intermediary between a personal computer and the internet. Therefore, any traffic routed via a proxy server appears to be coming from its IP address and not the personal computer. Contrary to VPN servers, proxy servers are not devoted to committing resources in order to encrypt all traffic passing through them. Therefore, they can accept connections for up to tens of thousands users running simultaneously.

With proxies, servers mostly communicate with the internet by use of either of two protocols: HTTP or SOCKS. HTTP is capable of interpreting web-page traffic that begins with http:// or shttp://. In theoretical sense, it is faster than VPN and SOCKS because it only handles HTTP requests. It is most appropriate for accessing geographically restricted sites through your browser. Even though most browsers are HTTP proxy compatible (support HTTP proxies), your traffic is unencrypted making it easy for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and websites to detect the real IP address. In addition, you can use HTTP Secure (HTTPS) which uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption. Even though this does not perfectly hide your traffic, SHTTP’s IP address can still be logged.

Pros of HTTP Proxy Servers

They are cheap. In some cases, they are free to use. Moreover, they will hide or conceal your real IP from basic checks, which makes it good for accessing some geographically restricted sites for account creation.

Cons of HTTP Proxy Servers

They are only useful when accessing websites. Effective use of JavaScript and Flash would allow many sites to detect your real IP address. In addition, HTTP traffic is not even encrypted and therefore allows government’s surveillance systems and even your Internet Service Provider to openly see whatever you are very busy doing. If connected via SSL/HTTPS, then it becomes impossible to monitor traffic. However, the IP of the HTTPS site can still be logged. What makes SSL encryption safe is that it is approximately equivalent to a key length of 128-bit. Moreover, HTTP proxies require each internet/web browser to be configured individually to properly use the proxy server. Regardless, the good thing about this is that nearly all browsers support it.

SOCKS on the other hand are more versatile in function as opposed to their HTTP counterpart. HTTP proxies are traditionally designed to handle more traffic and this explains why they are generally slower. Typical SOCKS protocol supports any type of traffic ranging from BitTorrent, POP3, FTP, SMTP, and IRC chat. VPN companies often offer the latest version of the protocol (i.e. SOCKS5) as an extra or additional service feature. The major shortcoming of SOCKS it that it encounters security issues similar to HTTP. Other disadvantages: any software such as BitTorrent client must undergo individual configuration. On the other hand, its main advantage is that it can handle all kinds of internet traffic as listed above. If you need to conceal your id for BitTorrent downloading, then you probably need a SOCKS proxy with a Secure Socket Layer connection.

Public, Private, and Web Best Proxy Servers

Proxy servers can accommodate or accept quite a number of connections. Because of this, several public servers have come up, allowing virtually anyone to use them. A good number of HTTP and SOCKS servers exist, although HTTP is more common. Some of which, including their necessary IP address and Port number, can be found listed on some sites. The bad news is that public proxy servers usually tend to be very unstable – going on and offline without issuing any notice or warning with great variation in speed. Moreover, it is upon you to trust the owners of these servers as you exchange sensitive information often with no support available at all, because it is free.

On the other hand, private best proxy servers are definitely not open to the general public but are usually free. These services are often much more reliable as they are run by established companies with good reputation and unlike public proxy servers, provide comprehensive support. Web proxy services connect to a HTTP server allowing you to surf the internet from your browser anonymously without having to pay or download and install additional software, or without configuring your browser settings. Such a service not only exposes you to a stream of adverts, but also breaks down when encountering complicated things like JavaScript and Flash content.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

They create some a sort of encrypted “tunnel” between a personal computer and the corresponding host server (with the host server handling the internet traffic going in and out). Both your government and ISP can only see that you are connected to the VPN server. All your activities and IP addresses you have visited is not accessible to them as they are completely hidden behind a 128-bit encryption. Unfortunately, the VPN server can be able to see whatever you are up to online.

Regardless, setting up VPN does not require downloading and/installing a VPN client, or configuring your PC or internet device. Once set up, any of your internet activities, regardless of the program you use, are safely routed via the VPN.

Pros

Protect your internet activity from prying eyes of both your government and ISPs. In addition, it uses high-level encryption of between 128-bit to 2048-bit when transmitting data over the internet. Moreover, all your internet activities are masked once you configure a VPN set up on your device.

Cons

Generally more expensive compared when compared with proxies and can sometimes be slow at peak times. Authorities can also obtain logs from your VPN provider if they keep such.


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