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The difference between a proxy and VPN

A Virtual Private Network or a proxy-server? Both aim to protect your identity on the internet. Unnoticed you probably give much more personal information online than you might realize. With a VPN server or proxy-server your actual location will be shielded. That increases the anonymity when you browse on the internet. In addition, you can override blockades on certain websites and give you access to popular content such as Netflix.

VPN servers and proxy-servers have the same function but a different process. A proxy-server can be seen as another computer that acts as an intermediary between the internet and your PC. It seems like all the internet traffic comes from that proxy-server and not from your computer. Unlike a VPN server, a proxy-server does not have encrypted internet traffic and makes is possible to tens of thousands of users able to use it at the same time. Proxy servers work in most cases trough two kind of protocols: http or SOCKS.

Proxy-servers and protocols

Proxy-servers usually communicate with the internet using one of the following 2 protocols; http or SOCKS. An http-protocol, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, can be seen as a communication tool for the transfer of webpages that start with http or https. This is a fairly common protocol. SOCK stands for ‘Secure SOCKet’ and this protocol can not only interpret traffic within a network, but any traffic on the internet. This makes the servers that uses this protocol often slower because the data traffic is higher.

What is a VPN server?

A VPN server creates a kind of tunnel that is encrypted between your computer and a server. The internet traffic is shielded through a strong encryption. The VPN provider may in certain cases see what you are doing. When you choose for a VPN with a no log policy there won’t be seen any activity on the internet.

When you close a subscription of a VPN provider, you simply download and install the software. With a VPN provider you get access to a range of servers scattered around the world. Because the actual location is distorted, you can bypass geographical blockades. So, you get access to websites whose content may be normally locked in the Netherlands.


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