Want to surf safely but not familiar with the possibilities?Back to overview
Everyone wants to surf safely across the internet and log in without getting their data online. This safety can be guaranteed in several ways. You can use a VPN service to ensure your security, but Proxy servers can also contribute. A VPN service and a proxy server are usually the same, there are only a few small differences. Are you curious about what is best for your online use? Start reading!
The characteristics of a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN ensures that data traffic between the Internet and the device of the user is encrypted. Authorities – like the government or your ISP – can only see that the user is connected to the Internet. In spite of the visibility of the connection, through encryption no one can see what the user is currently busy with.
Even though the government or your ISP can’t see what your online activities are, most of the VPN providers can. It is therefore difficult to find VPN providers that will not use log-registration.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a VPN connection?
- Very fast and often used in many countries
- High levels of encryption (128-bit, 2048-bit)
- Internet activity can’t be spied on by hackers, your ISP or government
- All internet activities are masked and encrypted
- A VPN connection entails (high) costs
- If a VPN provider keeps track of logs, they can still retrieve what you were doing
The Proxy Server Characteristics
A proxy server can be seen as the gateway between the Internet user and the Internet itself. All requested information will arrive at your home by way of a detour along the proxy server. Therefore, using a proxy server can’t be checked from which IP address this information is requested. A proxy server is not busy encrypting the requested information, which makes it possible to connect multiple computers at a time.
Among the proxy servers, a distinction can be made in the execution of the servers. The following versions are possible:
- http proxy servers
- SOCKS Proxy Servers
In the following paragraphs, the above versions of Proxy servers will be explained, the pros and cons discussed with each other and, finally, a comparison will be made.
HTTP Proxy servers
These servers can only be used for surfing the Internet. This is because the searches are limited to the traffic that starts with “http: //” or “https: //”.
- Cheap and often free
- Will bypass geographic constraint by hiding your IP address
- Only suitable for visiting websites
- IP address can still be detected by online plug-ins from websites
- Internet traffic is not encrypted. Hackers, governments, surveillance systems and ISP can still get the requested search data. This does not apply when you are connected via an https (SSL). When an https search has been requested, results can’t be checked, but the IP address will be saved.
- All website to be visited must be added to the proxy server up front.
SOCKS Proxy servers
SOCKS servers are able to process a lot of different forms of data. This capacity makes the server a bit more flexible and therefore easier to use.
- Can handle any kind of internet traffic (including torrents)
- Same security issues as HTTP
- Each piece of software must be individually configured
- Slower than HTTP
- If you only want to hide your download torrent identity via Bit Torrent, then a SOCKS
- proxy with an SSL connection can be sufficient.
The above forms of connection can be applied to different situations. Depending on these situations, one will look at which server is most appropriate.
Application of Proxy servers
Public Proxy servers are one of these situations. Public Proxy servers are therefore used because accessibility – based on the amount of possible connections – is strong. These Public Proxy servers can exist in both variants, both HTTP and Socks. A giant online server is obviously ideal. You can’t trust these servers a 100%. Servers can switch on and off without announcement, the speed may differ from time to time. In addition, the requested, but also the sent information will cross these servers. You must be confident that the owners of these servers will not abuse the information gathered by hosting the server.
In addition to a Public Proxy server, we also know the Private Proxy server. Unlike the public server, a private server is not open to anyone. With a small payment, anyone can still use these servers. What exactly are the benefits of a public server?
A Private Proxy server provides first and foremost more security. This is because the servers are maintained by recognized companies with a good reputation. In addition, the servers are more reliable and provide extensive support.
Finally, we get out of Web Proxy. A Web Proxy delivers all the comforts that the other servers also provide. There is no need to download software. It’s free and you can surf the web anonymously and securely.
Despite these pros, there are also negatives to a Web Proxy. A Web Proxy exposes you to ads and associated banners. Therefore, a Web Proxy does not support all plug-ins, which often limits internet usage. Also, the IP addresses of these proxies are often blocked by many websites. While they are incredibly easy to use, the practicality of these speed problems, security issues, support issues, and blockages is limited.
What is it like: a VPN or a proxy?
After getting information about both possibilities, you still have the question: What’s better a VPN or a proxy? In short, a VPN wins it on any front of a proxy. This is mainly due to the speed and safety that a VPN knows. The only reason you would not opt for a VPN are the costs you pay for a connection. The cost of a VPN connection today has decreased and definitely worth the money! What are you waiting for?
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