What enables a person to be completely anonymous and almost undetectable on the internet? In the following sections, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of using a proxy server versus a VPN.
A well-known truth is that the internet has become a massive and integral component of our lives in the modern age. However, monitoring has become more penetrating than ever, as an increasing number of linked devices may reveal more information, even exploit or pillage more than ever. In this context, it is critical to be able to circumvent surveillance and monitoring in any manner possible. Understanding VPNs and proxies is critical since they are the primary techniques for achieving anonymity.
Let me introduce the first contestant: Proxy
A proxy server routes your traffic via another computer rather than your own. Both private and public proxy servers can offer the required level of stability and dependability, but only private proxies can offer this level of stability and dependability.
There are differences between SOCKS and HTTP proxy servers, for example.
A SOCKS server is a general-purpose proxy server that creates a TCP connection on behalf of a client to another server and then redirects all traffic between the client and the server back and forth.
The HTTP proxy is similar and may be used for the same purpose when clients are blocked from establishing outbound TCP connections to servers on the other side of the firewall. Unlike the SOCKS server, an HTTP proxy, on the other hand, does not comprehend or interpret the network communication between the client and the downstream server.
Advantages of proxy
- When you use a proxy server, surfing via it enables you to make use of all of its advantages (security, speed, and geographic location).
- Proxies function similarly to web filters. Proxy settings apply to internet browsers, regardless of whether they are MSIE, Chrome, or Firefox.
- The proxy will only protect traffic sent through the internet browser’s proxy server settings.
The drawbacks of using a proxy
- Proxies are not intended to encrypt all internet traffic; rather, they are intended to encrypt just the browser’s traffic.
- SOCKS and HTTP are the main proxy protocols in use today. They do not offer encryption.
- Numerous proxies forward the user’s original IP address to the target website, making them insecure for security-conscious users.
- Certain apps may be unable to use proxies because they must be setup individually for each application.
Allow me to introduce contestant number two: VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a kind of network connection that allows a user to establish a secure connection to another location, giving the user the appearance of being in that location. The machine establishes an encrypted virtual tunnel with the VPN server, and all browsing traffic seems to originate from the VPN server. This prevents data between the machine and the VPN server from being eavesdropped on.
Unlike a proxy, a VPN service provider encrypts all traffic, acting as a substitute for the ISP and routing all traffic via the server, which contains all programs and apps. With a single click, the VPN may be disconnected.
VPN benefits include the following
- Spoofing the location is simple – this service provider maintains servers in a variety of places globally. Connections are lightning-fast.
- Fast – when this server is used, the internet connection should have minimal or no slowdowns.
- It’s excellent for peer-to-peer file sharing.
VPN drawbacks include the following
To begin with, you must select a VPN carefully, one that does not retain data or communication records. Additionally, the VPN service must perform appropriate load balancing, allowing a user to connect to a different VPN server at any time.
- The VPN provider may monitor a user’s internet activities—in many countries, this is required by law, and it may ultimately be turned over to police or copyright attorneys.
- Because VPNs are susceptible to police server raids, it is critical to select a service that maintains no records.
- It’s inexpensive, too—about $10 per month.
There are no winners or losers.
To summarize, since a proxy server is entirely browser-based, it cannot be used with some websites that use non-browser technologies. A VPN, on the other hand, works with all internet-based services but provides less control over which applications are run via your ISP.
One must bear in mind that there is no such thing as a 100 percent guarantee of anonymity, regardless of the path used. Of course, every security system has flaws, and people often reveal their real identities via patterns of behavior such as surfing habits, unguarded remarks made while online, and so forth.