Select Page

The Internet is a magical place which consists of a plethora of things to explore. There are many terminologies which you might be aware of but not quite understand, and proxies are one of them. You might have heard about the proxies as an essential thing that goes on the internet.

But you’re not sure what exactly proxies are? Here we’ll explain proxies and their functionality in comparison with VPNs, and that too, in layman terms. This is the time to clear your concepts regarding the proxies and the VPN as they are one of the essential things on the internet. Basic knowledge about these two concepts will also help you choose between the two as per your requirements.

What are proxies?

Proxies act as middlemen between the people and the internet or between two computers and they help you hide your IP address from the servers too. These proxies are mostly used to provide anonymity to the person using them as they don’t reveal the internet traffic activities. Proxies thus allow utilizing the internet in many ways because there is no danger of data interpretation. When the proxies mask your IP address, it feels like the internet activities performed by you are coming from some other location and this way tracking gets impossible.

For example, if you’re located in Canada, and you want to access a website that allows only the German residents to view it, you can easily connect to a proxy server located in Germany, and then use the site. The internet traffic habits from your website will appear from a computer in Germany and not from yours in Canada. Since proxies act as web filters, they offer a great way to do the less risky tasks such as watching YouTube videos that have geological restrictions, operating behind the firewall, and bypassing different content filters on the web.

These proxies also help the gaming enthusiasts to improve their ranking by playing online games. Some games have a classification based on votes system, and the vote can be cast once for a particular IP address only. If you want to cast more votes, you can log on from different proxy servers and act as different persons casting votes. There are two main types of proxies that are discussed as follows:

HTTP proxies:

The HTTP proxies are most commonly used on the web, and they are mostly used for performing primary web surfing activities on the internet. These proxies are designed mainly for the web browsing and all the traffic related to it. You enter the web address, and HTTP client connects you to the HTTP server. So, HTTP proxies are used to share the data between the client and the server. The HTTP client sends a request message to the HTTP server which in turn sends a response message in the form of text, picture, video, audio, or even an error message.

Socks proxies:

Socks proxies are more secure than the HTTP proxies as they are not smart and can’t interpret the data that is passing through them. HTTP proxies handle the web traffic only, and they can read the data and understand it. Socks proxies use tunneling method for transferring the data which doesn’t allow penetration. Socks proxies are very secure and thus can be used for performing highly confidential activities on the web. There are variants of socks proxies such as the socks4 and socks5 which can be used according to the level of security you need.

What are VPN?

Virtual Private Network is a protocol that also works similar to the proxies when it comes to hiding the IP address or making it appear from a remote location. While proxies act as middlemen, VPNs establish a connection with the server in a secure form.

VPN - encryption

The VPN connections capture the network of the whole system and thus manage the traffic of everything such as the applications and browser. However, to access the VPN, you must be using WiFi. Using a VPN adds an extra layer of security and lets you use those websites that are restricted in your region, or there is a firewall that is stopping you from viewing a site. When you connect to a VPN, all the things in your system automatically conform to it and get protected.

Difference between Proxies and VPN

Though proxies and VPN have a similar function, they have some gaps which need to be addressed if you want to choose one of them. To get a clear concept of proxies versus VPNs, have a look at the following table:

  Security Protocols used Works on Speed
Proxy For basic privacy HTTP, FTP, Socks, TELNET, SMTP Browsers High
VPN High PTTP, L2TP, IPsec and more Firewall Slight drop


Proxies and VPNs differ in some regards that can be seen from the table above. If you’re still confused about which one to choose, read the following sections:

Why use proxies at all?

Proxies offer privacy by protecting the web traffic that is sent between the client and the server. This means that the IP address is masked from any other location and the website will be able to view only the IP address of the proxy server and not yours.

Proxies can be used as a temporary solution for getting necessary privacy protection while you’re browsing the web. When security and privacy are not significant concerns, and all you want to do are low-stakes tasks, you can use proxies without any fear.

However, while you’re using proxies, you must make sure that you’re getting the service from premium service providers. Proxies can be used for performing the following functions:

  • Getting basic online privacy
  • Bypassing censorship
  • Bypassing geological restrictions
  • Avoiding search engine query logging

The biggest drawback that proxies have is that they don’t encrypt the data; they hide the IP address. Socks proxies are very secure as they aren’t smart and can’t understand the data, and thus they can be used for performing private activities on the web as explained earlier.

Proxies overall offer a good solution for hiding the identity for doing simple tasks which do not need more security and safety. If you are getting the proxy services from a trustworthy and professional company, you don’t have to worry about your data being accessed. We advise our readers to always go through the fine print so that any mishap is avoided.

It is imperative to read the terms and conditions of a particular service provider. Some proxy providers allow logging of data which can cause a threat to your privacy. If you want to prevent such logging, you must go for the providers that don’t allow such activities. The best usage of proxies, particularly socks proxies is for data scraping. The socks proxies also provide encryption of data unlike the HTTP proxies and hey support UDP too.

Why use VPNs at all?

VPN is used for making your identity completely anonymous. These protocols provide complete anonymity, unlike the proxies which can allow penetration or tracing of data. A VPN can be used any internet connection such as WiFi and public hotspots as it adds an extra layer of security to the connection you’re using.

Since the data is encrypted, an attacker won’t be able to access it even if he/she manages to breach the privacy. The tunnel through which the data passes is highly encrypted and thus allows no penetration. However, with VPNs to you have to be very careful before choosing a VPN service provider. VPN is an excellent tool that provides privacy and anonymity, and there are many benefits to using it. VPNs can be used to perform the following functions:

  • WiFi Hotspot Security
  • Avoiding search engine query logging
  • Adding an extra layer to online privacy
  • Bypassing geological restrictions
  • Bypassing censorship
  • Security and privacy for VoIP
  • Avoiding bandwidth throttling

You can prevent bandwidth throttling by using VPN. Bandwidth throttling can reduce the speed and can cause much nuisance. Unfortunately, many service providers do this especially when users do torrent downloading.

The ISP slows down the internet connection after analyzing your data, and you may not get the speed for which you’re paying the service provider. In such situations, VPNs are very helpful as they prevent such bandwidth throttling. Also, when you use a public hotspot, it is quite dangerous as it can breach your privacy and thus VPN is used to add an extra layer of security to it.


Whether you want to choose proxies or VPN, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of protocols. If you wish to obtain high security and safety, you can use the socks proxies along with a strong VPN connection and then use them alternatively or simultaneously according to your requirements.

In short, proxies are a good choice if you want to perform the necessary tasks which your IP doesn’t allow you to do usually, for example, bypassing geological restrictions or accessing restricted web content due to the firewall. VPNs add a security layer to your internet connection and encrypt the data and thus offer complete anonymity to the user.