VPN and Proxy: What Are the Main Differences in 2023?

What is a proxy server?

A proxy server is a link connecting the user’s device to the site to which the transition is planned. The traffic goes through a remote machine designed to connect the user to the host server. A proxy server for VPN is designed to hide valid IP addresses so that the web portal will only see the proxy address. Sometimes information about other users using the proxy server is selected as the address. But this program functions at the software level: your data is redirected only from the app that was used to configure the proxy. Outbound traffic is not encrypted.


There are several types of proxy servers:

  • HTTP proxy. It is created for web portals. When you configure your browser with an HTTP server, outbound traffic will go through the selected server. This method is suitable for viewing content on the Internet and accessing portals that restrict entry to certain countries.
  • SOCKS proxy servers. They work at the software level too. At the same time, they are used not only for outbound traffic. The program can be configured to watch online videos, use on P2P platform, or play real-time games. Such servers are heavily loaded due to their popularity, so while browsing traffic users can experience little delays compared to using the proxy described above.
  • Transparent proxies are installed without notifying users. Most often, such programs are used to restrict or track users activity. Such proxies save bandwidth. They can be configured for the use in a private network, and with their help parents monitor their child’s activities. Hotels or restaurants use software to authenticate customers in open access networks.

The Web can be a dangerous place. Even though security for operating systems, applications, and browsers has improved over the last decade, the number of threats have increased as well. By using VPNs or proxies, you increase your security while online. Together proxies and VPNs allow bypassing firewalls to access content without restriction. However, VPNs and proxies are not alike.

By knowing the difference, you will figure out you can make the right choice between proxy or VPN based on your needs. This article will tell you what you need to know about proxy servers vs VPN. The choice of VPN proxies depends on the needs of a particular user.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A virtual private network is also used to redirect outbound traffic through servers located at a considerable distance from a particular user. This changes the IP address. This way, nobody is able to find out the true IP address and real location of the user. This program works at the OS level, which means that all outgoing traffic is redirected from both the browser and apps running in the background.


As for the VPN vs proxy controversy, they are somewhat similar, since in both cases the traffic between the user’s gadget and the global network will be encrypted. An Internet provider, which is able to track the user’s online activity, will no longer receive such information. The only data that will remain available is the fact of connecting via a VPN server.

Encryption algorithms provide protection against government surveillance. Spies and hackers will not be able to find out the user’s personal information and intercept their confidential data. With a VPN program, you can ensure the most secure online experience.

What is the Difference Between VPN and Proxy


There is a slight difference between proxy and VPN. For comparison, see the following facts:

  • A VPN program is suitable for encrypting traffic, since a proxy doesn’t do it. A VPN app can protect against the provider’s tracking, government surveillance, and hackers. Proxies don’t fulfill this function. When processing sensitive information, it is best to turn to a virtual private network.
  • If you need to process all outbound traffic, choose a VPN that works at the OS level. If you only need to redirect traffic from one app or a specific browser, you can use a proxy server.
  • Proxy is slightly faster than a VPN. This is due to the need to encrypt only a certain amount of information, and not all traffic.
  • Most often, you have to pay for the use of the licensed VPN, while proxy servers work for free. A free virtual network can work with limits on access or time spent on the Internet.
  • When choosing a more reliable connection, it is worth selecting a VPN, since access to the Internet through a proxy server may be interrupted right during operation.

Users often ask questions about choosing a vpn proxy. VPN is considered the best program, as it can provide complete privacy and security while you surf the web. All outbound traffic passes through secure servers and is fully encrypted. Proxy servers route traffic through intermediaries too, but they don’t provide the proper level of encryption. The advantage of the VPN is that it works at the operating system level. This way you can ensure complete traffic protection.


Users believe that complete security of personal information requires the use of multiple servers. If they work via a virtual network, there is no need for additional proxy configurations. VPN performs similar functions, but the proxy, unlike it, can collect personal information about users and transfer it to third parties.

If you need a faster VPN connection, you should try to log into a server closer geographically to you. An additional positive of using a VPN is that there are more software options to connect to a VPN. You will only have to configure one connection with a VPN. With a proxy, you will have to configure each application manually.

Both options are designed to work safely on the Internet. They can be used together, but this requires additional setting up. There is no need to do this, just choose the suitable VPN software.

Proxy will add an additional intermediary through which all traffic will go. It will reduce the speed of access to the web. If users cannot decide which program is better, they can try each app separately. To find out the advantages of each service, go to

Written by Philip Goguen

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