Runners and coyotes. Superman versus Lex Luthor. Coke and Pepsi. The proxy-versus-VPN debate is not as old or well known as its competitors, but awareness is growing.

Why is consciousness growing? Companies need to hide IP addresses from hackers and encrypt Internet traffic.

Changing IP addresses and encrypting online activity can help protect sensitive data. An initial web search might lead you to think that you can handle both problems using proxy servers or VPNS. But what about from a business perspective? You’d better use a combination of the two.

Read on to learn more about the proxy vs. VPN debate, what the key differences are, and what the combination of the two can bring to your network security approach and online privacy.

Differences between proxies and VPNS #1: What are they and what do they do

A proxy server is a computer system or router that acts as a relay between a client and a server on behalf of a user. Internet requests made by users are first routed to a proxy server, evaluated, and then forwarded to the Internet. Responses from the Internet, on the other hand, are returned to the proxy server before being sent to the user. The purpose of proxy servers is to mitigate network threats by protecting the identity of resource servers.

The most common types of proxies are:

SOCKS5 proxy: Used for file sharing, video streaming services such as Netflix, and games

HTTP proxy: Used to access geographically restricted web sites or censored regions

Transparent agents: These agents prevent certain sites in certain places (such as workplaces, schools) from using public computers

Commercial VPN providers support:

Establish a secure connection to your company’s virtual private network over the public Internet

Layered security to protect corporate and personal data

The ability to remotely access critical network resources

Connections between branches and global locations

The two common types of service VPN Settings are:

Remote access: hosted on the cloud or private network; Connect users from remote locations to virtual private networks using VPN client applications installed on mobile devices

Site-to-site: connecting two or more networks (for example, corporate network and branch network); The Intranet VPN connects the remote office to the primary office, and the extranet VPN connects the partner or customer to the primary office network.

Key takeout: The proxy delivers Web activity through a mediation server. VPNS work at the operating system level to protect all Web traffic.

(Note: The OpenVPN product supports connections through one or more proxies.)

Differences between proxies and VPNS #2: How do they work

How does the agent work? Suppose you want to buy something from an online store. You enter the store’s URL, your Internet service provider (ISP) submits the request, and then connects you to the store’s website. If you do not use a proxy, your IP address (equivalent to a digital mailing address) is visible. However, if you use a proxy, the proxy intercepts your request and masks your real IP address with the alternate IP address you chose when setting up the proxy server.

An online search (for example, “Free agent”, “Agent List”) makes it easy to find agents without ISP changes.

VPN Connection The VPN routes all network traffic through an encrypted tunnel to secure the Internet connection. Routing network traffic disguises your IP address and hides your location. For your activities, even on public wifi, outsiders can only see that you’re connected to a VPN server.

Differences between proxies and VPNS #3: What do they hide

To put it simply:

VPN: Encrypts IP addresses and all Internet activity

Proxy: Hides IP addresses and does not encrypt user activities

Key takeout: VPNS encrypt all network activity, whether it’s websites or apps; The proxy server hides only one website or application at a time.

(Note: Proxies can be set up to encrypt traffic. This process requires a self-signed certificate, which is more complicated than using a VPN.

Proxy vs. VPN difference #4: Cost

At the time of writing, a Google search for “free agent” returned “approximately 2110,000 results” (in 0.55 seconds). But here’s the thing: very few things worth having in this world are free. Those free proxy servers? Many of them sell user data to offset the cost of free proxy servers. If you are trying to hide your IP address, why would you want a proxy server provider to sell the data you are trying to keep secret?

Yes, there are free VPNS, but they tend to limit daily data use and the number of servers available. Enterprise VPN:

Is it cost-effective

Support unlimited number of users

Provide a variety of globally distributed servers for access

Have a clear logging policy. They do not record, share or sell user data

Difference between proxy and VPN #5: Reliability

VPNS, especially paid commercial grade VPNS, consistently outperform proxy services in terms of reliability. Private agents are more reliable than shared agents and typically provide unlimited bandwidth. Free agents are particularly unreliable because of the traffic and data caps that pass through them.

VPNS built for business traffic can provide private network access from multiple VPN areas without affecting browsing speed. This helps ensure that access is maintained even if one of the connectors running on the private network fails.

Proxy vs. VPN #6: Spam and pop-ups

Again, you get what you give. There are different types of proxy servers, and with a free proxy server, you’re more likely to get spam banners and pop-ups. This is because the proxy server assigns a session while you are online. It then packages that session as an advertising link in an attempt to increase revenue. Proxy providers can also inject viruses and spam into your sessions, which you may download without realizing it.

VPN services with content filtering can block phishing sites or web pages.

VPN services with content filtering can block phishing sites or web pages. This is one step ahead of the firewall. Phishing sites and web pages are often the source of ransomware, malware and viruses. Need to mitigate DNS hijacking? Content filtering helps prevent:

Man-in-the-middle attack

Cache poisoning

Malicious DNS server

Router vulnerability Attack

In proxy vs VPN, the winner is: both

The real winner is you, the business user.

VPNS and proxies are complementary and important components of a multi-level approach that enables:

Access control

Increase productivity

Reduced attack surface