Today’s web is increasingly controlled, so it’s only natural that users are always looking for more efficient ways to protect your anonymity and privacy. We have already talked about various methods to stay anonymous on the net (like proxies, VPN and TOR services) while browsing, downloading or streaming content. For each solution, we have highlighted its strengths and weaknesses.
In this article, we will briefly summarize how proxies and vpns work and which solution is best suited to each context to best protect your privacy.
What is a proxy and how does it work?
A proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between a user’s computer and other servers. When a website is accessed using a proxy, the computer sends the request to the proxy, which in turn forwards it to the website and sends the response back to the user’s computer.
There are several types of proxies, each with a specific purpose:
- open proxies, they are free, easily accessible, and can be used by anyone, but tend to be very insecure by leaving the user’s address unencrypted;
- anonymous proxies they hide the user’s IP address, but this can still be traced by examining incoming and outgoing traffic from the server;
- them “elite proxies » or “anonymous proxiesare the most secure, they hide both the user’s IP address and the fact that they are using a proxy.
To use a proxy, you need to configure the browser or software you are using connect to the Internet to direct traffic to the Service’s server. Typically, this requires you to enter the address Proxy Server IP and Port you want to use in your browser.
Once the program is properly configured, any Internet connection request made through it will be forwarded to the proxy, which in turn will forward it to the requested website.
Proxies can be used for various purposes, such as: traffic filtering, access to blocked content based on the geographical location of the user and anonymous browsing. However, since the traffic goes through an intermediaryperformance can suffer and security can be compromised if the proxy is not configured correctly or if a questionable service is used. For all these reasons, proxies are generally used for browsing and are unsuitable for file sharing.
The biggest security issue with proxies comes from the fact that user traffic while browsing is not encryptedso that it can be intercepted by a third party and decoded.
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What is a VPN and how does it work?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) it is a technology that creates an encrypted connection (called a tunnel) between your computer and a VPN server. All traffic passing through this connection is encrypted (using strict security protocols), which means that no one can see what the user is doing online.
VPN services often come used to protect online privacyto access content blocked by location of the user and for browse anonymously. For example, if you are in a country where certain websites or services are blocked, you can use a VPN to access them by making it look like you are in another country where those sites and services are available.
Each VPN uses a client program to operate, which takes care of creating a secure connection to a server and encrypt traffic data to be sent. To use a VPN, you need to download and install a VPN app on your computer or mobile device. Once installed, launch it and connect to a VPN server. Alternatively, you can configure your router or computer to use a specific protocol, but it’s much easier to install development apps.
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Every time you access the Internet, everything traffic will be encrypted and routed through the VPN server, which means that your IP address will be masked and your online activity will be protected.
There are several paid and free VPN service options available in the market, so it’s important to do thorough research before choosing a VPN. Before opting for a service, it is important to consider the reputation of the provider, the level of security and confidentiality offered and the possible limitations or restrictions imposed, for this reason, we invite you to consult our ranking of the best VPN services and our opinions appreciated.
Proxy vs VPN which is better?
Proxies and VPNs (virtual private network), as you may have noticed, are used both to hide the user’s IP address and to protect online privacy. So the purpose of the use is the same, it changes the way the purpose is achieved:
A proxy acts as an intermediary between the user’s computer and other servers, forwarding connection requests and returning responses. Traffic passing through a proxy it is not encrypted, which means that it can be intercepted by third parties. Also, because the traffic goes through an intermediary, performance can suffer. Finally, proxies generally work within the single application in which they are configured, changing browsers or applications exposes you, or tap connect to another proxy. Also, unfortunately, not all apps support the use of proxies.
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A VPN, on the other hand, creates an encrypted connection between a user’s computer and a server. All traffic passing through this connection is encrypted with military-grade encryption, which means no one can find out what you are doing online.
A VPN can be used to protect privacy onlineto access blocked content based on the user’s geographic location and to browse anonymously.
VPNs are usually managed at the system level, so it’s easy to route all of a user’s web traffic through them, regardless of the application involved. For this reason, VPN services are the preferred solution for users who share P2P or play games on the net. and who want to effectively circumvent land blockages and censorship. Also, since the traffic is encrypted and routed directly to the VPN server, performance should be better than an average proxy.
So to conclude a VPN, is structurally more complex but at the same time decidedly more secure than proxies. If you want to completely protect your online anonymity, this is a good VPN you should look into.