What is the difference between a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and a proxy server?

If you want to surf anonymously through the internet, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a proxy server. Yet both tools are different from each other. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the difference between a VPN and a proxy server.

What is a proxy server and what possibilities does it offer?

A proxy server is a gateway that acts as an intermediary between you and the worldwide web. As soon as you want to visit a website, a proxy ensures that the necessary data is downloaded. After that, the proxy server sends this data back to you. With a proxy, you can surf the internet anonymously and view content that has been blocked due to censorship. Although you can bypass restrictions and view restricted content with a proxy server, they do not encrypt privacy-sensitive data.

The 3 different types of proxy servers

There are 3 different types of proxy servers. Each with their own characteristics and properties such as:

  • Http: this proxy can only be used for web pages. For example, website traffic is redirected via the proxy if the program has an http. These kinds of proxy servers are useful if you don’t want to be bothered by geographic restrictions (censorship). You can also surf anonymously on the internet.
  • Socks: you mainly use this proxy server in combination with applications. You can think of using video functions, streaming videos, or playing online games. Using a socks proxy server is popular. As a result, you may be dealing with a slow internet connection.
  • Transparent: these types of proxies are often used for business purposes. For example, if an agency or company wants to screen and/or limit the online activities of a client. You can think of schools, hotels, and other public institutions where there is access to the internet. Specific websites can be blocked with a transparent proxy server.

vpn vs proxy infography

The advantages of a proxy server

  • Hides IP-addresses.
  • Bypasses censorship and website restrictions at the regional level.
  • Effectively applicable for regional access.
  • Several free proxy alternatives available.

The disadvantages of a proxy server

  • Free availability lowers the quality of the proxy. The server host may be able to access your website traffic data.
  • No protection against viruses and malware.
  • Website data traffic is not sent encrypted.
  • Often, the connection speed is not optimal.

What is a VPN and what options can you use?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Just as a proxy server does, a VPN takes care of downloading and returning the data you have requested. However, a VPN ensures that your data is encrypted and sent securely.

A VPN works for the entire operating system. This means that it redirects all website traffic anonymously and encrypted. Whether that traffic comes from a browser or an application.

The advantages of a VPN

  • Hides IP-addresses.
  • Full security by sending data encrypted.
  • Access to content that has been blocked by censorship.
  • An automatic program that ensures the anonymous performance of online activities.
  • Safe use of public wifi networks.

The disadvantages of a VPN

  • VPN uses a regional client to establish a connection. This can potentially cause Central Processing Unit (CPU) or memory problems.
  • A high-quality VPN is not a free service.
  • VPN may only provide an end-to-end encrypted connection if you use an HTTPS when browsing another website.

What are the differences in privacy between a VPN and a proxy?

The privacy of a VPN and a proxy server is different. Below you can read how they perform in different circumstances.

A VPN or a Proxy: which is the best choice for you?

Whether it is better to choose between a VPN or a proxy server depends on your personal situation and preference. If you want to surf anonymously and keep your IP-address hidden, you can choose a proxy. This is also a great choice if you want to use a free service that gives you access to regionally blocked websites due to censorship. In that case, you can opt for an http, socks, or transparent proxy server. This way your IP-address remains hidden from other internet users and hackers.

Don’t want to be bothered by censorship, hackers, or other cybercrime while surfing the internet? Then it’s best to choose a VPN. The data you send is always sent encrypted. Unlike a proxy server that does not. So, a VPN offers more security when it comes to privacy. This is especially a good thing if you visit the website of your bank, or use an online credit card payment. While a Virtual Private Network VPN is not free, the costs don’t outweigh the high level of privacy and security you receive. After all, you want to be able to keep your privacy-sensitive data safe.


Do you prefer the high security that a VPN has to offer? Then always opt for the highest quality. For example by purchasing a basic package. Would you like to know more about the available packages and the available services? Then take a look at starxvpn.com/prices or stay up to date with the latest news, promotions, and discounts through Facebook.

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