The basics of VPN and Proxy
To understand each service, we need to know its basic working and features. A simple definition may help you distinguish certain differences between them.
What is a VPN service?
A Virtual Private Network allows you to surf the Internet with complete privacy & anonymity. It not only hides your IP address but also encrypts all the data traffic passing in & out your devices. A VPN is a remote connectivity and online privacy tool that creates a securely tunneled private network using the public internet as its source of connectivity.
To make this definition easier, consider the public internet as a huge club with users from all over the world in one place, things are congested and crowded. A VPN creates a smaller more private room for you allowing you access to the same information secured from your ISP, hackers and government monitoring.
If you observe the figure below, your computer connects to the VPN server using an encrypted tunnel denoted by the two way arrow (red outline indicates data encryption, blue arrow indicates the tunneling protocol).
Once secured by the encrypted VPN tunnel you can interact with the public internet with a masked IP address (the VPN server issues you a new IP address to hide behind). Your online location is replaced by the location of the VPN server.
For your convenience, we have tested and listed the 5 best VPN providers for 2016:
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Key Differences between Proxy vs VPN
We have compared the top features of both tools below marking the key differences between the two.
|Compatibility||Supports multiple devices & platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux & Routers||Needs to be manually configured where supported|
|Speed||Bandwidth loss due to data encryption||Offer high speeds using SSL & no data encryption|
|Security||Provides enhanced data security using military grade encryption||No promise of data security and absolute online anonymity|
|Price||Premium service, usually subscription based||Mostly free|
|Logs||No logs, depending on provider||Known to log user data and provide no encryption|
Proxy vs VPN software – The better option to download Torrents
One of the many reasons why people choose to be anonymous online is when they download torrents. Downloading torrents is considered illegal in many parts of the world including USA, UK, China, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Even though both VPN and Proxy can be used for torrenting; each tool has its respective pros and cons.
The major differences between using Proxy or VPN for Torrents include:
Why use a VPN for Torrents
Downloading torrents through a VPN helps with:
- Hiding your IP address when seeding or leeching
- P2P & torrent optimized servers for high speed downloads
- Choosing tunneling protocols to download faster
- Enhanced encryption algorithms for secure downloads
- Anonymity through Zero logs policies
When you use a proxy server to download torrents:
- High speed downloads
Proxy vs. VPN: Why are VPNs better for China
The Great Firewall of China has been the biggest challenge for VPN providers operating in the country. The Chinese government actively blocks websites including Google, Facebook, Instagram and many others, which they consider politically, culturally or morally inappropriate.
The major concern over Chinese censorship is that the technology keeps evolving and adapting. When choosing a VPN for China, test and ensure that it works in the region before subscribing. Once you have signed up for a VPN, you can access geo-restricted websites, services and even mobile apps that are blocked in China’s cyberspace.
On the other hand, a proxy server provides no security or an encrypted connection that can be blocked easily by the ISP or the Chinese Internet Police. To access a particular blocked website, you need to have an active proxy each day as there is a good chance that the previous server you may have used has already been blocked by the Chinese authorities.
The best VPN Software for 2016
There are over a thousand providers online today each established with their unique VPN software solutions. To help you decide we look at the best features of the top 3 VPN software of 2016:
PureVPN is one of the oldest privacy & data security providers available today. It has over 550 servers in 140+ countries. This Hong-Kong based provider allows you 5 multiple logins with one account, 24/7 live chat support, multi-platform compatibility and top notch data protection via military grade encryption.
PureVPN offers its range of redesigned VPN software with a leading design and updated features including a purpose selection menu, internet kill switch, auto-reconnect plus a highly awaited lean User Interface. The app is now compatible with both 32bit and 64bit Windows systems while new versions for iOS, Android and Mac devices have also been released.
Ivacy VPN – Overview
Ivacy VPN offers 250 servers in 44 countries and more than 12,000 IP addresses to hide behind. Ivacy VPN was one of the pioneering brands to release split tunneling, a feature that allows the user to block a chunk of his traffic through VPN while remainder is driven through his original IP address. IvacyVPN also offers a strict zero log policy, 24/7 live chat, a 7-days money back guarantee, and P2P & torrent optimized servers.
Ivacy offers it’s simple to use apps for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac available on the provider’s website. The mobile apps can also be downloaded using the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
ExpressVPN – Overview
ExpressVPN has one of the best customer supports in the VPN market space. It offers 97 servers spread across 78 countries with more than 45,000 IP addresses. It offers fast connectivity, 30-day money back guarantee, anonymous payment methods, and a step-by-step illustrated tutorial to setup your service on any device.
ExpressVPN offers its brilliant apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices while its latest Router app is a breakthrough feature in the industry. One of the best aspects of ExpressVPN apps are their low system usage, allowing your devices to run at optimal performance. The easy to use Express VPN software are brilliant for beginners allowing them automatic configuration depending on needs.
In a Nutshell
VPN offers complete secrecy, encrypts your data from all threats, offers military grade protection, and is wallet friendly whereas a proxy server has one upper hand that it offers faster speeds. It is a matter of user preference, what would you prefer a little bit of extra speed or robust online privacy when online?
VPN generally come out on top when pitting Proxy vs. VPN. In a world where governments are committing digital genocide against online privacy and data security, how would you want to go online safer or faster?
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