Proxy vs. VPN Comparison

Posted by Vectro 2 January 2014

Some people need to unblock websites or have a concern about privacy. There are certain tools which can be used when browsing the web and accessing other online resources. There are different types of unblockers and anonymizers. This entry will discuss and compare them. The information here is a matter of opinion and it is always helpful for users to do their own experimentation to find what works best for them.

Proxies

There are different types of proxies and they are often free or cheap. Lists of them are easy to find. However, it is difficult to find one that is actually functional. Even when you do, it might go offline within hours and there is no guarantee that it will be back. Users sometimes have to spend quality hours just to find working proxies that don’t stay up for very long. There is some choice in country selection, but it can take a lot of searching and most of them are in the United States. They come without technical support in most cases. It is also unlikely to find one that uses encryption, meaning the data that passes through them is not hidden and is vulnerable to being sniffed out by hackers and data thieves.

SSH Tunnel

This method is more secure than a proxy because it uses encryption, which makes it difficult for prying eyes to see what you’re doing. This solution is inexpensive but usually has a monthly fee for use. SSH tunnels work on most types of Internet traffic, but each program such as the web browser or FTP software has to be configured individually. Tech support is included with these types of services for users who need assistance. Usually, there is not a wide selection of countries and most have a shared IP addresse for everyone, but the uptime is reliable. Some people even prefer being behind a shared IP for the purpose of obscurity.

VPN

Like the tunnels, VPN uses encryption for enhanced privacy. However, it requires more software downloads and installations. There are also permission verifications which need to be performed during the first use. After all of the initial set-up, they are usually very easy to use at any time. They automatically work on all Internet traffic without any special configuration. VPN services typically have the most IP addresses and the widest selection of countries to choose from. Some of them even offer a private dedicated IP address for those who need one. Help is usually available from technicians for those who need assistance.

Conclusion

Each person should use what best suits them. Some people have an easy time finding working free proxies using automated tools, while others perfer to pay for something more reliable like SSH tunnel or VPN. That’s not to mention the latter two maintain their own servers and tend to have better security than the former. Tunnel software is usually easier to install than VPN software, but VPN has more options and the best value despite having the highest price tag.

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