Maintaining Internet Security With Proxy Servers And Vpns.
You may have heard these two names many times. Those who always use the internet and are concerned about their privacy should know these two concepts. Proxy servers and VPNs are used for security purposes, but both differ in serving it. If you are concerned about your privacy over the internet and seeking help, you are just one line away. Here is a guide to help you introduce you to some of the internet security options: How does a proxy server improves security and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Virtual Private Network in brief
A virtual private network is a technology where a private network connection is routed virtually between the nodes that provide you the internet resources from the server you addressed using encryption without connecting you to the public network. It forms an encrypted tunnel that protects your system information from the threats outside of the tunnel in the public network. It ensures your sensitive data safety by transmitting your information through the encrypted tunnels. VPN provides shielded security to users as it encrypts user requests even before your ISP, the Internet service provider gets and forwards them to the respective VPN node. It also disables the browsing activities of users.
VPNs are a reliable and secure internet security medium. The encrypted tunnels under VPN support all networking protocols used for transmission through the tunnels with their privacy and security options. PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP are the protocols used to construct the tunnel with high security. It provides you a unique IP address and establishes a tunnel between you and the requested sites over the internet to ensure the security principles of connection. It uses AES-256 encryption for the tunnels so that none can view your data or interfere in your transmission process even if it is a government authority.
You can switch VPN on or off as per your choice. You can also access to the blocked and hidden content in websites using the VPNs. It can provide safety to your data even though you are connected to any public Wi-Fi connections.
Pros and cons of VPNs
A virtual private network is convenient in all ways. It provides encryption to traffic, and then no one can view it. It is a highly secured data transmission. VPN can protect your browsing activities and keep them hidden from everyone in the public network. It can help users send and receive data with an anonymous identity. ISPs slow down the speed of the internet when you have used a specific amount of data. Using a VPN connection avoids data throttling, even if you have used your data at a certain limit amount. It makes restore your normal data speed. Sometimes users face bandwidth throttling because of slow data speed. In this case, using a VPN can also avoid bandwidth throttling.
It can also help you access the geographically blocked sites and information by changing your IP address according to the geographical area where access is allowed. You can also access the sites and regional sports out of your geographical areas such as abroad sites, using a VPN. But it is important to understand the rules of that particular country or location before using VPN. Because you may have to give penalties for using a VPN, a virtual private network can also get you cheaper telephone charges for long-distance calls.
It can directly access to your internet service provider access point. You can also get cheaper servers for maintaining your business. As server maintenance can be costly, it is beneficial to use a VPN to reduce its cost.
Drawbacks of VPN
As there are several benefits of VPNs, Drawbacks come along with them. VPNs can face slower internet speed because it routes and encrypts the traffic every time for transmission. Also, some of the countries, locations have prohibited the use of VPNs. So, make sure you know your country's rules and regulations. If you used it against the laws, you would have to pay the penalties. VPNs are a little difficult to set up. You will have to take help from the expert ones for setting up the VPNs. VPNs come in different types with various encryption qualities.
You will not be able to know the quality of your VPN unless you know encryption very well. So, it would help if you chose a good-quality VPN for your infrastructure. The cost of VPNs is also higher than the proxies. It comes in several types, so the cost is dependent on the type of VPN you want to purchase.
A proxy server in brief
A proxy server often called a proxy, is the intermediate server or node between you and the internet that provides access to your requested sites by hiding your system's original IP address and location. It acts as a gateway between your system and the public network that indirectly connects you with the web pages you requested anonymously. It takes a request for data from the client machine, i.e., your machine, and forwards it to the public network with anonymous identity and forwards back you the data you requested. You can access anything over the public internet without getting your IP address and location involved through the proxy servers. Because of anonymity, threats, and danger in the public network can not target your system as they can not see your system details. You can also access the hidden data of some websites using proxy servers.
Proxy servers and IP address
Proxy servers only shield your IP addresses. Your other data remains visible to others in the same network because it doesn't encrypt the data. HTTP and SOCKS are the protocols used to encrypt the data. But the encrypted data can be viewed by the cybercriminals who are connected through another proxy server. Mostly, these cybercriminals use these proxy servers to surf on the internet. They can easily make you fool by advertising a proxy server and then stealing your sensitive data when you connect with them.
HTTP is a mostly used protocol than SOCKS. SOCKS5 is used to access the torrent services and web servers. Proxy servers are used in i. So there is always huge traffic of the users. Thus, the speed of the connection can be affected. If you want to access the blocked sites and surf over the internet, you can use proxy servers.
Pros and cons of Proxy servers
The first advantage of a proxy server is that it keeps your IP address hidden in the public network. The websites you are visiting through the proxy server case your system's IP address. Because the proxy server shows its IP address to them instead of your system's IP address, another benefit of proxies is you can access any geographically blocked sites or content. Websites will not be able to stop you from accessing as they will not see your IP address. Proxy servers store a cache of sites. So, whenever you visit a site, it will store it in the cache memory. When you revisit the page, the proxy will load it faster from the cache.
Proxy servers can also prevent your system from malware, viruses, and phishing. There are some websites over the internet with malicious content as a trap for visitors. But if you visit those sites using a proxy server, the malicious content will not affect your system. But the virus may enter the proxy server instead of any machine. One more benefit of a proxy server is that it is cheaper in the cost if compared to high-cost options like VPNs.
Proxy servers in hiding the IP address
You have seen the benefits of proxy servers above. Now there are some disadvantages of proxy servers too. A proxy server can hide your real IP address from everyone, except some of the proxy providers. Your proxy provider can keep track of the browsing activities you are doing through the proxy servers. So, it is better to know the identity of your proxy provider before using proxy servers. Proxy servers will provide you all the benefits. Mostly they do not encrypt their connection. You can also get data encryption with SSL certificates from the proxy providers. But cybercriminals are so enhanced that they can decrypt your data by SSL stripping skills. It might be an issue for data security. In this case, you will see that the data is encrypted, but it is not in reality. Since your data is not encrypted, the server can also modify your data for any purpose. So this is a major drawback of proxy servers.
Using proxy server for information access
You can use proxy servers for quick access of information with an anonymous identity. It is not efficient for long-term access to sites and information because it does not guarantee user data security. Another drawback of using proxy servers is that proxy servers store cache of information. It is a benefit along with risk in it. The cache information may be any data like passwords and usernames visible to the proxy provider. So, there is a risk of your private data being leaked. However, you will get many free proxy server connections over the internet, but they all have several security threats. So, do not hesitate to get a paid one if you want to maintain security.
Difference between the Proxy server and Virtual Private Network (VPN):
Proxies and VPN both provide the same deliverables with a little difference in them. Many people get confused about the difference between the proxy servers and the virtual private networks. That's why here are some constraints from which you can understand which the best is according to your needs.
- Speed: Speed is the most important feature when it is about internet access. Proxy servers have a faster speed than the VPNs. VPNs are slow because they require encryption of data.
- Cost: The cost of both proxy and VPN depends upon their qualities. VPNs are more expensive as they require to be maintained than the proxy servers.
- Privacy and security: VPN provides encryption to the traffic while proxy doesn't. A VPN hides your data from Internet service provider tracking, government authorities, cybercriminals, and hackers. Proxies do not protect your data except your IP addresses. So in case of security, the secured VPN should be used.
- Area of work: The proxy server works on a specific application to route only the application's traffic. But, VPN works with the operating system, and it can route and manage the traffic of the whole operating system.
- Reliable connectivity: VPN provides a reliable connection once connected. But proxy server connection can fall frequently.
These are the points where VPN and proxy servers differ from each other. People should understand the concepts of proxy and VPNs, as well as the difference between them both. Because if a person used a proxy server for security purposes in the business, it could have the worst impact on the business. However, the VPN is better than a proxy server. But choosing the proper one depends on your requirements.
Final words about proxy serverIf you want your team to share and access all the modules remotely and securely, you can use a virtual private network. But if you want to see what your users are accessing, you can use proxy servers here. So, it is necessary to get familiar with every detail of proxy servers and VPNs before using them.
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