In your search for a VPN, you may have come across proxy servers. Proxy servers are similar to VPNs in the way they work, but have differences that make them very different in their effectiveness. A VPN and a proxy are similar in that they both allow you to appear as if you are connecting to the Internet from another location. However, the way they accomplish this task and the degree of privacy, cryptography and anonymity they offer varies greatly.
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer (or mobile phone, tablet, etc.) and the Internet. It’s similar to a VPN in that it changes your IP address. Say, for example, that you live in England and want to access a video on a website located in the USA. You could use a proxy server to fake your location and access the content as if it were located in the US. This is a low risk situation, which does not really require any type of encryption. Another example would be to browse the Internet through a server in a place where airfare may be cheaper (yes, airlines do this). It is also important to know if your proxy server connections are configured per application, not across your computer, which means you must configure your Torrent client or Web browser separately to accept the proxy connection. A VPN, on the other hand, encrypts all applications connected to the Internet through an installation,
What a proxy DOES NOT do is encrypt your connection . Although it hides your real IP, it does not hide the identifying information from your transmissions. Basically, there are no built-in privacy or security features. A proxy server, for example, would not be good for someone trying to protect themselves when using WiFi. In addition, when the user finds Flash or Java Script, their true IP can be easily detected. Many proxy IP addresses that are widely used are also known to the sites and therefore blocked by them.
There are two different types of proxy server protocols: HTTP and SOCKS .
The older of the two proxy types, HTTP works only for web-based traffic. To use an HTTP proxy, you connect the proxy server to your Web browser’s configuration file (or use a browser extension if the your browser does not support proxies natively) and all your web traffic is routed through the remote proxy. If you are using an HTTP proxy to perform activities involving sensitive data such as bank or email, you must use an SSL-enabled browser and connect to a site that provides SSL encryption. This is because, as stated above, the proxies do not do encryption.
The SOCKS proxy is an extension of the HTTP proxy system that is indifferent to the type of traffic that crosses it, which means it is useful for more than just web browser traffic and can handle elements like Torrents. Unfortunately, SOCKS is slower than HTTP, which is especially notable if you’re using it to download Torrents.
The last thing we should mention is that, as VPNs, not all proxies were created in the same way . There are many free web proxy sites available that you can enjoy, but according to our experience, when it comes to protecting your information, it’s worth paying . Free proxy services (and VPN) are free for one reason: they usually have a weak uptime, are full of advertisements and dangers. Sometimes they are run by hackers looking to steal your information (for example, they expect you to use their financial information such as bank or credit card information).
So what best proxy services of 2018 do we recommend to use?
1: NORD VPN
Nord does not offer a separate subscription for a proxy service. Instead, a subscription to your VPN service comes with access to your list of 3,000 private and localized HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies around the world. Their site has a search feature to find any proxy you want and configuration instructions for each application (Chrome, Firefox, Torrent, etc.) that you could imagine. Not to mention that if you run into any problems, you can contact them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, it is not possible to emphasize enough that if you will take steps to diverge from your regular route on the Internet and buy a subscription from the Nord, however, use your VPN whenever possible as it offers excellent protection, whereas a proxy leaves you open to attacks.
Like Nord, IPVanish includes access to your private proxy with a signature of your VPN. Unlike Nord, however, they only offer SOCKS5 and do not provide HTTP, so it will work for clients with Bittorent like Utorrent and Deluge, but not with a Web browser. This is great for Torrent clients because you can use a proxy for your Torrent client while using the IPVanish VPN for other applications. This is good because proxies are faster than VPNs (due to lack of encryption), and Torrent is relatively safe using a proxy.
Unlike NordVPN and IPVanish, TorGuard offers a separate subscription to its Proxy service, in addition to its VPN. You can also buy them together for little more than the cost of the VPN. Torguard offers a wide range of proxy servers: 2,000 IPs in more than 50 countries, with SOCKS5 servers in 8 countries, and also supports up to 5 simultaneous connections.
4: Private Internet Access (PIA VPN)
We love the PIA because they provide very good service for an extremely reasonable price. As the first two providers on our list, the PIA includes a proxy server when purchasing your VPN. And, like IPVanish, only a SOCKS5 proxy is available, so it will work only with Torrent clients and not with Web browsers. Although the PIA does not provide more chat support, which is certainly a disadvantage, they do, however, offer good customer service and respond fairly quickly if you have any problems.
Overplay is a provider of SmartDNS and VPN. A SmartDNS proxy server is specifically used to allow users access to geographically restricted content that you can use for other purposes, such as browsing the Internet. Although a VPN can do this, SmartDNS is best for this job since it allows for a faster connection due to lack of encryption. Although we are not crazy about not having encryption, Overplay provides secure DNS servers from which you can connect. If you are looking to use a proxy to access geographically restricted content from services such as Netflix, Kodi, Hulu, etc., we recommend using Overplay.