Proxy vs VPN vs Tor vs SmartDNS – What is the Difference?

Many a time users find it difficult to access particular websites as these websites are restricted in their regions and also sometimes as a result of censorship laws. Sometimes users want to be anonymous while browsing the web so that their privacy is not compromised and to stay safe from hackers and spammers. In this case, users can use some tools like a Proxy, a VPN, a Tor OR a SmartDNS.

These tools make users stay anonymous and make it easier for users to access the restricted websites from where it is restricted. However, a challenge comes when you are to choose between these services. So you remain to ask yourself what services to use among Proxy, VPN, Tor, and SmartDNS. Your goal is to get a service that is best when it comes to security and privacy and also one that can unblock the restricted websites in your region.

In this post, we will compare the four services so that you can know which one is best for your needs.

 

What is a Proxy?

A proxy similar to a VPN leads your traffic through another computer instead of your own. Although there are public and private proxy servers, private proxies are best since they are stable and reliable.

concept of proxy

In other words, a proxy server acts as a wall between you and the internet, when you access the web via a proxy, the internet server your request will get the IP address of your proxy server and not your real IP address. However, proxy server does not encrypt your traffic which makes it easier for your data to be spied.

Pros

Proxy servers are usually inexpensive

Can help you access blocked sites since it masks your actual IP address.

Cons

Helps users access some specific websites and not all and it can encrypt user data.

Requires users to configure it on every browser since it can’t automatically be configured.

A proxy server can pass user’s real IP address to the destination server, thus they are not suitable for privacy and security purposes.

 

What is a VPN?

A VPN or a Virtual Private Network 

is an interconnection of computers that help to create a connection to another region to make you appear as if you are accessing the web in another region. Your computer uses a virtually encrypted tunnel to send and receive data. All the user data goes via the encrypted tunnel, thus making your data free from being in contact with hackers and spammers as well as cybercriminals.

vpn

Pros

A VPN provides users with the highest level of security as well as privacy since it has a high-end encryption via VPN protocols.

A VPN is easy to setup and use

When browsing the web using a VPN, no other internet user can detect your activities including your ISP, hackers and other eavesdroppers.

A VPN service is a little expensive.

Cons

While there are free VPNs, they are too slow so you will need a premium service.

 

What is Tor?

Tor aka The Onion Router is a platform that allows users to browse the web anonymously. This service allows users to connect the web through a network of relays with regard to a direct connection.

tor browser

Pros

The good thing about this service is that your real IP address remains anonymous.

Cons

Although users connect to the internet via a network of relays, the last point at the last relay can be compromised especially if the requested server doesn’t use SSL.

Tor can also slow down your browsing as data has to go through hops of relays.

Tor is also used by most governments and therefore using it can make you be seen as a criminal.

 

What is a SmartDNS?

A SmartDNS is a proxy technology that is usually helpful when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted sites worldwide. Users do not need a third-party application to install on their computers; you just need to subscribe the DNS service. A SmartDNS has no encryption so it’s faster when browsing the web than a VPN, although it’s not safe when it comes to online privacy and security.

smart dns

Pros

SmartDNS has no encryption which makes it a faster service for streaming information.

It can be used to unblock geo-restricted websites worldwide

No need of installing third-party software in user’s computers when using SmartDNS.

Cons

Since users’ data is not encrypted, this service is dangerous when it comes to privacy and security.

The risks of being attacked while browsing is higher than any others services described above.

 

The bottom line: Which one of the above tools is the best?

For a reliable, useful and secure service that will ensure your privacy is taken care of, choose a VPN over a Proxy, Tor and even SmartDNS. A VPN will ensure you remain anonymous while you browse the web and will ensure your privacy is not compromised.

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